A premature outpouring of God's spirit would result in people vacating their place of prayer to experience an adrenaline rush.
Let me say this clearly: If you are a Christian, deep, continual, strategic intercession is your primary daily calling!
As in the days of old, every time the church doors are open, we should be there ready to pray!
The 24/7 church is coming and we will soon find ourselves together in intercession most every day of the week! Will you wait for another bomb to detonate and for more lives to be lost or will you start your new life of corporate intercession THIS WEEK?
When this precedent of continual prayer is established, revival will eventually come. It may take a decade of continual prayer before God sees our devotion to keep praying without stopping when the outpouring comes.
►Detroit needs a house of prayer like never before, and EVERY CHRISTIAN must show up day after day to pray! Start now!
There is an emerging remnant of pavement people who understand this, who will forgo personal comfort and hit the concrete in prayer and worship as we saw in 2 Chronicles 7:
2 Chronicles 7:1-3 (ESV) 1 As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house. 3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
I have been continually grieved and disturbed for more than two decades of ministry by the lack of fervent prayer in the church. I literally can’t think of a single place in the world that I’d rather be than in the prayer room—even if it’s a concrete floor. The fact that calls to prayer are resisted with excuses of busyness, disinterest and the ever increasing cares of life is evidence that we still don’t understand a primary reason we are alive—to minister to God in personal and corporate intercession.
With that in mind, prayer rooms remain empty because we as leaders know people are averse to prayer…and we offer them alternate activities.
Instead of burning intercession for the nations, many use prayer as an attempt to achieve or protect their own definition of a normal life. When normalcy is stable, prayer ceases. If someone is sick, they pray for God to restore them to the normalcy of health. If they are short on finances, they pray for God to bring them to financial normalcy.
The problem with that is that prayer isn’t mostly about focusing on self and securing the life we hope for—it’s for deeply knowing Jesus and interceding for the world to experience the life that he paid the price for.
A CONFUSING EXPERIENCE
More than two decades ago, as a new burning child of God, I was met with confusion that is still with me today.
I was helping give leadership to a monthly regional youth event that was drawing around 100 young people for all over the Dayton, Ohio area. I’ve always believed the hour of prayer before the service was actually much more important than the service itself. (Anything driven by prayer carries extreme importance.)
I was truly confused each month as we sounded the alarm, spread the word, plastered signs in the foyer and let everybody clearly know that they were needed in prayer prior to the service. Each month we’d have 5-10 people in the huge sanctuary in prayer for an hour, while I watched a hundred people cram into a tiny foyer waiting for the service to start.
Was my promotion insufficient? Did I not make it clear enough? It was so packed in the foyer that faces were nearly squished up against the glass on the doors—right next to the signs inviting them to enter and pray.
I’ve watched this scenario play out time and again through my youth and senior ministry years. In San Diego I’d load up the bus with 50 kids to take them to the beach on Thursday, and then have 5 or 6 join me on prayer walks on Friday.
I will continually be confused and disturbed by the lack of passion for intercession—especially in a time of crisis like we are now in in America.
THE CRISIS IN OUR NATION
Last night at theLab House of Prayer, we prayed about the recent bombings in Boston, the earthquakes around the world and the explosion in Texas, and we interceded for Detroit. There have been many urgent prophecies and dreams about a nuclear level event downtown Detroit.
For those who only pray to achieve personal normalcy, there is little reason to fill the prayer rooms. Detroit is still standing.
However, even now, Detroit is not in revival. Even now there is suicide and murder in this region. Children are abused. Political corruption is extreme. An outpouring is no where to be seen.
Additionally, we are experiencing a Jeremiah 2 crisis. Check it out:
Jeremiah 2:4-8 (ESV) 4 Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. 5 Thus says the LORD: “What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless? 6 They did not say, ‘Where is the LORD who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that none passes through, where no man dwells?’ 7 And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination. 8 The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit.
- Verse 5: There is a spirit of accusation against God on the rise in America. Today, people are finding much wrong with God—Christians and non-Christians alike—and the result is a move toward accusation and away from intimacy with him. A misunderstanding of God’s role in our lives will do that. If we expect him to perform for us instead of us responding to him, we will quickly become offended at God and turn to worthless things—and become worthless ourselves.
- Verse 6: Thanksgiving was nowhere to be found. God admits that he intentionally led them into a place of drought and darkness—and then led them through.
- Verse 7: America was given as a gift, a plentiful land with good things. Today, the land is defiled and the heritage of God is an abomination. Oh what we have forsaken!
- Verse 8: The priests did not seek the Lord! This is the state of the prayer movement! In a time of crisis, the priests (all of us) must continually give themselves to seeking God! Pastors are failing and prophets are sharing doctrines of demons in the name of God! There are a lot of “false positives” out there in the prophetic…hopeful messages that don't reflect what God is saying.
I personally don’t see the church fully taking over the seven mountains in this age as some do, but I do believe we are to have significant influence and impact, and to give leadership as God opens those doors.
This being said, the thought of an idolatrous church increasing in influence in the seven mountains should cause us all to shudder.
A consecrated, praying church that is intimate with God is mandatory!
Psalm 24:3-4 (ESV) 3 Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.
Today, much of the church is at the base of the mountain fashioning an idol, a god of their own design, while Moses met with God on top of it.
The prayer movement that’s focused on the heart of God will result in continual repentance as we allow God to search our hearts and burn up any idol or any desire for one!
Check out how serious God is about the call to ascend the mountain:
Exodus 19:16-25 (ESV) 16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. 20 The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the LORD to look and many of them perish. 22 Also let the priests who come near to the LORD consecrate themselves, lest the LORD break out against them.” 23 And Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying, ‘Set limits around the mountain and consecrate it.’” 24 And the LORD said to him, “Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, lest he break out against them.” 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.
So, Moses ascended, and the people played. The prayer movement will absolutely separate out those who are truly devoted to God and those who are focused on self:
Exodus 32:4-6 (ESV) 4 And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” 5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.” 6 And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.
Eat, drink, play. As long as the normalcy of personal consumption and entertainment is safe, the church will see no need to pray—all while the consecrated remnant, the pavement people, are on the mountain in the presence of God receiving instructions for revival and Kingdom advance.
My God. Help us.
The change that’s coming to the church is absolutely unnerving and fearful
First: The following article may provoke the burning inside of you to rage. Join us for theLab Internship and help establish a model of fire that will reform the identity of the church. $100 discount now available. www.revivallab.com
What I saw was clearly a picture of the church…clearly in my spirit, that is, because my intellect was confounded. It didn’t make sense.
Before I share the vision, and some very interesting confirmation and insight, lets look at the current model of the church:
THE CURRENT CHURCH
There’s no way I’m going to attempt to present a comprehensive picture of the church with all of its varying streams and complexities. The point I’m focusing on is the simple, common experience that the current structure and function of the church presents.
- Teaching driven: In most churches, the Sunday service revolves around the message, the teaching.
- Sunday only: The average attendance for a church goer in America is less than two services a month. Most of those services occur on Sundays.
- Predictable & scheduled: Each service and ministry of the church is mapped out and scheduled, and while there is often some flex, you can usually have a pretty good picture in your mind of what to expect during each event. Several songs of worship, a few announcements, receiving the offering and a 30-40 minute message is what most have come to expect.
- Mostly natural: While some churches do experience a measure of supernatural activity, the overwhelming experience is logical, natural and humanly comprehendible.
- Locally focused: Most churches have a vision that is limited to themselves. Their local church is where most of their energy is focused.
- Seeker focused: Even churches that aren’t identified as “seeker sensitive” tend to be intent on attracting visitors and they gear their ministry to do so.
- Personal gain highlighted: God blesses and that message when presented in appropriate context is a necessary one. But, most churches highlight personal benefit while keeping the bar of personal surrender and commitment quite low.
In my encounter, the vision I saw was shocking and quite mysterious. I have had many visions of the church, of reformation, but this one was markedly different. It sure didn’t look like a vision of a church, but it immediately felt like one.
I was standing in an apocalyptic looking environment. It was dark and weighty. In front of me was an absolutely massive crater. God immediately revealed to me that I was looking at the soon coming church.
Really? It sure didn’t look like a church. My initial analysis was that what was coming wouldn’t be defined by what is logically communicable. The building and steeple and Sunday experience was gone, and what replaced it was frightening.
My spirit was provoked and raging, but I knew that those who were more logical than spiritual in their life experience would most probably resist what is just over the horizon.
1 Cor 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
Note, this doesn’t mean the unsaved, it means those who are naturally minded. That’s a lot of Christians. Here’s what Paul says next:
1 Cor 3:1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready…
The crater that I was looking at looked alive. It was moving and churning. There was glowing red lava coursing throughout.
The closer I got to the edge of the crater, the church, the greater the fear of the Lord was, the more ominous the vision was. I couldn’t casually participate as the shaking and trembling rocked my whole being as I approached this invasion of Heaven into Earth.
Then the vision ended.
I shared this vision in a class at theLab Internship and one of the interns about came out of her skin.
She just watched a National Geographic special on craters on the Earth!
She shared some dramatic revelation about the coming crater based on what God was revealing through my vision and the program she watched.
- The asteroid that caused the crater was huge. When it impacted the ground, the top of it was still 30,000 feet up—that’s where jets fly!
- When it hit, a pillar of fire instantly exploded and reached from the surface of the Earth up into the heavens.
- Balls of fire shot out from the pillar and scorched regions far away from the point of impact.
- A cloud of smoke then rose and actually surrounded the entire planet. The entire Earth was covered by the residual impact of the asteroid.
- Celestial elements, parts of the asteroid that don’t exist on this planet, were implanted into the ground. Heaven was brought to Earth.
- Earthquakes rocked the Earth all around.
- Molten rock filled the crater.
THE COMING CHURCH
We won’t be able to define ‘going to church’ the way we do now.
God is coming to reform, to crush structures of old for what is to be introduced very soon.
The force from Heaven, the celestial asteroid, is going to impact the church, and most pastors and people will resist with everything that’s within them. Man-made support systems will be removed. People’s financial and relational structures will be threatened by this strange, new spiritual invasion.
The human wisdom and natural common sense that has been involved in the development of the current church structure will not be usable in the new. Those who walk by sight are in danger.
We will have to rely on a new set of senses as we, in faith unlike any we’ve ever allowed ourselves to embrace, begin to walk blindly into a fearful new church reality.
- Encounter driven: We will gather together with the primary goal of having an overwhelming encounter with an invisible God. The burning of God will engulf us day after day. A 2 Chronicle church will be the normal reality.
- The 24/7 church: The thought of only gathering in the crater, in the lava of God’s shocking presence, on occasion, a few times a month, will be laughable. Our entire lives will be empowered by this tent of meeting and our energies will be spent gathering the desperate masses into the fire to experience an otherworldly spiritual encounter together. Most days of the week we will easily make room to be in the church, on our faces, trembling under the weight of God.
- 2 Chronicles 7:1 As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.2 And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord's house.3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
- Unpredictable: Finally we will begin to know a God who is limitless in expression. Every moment with him, in our corporate gatherings, will be unlike any other. The fierce burning will never stop, the myriad of emotions we experience as God hovers over us will surprise and overwhelm us continually. A gathering of burning ones will result in fire balls of worship that lead to sharp swords of prophetic teaching that shake the people to their core. Wave after wave of fiery shock and awe will never disappoint. Services will be open ended and will overlap each other as room is made for an uncontrollable Holy Spirit to orchestrate the events in his wisdom.
- Supernatural: We will take the leap from mostly translating God into our natural language and understanding to allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us out of the natural realm and into a supernatural culture that can only be understood via our spirits. The lost will finally have hope as we stop trying to give them logical reasons to ‘get saved’ and we start introducing them to a supernatural God that they have been craving to meet.
- Regionally focused: The level of impact that the rock from Heaven will bring will not be confined to a local church. Pastors and leaders will stop focusing mostly on developing their own local ministry and will instead shelve much of what they did in the old church model and focus on serving the regional mission. The local will give way to the regional as leaders ‘lead’ the people into encounter, into regional mission and into the greater vision of revival and reformation. The spirit of Pharaoh that focuses on personal goals and keeping people locally focused will give way to the spirit of reformation and Kingdom advance that was manifested through Moses and Joshua.
- God focused: Instead of attempting to ‘grow the church’ by focusing on visitors and seekers, the leaders will be fully devoted to a 2 Chronicles 7 strategy of compelling God to show up in extreme, weighty power. The pillar of fire that connects Heaven to Earth is the new goal. In fact, an empty church is a better goal than a full church if we understand that passage of scripture correctly! Many people will leave the church as a more serious devotion to Holy Spirit activity is given, but the supernatural invasion of fire will result in fire, smoke and earthquakes that will rock cities and nations.
- Personal surrender highlighted: Instead of compelling people to ‘join our church’ through the promise of personal gain, we’ll highlight the cross. The cost. The Rich Young Rulers will leave while the end-time remnant will gain confidence in leaders seriousness for revival and will flood in and serve with military level commitment. You will know leaders have turned the corner toward the new model of church when they actually raise the bar so unapologetically that those with money and influence are allowed to go. How many RICH RULERS are in our churches because leaders have compromised the call, just so they don’t lose their money?
The new church will look nothing like we see now. We must learn how to live in the Spirit if we hope to embrace this uninvited yet deeply needed invasion from Heaven. Everything is at risk. Will you embrace or resist this reformation?