Monthly Archives: May 2015
On Thursday, May 7, 2015, during Douglas County, Georgia’s National Day of Prayer observance, my dear friend, brother, and mentor, John Brown, offered a eye-opening prayer of confession and intercession for the Church in America. In many ways it brought a bit of sobering reality to the participants in this gathering – encouraging us to look inward – and not outward – as we prayed that day.
I wanted to share the transcript of that prayer for your edification. I pray that you might chew on the many morsels of repentant cries herein, as if they were your own:
Prayer for the National Day of Prayer
“O Lord, great and awesome God, You keep covenant and steadfast love with those who love You and keep Your commandments,
Listen to my words, O Lord;
consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
for You are my Lord, my King and my God,
for to You do I pray.
Enable me by Your empowering grace, to pray according to Your will, breath Your living word through me, for You have promised that if we pray anything according to Your will, that You will hear us, and that we will have whatsoever we ask.
O Lord, we – the American church, have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from Your gospel of the Kingdom — Your Reign, and the commandments that our Lord taught us to observe.
We have not listened to Your Son, our Lord Jesus, nor to Your servants the apostles and prophets, who spoke in Your name to our Elders, our pastors, our teachers, and our fathers, and to all the people of the church.
To You, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us, the American Church, a member of the city of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, the church of the firstborn, the bride of Christ, ——— belongs open shame.
To us, O Lord, the American Church — belongs open shame, to our Elders, our pastors, our teachers, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.
To You, O Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against You, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in Your ways, which You set before us by Your Son the Lord Jesus Christ, and the apostles and prophets.
For we have played the harlot, sharing our affections — that belong only to You, with this American nation. We have made of her an Idol. Looking to her for our well-being, our security, our health, our lifestyle, and our provision.
Looking to America for our rights to pray, and worship, and to be the people of God. Ignorant of the reality that on the day that we gave to the American Constitution, our rights to pray, and worship, and be the people of God, was the day that we lost those rights.
We have chosen to see ourselves as citizens of America rather than as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God to this fallen nation.
We lift up prayers for our lover, America — at the neglect of prayers for the Kingdom of God and its citizens, our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Each denomination, congregation, and man — building his own kingdom at the expense of unity in the body of Christ, which according to our Lord’s prayer for unity, would convince the world that Jesus is the Christ sent from God the Father, and that You, Father, love us even as You have loved Your own Son.
O God, we see the storm that is on the horizon, this calamity that is coming, that You are sending — to cleanse Your Church of all that is not of You. Yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by the truth of Your Word.
And now, O Lord our God, who redeemed us by the blood of the Lamb, as of this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
Because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, the Bride of Christ, Your people have become a byword among all who are around us. Our hypocrisies have made us a laughing-stock.
“O Lord, according to all Your righteous acts, let Your anger and Your wrath turn away from us, Your called out people.
Now therefore, O God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for Your own sake, and Your name’s sake, O Lord, make Your face to shine upon the American Church, which has become desolate.
O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the people that are called by Your name. For we do not present our pleas before You because of our righteousness, but because of Your great mercy.
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for Your own sake, O my God, because Your church and your people are called by your name.”
Now O Lord,
Let all who take refuge in You rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread Your protection over them,
that those who love Your name may exult in You.
For You bless the righteous, O Lord;
You cover him with favor as with a shield.
I do pray, with intercession, for Your people,
In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
You have likely heard the old adage: “If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, how would you live differently today?” I wonder if anyone has every truly experienced a life change as a result of this concept? So, consider this:
If you knew there was a time of intense persecution, which could not be avoided or escaped, coming to your community – what would you do? How would you live differently? Or…
If you knew that forces were on the verge of a full-scale invasion of your land – and the threat was immanent and verified – how would you react? How would you prepare? Or…
If you knew that a time of judgement was on the immediate horizon – clearly positioned to directly and personally affect every aspect of your day-to-day life – what would you do to ready yourself? What would change?
In our world, events like this are very real, everyday occurrences for much of our planet – except here in “the west”, where, for all of our lives (at least those born after about 1940), the vast majority of us have known ease, freedom, liberties, abundance and rest. But *what if* all that was taken away – or at least highly restricted? How would you react? How would things change?
From a spiritual perspective, The Holy Scriptures have taught us to “come out from among the world”, “be not of the world”, “live in readiness”, “be watchful”, “be alert”, and much more, in the way of preparation for that which will come (maybe many times over) throughout our lives, to test us, try us, prove us and refine us.
So, if this is how we are to live anyway, how much more so, if we are hearing from multiple sources, in a variety of venues, that a storm is coming?
I challenge you to wake up! To step up! To rise up and become the unashamed, passionate, radically devoted, extreme lover of God in Christ, that the Holy Spirit will enable you to be! Why? Because of the storm? Sure… But how about because that is who we who have “been given the gift of Life in Christ” are called to be everyday!
We have been called to be a people who live by radical organic Christ-initiated faith!
Wake up Saints and live!
We have been called to be a people who love one another with an extreme illogical sacrificial love!
Arise Church and love!
We have been called to in passionate intimacy with our Heavenly Father that is unmatched and unbridled that will bring to light an unashamed display of His Glory in our lives!
Step up in prayer people of God and shine!
We have been called to a surrendered life of death to self and life by The Spirit of God that empowers us to demonstrated the fulfillment of Christ’s rule and reign in our lives that proves the Grace of God to a watching cosmos that both desires and hates such a thing!
So yield absolutely and bathe in the Grace that works, that His Name will be magnified.
When these unashamed, passion, radically devoted, extreme lovers of God in Christ come forth, Her radiance will offend the multitudes, but will miraculously cause His glory shown to all the earth. She will be hated by all; but deeply loved by God. Her purity will shine like he dawn; Her countenance like the noonday sun!
So I say to you, in the words of God through the Apostle Peter: “…what sort of people ought you be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for, and hastening the coming of the day of God…?”
A storm IS coming – but irregardless, we are to be a people – if we are indeed His people – who dress ourselves in readiness, with our lamps lit, every day! Wearing Christ-initiated faith, sacrificial one-another love, Holy Spirit empowered grace and passionate intimacy with the Father, at every moment, in every way. Amen!
\o/ Surrendering Daily,
More on what it means to wear “Christ-initiated faith”, “sacrificial one-another love”, “Holy Spirit empowered grace” and “passionate intimacy with the Father” – coming soon.