Friday, December 16, 2011

Burning the Night Away: Part 2

When I began my last post, MY desire was to share about our first prayer burn in November, but as you can see, I never got to it. No, I find my last post much more important than any recap I could have shared with you at the time. In fact, if you look hard enough, I believe anyone can see where it was that I stopped and prayed, asking God to say and share what He wanted to say and share, and the results were incredible. The vision and principle of the Church joining together for 24/7 prayer is the foundation of our prayer burns, and without being able to grasp that, one cannot grasp the prayer burns and the happenings not just in Starkville at MSU but across the world.

24/7 prayer is sweeping the world right now. Prayer burns, prayer weeks, prayer rooms, prayer furnaces, houses of prayer, and whatever-other-crazy-name-you-can-think-of-then-made-plural are popping up all over the world. The Church is grasping the need for prayer and the desire of the returning of Christ by dropping to our knees for His justice to be shown. The Lord even said He had posted watchmen on the walls to cry out day and night until He made Jerusalem the praise of the earth! This truly is the desire of God! So a big part of our vision with the prayer burns is if we can champion the vision and principle of 24/7 prayer, it does not matter what we do or where we go, we can carry this with us, impacting all of those around us, carrying on our role as the royal priesthood!

So with such a foundation laid, I feel released to share about the 68 Hour Prayer Burn! While carrying the vision for prayer in Starkville, I did not know what it would look like exactly,
but before heading on the Southeast Trip, I had the vision of doing a prayer burn the weekend of Bulldog Bash and the MSU/Alabama game. It seemed perfect to have a large influx of people coming into Starkville for the weekend. What if somehow through the prayer burn their lives were radically touched by Jesus Christ, and they returned home to tell of His majesty! Come as a fan; leave as a missionary!

While "dreaming" about the prayer burn, I thought, "we could start Thursday night to lay a prayer covering over Bulldog Bash then continuing through the church hour on Sunday since the churches need prayer. I figure if we stop at three then people could come to our closing worship hour at two after finishing lunch... Okay, that is 67 hours." Now, I do not remember exactly what happened. I guess I asked God if that was good or not, for I heard, "68."
"68 Hours. Isaiah 6:8."
I looked up Isaiah 6:8 which says: "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'" Wow! Prayer leading into missions! That was exactly what I wanted to see! Apparently it is what God wants, too!

Now, I am unsure of how to describe the prayer burn to you, but I shall try. We posted the schedule on the Monday before, and by the time we started, we only had 2 slots out of 68 open, of which both filled up before I left the prayer room that night. Most people I talked to spent more time in the prayer room than they signed up for. Some found that they did not want to leave or kept coming back to it! One group felt moved to go out and do some evangelism during Bulldog Bash with a sign that said "Free Prayer"! People praised God, repented of sin, prayed for people, met one another, learned about the character of God, and who knows what all else!

Two stories I want to share. First, the team doing evangelism. Before they set out, they prayed for people in particular to pray for, for clues to be on the watch for. One was a girl with blue hair. Well, they encountered a girl with blue hair, so they stopped her, asked if they could pray for her. While the girl on the team was praying for her, another team member happened to have his eyes open and noticed the blue-hair girl nodding her head with what was being prayed. That was until anger and bitterness was mentioned. At this point, the blue-hair girl looked at the other girl in amazement as if wondering how she knew that. When she finished prayer, another team member felt prompted to tell her that God could wash away all the hurt and pain. She feigned to run away while saying, "Oh, just STOP it!" Before the team left, she asked if she could give all three team members a hug. I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit was working on this girl!

The other story is somewhat shorter, but it has such an impact. A couple of us had just finished discussing the sonship we have through Christ, and one guy sat down and started to worship. As he began, he sang this lyric:

"I came to wage warfare, but You showed me that to wage warfare is to run into Your arms!"

Wow! I immediately lost it in that very moment! I was absolutely wrecked with this truth! We are called to wage warfare in the Spirit, yet the only warfare we can accomplish is to run into the refuge that is our Father, to hide in His name! The stronghold of our lives! That night after worshipping for about an hour, I returned to the Junction to try to hang out, but after such a real encounter with God, you cannot return to the world so easily. The world has no taste in comparison. We have allowed it to numb our tastebuds towards the Holy One, the One whose smallest touch will leave us with an insatiable desire for Himself, leaving us chasing after Him for the rest of our days! This is how it is supposed to be!

If you would like to see pictures from the 68 Hour Prayer Burn, then click here!

Continue on to Part 3!
Return to Part 1!

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