Strategic Prayer for Europe

Roger Mitchell


and Shetland’s special role



Transcribed and edited by Robert Weston, from a meeting held in Shetland in the autumn of 2002. An overview of some of the specific qualities required by a watchman-intercessor, and God’s great concern that pastors and prophets work together in close harmony. Beyond the teaching, it provides a glimpse of why Shetland (‘the northern gateway’) has a special importance from God’s perspective.


Fire from the North: August 2-9 2005  more details>>>




Prophets Need Intercessors

Five Strands of Intercession
    1. Intercession is about more than prayer
2. Prophecies need acting on
3. Realigning our concept of church
4. Prayer must be strategic
5. Prophetic watchmen

A Prayer Cascade for Shetland

Prophetic Word from Cecil Tait


Kjell Sjöberg was one of the intercessory fathers of Europe. In the year before he died, he heard God say to him that there should be a strategic prayer gathering for Europe, and that it should be in Shetland. I have been carrying that burden in my heart for years and praying towards it. It sounds an unlikely place to hold a Conference because of the expense of getting here, but I believe this is a God-given burden for us to pray into being. It is on God’s heart.


I was amazed when I heard Catherine Brown’s prophecy that there is going to be a strategic prayer gathering in Shetland for Europe. Martha Lucia was the person who first saw the 10-40 window – the world of the not-yet Christians of Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. She has been used to mobilise thousands of intercessors around the world. She has now seen the 40-70 window – which has Europe right in its centre. The eyes and hearts of the same prophetic intercessors and watchmen who focussed on the 10-40 window are now being drawn to pray for Europe. The percentage of Christians in Europe may be low, but many of those that there are live in the UK. We have a special role to play.


I have taken over the coordination of a prayer network for Northern Europe and I am involved in mobilising people to pray in all forty eight European countries. Make no mistake about it: Shetland has a strategic role to play in this! Geographically, it is the centre of Northern Europe, between Greenland and Scandinavia. It is the northern gateway.

Prophets Need Intercessors to Pray the Will of God to Completion

The apostle John wrote in his epistles about times when our heart condemns us. This is something many of us intercessors are only too familiar with. We easily feel responsible for everything that is going on around us, whether or not it is even remotely our fault. We pick up everything: not only the needs and hurts that people are excruciatingly aware of, but the ones they are as yet completely unaware of. We can assume a false responsibility for things – and this can be a fast route into condemnation. That’s why John tells us that if our heart condemns us, we should hope in God.


If you are feeling condemned for something that you or others have done, then it is time to do heart exercises. Christ lives in our hearts – and because He is the hope of glory we don’t need to stay condemned. Not only is He bigger than our hearts – He knows everything! What’s more, we can expand our heart to embrace everybody around us, just the way Jesus did. He allowed His heart to be pierced and broken; He chose to lay his life down. That’s why we can expand our hearts through the grace of the cross to include everyone in our circles of acquaintances.


What about the people who have hurt us most? Corrie Ten Boom forgave the man who betrayed her and sentenced her to the atrocities of a concentration camp existence – and her forgiveness had a profound effect on him. Later she came face to face with the man who treated her and her sister with so much cruelty. As he asked forgiveness of her, a tremendous battle went on inside her. She knew that her testimony would be inauthentic if she refused to respond in the right way, and so she made a supreme effort of will and reached out her hand to his. As she did so, the love of God rushed into her heart.


So expand your heart today to include everyone in the body of Christ, whether in Shetland or wherever. This is a much tougher heart exercise than doing aerobics! Then move on beyond the categories of saved and unsaved, and reach out to everybody in Shetland – and the islands themselves. That will expand your heart and make your eyes leak! Paul said, ‘Our heart is wide open to you; open your hearts too.’ (2 Cor. 6:11-13). People who open their hearts in such ways are well on their way to becoming intercessors, if they are not there already. God is looking for people with whom He can share His heart.


Five Strands of Intercession


When God speaks not everyone hears what He is saying. There are many ‘deaf’ people who can’t understand what He is saying. The purpose of intercessors is to be ears that hear and to become a voice that accurately reflects His heart. So I am going to highlight five issues that are related to intercession to help us move in that direction.

    1) Intercession is about more than prayer  


Intercession is all about developing a strong determination to stand in the gap and to bring the justice and the kingdom of God into the heart of everyday life.


One of the original meanings of the word ‘intercession’ is ‘intersection.’ This speaks of standing in the gap to stop certain things from happening that should not be taking place, and praying other things that are currently not happening into being. Jesus was an intercessor when He stood in the gap on the Cross. The whole human race would have died for its sin had He not done so.


Ezekiel wrote his book as a prophet. What do you think he felt like when he heard God say, "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” (Ezek. 22:30) He could easily have protested, ‘Hang on a sec, God, what about me? Don’t I count?’ There is a special relationship between the prophet (the prophetic watchman who speaks for God) and the intercessor, who stands in the gap for the land. Prophets bring the word of God for a person, church or place, but then there need to be intercessors who will pray what has been prophesied until it becomes an established reality.


Many things will not come to pass unless someone is prepared to stand in the gap, and live in it and pray until it becomes a reality.


We can see then that prayer is the link that brings visions to pass. It is crucial to understand that when and wherever there are prophets, there need to be intercessors too. The Lord promised (through Malachi) that He would send Elijah – but it was four or five hundred years before He did so in the coming of John of Baptist. Mercifully, there had been faithful souls who had kept the Temple ritual going during the intervening years. They may not have had great vision, but they hadn’t stopped praying: that’s why Simeon was able to identify the Messiah when the time came.


If God is speaking to Shetland now, or to your region, what He says will only be ‘implemented’ at ground level if He can find people who will demonstrate the reality of those words by living them out and praying them through. That’s when prophecies stop being things we leave lying around in dusty drawers but become living and active.


There’s a warning here: if we file them away and forget about them, or worse still, fail to make a note of them when they come, we are setting ourselves on course for becoming outspokenly cynical if they never do come to pass. Of course many of them won’t come to pass if we are not willing to pray them into fulfilment! But dreams and desires fulfilled are a tree of life!

    2) Prophecies need acting on  


Some remarkable prophecies have been given recently for Shetland. Intercessors. Hang on to them in prayer! Take Graham Cooke’s prophecy for example and act on it. Many people would rather say, ‘Let’s wait and see,’ and then when nothing much happens, say ‘Well, I don’t think much of that word, or of the prophet for that matter!’ There are times when ‘Wait and see’ is a legitimate response, but when an attested prophet has spoken, we need to be prepared to act on what God has revealed. The real issue then is not so much the word itself, but our response to it. Most prophecy is deeply conditional. Rather than looking on it as being something pre-determined (i.e. as being absolutely certain to happen) the promise is rather a gift to the Body of Christ that is intended to inspire faith in the hearer. That’s where intercessors come in, not least through their determination to stand in the place of faith and prayer until it is fulfilled to the fullest possible extent.

    3) Realigning our concept of Church    


There are two things that matter profoundly to me as an intercessor (but which require a total change of mind set on our part). Firstly, there is the way we understand the Church, the Body of Christ. Secondly, we need to understand that the gospel is not just for individuals but for whole towns and people groups.


I have planted more than fifty churches as a church planter – but I have become an intercessor because just planting a church doesn’t automatically guarantee its future. God wants each one of these churches to be mature.


That means being flexible and creative. My Brethren past gave me an obsession for being a New Testament Christian. I was brought up to believe that everything must be filtered past the gospels as the lens through which everything else must be gauged. But Jesus only mentions ‘church’ as a concept on two or three occasions. He says, ‘On this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ He also tells us what to do when things go wrong in the Church, and relationships need sorting out.


I have come to understand that there are two main manifestations of Church: that which some people call ‘para church’ (or ‘inter denominationalism’) is just as much a valid expression of the Body of Christ as the more readily identifiable ‘local’ church.


Local church is vital, and the epistles have a lot to say about. It can be painful to be involved and committed to such a body, but how can people grow in discipleship and maturity if all the prophets are sticking together prophesying to the land? We need to be connected, but we need to look horizontally – to the people we are relating to and working with – as well as vertically to the Lord. We can’t afford to forget our roots or to neglect the routes by which the work of God will expand through us.


Some people in my home town of Camden have started a group – an expression of the body of Christ – just for writers. I am in touch with others who have started churches for people involved in the business world. I’ve come to understand that local churches can be either in geography, or demography, so long as there is appropriate support and accountability. In either case ‘life-laying down loving’ is the order of the day. Perhaps that’s why Jesus chose Judas Iscariot. If Judas is in your group, remember he was in Jesus' too. It didn’t stop God fulfilling His purposes!


As intercessors we are called to operate in the horizontal as well as the vertical, and it’s important for pastors and church members who have not been called in this way themselves to realise that. Some of us have received a genuine call to prayer and service to this wider expression of the Body of Christ: to the whole of the Shetland Islands, for example, or to other nations or even continents.


That’s fine: it’s biblical. Remember, there are two expressions of the Body of Christ: the local and the wider. Some people use words to describe this wider calling as ‘territorial’ or ‘apostolic’. Either way, the objective is same: to gain new ground for the Kingdom, and to take back ground that has been lost.


Many teach that the local Church is ‘it’ – but that is far too limiting. The local church is absolutely right and vital, but there needs to be a broader vision and wider input too. Praise God for the original apostles who came to Shetland and who set out to convert the place. It never crossed their minds that churches would end up competing with each other or speaking against each other; all they were concerned about was for the glory of God to come to this place.


And here’s my second point. The gospel is not just for individuals but for whole towns and groups of people. That is why people are prophesying to Shetland. It’s not that individuals don’t need to be saved. Jesus went up a mountain and said, ‘O Jerusalem, I have longed to gather you.’ And God said to Ezekiel, ‘Go and prophesy to the mountains.’ It’s not your typically average western thinking – but it isn’t New Age stuff either. It’s biblical!


The whole of Creation is groaning, waiting for the revelation of the sons of God. It’s waiting for the sons of God to emerge who will pray for the glory of God to be revealed. I was saved walking along the South Downs under the care of two elderly intercessors. I have had people praying for me since the moment I was conceived; two of them are in their late nineties now and they’re still praying for me. The Lord has created the South Downs in a way that declares the glory of God – just as He has created Shetland.


Intercessors stand in the gap on behalf of the land. God didn’t create people ‘just’ to be saved but to have dominion over the earth and to fill it. When we blew it, and the curse came on the land, He sent Jesus. And one day there will be a new heaven and a new earth. And we must do all we can to prepare the way for His return. We’ve been ministering to the Lord; now let’s minister to the land. Let’s thank God for it, speak out what we love about it, and what we long to see changed.


One black church in London has an all night prayer meeting every quarter, twelve thousand people at a time. It’s rather like Isaiah 49 when the prophet asks, ‘Who brought me these?’ We’ve been praying for London for years and now suddenly here are all these people. It is going to make a vast difference.


If you’re in a place long enough, the land begins to shape you. It just happens. That’s why the indigenous people need to recognise what is going on spiritually on Shetland. It is a special land in God’s sight. It has been abused and raped over the years, but there is a grace that is going to come forth from this place.

    4) Prayer must be strategic    


God wants to raise up intercessors in the work place, people who will stand in the gap and work flat out for the kingdom of God in the schools, in the world of midwifery, in the local Council, in the crofts and the shops, amongst the fishermen and so on. God help us to realise that we can be intercessors by what we do, through our involvement in the ‘spheres’ of society as well as in the expression of the local church. Let me recommend Ed Silvoso’s book ‘Anointed for Business.’ Ed is a ‘New Testament Levite’, whose roots were in business but who understands spiritual principles and dynamics.


Why associate ‘leaders’ only with pastors and elders? We need pastors and leaders in businesses, farms and so on. This is a key issue for intercessors to pray and work towards.


The work of prayer itself must be networked – and it must include strategic prayer. Some people think that prayer is just prayer and that’s it. Suggest it could be anything more than that and they get wound up. (Don’t worry if that’s you!) But there are some particular types of prayer that are needed. For example, we need prayer researchers who go to places and study history and find out the sort of things that need praying for. Something happens when we repent of the sins of our far distant fathers.


Then there’s the warfare side, that deals with the powers that have gained ground in a region. And then there’s the matter of praying – regularly, daily – for people in the place where we live.

    5) Prophetic watchmen  


Finally, we need prophetic watchmen. These are the people who need to stand alongside those who are praying, so that what they see and hear can be tested, evaluated and then taken up and prayed into.


For those who are setting out, be encouraged! There are bound to be things that you get wrong, or things that people in your church just can’t accept. It’s important to support and get alongside people in order to help them grow, to give them space and to make sure their gift does not get stunted, but matures into the calling of a real prophetic watchman.


We need to help people know how to pray – and how to wait. It is so easy to get the timing of a word wrong – and it often causes havoc when we release it too quickly, or push for it to come about in the flesh.


This is where we must help each other. The gifts and ministries of one are for the benefit of all. People are often so jealous or suspicious of each other, or disagree with each other so strongly, and hive off and do ‘their own prophetic thing’. What is desperately needed is that all the ministries flow together.


Leaders of ministries (or businesses for that matter) need dedicated intercessors who will pray for them and develop networks that will help to bring unity amongst them all, and people who will defend and care for them. Without leaders and without unity we will never exercise much authority in the land. If people aren’t praying, then we can’t expect leaders to work successfully together. We need strategic prayer that breaks through. Revivals will only last if the foundations are in place.


A Prayer Cascade for Shetland



I have transcribed some of the prayers from that evening – but only the ones in the easier dialect! May the Lord use them to help develop our love for Shetland and the northern nations.



Rejoice O Land greatly beloved of the Lord
Created by the Lord Almighty himself

The Son of Righteousness is rising over you,
The warmth of His rays is warming the land and bringing forth fruitfulness to the Lord,

Awake and rejoice: Do not hide but let His light shine upon you.



Open the ancient wells,
Where you planted your gospel all those years ago,
all that stored up love and prayers.
Open them up again that they may gush forth
as a river gushes forth right across the land.



Just as you have placed Shetland in the midst of a trading route in the natural, and it was significant in the Second World War and the fishing industry, we pray that these islands may again be significant in Your purposes: For the North Atlantic, for the countries that come and trade with Shetland – we pray for a spiritual trade and flow from one to another with Faeroes, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Orkney and Scotland.

Thank You that Shetland is the gateway to the North Atlantic. May we link our hearts and our hands to wider things; this is a significant and important time and place that we yearn and ache for. We want to birth the things that are on Your heart in the power of Your Spirit, the things that are part of Your heart beat.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.



Dis grund is Dine, an hit’s holy grund. Whaar Du desires tae bide.
Du wants hit so much; hit’s Dy place.
Dis fock dat is so far awa fae Dee, dey are Dy fock.

Du speaks to wis oot o’ da very hills an da peerie kokkaloories (1)
an da hentilagets
(2) an da bonny bits an pieces an it’s aa bonny.

An amongst dat beauty people’s herts is so brocken
becaas dey hiv been so damaged.
Whatever haes coom dir wye
(3), dey are Dy peerie bairns,
an Du wants dem so much.
Du wants da babies an da daddies an da mams;

Dis is Dy grund.

God, would Du speak into ’oot o’ it,
an touch wir herts dat we might kaen
(4) Dee.

We do love Dee so; Du haes shown us so much;
Da very beauty o da place, dat bonny calm, dat perfect sky,
dat brilliant Aurora Borealis an da Merry Dancers
An Du pours hit aa doon upo dis peerie bit o grund.

Aa dis folk is Dy sheep, an Dy yows
(6) an lambs,
Coom an spaek tae da herts,
Put awa stubborn herts, dat think dey can do hit aa demselves.

Just pour, gush, God, gush ower da laand, dat dey will hear Dee,
dat dey will coom fae da far country an dat dey will hear Dee,
an da toons an da peerie buts an bens


(1) little daisies
(2) tufts of wool from sheep’s back
(3) way


(4) know

The Northern Lights

the living room and bedrooms in the old crofts


Praise Him rushing mighty roaring waters that show His power,
Praise Him, winter wind that howls around the houses.
We pray for that power to speak into people’s hearts.

Forgive us where there has been abuse of the land and the sea,
Where greed and self-centeredness has reigned
For all the arguments and feuds over land.
Forgive us where people won’t speak to each other
Because of tiny strips of land.
There is so much unforgiveness and bitterness.
We ask You to come into these areas of unforgiveness,
and use even these feuds to further your kingdom.

Only You can do this.



Under your mighty hand, Lord, let this people arise to their destiny in God, to their full stature in Christ. Let the yoke of the oppressor be broken, and let people arise into Your love, Your favour, into Your Mercy.

Let this place be a royal diadem in the house of the Lord. Let the glory of the Lord flame out from these islands from a people who know their God, who stand before their God in boldness and in confidence, because the hand of the Lord is upon them and the hand of the Lord has ripped apart that which has stood against them and oppressed them.

Lord Jesus, Let this people arise to their destiny.



May the Lord bring Shetland 2005 into being and send His Fire from the North!

Prophetic Word from Cecil Tait  

God is looking fur a people tae inherit dis laand. Dis haes been a place whaar many people groups hiv traevelit trowe(1). God is wanting tae end da cycle o da eart vomiting oot da people becaas o dir unrighteousness. Naen o da peoples dat hiv bidden here afore hiv been able tae occupy da laand. Only da meek can inherit da eart. Da Loard is looking fur a people dat will redeem da laand fae da bondage dat hit’s under. He is waitin tae raise up fock dat ir holy and commited tae biggin haes Keengdom(2).


(1)have travelled through



(2)folk that are holy and committed to building His Kingdom


We hae tae spaek tae da Language, culture, music and business o dis place. God haes a unique destiny fur da fock dat bide on Shetland. He is wantin tae create a people group dat will reveal his purpose fur Shetland. He will fuse taegidder aa da people groups in dis laand in tae a new people.

His people.


Fire from the North: August 2-9 2005  more details>>>



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