Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
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I received this report from Mrs Kathleen Dove who went to the Response with her husband Rob. They graciously gave me permission to share this report with Pray!Network. My Thanks to Mrs. Kathleen Dove.
THE RESPONSE: A CALL TO PRAYER FOR A NATION IN CRISIS
Where 30,000 Plus "Didn’t ‘Spectate’ – but Did, Indeed, Participate”
Written by Mrs Kathleen Dove
The body of Christ gathered in Houston, Texas, to the call of Rick Perry and The American Family Association to pray and fast for our nation on August 6, 2011 at Reliant Stadium. The Church’s Response to our national maladies and natural disasters (most recently the bitter political negotiations to raise our debt ceiling, followed by the ensuing credit rating downgrade, and finally the tragic fatalities of America’s Best of the Best military heroes in Afghanistan). Would we, as US Christians, recognize our desperate need for God and be willing to Pray and then dynamically Respond in ways similar to the Brits’ rescue (with the Lord’s assistance) of their trapped troops at Dunkirk after Churchill’s call for England’s day of national prayer May 28, 1940?
While Governor Perry initially sounded the Joel 2 trumpet alarm, this day was a spiritual ceremony, not a political campaign announcement, not the lifting up of any human personality, not a Tea Party affair, but only a magnificent glorification of the King of Kings, THE Name above all names. So, NO ticket or product sales, no TV network cameras, no multi-page lengthy programs printed in color, no popular musical celebrities or advertized entertainers, no pre-planned song lists or prayers projected on screens, no wild questionable doctrinal teaching (as initially feared), no elaborate acoustic system, and no verbose prayers were spoken or displayed; and only a bare minimum (unfortunately) of all invited state governors, angry noisy anti-Christian diversity group protestors, and food vendors were present.
As we approached the stadium from the parking lot, we joined the long line of umbrella-carrying ladies, wide-eyed children of all ages, and shorts’-clad young and old men forming in the very hot outdoor temperatures before 8 o’clock a.m. As we entered the stadium gates polite Security guards examined our belongings. Once inside, slowly, the floor level and grandstand seats filled as continual lines of participants descended the stairways from above. Alert, attentive Christians entered the gates with thanksgiving as they immediately began praying, clapping, and worshiping in dance. Meanwhile small groups unobtrusively conducted prayer walks throughout the stadium premises.
A variety of unidentified, unannounced worship leaders with their accompanying bands, chorales, and choirs led us in different worship styles reflecting each group’s unique culture during the 2-hour pre-event activities. Always, the focus was on Jesus, as His name was magnified over and over and over. While the worship was very high-pitched/emotional at times, it was done in the solemn manner declared, in tune with the Joel 2 theme. For the total nine-hour program, the people were (as directed) very engaged in connecting with God through loud and soft chorus and hymn singing, godly shouts, chants, and cheers conducted in postures varying from quiet sitting positions to very punctuated jerky repetitious bowing , or energetic whole body arm/hand flailing with lower extremities jogging rapidly.
Following the sounding of two impressively long ram’s horns, James and Shirley Dobson officially opened the assembly at 10:00 a.m. by expressing the nation’s grief for recent tragic problems that had taken our attention from our only source of peace in a world spinning out of control. Shirley’s prayer focused on God’s healing for our nation’s institutions of family, economy, military, government, church, and schools. Dr. Dobson asked God to respond to our desperate national state and deliver us as he had the trapped British soldiers.
The program’s skeletal agenda consisted of:
1. Personal Repentance;
2. Corporate Repentance;
3. The First Commandment; and
4. Prayer for Revival in America.
For each of these program headings, a similar worship pattern developed, with first, an agenda topic being introduced by a Christian leader who would briefly provide background (often historic) narrative followed by congregational participation in this leader’s own personal prayer. Next, a worship leader would guide us in his own musical worship experience as he/she spoke/sang/hummed lyrics, tunes, choruses, and hymns to the Lord in Spirit and in Truth. Then, carefully- selected individual lay men/women/children shared from the stage their own passionate prayers. Finally, for each of the four agenda items, participants formed small prayer groups of 2-3 members throughout the stadium to pray aloud or in silent agreement, as specifically directed.
Concerning the first agenda topic of Personal Repentance, the prayer guide instructed us to re,pe idols (little gods) from our lives, priorities that have replaced the headship of Christ, the little gods of jobs, positions, impure sex, etc. We were reminded that God doesn’t serve us and God did not give us His Son for us to live “the good life” but that every human knee would bow down to Him in loving obedience. We were urged to repent of everything that has come between us and the Kingdom of God. Dr. Tony Evans reminded us not to align ourselves with the World and to stop paying homage to government’s provisions for people’s needs. He emphasized we must first become one Church under God in order to become one Nation under God. We, The Church, were urged to GO PUBLIC (like everyone else in our society). We were told to first repent in order to experience the powerful Upper Room prayer that would shake us into boldly proclaiming God’s message.
Concerning Corporate (CHURCH) Repentance, pastors were both prayed over personally and admonished not to limit their preaching to expository sermons with little or no relevance to the current social ills of our day, particularly the sins of delegating the government to take care of the poor (widows and orphans) and our shameful discarding of the innocent blood of our children (abortion), in order that we could live unencumbered lives of self-gratification.
Concerning Restoration of the First Commandment, we were encouraged to stop thinking of ourselves as only a workforce, but to know God personally remembering He wants our hearts to be involved in loving obedience. We were told to clearly proclaim JESUS IS GOD, (not one of many paths to heaven).
Concerning Revival in America, older spokespersons for the Gospel were recognized, honored, and prayed over, specifically that their latter years would be even more fruitful than their former years. In similar fashion, the older generation prayed for the younger generation (particularly those from broken homes) to become the new patriarchs and matriarchs of the Faith. We were reminded of the two previous Great Awakenings, the 1730 revival of John Wesley, George Whitfield, and Jonathan Edwards and the 1820’s revival influenced by the preaching of Charles Finney. But, the speaker felt the next revival would be a product of “The Nameless/Faceless many-faceted future generation preparing the way for JESUS’ second coming.
The program ended at 5:00 p.m. with the renewed cry to God to once again send revival as the congregation blended such Christ-centered hymns as “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” “O, The Wonderful Cross,” and “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus,” ending where we began, participants in genuine Christ-centered intercession, encountering a small foretaste of Glory Devine, a vision for today of His goodness that He has prepared for us in Heaven.