Articles covering the deep topics of the Bible and Christian lifestyle.
A little over a week ago, Sunshine State News reported that the abortion rate in Florida has dropped a staggering 19% from 2008 to 2011, and that downward trend is continuing this year. Though there are many dynamics attributed to this outcome, we believe this is an answer to an orchestrated effort of focused, unyielding intercession from thousands of believers in this state.
While this massive answer to prayer is God’s response to many believers who have not relented in their appeals to the courts of heaven, this post is a brief prophetic history of our efforts in praying and laboring for the ending of abortion in Florida capital city, Tallahassee.
In 2007, we started a Bound4LIFE chapter and began praying at the Florida Supreme Court. Around 7 months later in 2008, we participated in Bound4LIFE’s nation-wide prayer meeting called The Mercy Seat, where 6,200 gathered to pray at every Supreme Court in the nation simultaneously. Nearly 600 residents joined us throughout the 7 hour solemn assembly outside of the Florida Supreme Court, pleading Jesus’ blood and praying for God’s mercy to turn to our state.
We often don’t understand that the timeline of intercession is commonly answered in years. At the end of 2009, Gallup Poll released this shocking data: a majority of Americans identified themselves as pro-life for the first time in over a decade. This unprecedented shift in opinion began sometime after (or during) The Mercy Seat.
This isn’t coincidence. This is power through prayer.
The book of Acts gives a clear picture of the early Church as an apostolic “sending” community. As they ministered to the Lord, prayed, fasted, and cultivated love for Jesus & one another, God divinely poured out His Spirit on these communities.
They went throughout their entire region, demonstrating the love of God with power, and it occurred only as they did not compromise in the place of ministry unto the Lord. They truly became “sent laborers” — “sent” straight from the place of encountering God — and the impact of their lives and labor reverberates today.
As a Missions Base, we feel the strong conviction to live out this model, that from the place of ministering unto the Lord as a furnace of prayer and worship, God would demonstrate His love with power. Our interns are emerging from standing before the Lord in the Prayer Room and living fasted lifestyles, then joining our prophetic outreach teams which have almost weekly been going into the city, demonstrating the love of Christ and the power of God in obedience to the Holy Spirit.
As we wait on the Holy Spirit, and ask God what’s on His heart, He faithfully reveals the things in His heart — an image, a word, a phrase, a scripture — then, we respond in obedience. We can’t do His part, and He won’t do our part, because He’s looking for partnership. And partnership is what we give Him. Sure enough, God confirms His word.
We just recently finished 24 hours of non-stop worship this weekend at the missions base. It was incredible. Nine different worship teams from local churches and ministries ministered to the Lord Friday and Saturday as we offered Jesus a 24-hour offering of adoration.
I strongly believe that God desires 24/7 worship and prayer to be found all over the earth. In fact, His Word promises it:
“‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up…”-Acts 15:16
In Rev. 4-5 we see a glimpse of what happens in Heaven. In the throne-room where God dwells, angels, creatures and elders sing incessantly, “holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty” forever.
Beyond the general affirmations of God’s desire to bring Heaven and earth together (Eph 1:10, Col 1:19, Matt 6:10, Luke 11:2-3), God makes it explicit that He desires earthly worship to mimic heavenly worship. In Exodus 24-25 God meets with Moses on Mount Sinai and commissions him to build a temple according to what he saw (Exodus 25:8-9). This as an earthly replica to a heavenly reality (I Chronicles 28:19).
The question what are we created for has stuck with man-kind since the beginning of time. Our obvious meaning for existence is to glorify God. The Westminster Shorter Catechism states it best: “What is the chief end of man?” And, in response, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” They understood that glorifying God and enjoying Him were one in the same. What if enjoying God was the greatest way to glorify Him?
In my own experience, I had previously viewed enjoying God as an added bonus to the true duty of a believer: rigorous obedience to Christian duties (eg. praying, evangelizing, serving), even if those duties are emotionless, loveless. But what does Jesus say? “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word” (Jn. 14:23). Love (delight) and obedience are directly related. Delight is not just a spin-off of obedience to God, but it is part of it. The strongest type of obedience is affection-based obedience.