Bradford… January 2004 when I spoke here I released a word that ‘transformation has a physical look to it, and the city centre will be transformed as a sign of transformation coming, that people would talk of Bradford as being a city where they would want to travel to for weekends to get a break’. A few weeks later I was sent a newspaper article carrying a plan for the city centre. It was in this city that the Lord first told me that I was not to think of transformation simply in spiritual terms as it would make places look and feel different. What was spoken then was so far beyond a possibility, but now the city centre is being transformed. It is an amazing sight to behold. So this is my first visit back since January 2005 – 3 years later.
What a great image (on the billboards) of a new city being born, with one landscape and many views. Now the challenge is for the body of Christ to catch up.
Last year Sally Ann Dyer (who joined me this time) came to the city and prayed with two others in the city. There were two clock: one on the post office showing the right time and one on the cathedral which was stopped: that was a sign of where things were, but now?
Well the strategy God gave for the catching up of time was from 1 Samuel 14. This was the passage the Lord gave me on my way up to the city. It is of Jonathan and his armour bearer who precipitate the army of Israel into action. They did not wait for central command to work out a strategy… so we called for:
- The release of the raiding parties that were not directed from central organisations, but released by the Spirit, where they would spontaneously find themselves being directed to specific places. This is what will release the army from its passivity.
- I am well aware that such strategy is not a comfortable one and wish to honour those who might have objected actually running with it, but got behind what I was calling for.
- I also called for a statistical change to be noted on the quality of the air in the city (I have no idea about how this is measured or whether it is viewed currentiy as an issue).
- For new entrepreneurs with a different spirit to rise.
- That Bradford will become mainline on the news over many issues – statisitcs that are bad, and then news stories that are good (more below).
- I prayed that (did not declare) someone would rise up in the city that had a major influence on the issue of waste managament – this has been a focus for some time and I normally talk about this issue when I speak on the gates.
- Much more….!!!
It was great to be back praying on the streets, focusing on prayer for a city again after a while when I have not done this. It is always a challenge, but Bradford is a city we have to watch. It will swing this way and that – but it will be a sign of what is happening in the nation. It will act as a barometer.
I plan to put on this blog later the first talk from Bradford on the strategy. It is the strategy for there, but I think there are principles that might apply elsewhere.
I will also write about the earthquake in the next day or two. Earthquakes here are not common, and this one being the level it was is significant. We arrived in the city on the day the quake took place.
Finally a big thank you to all those who are rising in the city and calling for the prophetic and healing wells to open.