“’Yes. I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:20
Providing children with a clear perspective of time is one of the challenges parents face when leading their little ones through a transition from childish impatience to mature expectancy. It should come as no surprise that it doesn’t happen over night.
When our children were small, and knew a big day was coming, they would wake up every day with the question, “Is today the day?” Dana hit upon the concept of teaching them to look forward to the big day by counting sleeps. She would lead them through a count down night after night by telling them how many sleeps they had left before the Big Day. It worked for them, and we kept our sanity. Try it. You’ll thank me.
Over 2,000 years ago John heard the promise of Jesus. Many sleeps later the children of God still wake up with a child-like expectancy wondering if today could be The Day. What appears to be a delay does not diminish the promise. It only increases its value and intensifies the level of our expectancy.
The last promise of Jesus recorded in the Bible is followed by the last prayer of the Bible. Promises and prayers are as closely related as life is to a breath of fresh air.
Separating a prayer from a promise does not breathe new life into either one. The one who prays has no reason to hope for an answer if there is no promise of one. Jesus said He is coming. He is the original Promise Keeper. Count on it.
The only recorded prayer of The Spirit in the Bible is “Come.” (V. 17) Jesus promises He is coming quickly. (V. 22a). John’s immediate response was “Amen. Come, Lord, Jesus.” (V.22b)
John’s prayer expresses complete agreement and energized expectancy. They are two powerful signs of a prayer life focused on yielding to the will of God.
The Response of every individual and any corporate body of believers should express the same spirit as John’s simple prayer. When the coming of Jesus appears to be a disruption of your personal plans or your denominational calendar, then the promise of Jesus has been hijacked and held hostage by your personal plans and your corporate program. Stop it!
Prayer keeps the promise of Jesus alive by breathing new life into it. Prayer focuses on the will of God, in the name of Jesus. In lifting up the name of Jesus, He realigns our hearts with God’s heart. His will becomes pre-eminent, and His desires become our desires. Anything less is public posturing, or a private delusion, but it is not prayer.
Recently I took part in a powerful prayer meeting in Louisiana. The sole purpose of this day of prayer and fasting for a nation in crisis was to call upon the name of Jesus, to seek The Father’s outpouring of His Spirit for the next Great Awakening. It began with individual prayers of repentance.
Over the next six hours prayers were intensified and purified under the magnifying glass of The Spirit of God. Those who prayed or proclaimed a word were called upon to lift up only one name, the name of Jesus. They were asked to leave their egos and their logos at the door. There were no book tables, no t-shirt sales, and no concession stands. The focus was on Jesus.
Every attempt was made to honor the name of Jesus and to lift Him up, and to avoid stealing His glory. All promotion of personal ministries, websites, or projects was discouraged. The vast majority of the participants complied. Two didn’t. It was noticeable.
Sensing the flinching of The Spirit when the name of Jesus is used for self-promotion is a huge breakthrough in prayer meetings of this kind. The leader gently rebuked the departure from the protocol of the event and all prayer and praise was redirected to Jesus. Thanks, Doug Stringer for your tender heart and the gracious way you honored the jealousy of The Spirit for the name of Jesus.
The Response: Louisiana was not an end of a journey. It was another baby step toward the kind of prayer movement that will prepare the way for the next Great Awakening. This observation in no way dishonors the epic effort made by Steve Brown to coordinate this prayer meeting. Thanks, Steve.
The Response prayer meetings of the future will face intense opposition as they are planned, promoted and presented. The attacks will be from friend and foe.
There will be friendly fire from holier than thou types who cannot bear to pray with anyone who is not in 100% agreement with their perfect position. I have a word for them.
“Discernment is God’s call to intercession, never fault-finding.” Oswald Chambers
There will also be persistent protests from the radical rage-aholics who are not interested in framing an honest debate, but are totally driven by a desire to annihilate truth from the public square. Let them come. “The Spirit and The Bride say, ‘Come.” We should have the same prayer on our lips that is in The Spirit’s heart. While protestors march on the grounds of The Response let us pray it will become holy ground for them.
To my visionary friend, David Lane, who has given his heart and soul to birth The Response prayer meetings, I have this brief word. Stay on the wall. Nehemiah did & finished the task God gave him to do. Don’t be distracted. Thanks, David.
NOTE TO SELF: Great Awakenings should come with a WARNING LABEL: Rough road ahead. Don’t brake for protestors. Drive around them & TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!