|Intercessors for Canada|
Mid-Month Notes - October 2004
Many thanks to those who enquired about the lack of Mid Month Notes for the last three months. The truth is I needed a rest, everything was so intense and I needed to unstring my bow! I will also admit that after Bill C-250 and the Election I almost did not know how to pray for Canada! Disappointment and exhaustion is a potent mixture that has to be carefully administrated and so I spent many sunny hours on my patio reading my Bible and a history of the Byzantine Empire and watched my flowers grow. Here are some insights on how to pray and what to pray for that I have patiently gleaned.
THE IRON GATE INTO THE CITY ACTS 12:10In Acts 12 I believe that there is a model for high level prayer for a City that will release the apostolic purposes of God and speak to Governments in a powerful way. The Apostle Peter, the key leader in the church, was arrested and kept under heavy guard in a fortified prison. He could have been executed by Herod the next day but 12:5 says:
So Peter was kept in prison; but fervent prayer for him was made to God by the church
What was so special about the prayer that it released angelic ministry to bring about a stunning deliverance in the face of overwhelming opposition? Let me suggest several necessary dynamics:
STRETCHED OUT PRAYER The quality of the prayer was ‘fervent’. This translates a Greek word whose root meaning is ‘stretch out the hand’. It was literally stretched out prayer, the passionate supplication of someone who is totally involved in their body, mind and spirit in crying out to God for an answer. It is prayer that reaches up to God and touches the throne.
If it is stretched upward I would also like to think that it was stretched outward, with no human limits. Peter was asleep, it was late, but they were still praying. A fervent prayer meeting gathers momentum and transcends time keeping. There was a clear sense that they were available to the Holy Spirit for whatever He wanted to do, especially as the church was in possible crisis with the imminent loss of their leader.
When Peter was delivered from the prison he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.
CRITICAL MASS - MANY! The house must have been full as Peter’s dilemma would have attracted a lot of attention. I believe that what is needed is both quality and quantity in prayer. Most versions say that ‘many’ were gathered but interestingly enough ‘many’ means: 'sufficient, enough, sufficient in ability'. In other words they had critical mass, enough people to get the job of intercession done, not just 2 or 3 but possibly 120 gathered in His Name!
THEY WERE GATHERED This is easy to miss as it seems so obvious, but the verb ‘gathered’ is in the passive voice which means they just did not gather themselves but an external force gathered them as well. This is so crucial for high level answers to prayer. The Spirit of God is active in constraining people to prioritise in prayer for intentional answers to prayer. Praying Christians should not just be guided by their soulish needs but by a dynamic sense of the call of God to meet with Him in the place of prayer.
SUMMARYLet us be very sensitive to the Holy Spirit calling us to specific times of prayer where answers to prayer are to be expected. These may be in addition to the regular ‘hour of prayer’, as they may need to be extended times of prayer lasting several hours or longer. We should ask God for the right number of people to come in agreement to see the Heavens opened. We should be prepared for ‘stretched out prayer’ that expresses passion and emotion.
From Acts 12 there are two other results of this sort of prayer mentioned that we need to press through on:
1. LEADERSHIP ANOINTING
Acts 12:6 ‘Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains’
We can pray that whatever is oppressing the leaders of our Cities be broken off them in Jesus name. We come against that spirit of slumber that inhibits their destiny and we break off the chains that bind them. We ask for leadership teams to emerge that will extend the Kingdom of God in a fearless way.
Acts 12:10 ‘they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened to them of its own accord’
At times it seems that between us and a breakthrough in the City there is a barrier made of iron
'by making the skies above as unyielding as iron and the earth beneath as hard as bronze.' Lev 26: 19
I believe that the time is now for the transformation of our cities and for the opposition to the Gospel to give way to a great harvest especially amongst the younger generation.
'For he broke down their prison gates of bronze; he cut apart their bars of iron'. Psalm 107:16
Let us rise up in faith for something new beyond our past experience in prayer!
******************* CELEBRATION 2005
I am focused on the three weeks in 2005 that could change the lives of thousands of people all across Canada! CELEBRATION 2005, an initiative developed by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC), is encouraging believers in churches and ministries from coast to coast to put their faith into action from May 21st to June 12th of 2005. Prayer has to be the foundation for a great move of God. Christians will come together as never before to demonstrate Christ’s love in practical ways in every community across Canada. Please join with Christians all across Canada in praying for this 'festival of joy' and the proclamation of the love of God. Check out the prayer page at http://www.celebration2005.ca
Please note that the upcoming Prayer Mobilization Convocation (Oct 22-23) has been postponed to January 8-9 TBA.
JERUSALEM: TEMPLE MOUNT WARNING OF COLLAPSE
This is a little known concern that could have world wide consequences. Ramadan starts on Friday, October 15th, and on the Fridays of the 28 day fast, tens of thousands of Muslims usually assemble in Jerusalem on the top of the Temple Mount. This could bring a huge extra weight onto a structure that is showing some danger signals of collapse due to large excavations. Imagine the disaster if thousands were buried in a collapse and if the Dome of the Rock was also damaged. World Islam would be scandalised with Israel and there could be the most profound consequences. Let us pray that wisdom and caution prevails and that men do not lose their lives.
As Thanksgiving weekend is upon us I reflected on the constant stream of bad news that is afflicting us. The powers of darkness would like nothing better for us followers of Christ to be afraid and walking in fear. Fear paralyses the Christian and displays a massive lack of faith in the Supreme Majesty who created the Heavens and the Earth. The antidote is to know the signs of the times and to realise that world history is relentlessly marching toward the last days' harvest amongst the Gentiles and a mighty move of God in the Middle East. We will trust and not be afraid. We will lift up our heads as our redemption draws nearer. We will overflow with thanksgiving with the life of the risen Christ who says: "Behold I am coming soon'!
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done. Col 2: 6-7
And always be thankful. Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father. Col 3:15-17
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Col 3:2
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