There is an organization in missions called “Live Dead.”
There is a new generation being called to go the hardest places of the world to proclaim and live out the gospel of Jesus Christ. The challenge is great because for too many years we have called these “closed” countries “hard” to the gospel. They are hard to the gospel because no one has gone into those areas to live out the gospel. When you have a nation flooded with missionaries and new national churches and people being saved, we can call it “revival.” Sometimes we should just call it “numbers.”
The most difficult thing in this challenge is not about the people going. It is about those who stay. It is about me. I don’t go. I am not “less” of a Christian, and there isn’t anyone in “Live Dead” that would say that about Christians in the developed world. It is not a status of being “super Christian.”
But the huge question for me is how to challenge myself and my congregation to think more about “living dead” right here. In the land of plenty we have a great challenge. We don’t “need” God like we think we do… and it’s difficult. You have to call yourself to more, and ask the Spirit to call you to more.
For the next 18 days there is a prayer challenge. I can “live dead” in prayer. I can ask for the Spirit to move in the hardest places in the Arab world. For the next 18 days I can be praying for 18 countries with the realization that prayer can get me anywhere in the world without a passport. I don’t need a visa. There isn’t a “closed” country in prayer.
But I must “live dead” to the distractions of my own culture to truly intercede for these great nations.
Let us rise to the challenge wherever we are in the world. Let us pray, really pray, for the “hardest” places left in the world. Let us pray for a fresh wind of the Spirit to move through those lands.
The true power of prayer is always behind the scenes. It is the power that generates the movement of God and we often don’t have any idea of the “true events” of a revival or miracle until later. What we often find out later is God was moving someone to prayer.
Mark Batterson writes in Draw the Circle:
Prayer is the pen that writes history. Don’t worry about headlines; focus on the footnotes. And if you focus on the footnotes, God will write the headlines.
Heaven is full of great surprises. It will be “fun” to recognize the great heroes we all had in the faith. But what will shock us is the attention given to people we just don’t know. People who never made the headlines, never pastored a church (let alone a megachurch), never wrote a great theological treatise… but people who knew how to intercede. People who knew how to get into the presence of God for others.
I said “holy” anger only to make it sound more spiritual, I guess.
I was thinking about prayer and passion in prayer in the past couple of days. This thought has occurred to me as I have mulled over my laziness in prayer.
When the enemy attacks me, I can pretty much “take it.” It’s not that I can really “take it,” but I don’t always share what’s going on. There are times I do share with close friends and they lift me up and it is incredible. But, most of the time, I take my cares to the Lord and ask. It’s not the best way, and I understand that. It’s just an admission.
But when the enemy attacks my family and friends… I am angered. Really… really angered. It drives me to prayer. And it makes me drive others to prayer.
This morning I had one of my classes pray with me and as I prayed I said, “Lord, I don’t want some little peace to come to my friends, I want the enemy completely destroyed in this attack.”
God, please give us holy anger in prayer. Please let us NOT tolerate the attacks of the enemy in our lives!
We have been on our annual leadership retreat. This was a weekend when the Lord challenged us to truly SPEAK OUT our dreams. The biggest challenge was to learn to hear the voice of God and pray what HE asks us to pray.
As I spoke the dreams God was giving me, I then invited others to voice their dreams that were from God.
In the past few weeks I have challenged myself to have a prayer journal, so I have put my dreams into that journal. This weekend I asked for their dreams on paper so I could put those dreams in my prayer journal. I am asking them to carry my dreams in prayer and I am carrying their dreams in prayer.
I want to walk in persistence of prayer in a way that will keep on asking. It’s been such a blessing to read those dreams this weekend! God is planting some HUGE things in us!
Ex. 32 — Israel foolishly makes the golden calf because they were tired of waiting for Moses to come down from Sinai. God is so furious, he promises Moses he would wipe out the nation and start over with him.
After watching Israel be so stupid, that is an offer that would sound far more appealing to me. But not Moses. He was an intercessor.
“Lord, if you won’t forgive their sin, blot me out as well!”
How serious am I about intercession? Do I pray for a people, an unreached people, or a group of people needing to turn back to God… and ask God for his Spirit to move… and then give it a “I hope God answers, but if not, I’ll move on” kind of effort?
Am I ready to put it on the line for the people I am praying for?
How serious am I about intercession?
I experienced a type of prayer that I can’t remember going through (at least in quite some time). It was a deep calling to deep experience and I am so grateful for the Spirit walking me through it.
When I went to bed I was mulling over yet another car repair and making sure we had enough money. Through the night I would normally toss and turn with that kind of worry. Last night, I felt myself wake up a couple of times, but when I did, I came out of sleep sensing a true crying out in my spirit in intercession. It was a deep cry that I hope was not out loud, but I could sense the depth of that cry. It was not worry. It was intercession. I woke up with a confidence in the Lord’s provision, AND another audacious goal to pray for financially. This has been some week for prayer!
3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side. (Psalm 3:3-6, NIV)
Actually, I have no idea.
It was a challenge dropped into my heart during prayer a few weeks ago. There have been several things dropped into my heart in the past few weeks that have stirred me to prayer. These are things beyond me. Owning a country is one of them. It’s not “buying” a country. Wouldn’t that be nice? As long as it was in the Caribbean.
In prayer, I am to ask for a nation that over the next 20 years will change radically. The Church in that nation will be radically different. How that nation treats its people will be radically different. We will find ways to equip the Church in that area that I have no idea as to what that means right now…
My heart is challenged in prayer and I need to more clearly hear from God. There are so many things to ASK for in these next few years. The greatest need is to keep my eyes glued to my Savior. He knows the way.