This past week, we had a Week of Prayer at our church, Zion Family Ministries, where a group of us met each morning and evening for an hour to pray for a prescribed list of topics. Following are some things the Lord spoke to me as I prayed. The first night was Repentance.
I asked, “Lord, what does it mean to repent?” I was reminded of 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care on Him for He cares for you.” The image I got was not of someone gently handing over their cares to God but of someone quickly, forcefully throwing their cares to God like they were a snake or something awful they didn’t even want to touch. The idea was, don’t wait, don’t put up with it any longer and don’t be gentle with your cares, get rid of them!
After repenting of my own sins, I asked if I could ask for repentance and forgiveness for others based on what Jesus did. I was reminded that several times, Jesus was asked to do something for someone else and He responded. Lazarus was sick and word was sent by someone else for Jesus to come heal him, and He did. (John 11). The centurion asked for his servant (Matthew 8) and Jairus asked for his daughter to be healed (Mark 5), and Jesus responded. So I got from those scriptures that I could ask repentance for others and God would bring about the circumstances for them to respond.
On another night, we were praying for Our church. The scripture that immediately came to me was 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” First, Humble ourselves. Quit thinking you’re all that, (Romans 12:3), get rid of all that egotistical trash and then… Second, “Let’s talk.”, Pray. Talk to God, and not the usual asking for all these things, whining and crying because of what the world has done to you but have a good…Three, Face to Face talk with God; Seek His Face! Now here, I got the image of someone coming to God with all these problems, crying, looking around at all the mess they’re in and trying to talk to God about it. He says, like a parent would to a whimpering child, “Hey, look at me, right here, look at me!” “Quit crying and look at me!” Seek His face and nothing else. And Fourth, Turn from your wicked ways. “Well God, what is that?” “Hey, look at me again. Your wicked ways are…” and He lists them to your Spirit. You might say, “But Lord, the devil…” “Listen, look at me, you speak to the devil and say, ‘Devil, the Spirit of God is in me. The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, the Spirit that created the Heavens and the earth and the same Spirit that kicked you out of Heaven!’” “So, get outta here, get out of my face, you can’t bully me!”
So if God’s people will do those four things, He will hear them, forgive them and heal their land, or in my case, heal our church.
On the last night of prayer, we were praying for Revival. I asked, “How do we have revival?” You first have to have a group of people seriously calling for it. So I started praying the characteristics of those of us who were praying: “Lord, we come humble, repentant, asking, seeking, knocking, hungry bowing, surrendering, crying out, praising, worshiping, expecting, hopeful, prepared and passionate.” That must be the beginning of revival.
So what is revival? It’s not a series of meetings held once a year but revival must begin in each of us. It’s not just confined to the inside of the church building but is to go with God’s people outside the church in their daily business. Evidence of revival would be when we see miracles, healings, salvations, and transformations. And, these things would not be something special in our church services but the norm! Again, these things would not be limited to inside the church walls but would happen at the store, at the ball game, in our homes, at the hospital anywhere God’s people, filled with His Spirit, would take action. I prayed then, that revival would start here, and I pointed to the floor, meaning I wanted revival to begin here at Zion Family Ministries. Immediately, God reminded me that revival must begin in the hearts of those seeking it. So, I went around and pointed to each person praying that night saying, “Lord, may revival start in them.”
I then thought of what the word “revival” meant and I got the image of someone who was down and the emergency medical people were attempting to “revive” them. They were having CPR done on them. So I thought, CPR – Called People who are Radical and Christ Providing Resuscitation. CPR. That’s what we need for revival in ourselves, our church and our region.
Finally, I asked God to renew our minds, (Romans 12:2) so we would be in the right position for revival to begin in us. Again, God spoke to me, “Hey, look right here, as I’ve told you many times before, ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.’” (Matthew 6:33). I truly believe this verse, this command from Jesus, could be the answer to everything. Surely it is for revival.
We expect a lot of good things to come out of our Week of Prayer but prayer certainly cannot be limited to one week of concentrated action. Each of God’s people must be praying daily and even several times a day, (pray without ceasing, 1 Thessalonians 5:17), in order for God to act powerfully in our individual lives and in our church. For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever, AMEN!