A Continuing Urgent Call to Prayer and Intercession

The urgency in my spirit for the Church to arise from its slumber and get up to the front lines of the battle in prayer, repentance, and intercession is persisting…and increasing!  I’m afraid that our culture of instant gratification and incessant distraction has so spiritually weakened us that we are ill-prepared for the depth and duration of persevering, prevailing prayer that is needed in this hour.  (I include myself in that assessment.)  It is a most critical hour, however, and the future course of our nation and of the world ultimately lies in the hands of God’s people, His royal priesthood. 

We are also the people who are living in the days of the full and final fulfillment of what was prophesied in Joel 2:

“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days

I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.  And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved;”  Joel 2:28-32 NIV

This is what the apostle Peter quoted on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was initially poured out on the Church.  (See Acts 2)  If we look at the prophecy closely, however, we see that the ultimate fulfillment will take place “…before the great and dreadful day of the LORD.”, i.e, at the very end of the age.  Pentecost was an initial fulfillment, but the full and final outpouring of the Spirit is still yet to come.  I believe we are living in the very days leading up to this great, last work of God that will serve to perfect the Bride and bring in the final harvest of souls for the Kingdom of God before the end comes.

As with all great moves of God, including the initial outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, there is always a birthing process that culminates in travailing, prevailing prayer. (For the ten days between the Ascension and Pentecost, it says of the approximately 120 believers in the Upper Room: They all joined together constantly in prayer…” Acts 1:14)

If we go back to the original prophecy in Joel, we see that there is a prerequisite to the promise, “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people…

That prerequisite is found in Joel 2:12-17:

“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”  Rend your heart and not your garments.  Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.  Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God.
 
Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly.  Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast.  Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.  Let the priests, who minister before the LORD, weep between the portico and the altar.  Let them say, “Spare your people, LORD.  Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations.  Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ ”

This spirit of heart-rending repentance and importunate intercession is the travail that births the merciful, bountiful, restorative work of the Spirit that follows by the grace of God. (See Joel 2:18-32) 

It is this level of travailing, prevailing prayer that is needed in this hour not only because of what is happening geo-politically, economically, and concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, but also in regards to the Lord’s desire to culminate the age in one last global outpouring of His Spirit to purify His Bride and bring in the final harvest.

~ ~ ~

It’s important as we consider this matter of travailing, prevailing prayer, that even this is a work of the grace of God by His Spirit.  Charles Spurgeon said, “Whenever God determines to do a great work, He first sets His people to pray.”  One of my teachers in Bible School further said, “Travail doesn’t bring on the baby; the baby brings on travail.”  And so, when God seeks to birth a new work in the earth, He begins the process with conception within His people, leading to the inward formation of what becomes an increasing burden to bear, eventuating in the birthing process of increased spiritual birth pains, travailing intercession, and intensified labor unto childbirth.  Paul spoke of this as even an ongoing process when he said to the churches of Galatia, “My little children, of whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you–” (Galatians 4:19 ASV) 

Our part, then, is to give ourselves to the Lord, seeking intimacy with Him that He may conceive within us the seeds of His new work, nurture what is conceived through continued prayer until it is fully formed within, and then cooperate with the Lord in the laborious birthing process of travailing intercession and prevailing prayer.  This is the way that God has worked to bring forth every great move of His Spirit throughout Church history, beginning at Pentecost.

It should also be noted that the reason God employs this process is that He wants His Bride fully engaged and fully participating with Him in the work that He desires to birth in the earth.  In His sovereignty, He has chosen to work in co-operation with His people in relation to the earth over which He has given them dominion.  He has chosen prayer as a primary means of engaging our participation as His royal priesthood and reigning Bride.

He also has chosen this arduous and prolonged process of “childbirth” because it is only by this depth and duration of prayer that our hearts are possibly prepared to become the “new wineskins” that will be able to contain the “new wine” of the outpouring of His Spirit when it comes.  Frank Bartleman, one of the main intercessors and instruments used to birth the Azusa Street revival, said,

“There is always much need of heart preparation, in humility and separation, before God can consistently come. ” (Another Wave of Revival, pg. 10) 

If God were to pour out the new wine of His Spirit without this deep heart preparation, the old wineskins of our inflexible hearts would not be able to contain it, possibly be damaged by it, and the wine would pour out and be wasted.  God knows the deep preparation that is needed within His people before He can do such a new work of His Spirit.

~ ~ ~

On a personal note, I can say that I’ve been feeling the “seed” of God’s “new thing” growing inside of me now for months and it is developing now to the stage of increasing birth pains.  I don’t believe I am alone in this for it seems there is this same process going on in many in the area where I live, across this nation, and around the world. 

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”  Isaiah 43:19 NIV

~ ~ ~

As a final piece to this post, I want to share a few links for you to consider that will help to confirm and further express the things that I’ve shared thus far.  We need to learn from our forefathers and allow the echoes of their lives to reverberate down through the ages into our hearts today.  They have much to teach us of the ways and works of God.  I commend the following pieces to you, the Bride of Christ, in whom and through whom God seeks to birth His new great work!

E. M. Bounds, the great man of prayer, was a Civil War chaplain and in his biography it shares that there were two books he always had with him, his Bible and the diary of David Brainerd.  The following is his brief recounting of the life and ministry of David Brainerd.

The following video also touches on the prayer ministry of David Brainerd as well as other leaders of the First Great Awakening.

May these videos further inspire you in this last days calling to concerted prayer and intercession for the nations!

All blessings,
David


Related: 
The Final Call to Repentance and The Return
The Return Is Over…but is it?
The Essentials of Prayer – by E. M. Bounds (free audiobook)
The Ministry of Intercession – by Andrew Murray (free audiobook)

 

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The Return Is Over…but is it?

The Return was truly a powerful and, I believe, history-shaping event.  I was deeply moved by it and believe it deeply moved the heart of God!  For those who partook of and engaged in it, I’m sure you would concur!  It had all the marks of Divine providence upon it and the anointing of the Holy Spirit throughout was abundantly manifest!  All glory to God for His mercy and grace!

As well as there being a great blessing that comes with initiatives and events such as this, however, there is also a great danger that can accompany them.  After they have passed, we can easily hail them as “powerful” “history-shaping”, “deeply moving”, and the like, and then put ribbons on them, set them up on the trophy shelf, and move on with life pretty much the same as before.  Such an attitude can not only undo much of the good that was done in people’s hearts, but also has the ability to provoke the Lord to remove His hand of mercy and grace that would have otherwise been extended as a result of the event.

God spoke to the prophet Ezekiel about such an attitude in the hearts of the people of Israel whom he was warning of impending judgement if they did not turn from their sins. The Lord said,

“As for you, son of man, your people are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the LORD.’  My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice.  Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain.  Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.  When all this comes true—and it surely will—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.” Ezekiel 30:30-33 NIV

Jonathan Cahn delivered an anointed “watchman’s” word to the nation of America on Saturday morning as the primary address of The Return event.  It was powerful and prophetic.  I want to encourage everyone to watch and listen to his word (again.)   Moreover, I want to encourage you to ponder it deeply in your heart, pray into it, and then put into practice whatever the Lord speaks to you concerning it.  (I extend this encouragement to those of you who do not live in the USA as well, for there are universal principles shared that likewise apply to your nation, and the future of America will also impact, for good or bad, the future of the entire world.  We are all in this together!)

There were many moments of deep and sincere prayers of repentance and intercession during this solemn assembly which I believe were deeply effectual both in the heavens and in the earth.  In fact, it surpassed my expectations, which I admit were hopeful and yet slightly reserved.  (I’ve been involved with a handful of other similar national gatherings and I’ve been disappointed that many seemed more about the speakers and singers than about actual, deep, collective repentance and extended periods of effectual fervent prayer from God’s people in the assembly.)

The fact of the matter, however, is that no individual heart, and certainly no nation, is ever turned around and brought back to an ongoing dedication to God through any single event, no matter how deep and moving it may be.  It is primarily what gets set in motion and then carried on through an ongoing and perpetual returning, repentance, life of prayer, and obedience that is the lasting value of such events.  In other words, it’s not about going to a concert of beautiful “loves songs”, its about actually becoming better “lovers!”

John the Baptist said to the Pharisees, Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance…” Luke 3:8 NKJV  Or as the Complete Jewish Bible words it, “If you have really turned from your sins, produce fruit that will prove it!”  So, now is the time that we need to put into practice what was declared, prayed, repented unto, and committed to.  It is the fruits of repentance that God is now looking for, not a trophy event on the shelf!

Our nation, and the nations of the world are in a titanic spiritual and natural battle, and will be unto the end.  The forces of darkness know that their time is short and the Kingdom of God is advancing against them with spiritual “violence.” (Matthew 11:12)  We do not wage war with the weapons of this world, but with the weapons of prayer, fasting, intercession, humility, obedience, worship, the Word of God, and the word of our testimony.  What has begun with this solemn assembly, then, must now be pressed forward unrelentingly!  The RETURN isn’t over, it has only just begun!

* * *

Unto that end, then, below are links to the entire live-stream “replay” of The Return, to the main address by Jonathan Cahn, and to some additional 40-day fasts that are underway leading up to the most consequential election of our lifetime!  Please partake of these!

In addition, as long as I hear the reverberations of the “trumpet” in my spirit for this critical hour, I will also continue to put out some additional smaller posts with encouraging and edifying material for equipping the saints in this epic, end-times battle.  I pray that you will be blessed and strengthened by them!  The Lord of Hosts is with us!  The trumpet is still sounding!!


The Return – Replay  Three live-stream videos encompassing the entire two-day event.


Jonathan Cahn’s prophetic word to America:


40-Day Prayer Fasts to be joined:

“Pray in Unity” – with Dr. Cindy Jacobs and others

and,

Yours in the battle…and in the victory of Christ,
David


Related:
The Final Call to Repentance and The Return
1857 Prayer Revival – Can it Happen Again?
Call to a (Virtual) Solemn Assembly – [UPDATED with follow-up report]
The Ministry of Intercession – by Andrew Murray (free audiobook)

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The Return – Live Stream (and more)

UPDATE: (9/27/2020) The Return was a very powerful event that I believe will prove to be historic in our nation’s unfolding destiny.  I have updated the link below to the live-stream replay of the gatherings Friday night and all day Saturday.  It is essential that the solemn call to national and global repentance and prayer continue in our lives, our nation, and our world.  The turning of our hearts and of a nation is never a “one and done” affair.  Never!  I pray this live-stream replay continues to inspire, challenge, convict, and radically change our hearts towards God in the days, weeks and months ahead!
-David

The Return 2020 begins its live-stream today, Friday, September 25, from 6pm -9pm EDT.  The main event streams from 9am – 9pm on Saturday, September 26.

The link for the live-stream is here:

THE RETURN live-stream REPLAY

I also wanted to pass on two calls to 40-days of fasting and prayer for our nation that began today, September 25th, forty days out from the election.  The links to those are here:

“Pray in Unity” – with Dr. Cindy Jacobs and others

and,

Very clearly the trumpet is sounding!

-David


Related:
The Final Call to Repentance and The Return
1857 Prayer Revival – Can it Happen Again?
The Ministry of Intercession – by Andrew Murray (free audiobook)

“The Sacrifices of God” – by David Bolton (original song)

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1857 Prayer Revival – Can it Happen Again?

Today, September 23rd, marks the anniversary of the beginning of this extraordinary prayer movement and the global revival that ensued.  I will let it speak for itself.

For a deeper dive into the events leading up to this revival, how it began, spread, its unique characteristics, and it’s national and global impact, please watch this excellent exposé!

The parallel of the times leading up to this revival and the present time is uncanny!  Now the trumpet and the torch are in our hands!

-David


Related:
The Final Call to Repentance and The Return
The Ministry of Intercession – by Andrew Murray (free audiobook)
Sowing and Reaping – by Dwight L. Moody (free audiobook)

Posted in Church History/Development, Spiritual Dynamics | 4 Comments