If you have followed my blogs over the past few weeks, you know that the church where I pastor (Westgate Chapel) has gone through a season of feeling unsettled.
As a result, I felt impressed by the Lord to call for a week of prayer and fasting at Westgate Chapel from July 27th – August 2nd. Each day during that week we held one hour prayer meetings, at 6 AM and 7 PM.
It was one of the most amazing weeks of my 27 years at Westgate Chapel!
If 50 people had turned out for the morning prayer meetings, I would have been pleased. Instead, 300 people attended the first 6 AM prayer meeting and over 400 people attended in the evening. The attendance fluctuated a little throughout the week, but by the end of the week I estimate that over 600 people came to the week of prayer, to humble ourselves on sackcloth and call on the Lord.
But it wasn’t just the numbers that impressed me.
There was a sense of passion and urgency with which the people of God called on the Lord. There was never a moment when someone was not praying out loud. That is the purpose of a corporate prayer meeting. We can sit in silence at home. We come together to hear, agree and respond to the prayers offered to the Lord in a corporate setting.
The week began with hearts that expressed genuine humility and repentance. There was a brokenness that no one could have manufactured. Many confessed sin throughout the week with a humility that we all felt before the Lord and before each other.
With 13 prayer meetings during the week, 13 hours of intercession, God has birthed a hopeful expectation in all of us that He is going to lead us forward.
At the beginning of the week of our prayer and fasting I was discussing our situation with a good friend and former seminary president, Dr. Steven Land, and he said to me, “I think the eyes of the American Church have been blinded to the crisis of the world around us, the crisis in our nation, and especially in the Church. We have been desensitized to the spiritual realities around us by the constant bombardment of the media and news. Christians are left feeling completely powerless.
“This is not the time for the Church of Jesus to be turning to ‘window dressing.’ This is the time for us to run as fast as we can back to the fundamentals of the covenant of Jesus Christ in which we stay strong.”
It is a matter of life and death for our families and the Church!
This is the same message found in Jeramiah 6:16, where God tells His people, standing at a crossroads, to go back to the ancient paths.
What are those ancient paths?
• Run back to the Holy Communion table in recognition of so great a salvation.
• Run back to the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ that saved us and keeps cleansing us.
• Run back to the humility that we have standing before the cross and God’s great love for us.
• Run back to prayer
• Run back to the Word of God as our only rule of faith
• Run back to authentic worship
• Run back to the fellowship of the community of faith
• Run back to the basics of our covenant relationship with God
One of the recurring themes throughout all 13 prayer meetings last week was that the Lord would return us to a deep love for Him and a passionate, life-changing affection for Him that translates into an affection for each other.
In my next message, I will talk about what this means to us as God’s family. Is there a difference between biological family and the family of God?