Viral is scary, y’all! One day I am just writing to myself and a few friends…next thing I know my words have been read by over 200,000 people. What just happened?
Last week when I sat before the Lord asking Him what I could do about the overwhelming helplessness I felt and He said “Use Words”, I never, ever imagined that He would take an article (that I wrote in an hour and really felt was fairly poorly written) and send it around the world to call Christians to alert. No doubt, He attached some Holy Spirit power to my post. I don’t know why I am so shocked, because God has a record of using the weak things of this world…which is definitely a description of me, but for some reason, that has not kept me from being absolutely blown away.
So if I haven’t met you before… welcome to my feeble attempts at spreading His matchless Name and indescribable Renown. There is nothing special on the other end of this computer…just a desperately flawed girl who is daily rescued by a faithful Savior and radically changed by the love of Jesus.
Since I wrote my last post, I have not slept past 5am. That might not seem early to some, but to this late night girl it has been uncharacteristic. “Awake, oh Sleeper” has definitely been my wake up call. My heart continually aches for the people affected by tragedies around the world and the Lord has not lessened my burden, though He has certainly redirected it. It is my hope and desire that all of you who felt “Amen” well up in your soul at His Word are seeking Him urgently as we continue to hear bad news. And that your first response to any of this news, as a believer, is always to recall David’s words. “The righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will not fear bad news for their hearts are steadfast…trusting in the Lord.” Psalms 112:6-7
When I first began to pray about these current events and how they are affecting the Church, I have to admit that I was praying for miracles…for the eradicating of a disease and the trampling on the heads of some enemies. I tend to be a “kill two birds with one stone” kind of girl so I actually had the thought that if God could get Ebola and brutal terrorism together, He could easily solve several of these tragic situations. I know, I know…horrible. I wandered around in “flesh land” for a bit, even with a direct Word from the Lord to pray. You don’t have to tell me how horrible I am for thinking such a thing because Jesus convicted me Himself. “Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who persecute you.” Ouch! Not only am I called to pray for the saints, but I am called to pray for the terrorists.
The fact is we don’t just need a call to prayer. We need to know HOW to pray. Of course, we can pour our hearts and souls out before the Lord. He wants to hear the burdens of our heart. He loves honesty and He already knows everything so we’re really not hiding anything even when we think we are. But when it comes to EFFECTUAL and FERVANT prayers that AVAIL much, we need to know HOW to pray.
And I John 5:14-15 tells us clearly “THIS is the confidence that we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything ACCORDING to His Will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, than we know that we have whatever we have asked.” Saints, if we are praying according to His Will…amen and amen because it is done.
“Okay, Candace. I’ll bite. So what is the Will of God?” In this situation, I believe that we can safely park ourselves back at some words of Paul in 2 Thess. 3:1-2 “Finally, brothers, pray for us that the Lord’s message may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not all have faith.”
Paul was not focused on his earthly body or his physical life…he had already considered that a loss. He was concerned about the spreading of the Gospel. He asked the saints to pray according to God’s Will that no man would perish eternally, but all would come to the saving knowledge of Christ.
The moment we accept Christ as Savior we are on mission. Our mission has very little to do with climbing the career ladder or living in a bigger house or making sure that our kids have the latest techno gadgets…our mission is to spread the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth. And Church, everything else in our lives should be assembled with that end in mind. Hear me now. Don’t turn me off quite yet. Because there are people reading this that have been CALLED and are hiding from it. There are people reading this who have let driving a certain car become the mission. There are people that are scared to death to go “all in” because they are afraid of what God will tell them to do. There are people reading this that will stand before God one day and be ashamed of the opportunity that they missed to be a part of God’s amazing plan. I am pleading with you to reevaluate your mission, because when and if persecution ever comes to your neighborhood, knowing your mission will be the one crucial thing that pulls you through.
The Gospel must be preached to the ends of the earth and then the end will come. It is what Paul lived for and it is what we all should live for to the negation of our own lives. He wanted them to pray that the Gospel would quickly spread in the circumstances that they were facing and that ultimately he could be delivered so that he could go do it again somewhere else.
I think that if we really wanted the Gospel to quickly spread in America we would begin to pray to that end. When we say “God bless America”, we would mean, “God, do whatever it takes to change eternal futures in America!” If we really wanted to see revival, we would pray “God, do whatever it takes to lift the veil so that the truth can actually penetrate our hearts.” Fact is, we don’t want Gospel anymore. We want easy and we want comfortable. So we hide behind “false gospels” because they are easier to swallow and don’t require so much mission. And we are completely shocked when we are forced to open up our eyes to the persecution that is nothing new to the true Church. After all Paul said “EVERYONE who wants to live a godly life in Christ WILL be PERSECUTED.” 2 Timothy 3:12 I’d say that is pretty clear. There is a 100% chance that if you are walking in your God-given call, you will run into persecution.
So according to God’s Will, we should pray that the Gospel will be quickly spread through everything that is going on around the world. Specifically, here are a few suggestions…
- Pray that Christians all over the world would have courage and endurance to complete their mission.
- Pray that the Gospel will be rapidly spread in spite of every attack against it.
- Pray that the Church will begin to seriously cry out to the Lord for a “whatever it takes” revival.
- Pray that Christians will be delivered from the enemy so they can continue to spread the Gospel.
- Pray that terrorists will begin coming to the saving knowledge of Christ because of the witness of believers.
- Pray that those who are suffering will experience a comfort greater than medicine or doctors or governmental powers can give.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit would begin to grant boldness to the body of believers.
We have such an opportunity here to be a part of what God is doing around the world. While the things that we see and read are filled with the stuff of nightmares and horror movies, we have intimacy with the One who can take ashes and make beauty of them. His desire is that NO MAN should perish, but that all should come to the saving knowledge of Christ.
Church! Now that you are awake, will you work? Will you sacrifice? Will you stretch yourself with the Word? Will you dig down deep to give instead of just skimming the surface and whatever comes out belongs to God? The alarm has gone off… get out of the bed. We have a mission to complete and we are running out of time. Don’t stand before the Lord one day and wish you would have… The night is far spent. The day is at hand.
Last week I asked the Lord what I could do and He gave me words that reached hundreds of thousands of people. Imagine if those hundreds of thousands of people went before the Lord and asked what they could do.