Does the American church have the desperation and the guts to return prayer to first place?
TONIGHT at 6pm! Julia Palermo is going to bring a potent message that will awaken your spirit! You MUST watch a short video of her preaching to a crowd of people—many of which were on drugs and radically demonized. The call is for the firebrands—the generation of youth to lead the prayer movement in Detroit and our nation! Watch here: http://youtu.be/EZ9CClOVNJE
Revival Church meets at CENTRAL CHURCH, 1529 E. 12 Mile Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071.
RETURNING PRAYER TO FIRST PLACE
When our worship leader recently moved on, I made a bold decision. Fiery intercession is every Christian’s most foundational calling, and in place of a typical musical worship environment, the atmosphere is now filled with passionate prayer, decrees and expressions of worship and surrender.
I’ve often said one reason the prayer rooms are empty is because prayer has been relegated to a secondary activity in the church. It’s usually an afterthought. It’s certainly not primary in our nation.
When fervent prayer is returned to first place, everybody in the church will be in the prayer meeting—because the prayer meeting will be THE meeting.
My wife asked me a question the other day that caused me to come alive:
We have Prep Room, which is pre-service prayer, from 5:15pm-6pm. We then roll right into an hour of corporate intercession as light instrumental music is played behind us.
Amy asked, “So, just what is the difference between Prep Room and the first hour of the service?”
Nothing! Nothing at all! I love it! Finally, prayer is the main thing in the church!
I often hear that prayer like this is not for the new Christian—they will feel out of place. That is a doctrine of demons that must be rebuked! The prayer room must be the first stop for every new Christian! It’s absolutely nonsensical to say that ministering to God is reserved for those who have been a Christian for a while! As a very young Christian, I was awakened in the prayer room. Prayer is not complicated, only costly. It is for everybody.
Will musical worship return? Yes, but only as it’s birthed out of burning, groaning intercession. There will be a tremble on the worshippers. Worship will exist in the realm of the Spirit and we will all sing from a place of brokenness, encounter and surrender.
John 4:23-24 (ESV) 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Everything that takes precedence over prayer for the nations is about to be overturned in the church.
This shift in the church will be extremely offensive to those who don’t value connecting with God in prayer. Today’s system affirms a casual connection. In fact, church systems and programs are set up to remove responsibility from the people—to make it easy and costless for them to participate. This is our current American church culture, and it will soon be overturned.
I so often hear angry Christians mention how there should be no leader/laity division—yet, when the call to the body is sounded to serve like a leader, to pray like a priest, to do the work of intercession, to advance with passion and to be in position as a ready soldier, there is a spirit of resistance that often rises up.
I’m all for laity to serve as leaders—but it’s rare to find those who will actually do it. The cost is too high and the return on investment seems to be so low. (We forget that the return on our investment isn’t personal blessing but rather blessing for the nations—and the fruit of our prayer may not be fully realized by them for decades.)
The money changer mindset results in us focusing on self—on using church for personal gain, on expecting ourselves to be served or entertained or blessed instead of surrendering all and praying for the nations.
I’d encourage you to read my article titled God 2.0 where I address the danger of being a Money Changers Church here: GOD 2.0.
Today, worship teams lead while the body engages at the level they prefer. This is about to change—and those who want to be served rather than serve are at risk of great offense. This reformation in the church will change our expectations radically. The body won’t simply sit and soak as others sing over them. We will all do the work of intercession in a corporate setting. It’s not about receiving from God, it’s about ministering to him. This is pure worship.
This shift in the church will result in a violent assault by those who have their pet church focuses, relationships, levels of commitment and expectations threatened. Instead of simply showing up for a Sunday service and enjoying good worship and positive teaching, the expectation is now for everybody to go hard in fervent, violent prayer for the billions of people in the nations of the Earth who are nearing an eternity in Hell. Check out what happened to Jesus when he set the church in order:
Mark 11:15-18 (ESV) 15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.
They wanted to destroy him. Their personal blessing was threatened.
If the scriptural call is to pray without ceasing, is it not strange that people so often run when the prayer meeting is called?
The thought of having a two-hour prayer meeting as the primary Sunday service shouldn’t be a strange idea at all if we are already praying the remaining 166 hours throughout the week. It’s simply an glorious corporate expression of what we should already be doing individually. Every one of us should walk into the church building burning, trembling, praying in tongues and coming out of perpetual encounters with God.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (ESV) 17 pray without ceasing…
I have extreme patience for those who are struggling to connect with God as they devote themselves to finding him. (Ask, seek, knock)
But, let me be clear—those who complain that they don’t encounter God, they don’t feel God’s love, yet do not devote themselves to wrestling with God in prayer until they break through are without excuse.
No amount of teaching, anointed worship music, positive thoughts or counsel from others will result in a life of encounter with Jesus. Only prayer based on the truth of the Word of God will do that. Others can help you learn about God, but you have to meet him on your own. And, meeting him doesn’t always feel sweet and happy. It will actually burn our flesh and crush every part of us.
Julia Palermo: “People want loving God to be an emotional experience, but loving God has a very practical expression. Obedience.”
John 14:21-22 (ESV) 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?”
Intercession isn’t about emotionally enjoying God, though that can certainly happen at times. It’s about work. It’s about carrying the burden of God’s heart. This is what must lead our church services and our entire lives again.
Mike Bickle: The revelation of the Bridegroom filled with tenderness leads some to laziness because they have not seen the revelation of His heart of abandonment or His call for us to be abandoned to Him.
A CORPORATE REBUKE FUELED BY LOVE
God is so zealous about his Bride, his church, that a love-fueled rebuke is coming—and it will hit most every one of us.
The money changers spirit has so infiltrated the church that judgment is necessary just to save God’s precious Bride.
A critical correction is coming to those use the church as their personal blessing machine. In Revelation we see God lovingly rebuke the churches. It’s time for an end-time judgment to hit our churches. Judgment isn’t a bad God doing bad things to bad people. Judgment is an act of extreme, passionate love. Judgment draws the remnant to God, and exposes the pretenders as they run from God. It’s a wheat and tares reality.
Connecting in the church because of good friendships, good teaching, good worship, good programs, good children’s ministry, good environment—and disconnecting when any of that doesn’t meet our standards—is coming to an end.
The Upper Room mandate is upon us—we gather and pray. If prayer is there, so are we—every time the doors are open.
THE LOOK OF THE COMING CHURCH
Again, the 2 Chronicles 7 pavement people are the model of the remnant church. Acts 2 is a New Testament example of it—the whole house will be filled with the fire of God as every single person prays in the Spirit.
Acts 2:2-3 (ESV) 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.
This is some of what we can look forward to—and what we can start working towards right now. God is building his church through his apostolic and prophetic remnant and it will be a white hot center of intercession for the nations.
- We will walk into the meeting praying in the spirit, trembling, in the fear of the Lord, often coming out of dreams of God.
- There is no concern for comfort, who likes us or who doesn’t like us.
- Our position in the church won’t matter—we will know our position is on our face in fervent prayer.
- The room may simply be a giant warehouse with a cement floor—it won’t matter. We’ll bring a blanket, throw it down and prepare to encounter God with other desperate people.
- When we enter the room, we hit our faces without prompting, music or no music, and start praying passionately in the spirit for the nations and the burdens on God’s heart.
- Kids may be right next to us, or in a similar environment in a classroom elsewhere. Either option will work just fine.
- An hour or two later, teaching will boldly call us to action as the Word lands on our burning hearts.
- Teaching will be mostly prophetic/apostolic. Prophetic alarms and decrees will be constant and extremely anointed.
- We will all respond to the instruction corporately and prepare to fulfill our assignments.
- We will return to the corporate gathering for intercession and apostolic equipping several times a week instead of waiting for the next Sunday.
- Between meetings our personal lives will be filled with prayer, reading the Bible, listening to sermons and fulfilling our ministries. We will have plenty of time to do that as TV, movies, entertainment and other cultural norms are put under submission.
Are you part of the remnant church? Are you ready to join a company of pavement people? Will you jump ship when the old wineskin is removed, or will you embrace the fresh fire of God in our nation? Are you burning hot for God? Or, are you lukewarm?
These are critical questions we all must answer. Do we attend church because of what we get out of it? Because people like us? Because we enjoy it? Or, do we understand our call to die, to surrender, to pray and to burn night and day?
See you tonight.
The call at Revival Church : Three burning focuses will help rip the Christian church out of a marginal, stale state into a tremble that never ends.
The strategy of God in this nation requires people who refuse to live according to a skewed Christian experience that has suffocated the church into a near flat line.
As a leader with a humanly impossible mission to call together people who will form their entire lives around the prayer room and the activity of the Holy Spirit, I find myself waiting and looking as I sound the alarm for the willing ones to move into position.
A radical response will result in a nuclear explosion of shock and awe that the nations of the Earth will witness—and then tremble.
My current city of Detroit must wake up. The church must destroy the habit of a casual response to a terrifyingly urgent call to repent, to respond immediately and to follow the feverish pace of the Holy Spirit toward revival.
During a prayer & whiteboard session on Monday, God refined the burning focus of the Detroit mission. We are intent on calling people together to participate in the mission at Revival Church… and the call is unapologetically and necessarily extreme:
The focus every day at Revival Church is to develop a culture of revival. The presence of God simply must press against us at every turn. It’s hard to believe that church services actually are allowed to continue without it! How can we teach and worship without the fire of God burning in our midst?
This culture is impartation and refreshing driven—meaning, God desires to impact, heal, deliver and pull destinies out of every one of us. Additionally, this focus results in communities of fiery love. People who are intentionally committed to one another… people who become family…who go deep in relationship and Holy Spirit fueled love.
Also, a key focus of this ministry is taking the fire of revival to the cities of the Earth. (If you are ready to book me, go to www.johnburton.net/booking) Teams of revivalists will be moving out with me as I minister in churches, at conferences and other events. We desire to train and coach others into a vibrant culture of wild revival.
The second strategy of our ministry is all about reformation. Revolution.
Understand, the Sunday style of ministry must end. The 24/7 church must emerge. Now.
People who are used to living their lives throughout the week and attending church for a couple of hours on a Sunday morning must brace for an abrupt shock to their systems. A Kingdom perspective is being imparted into the forerunners who will be leading the church into it’s new reality.
Today, the church tends to be focused on feeding people… tomorrow the focus is for the people to feed God. To minister to him. To pray.
Today, the church gathers together, on average, 2-4 times a month. Tomorrow, people will be together several days a week.
Today, people tend to seek out teaching. Tomorrow, they will receive equipping and instruction with an expectation of response…ministry…action.
There are a lot of changes coming, and the call is now for the early adopters to respond and change their lives unlike few are willing to. At Revival Church, we are setting up shop to appeal to these early adopters.
The entire church and Christian experience must be driven by the voice, activity and revelation of God himself. It must become normal for every Believer to be a person of extreme, zealous and fiery prayer as their primary activity in life. The church must embrace this primary mandate. Revival Church certainly does.
As prayer becomes the primary reason we gather together in the church, and the number one activity of our lives, we’ll hear God’s instructions clearly and continually.
Revival Church is called to be a prophetic revival center for the region. We must hear God. We must have people in our midst who are zealously on their face in night and day prayer. This is non-negotiable.
I’ll say it very clearly. If Detroit is to experience Kingdom normalcy… a revival culture… drastic and momentous change must come now.
Are you hungry enough for such a drastic interruption in your life? Are you willing? OK, let’s go. It’s time.
THE REVIVAL CHURCH CALL
So, what’s the minimum call for this new-form mission at Revival Church?
- Be early for prayer every Sunday at 5pm
- Make it extremely rare to miss a Sunday evening service.
- Nurture a life of radical prayer, study in the Word and pursuit of God’s presence.
- Participate in theLab, our weekly 8:30pm Monday radio show at www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/thelab.
- Participate in all, or as many as possible, of our weekly prayer meetings at IHOPE. We pray at noon every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. www.ihopedetroit.org
- Be extravagant tithers and givers
- Be an extreme communicator—participate in theLab, email us about what God’s revealing to you regarding the mission, be in contact with leadership and share your heart as often each week as you can.
- In order to understand the Revival Church vision, read John’s books, starting with 20 Elements of Revival (www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/resources)
The 24/7 church is emerging, and we’ll soon find ourselves in corporate ministry together at least 20 hours a week on the low end… and this transitional call of less than 8-10 hours a week will help ease our way into that new structure.
I’d love to hear from you! Are you ready to join the wild Revival Church family of revivalists? Contact me directly at [email protected].