Wednesday, February 08, 2006
"Watch With Me" - the Lost Art of Intercession.
I was reading through the previous few pieces of writing that I have done and meditating on the exciting passion for the restoration of God's House, the glorious end-time church, and I suddenly felt a little tug - how will it come about? Are we to sit idly by and wait for God to sort His own business out? Or does heaven actually indeed wait with bated breath for saints on earth to pray?
Mahesh Chavda wrote: "Prayer is the backbone of the Church ... the Lord is speaking a new word about an old word. The old word is: "Pray!". The new word is: "Pray corporately!". The Lord is opening our eyes to this simple truth: Prayer is where everything begins and ends in the realm of the Spirit".
Two of my greatest living heroes; Terry Virgo and Stanley Jebb are both so, because they are men of prayer. I have suddenly realised that when I am in their presence and hear them pray, I am not only standing on extremely holy ground but that I am also listening intently to what they pray - because it is an outstanding teaching opportunity. Two of my favourite quotes of Terry Virgo came while he was praying. I wonder if he would even remember saying them! The first one was when he was praying at the Brighton Leaders Conference 2002. He prayed:
"Let our Doctrines adorn our Name".
The second was when he was praying at Church of Christ the King, Brighton. He said:
"Your Desire to Bless Us Exceeds Even Our Desire to Know You".
I don't think you can become men of prayer overnight, like these two heroes. I think it takes a lifetime of intense and deep communion with the Lord! And I have no doubt they would be the first to claim that they have had their mornings when they have overslept or been "not in the mood" - but their testimony speaks volumes now. I want to learn from them!
Then secondly along the same theme, I was up this morning reading the Word (no I wasn't up at 5 o clock!! And no I'm not going to say when I was up!!) and I found this breathtaking passage, from Numbers.
(Numbers 16:44-49) "And the Lord spoke to Moses saying, "Get away from among this congregation that I may consume them instantly". Then they fell on their faces. And Moses said to Aaron, "Taken your censor and put it in fire from the altar and lay incense on it, and then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them for wrath has gone forth from the Lord, and the plague has begun!". Then Aaron took it as Moses had spoken and ran into the midst of the assembly for behold, the plague had begun among the people. And he took his stand between the living and the dead so that the plague was checked".
“Do you hear? Do you see? My anger burns against my moribund church. I had such hopes, such dreams, such visions for My People yet there they sit week after week - a lifeless people. My people squabble like children over lifeless pools of stagnant water - when I have provided a torrent of fresh Living water! My people stubbornly block their ears when the fresh bread of My Word lies on the desert week after week, yet they wrestle, fight and squabble over diseased, mouldy old bread that came from years hence! I tell you this; a plague has gone out among My people and I move among them - ready to remove their lampstands and extinguish their lights. Their crimes are too great. How I wish that the doors of their meeting halls would be shut! I am sick of their pious worship. Even as they lift their faces to Me, they sneak subtle glances around to ensure that noone else is exceeding them in outward manifestation. Shut the doors! Silence them! Let them die! I've had enough!
Yet I tell you this - My mercy shines like the morning day star, just as potently as My anger is burning like the fires of Hades itself. Just one glance - just one look from My people and I will stay My hand. But they do not look. So I am moving! I am calling! I look for a man who will stand between the living and the dead and will halt Me, who will arrest My attention by that sweet adorable aroma of costly worship rising on the fumes of the fires of My Spirit. Is there a man? I call you - will you answer the call? Do you remember where the censor is? Do you remember what the incense smells like? Is the fire still burning? I told you it mustn't be extinguished - have you been tending the fire that I lit when I poured My Spirit out upon you? Seize the censors My priests - anoint them with incense and run to stand before Me. I promise you - that smell will be sweet to Me. I will hear your cries and will listen to your petitions - for know this! My Son still stands! Radiant! Glorious as the noon day sun! And His cries and prayers will match yours! Are you going to answer the call? Will you become priests who will stand alone for Me? Hear Me, answer Me, My heart beats with excitement, thrill to see if you will answer My call", says your God.
There is a divine response to our uplifted fire and incense-filled prayer:
"Fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord's house". (2 Chronicles 7:1-2).
I don't know about you - but I'd LOVE that to be my church on Sunday!! I can't actually enter because the glory of the Lord had filled the house!!