Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Harry Hoosier: A Powerful African-American Circuit Rider

I came across this write up on Harry Hoosier by David Barton on Wall Builders.

The Rev. “Black Harry” Hoosier (or Hosier) 1750-1810

 Portrait of Harry Hoosier
Source: www.moultrienews.com/historian/history-8-27
 Harry Hoosier was born a slave in North Carolina, but toward the end of the American Revolution he obtained his freedom, converted to Methodism, and became a preacher. In 1781, he delivered a sermon in Virginia entitled “The Barren Fig Tree” – the first recorded Methodist sermon by an African American. Despite the fact that Hoosier was illiterate, he became famous as a traveling evangelist and was considered one of the most popular preachers of his era. In fact, after hearing Harry preach in and around Philadelphia, Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), a signer of the Declaration of Independence and an evangelical Christian, declared that accounting for his illiteracy, Hoosier was “the greatest orator in America.”

Early in his ministry, Harry became a close associate of Bishop Francis Asbury (1745- 1816), the “Founding Father of the American Methodist Church.”

(In 1771, Asbury – an Englishman – heard an appeal from John Wesley for preachers to go to America to “spread the Word.” Asbury responded, and during the next four decades he preached almost 20,000 sermons and rode over a quarter of a million miles across America – on horseback! When Asbury first arrived, there were only 550 Methodists in America, but by the time of his death in 1816, there were 250,000 – and 700 ordained Methodist ministers. In 1924 when a statue of Bishop Asbury was erected in Washington, DC, President Calvin Coolidge declared of Asbury that “He is entitled to rank as one of the builders of our nation.”)

Hoosier and Bishop Asbury traveled and preached together, but Bishop Asbury (who drew huge crowds) remarked that Harry drew even larger crowds than he did! In fact, the Rev. Henry Boehm (1775-1875) reported: “Harry. . . . was so illiterate he could not read a word [but h]e would repeat the hymn as if reading it, and quote his text with great accuracy. His voice was musical, and his tongue as the pen of a ready writer. He was unboundedly popular, and many would rather hear him than the bishops.” Harry also traveled and preached with other popular bishops of that era, including the Rev. Richard Whatcoat (1736- 1806), the Rev. Freeborn Garretson (1752-1827), and the Rev. Thomas Coke (1747-1814). The Rev. Coke said of Asbury that, “I really believe he is one of the best preachers in the world. There is such an amazing power that attends his preaching . . . and he is one of the humblest creatures I ever saw.”

Hoosier ministered widely along the American frontier and is described by historians as “a renowned camp meeting exhorter, the most widely known black preacher of his time, and arguably the greatest circuit rider of his day.” However, he was unpopular in the South for two reasons: first, frontier Methodists such as Hoosier tended to lean Arminian in their theology, contrasted with the denominations of the South that were largely Calvinistic (e.g., Presbyterians, Reformed, Episcopalians, Baptists, etc. – yes, the Baptists of that day were largely Calvinistic!); second, Methodists were outspoken against slavery whereas the majority of the South supported slavery. Therefore, southern groups such as the Virginia Baptists came to use the term “Hoosiers” as an insulting term of derision that they applied to Methodists like Black Harry Hoosier, meaning that they were anti-slavery in belief and Arminian in theology.

Fisk University history professor William Piersen believes that this is the source of the term “Hoosier” that was applied to the inhabitants of Indiana. Piersen explains, “Such an etymology would offer Indiana a plausible and worthy first Hoosier – ‘Black Harry’ Hoosier – the greatest preacher of his day, a man who rejected slavery and stood up for morality and the common man.”

Noted African American historian Carter Woodson reported the words of early Methodist historian John Ledman in describing the closing chapter of Harry Hoosier’s life:

After he had moved on the tide of popularity for a number of years . . . he fell by wine – one of the strong enemies of both ministers and people. And now, alas! this popular preacher was a drunken ragpicker in the streets of Philadelphia. But we will not leave him here. One evening, Harry . . . determined to remain there until his backslidings were healed. Under a tree he wrestled with God in prayer. Sometime that night, God restored to him the joys of his salvation [Psalm 51:12]. . . . About the year 1810, Harry finished his course. . . . An unusually large number of people, both white and colored, followed his body to its last resting place, in a free burying ground in Kensington [near Philadelphia].

The Rev. Harry Hoosier was used by God to draw thousands of Americans to Christ during the early decades of the Second Great Awakening.



If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy this one on Francis Asbury.


www.amazon.com/subMISSION-heeding-only-His-voice/dp/193748100X

Friday, March 26, 2010

FIRE ON THE ALTAR in Hernnhut, Germany


I want to encourage you to attend this strategic gathering in Hernnhutt, Germany if you're able to. My wife and I spent a day in Hernnhutt a few years back, which was a real treasure. Hernnhutt is the location of Count Zinzendorf's estate where he permitted the Moravians to relocate in order to flee religious persecution. Through a series of supernatural events, they eventually launched a 24/7 continual prayer that lasted 100 years. Go to this website for more information.
My dear friends, Jon and Jolene of Lamplighters Ministries are co-hosts of this prayer gathering. James Goll will be one of the primary speakers at this gathering. I would strongly encourage you to read his book, "The Lost Art of Intercession". The first chapter opens with an experience he has in Hernnhutt with a group of intercessors. The book is worth its weight in gold for those whose hearts yearn to live a lifestyle of intercession. Plus this book will help you to understand the significance of the Moravians and their influence even in today's prayer movement.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

VIRGINIA ROOT 52 STATE PRAYER GUIDE (March 19-26, 2010)

This prayer guide was prepared by Sandy Grady, USRPN-VA.

Virginia was the tenth state to join the union and our designated Root 52 week of prayer and fasting is March 19 - 26. In Hebrew, the United States is translated "Artzot Ha-Brit," which means "lands of covenant." Virginia is known as the "Covenant Root State." If we will covenant together as the body of Christ, we have an opportunity to turn the battle at the gates. We know that the Lord is faithful and He has a plan for good and not for evil; to give us a hope and a future and an expected end. Let us bow together and war together and stand together for the soul of Virginia and our nation.

ROOT 52 VIRGINIA PRAYER INITIATIVE

Cape Henry is a point of land at the mouth and entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. This site was the first landing in the new world for the settlers and crew of the group of the Virginia Company that would become the first English permanent settlement at Jamestown in 1607. The Virginia Company under the 1601 Charter was the fourth try in England's effort to establish a colony in the new world. The settlers (105) and seamen (40) set sail from England December 20, 1606. After four storm-tossed months at sea, the three ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and the Discovery arrived. They were under the leadership of Captain Christopher Newport.

The ships arrived April 26, 1607 with the first landing party coming ashore. Then Rev. Robert Hunt, because of strife aboard the ship, called for three days of prayer and fasting. The company came ashore April 29, 1607, planted a wooden cross, and had a time of thanksgiving, prayer, and worship. Rev. Robert Hunt spoke these words: "From these very shores the Gospel shall go forth to not only this New World but the entire world." The Lord has spoken to many intercessors that "His cross was and is the gateway into this country."

First written and proclaimed by Rev. Richard Hakluyt, the First Virginia Charter reaffirms that statement as to the central purpose for the colonization of Virginia:

"We greatly commending, and graciously accepting of, their Desires for the Furtherance of so noble a Work, which may, by the Providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the Glory of his Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God, and may in time bring the Infidels and Savages, living in those parts, to human Civility, and to a settled and quiet Government; DO by these our Letters Patents, graciously accept of, and agree to, their humble and well-intended Desires."

This is significant, because at that time Virginia was the name given to an immense land mass stretching from today's South Carolina all the way to Maine and parts of Canada and to the west coast. Simply, Virginia was almost all of today's America. (See Appendix: Original Map of Virginia). The redemptive gift I see in this charter is one of evangelization. There is a prophetic word often repeated in Virginia that says, "As goes Virginia, so goes the nation." May it be so with this gift as we proclaim Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:18-20.

On May 14, 1607, after exploring the James River, the settlers disembarked at Jamestown. It was the first English permanent settlement in the New World and was found with the blessing and support of England. Rev. Hunt held services under an old sail until the first Protestant church in America was build in the center of the fort. The Jamestown fort was a place of ill health, lack of food, much strife, many fires, and started as a male settlement with no family life. The winter of 1609-1610 was known as the "starving time" with only 59 settlers out of 490 left alive after six months. A great sacrifice was made to keep the Virginia colony going.

Although they made mistakes, especially in the treatment of the Native Americans, there were a number of godly men in the colony who helped to govern the colony. In addition to Rev. Hunt, there was John Smith known as the "Father of Virginia" due to his significant contributions in the establishment and survival of Jamestown , John Rolfe who married Pocahontas, and Lord Delaware, the new governor in 1610 who arrived just in time to save the colony. He stepped off his boat and knelt and prayed, thanking God for saving the colony and then requested that a sermon of thanksgiving be preached. Rev. Alexander Whitaker was known as the "apostle to the Indians" because of his service to them and the English settlers. He mentored Pocahontas in Christianity and later baptized her in 1614. In the book, Releasing the Prophetic Destiny of a Nation, it states that they believe "the primary redemptive purpose for the state of Virginia is that of governance or the art of godly governing." We pray and proclaim that purpose will continue through the years as its citizens vote and support righteous leaders and laws to govern the land.

The Second Virginia Charter of 1609 declared "that it shall be necessary for all such as inhabit within the precincts of Virginia to determine to live together in the fear and true worship of Almighty God, Christian peace, and civil quietness," and that "the principal effect which we can desire or expect of this action is the conversion and reduction of the people in those parts unto the true worship of God and the Christian religion."

In 1618 Virginia was granted another charter which gave Virginians the right to choose their own representatives who would make their laws. The legislative body was known as the General Assembly of Virginia and was composed of two houses. This was the beginning of representative government in the New World. It began in the church at Jamestown in 1619 and continues today in the Richmond Capital. It served as a model for the US Congress.

Another important event that occurred in 1619 was the first Thanksgiving celebrated in the New World on December 4 at the Berkeley Plantation up the river from Jamestown. Capt. John Woodlief and 37 other settlers held a short religious service on the day that they arrived here. They knelt down and gave thanks for their safe arrival in accordance with their charter which stated, "Wee ordaine that the Day of our ship arrival at the place assigned for Thanksgiving to Almighty God." In 1963, President Kennedy officially recognized Berkeley Plantation as the site of the first Thanksgiving. The spirit of Thanksgiving is noted all through the writings and reports of the settlers despite their difficulties. Let's give thanks for such a heritage and gift passed on to us and give thanks for the goodness of the Lord in Virginia.

The great massacre of 1622 plotted by Chief Opechancanough, killed 347 of the 1240 colonists. The Chief blamed the English for 85% of his people dying over a twenty year period by war, disease, and starvation. The massacre would have been much worse except for an Indian boy named Chanco, who had become a Christian and warned the settlers at Jamestown and nearby plantations. Henrico College, the first college founded for the instruction of both the colonists and the Indians, was destroyed.

Twenty African indentured slaves arrived in 1619 at Jamestown from a Dutch pirate ship. They could serve a certain number of years to obtain 50 acres of land when freed. The early settlers originally had no intention of propagating slavery in Virginia. But when the "Cavaliers" came over from England in the 1650"s by the thousands, they changed Virginia in two major ways. First, they were more likely to accept slavery because they were not used to working for themselves and secondly, they were less devout in their faith.

One of the former indentured Africans named Anthony Johnson, who came to Virginia in 1619 on that Dutch Ship, convinced the court of Northampton County in 1654 that he was entitled to the lifetime services of John Casor. With the approval of slavery by the courts, the number increased from 300 to 2,000 by the year 1670. The Virginia General Assembly tried to stop slave ships from coming to Virginia by placing a heavy tax on them, but the English Parliament overruled Virginia's law and the slave trade continued. By 1730, slaves made up one fourth of the population and it continued until half of the population of Virginia were slaves.

There were more casualties during the Civil War over this atrocity than the casualties of all other wars combined. Over one third of that occurred in fighting on Virginia soil. It was also the greatest time of revival that Virginia has ever known, especially among the troops. Much healing has occurred which has continued through the Reconstruction Period and the Twentieth Century.

Pray for that healing process to be complete with God's help. We need complete healing from the strife and division that has occurred in our land so that true reformation may occur. Pray for this healing in the community, forgiveness in taking the Native American land unfairly, and forgiveness for strife among our brethren and for enslaving others.

Lord, may you flood the land of Virginia with your Love, your Truth, and your Light.
May Righteous and Justice reign. And may the land be at peace with Your Presence


THE ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT MOUNTAIN

Citizens of and visitors to Virginia have enjoyed the variety of natural beauty of the landscape as a source of entertainment and expression in the arts through the centuries. In his book, Virginia: The New Dominion, Dabney said that "the characteristic diversions of Virginians in the antebellum era were hunting, fishing and riding. Most Virginians were "outdoor types" who loved to go, gun in hand, in quest of quail, rabbit, deer, or hunting on horseback." He stated that during that era "reasonably well-to-do Virginians often went to the "springs" for all or part of the warmer months which were situated in the mountains, valleys, and foothills of the Alleghenies". The Virginia Reel was popular as a folk dance from 1830-1890. Arts and crafts and music continue to evolve as a culture in the homes and are frequently expressed in schools, churches, festivals, opera houses, and the theater.

The state government is currently looking at cutting needed expenses by eliminating many art and music programs in the schools from their budget. Parents, students, and teachers are all vocally concerned and there is much debate in the legislature.

Pray that God, our Creator, will continue to move mightily through Virginians to bring forth His sound and expression in creativity. (Gen. 1:3)

Pray that we will be good caretakers of our Virginia resources and continue to enjoy this beautiful land.

Pray that it will be used to draw us closer to the Creator. (Ps. 24:1)

Pray that there be a complete cleansing and healing wherever there has been sin or abuse in the arts and entertainment arena in Virginia. (Ps. 51:10)

Pray that Virginia will be filled with the praises and wonders of God throughout the land. (Ps. 150)

THE MILITARY MOUNTAIN

Virginia has an eighth gate that is huge. And even though it is part of the government, it needs special recognition as the military gate.

Two of our greatest conflicts fought in America were effectively concluded on Virginia soil-the American Revolution where Cornwallis (rather his second in command) surrendered at Yorktown on October 19, 1781 and the Civil War where Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox on April 9, 1865. Also shed on Virginia soil in the 1600's was much unnecessary blood among the Native Americans and the settlers. Abortion clinics throughout the state continue to shed innocent blood. Pray for our land to be healed from violence and the taking of innocent lives.

The 9/11 terrorist attack of the Pentagon was on Virginia soil. It houses over 26,000 military related personnel. Pray for more Bible studies and Christian prayer meetings in the Pentagon. Pray for our borders to be secure with continuous watchmen on the wall and for our prayer antennas to be up against any more attacks.

There are twenty major military bases in Virginia. There are over 146,000 military personnel in the state with the highest concentration in the U.S. being in the Hampton Roads area. Pray for their safety, their families, their expertise, and their faith in God.
Pray for a massive move of God among the military that will spread throughout the earth.

Military Ministries headquarters is located in Newport News. The director, Retired Maj. Gen. Dees says, "The reality of war is that everyone gets wounded. Some wounds heal rapidly, but some last for a lifetime." Dr. Michael Wagner from Walter Reed Army Medical Center says, "When a soldier is wounded, the family and community also are wounded."

There are reports of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) on a massive scale. It is said that "the military members fight two wars-one on the battlefield and one in their souls after they return home." Statistics show that nearly one in five returnees from Iran and Afghanistan is suffering from PTSD and two out of three of their marriages are failing.

Lord, bring the prayer support, Christ-centered assistance, healing and restoration to our soldiers and their families that they may live Godly effective lives.

THE FAMILY MOUNTAIN

When George Washington was leaving home to begin what would become a lifelong service for his country, he recorded his mother, Mrs. Mary Washington's parting words:

"Remember that God is our only sure trust. To Him, I commend you...My son, neglect not the duty of secret prayer."

His father died when he was eleven years old in 1743. Until the age of sixteen he lived with his elder half brother, Augustine, in Westmoreland County. Most of George's education was through home schooling and tutoring until he attended William and Mary
College. He also befriended the Indians and learned the ways of the land that proved to be of tremendous value as he commanded the colonial forces in the Revolutionary War.

George Washington cared for his mother for all her latter days in a home he provided for her in Fredericksburg until her death at the age of 82. He visited her shortly before her death and bid an affectionate farewell. His adopted grandson recorded her final words to George:
" ...But go, George, fulfill the high destinies which Heaven appears to have intended for you; go, my son, and may that Heaven's and a mother's blessing be with you always."

This short history provides keys for the healing of the families of Virginia.

George honored his parents. (Ex. 20:12)
He was obedient and followed her wise words in being a man of prayer. (Proverbs 6: 20-22)
He trusted in God. (Proverbs 3:5)
Upon his father's death, his extended family stepped in and helped care for him. (Proverbs 11:25; Psalm 16:5-6)
He cared for his mother in her latter days. ( Lev. 19:32)
She released him to the Lord upon his leaving home for duty.(I Sam. 1:26)
She spoke blessings over him. (Psalm 144:12,15)
He applied the knowledge and wisdom that he had learned. (Proverbs 16:3)

When we follow Biblical principles and love abides, healing and restoration can occur in our families in Virginia and the land will prosper and be at peace. (Mal. 4:6; I John 4:7,11)

We pray for those Biblical principles to saturate our families throughout Virginia and for God's love to occupy our lives and our homes.

CHURCH/RELIGION MOUNTAIN

Prayer was a key component in the founding, survival, and success of the Virginia colony. A special prayer was composed for the colonists that Rev. Robert Hunt, the first clergyman of the colony, and others repeated each morning and evening:

"Almighty, God...we beseech Thee to bless us and this plantation which we and our nation have begun in Thy fear and for Thy glory...and seeing Lord, the highest end of our plantation here is to set up the standard and display the banner of Jesus Christ, even here where Satan's throne is, Lord let our labour be blessed in labouring for the conversion of the heathen...Lord sanctify our spirits and give us holy hearts, that so we may be Thy instruments in this most glorious work."

For many years a lengthy prayer was said every morning and evening at the changing of the guard at the fort by the Captain of the Watch or by one of the principal officers. In part, it says:

"We know, O Lord, we have the Devil and all the gates of Hell against us, but if Thou, O Lord, be on our side, we care not who be against us. And, seeing by Thy motion and work in our hearts, we have left our warm rests at home and put our lives into thy hands, principally to honor Thy name and advance the kingdom of Thy Son, Lord, give us leave to commit our lives into Thy hands."
"And call in the Jews together with the fullness of gentiles, that Thy name may be glorious in all the world, the days of iniquity may come to an end and we with all Thine elect people may come to see Thy face in glory, and be filled with the light thereof for evermore."

All these prayers solidified the covenant made in the First Charter of Virginia of 1606 "...where may, by the Providence of Almighty God, tend to the Glory of His Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God..."

George Washington, our first Virginian President, wrote many prayers in his field book which he said mornings and evenings. His prayers revealed the depth of his character.

"O most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ my merciful and loving Father, I acknowledge and confess my guilt, in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on Thee for pardon and forgiveness of sins...Let me live according to those holy rules which Thou hast this day prescribed in Thy holy word; make me to know what is acceptable in Thy sight, and therein to delight, open the eyes of my understanding and help me thoroughly to examine myself concerning my knowledge, faith and repentance, increase my faith, and direct me to the true object, Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life. Bless, O Lord, all the people of this land, for the highest to the lowest, particularly those whom Thou hast appointed to rule us in church and state. Continue Thy goodness to me this night. These weak petitions, I humbly implore Thee to hear, accept and answer for the sake of Thy Dear Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen."

Washington was a man who often fasted as well as calling the Virginia colony and later on all the colonists to fast and pray on a number of occasions during the Revolutionary War. An example is when he was a member of the House of Burgesses in Williamsburg. He heard the startling news of the closing of Boston Harbor until the Boston citizens paid for the tea which had been dumped into the bay. So he and the other representatives called for a day of fasting and prayer in sympathy of the Massachusetts colony's situation. The fast was honored throughout the Virginia colony and a spirit of intercession covered the land.

May our prayers reflect the fervor of the founding Fathers to save the lost and may our prayers show the humility and reliance on You as our Father to guide us in Your wisdom and righteousness.

The Church of England was the official state church in Colonial Virginia in the 1600's. Priests were paid with tobacco and colonists were fined for not attending services with tobacco fees. During this time, the Mennonites, Quakers, Lutherans, and Scotch-Irish Presbyterians settled Southwest Virginia. Most were deeply religious, but critical of the Church of England. Dedicated to ideals of freedom, the Quakers in Winchester, Va. were fined, whipped and imprisoned. Then in the latter 1600's, by law, the Anglican Church was the official established denomination in Virginia supported by taxes from every citizen whether they were members or not. Those who refused or simply could not pay were often beaten and imprisoned. There are accounts of the Baptists especially being treated poorly, but it really applied to all other denominations. Here is an account in a 1771 diary entry giving the disturbance of a Baptist meeting:

"Brother Waller informed us that about two weeks ago on the Sabbath in Caroline County, he introduced the worship of God by singing. While he was singing, the Parson of the Parish rode up with his clerk, the sheriff, and others and would keep running the end of his horsewhip in Waller's mouth and laying his whip across the hymn book. When done singing, Waller proceeded to prayer. In it, he was violently jerked off of the stage. They caught him by the back of his neck and beat his head against the ground...They carried him through a gate that stood some considerable distance where the sheriff give him twenty lashes with his horse whip. Then Brother Waller was released and went back singing praise to God, mounted the stage and preached with a great deal of liberty."

Thank God for the introduction of Thomas Jefferson's Statute for Religious Freedom in 1779 in Virginia. Even though resisted by the established church and powerful planters, it was approved in 1786. Championed by James Madison and written by Thomas Jefferson it says, "No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship place or ministry whatsoever. All men are free to profess their opinions in matters of religion."

With that freedom, let us pray that all mankind will seek and find the Truth and worship the true living God.

George Washington was a leader in creating better relations between denominations. In 1790, his letters to Roman Catholics, Quakers, and Jews stressed his desire for interdenominational love.

Even though there was some division among the religions and churches, the first and second great awakenings had an influence among the colonists in all parts of Virginia.
Here are a few accounts of revival:

1739 - George Whitfield preached at Bruton Parrish in Williamsburg with " GREAT EFFECT."

1740 and 1745 - Hanover Awaking in Hanover County with Whitfield called the "Center of the Great Awakening in the South."

1787 - Hampton-Sydney College - "spark of revival started with revival spreading to Princeton College, N. J. in 1814-1815. (Started with a few students praying with the college president.)

September, 1804 - Huge gathering in Suffolk. A zealot in the work of revival reported that it had been "a camp-meeting" and had begun "on Friday and continued day and night without intermission til Monday evening." During that time there had been "upwards of four hundred souls, including blacks powerfully converted to God."

August, 1865 - A gracious revival commenced and continued for nineteen days and nights with the conversion of 77 persons in the Suffolk area.

August 1906 - Lucy F. Farrow, Portsmouth revival from Azusa. "150 had received "the baptism of the Holy Ghost. About 2000 were reported saved as a result of her Portsmouth campaign."

January and February 1920 - Billy Sunday, 20th and Granby St, Norfolk - "Two month religious revival that resulted in around 25,000 sinners returning to the "straight and narrow path." Reported in The Virginian-Pilot, June 14, 1999.

Pray that as we cry out to the Lord for another great awakening it will cover the whole commonwealth and beyond. Virginia is called the Covenant State and our covenant with God is for souls.

John Muhlenberg was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1774 and also a pastor of two churches in Woodstock. He preached on the Christian's responsibility to be involved in securing freedom for America. He was not afraid to mix religion with the survival of the colonies when he threw off his clerical robes to reveal the uniform of a soldier in the Revolutionary Army.

Pray that our church leaders be anointed with a holy boldness to proclaim righteousness and justice and take a lead in calling for continuous Godly government in Virginia.

In August, 2001, Cindy Jacobs prophesied in Williamsburg that if we didn't get serious about prayer there would be an onslaught of Islam on our soil. That was before 9/11. We have watched the infiltration and demands by that religious system in Virginia since then. Pray for their salvation but also that we stand firmly against the robbing and erosion of our Christian heritage. (Isaiah 45:21-22)

THE BUSINESS MOUNTAIN

With the introduction of tobacco by the Native Americans, the Virginia settlers soon discovered that it was a valuable cash crop for the colony. While the Native Americans grew only small amounts of a stronger variety, the colonists adopted a milder brand from the West Indies favored by the Europeans. As they grew more tobacco, immense amounts of land were used requiring more labor increasing the demand for slave labor. Tobacco also depleted the once rich soil because of lack of crop rotation.

Repent for the way Virginia has used and abused the land with tobacco. Repent for the land grab from the Native Americans leaving many to starve. Come against the spirit of greed.

Pray for the redemption of the Virginia soil to be used for God's glory with crops that will supply nutrients to the soil and bring blessings throughout the world. Praise God for the adjustment that Virginia is making to raise soybeans, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, snap beans and other vegetable crops as well as apples and grapes. Livestock and livestock products now generate more than 2/3 of the state's agricultural receipts. May God bless the soil of Virginia.

The slave population in Virginia grew from nineteen in 1619 to 690,865 in 1866. Most of this was concentrated in the Piedmont and Tidewater regions of Virginia. The western part of the state had very little slavery due to their strong beliefs and large families. Repent for slavery being used to enhance crop production and revenue in Virginia.

Gambling of all kinds were frequent means of entertainment and seeking financial gain. During the colonial period, horse racing and cock fighting were especially common. The lottery was so widely used that in 1620/21 King James I issued a proclamation to the Virginia council to stop all lotteries in Virginia. Pray for an end to all government endorsed forms of gambling in the state today, especially the lottery.

Broken covenants to Native Americans over the taking of land as the colonists became more numerous and expanded were common. Repent, seek forgiveness, and break any curses over the land. Speak blessings and fruitfulness over the land.

Early resident leaders of Virginia complained bitterly about some of their fellow colonists saying that they were "lazy and idle." Codes were soon passed and put into practice that structured the colonists' time around a daily cycle of labor, prayer, rest, and refreshment, with compulsory church attendance and required labor. Pray for the reduction and elimination of unemployment among capable workers who need employment. Southwest Virginia has been the hardest hit at 11%.

Much debate has taken place in this year's General Assembly in Richmond concerning ways to cut the budget because of a four billion dollar deficit. Pray for wisdom and insight for our leaders to know where to make the necessary cuts. Pray for the state to follow Biblical principles for state prosperity.

Pray that we as citizens may extend our hand to the homeless, needy, and imprisoned. As of now, the number in prisons in Virginia is over 38,000. May we touch their lives through Jesus and extend the gospel. (Isaiah 58:7,10)

THE GOVERNMENT MOUNTAIN

It has been said that Virginia is the "backdoor to the nation's Capital". It has been called the "Mother of Presidents" because eight American presidents were born here. They are: Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson.

James Madison was known as the chief architect of our U.S. Constitution and was a promoter of the U.S. Bill of Rights which guaranteed religious freedom in the First Amendment. His strong position of defending religious freedom began when as a young boy he stood outside a jail with his father in the village of Orange and listened to several Baptists preach from their cell windows, having been imprisoned for their religious opinions.

George Mason, a planter from Fairfax County, was the author of the Virginia Constitution and the Virginia Bill of Rights. The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution limiting the power of the government are practically his and may be found expressed in the Virginia Declaration (1776):

"Article XVI That Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator, and the Manner of discharging it, can be directed only by Reason and Convictions, not by Force or Violence; and therefore all Men are equally entitled to the free exercise of Religion, according to the Dictates of Conscience; and that it is the mutual Duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love, and Charity towards each other."

George Mason stated before the General Court of Virginia: "The laws of nature are the laws of God, whose authority can be superseded by no power on earth." This phrase was later incorporated in the Declaration of Independence as "the laws of nature and nature's God."

The 1994-1995 Virginia Historical Documents Act requires all three Virginia charters be taught in Virginia public schools.

In addition to being the first legislative body in the free world, the Virginia General Assembly has been a place where prayer has been prevalent. I have seen the spouses of leaders and many ministry groups on site frequently all during the sessions each year for over the last twenty years praying and conducting Bible studies. A number of the leaders have prayer and Bible studies in their offices. One former state senator, now U.S. Congressman Randy Forbes, has brought that idea to the U. S. Capital whereby he has a room dedicated especially where congressmen go to pray on a regular basis. The yearly governor's prayer breakfast attended by over a thousand from all over Virginia is a refreshing experience where the power of prayer is felt being released over a governing body that honors the Lord.

Dutch Sheets commented that the prayers of the patriots are still alive before the throne and that our prayers are in agreement with theirs and that the bowl will tip at some point.

Pray that we have the belief and faith of our forefathers who laid a rich heritage for governing with Godly principles.

Pray for our current governor, Bob McDonnell, to govern with wisdom and the council of the Lord. He and is family are believers and intercessors.

Pray for his cabinet and staff, most of whom are believers and followers of Christ.

Pray for the Senate Health and Education Committee, a stronghold still to be dealt with in the General Assembly. They have killed all the pro-life bills over the last twenty-five years that I know of. We thank God that He is going to change that situation to reflect His Word concerning Life and proclaim His righteousness and justice to reign.

Six of the Native American tribes in Virginia are seeking federal recognition. The bill has passed the U.S. House and is ready to go to the U.S. Senate floor for a full vote. Pray that they will have quick success and a great victory.

In the 1980's, Rev. Bernard Jordan gave a word concerning Virginia. It says, "I will visit the Old Dominion state, a place that has held one of the greatest strongholds. I will make Virginia the spiritual capital of this nation, saith the Lord. You will find places of great spiritual awakening in this state, but it will take a people of prayer to birth this visitation so it will not be hindered. I am looking for vessels to work through who are available for My purpose."

Alice Smith prophesied at the World Outreach Worship Center in Newport News that God was not finished with Virginia and that He planned to return to the birthplace of the Nation. May He find us full of the zeal of the Lord in the spreading of His Kingdom in Virginia. (Isaiah 9:7)

THE EDUCATION MOUNTAIN

Prior to the Civil War in Virginia, education was the responsibility of the family rather than the government. This tradition continues to this day with over 30,000 students in the state presently being home schooled. The first public school in the colony was a college for the Powhatan Indians chartered in 1618 named Henrico, but it was destroyed in 1622 by the uprising of the natives. Next was William and Mary chartered in 1693, second oldest surviving college in America which included an "Indian school." During the colonial period, ten endowed schools offered free education. "Old field" schools were created whereby the parents paid tuition to a teacher to teach the basics. Wealthy parents sent the children to "academies" to read the classics, Greek, and Latin. A state literary fund was established in 1810 to support the education of the indigent poor. After the Civil War, a new state constitution called the 1869 Underwood Constitution established a free public school system for Virginia for all races, but segregated schools were traditional for the next century.

Despite how some have interpreted Jefferson's 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, he endorsed the use of the Bible and the Isaac Watts hymnal as principle textbooks for use by the students. As "author of the Statutes of Religious Freedom in Virginia and father of the University of Virginia," he not only encouraged the teaching of religion, but set aside a place inside the university rotunda for chapel services. I believe that the covenant root of education in Virginia is the Word of God.

Pray that there be right interpretation of the First Amendment so that schools can be free to pray, worship, and study the Word of God in the public school systems of Virginia.

There have been previous awakenings and moves of God on a number of college and university campuses in Virginia: Sydney-Hampton, Washington and Lee, Randolph Macon, and University of Virginia are a few. Declare that the fires of these revivals will again be kindled at these schools and spread across Virginia's campuses. In the 1970's, Billy Graham spoke at William and Mary College and said that God was going to "rebirth something from the birthplace of the nation."

In the news, we recently hear more of events like the Virginia Tech massacre of April16, 2007 and the recent prohibition against mentioning Christ in term papers or at graduations.

Islamic schools are becoming more numerous, especially in Northern Virginia. Last year it was revealed that one of the textbooks in the Islamic Saudi Academy in Fairfax County contained radical anti-Semitic and anti-American views. Pray that there be a continuous public outcry against these teachings and that this not be tolerated in Virginia. Pray that they not abuse their religious freedom by teaching hate and violence against Israel, America, or anyone else.

The good news is that there is still "salt" and "light" in the school system of Virginia. There are many Christian teachers praying daily for their students and the school. One instructor at a college said that she speaks scripture daily over the campus.

Let's agree and proclaim that "all the earth (campuses) shall by filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord." Numbers 14:20.
That "He will pour out His Spirit on all mankind and they will prophesy." Joel 2:28
"For the Lord gives wisdom, from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6.
"Thy hands have made me and fashioned me. Give me understanding that I may learn thy commandments." Psalm 119:73
"The weapons of our warfare are mighty through God, strong enough to pull down strongholds...reasonings that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God...bringing thought captive to the obedience of Christ." II Cor. 10:4-5

Parents are prayer walking the schools; students are praying. The following is a report coming from a prayer ministry covering the college and university campuses of Virginia:

"There are day and night gatherings of students in campus rooms creating prayer furnaces or altars of worship to Christ. There are many student prayer leaders gathering three times a day outside, in student center lobbies, houses, and dorm rooms calling upon the name of the Lord. Some groups are fasting and praying for twenty-four hours. They are meeting in small groups, local churches, tents, and spending intense times in worship and prayer and Bible study and crying out for revival..."

"Students gathered together for a three-day prayer retreat and then the Holy Spirit broke out. As a result, eight young people were baptized and two were so excited they got baptized in the James River while snow was on the ground."

Pray that this momentum for prayer and worship in Virginia's schools will grow and that the presence and power of the Holy Spirit will so move on all the schools of Virginia that no earthly power or law will be able to hold it back.

THE MEDIA MOUNTAIN

With the First Virginia Charter in hand, the 1606 expedition brought with them the good news of Jesus Christ. The written word and verbal expression were the known ways of the media in those days.

In 1609-1610, after the winter of starvation at Jamestown, Captain Christopher Newport returned from England and rounded the Newport News Point. It was from this incident of Captain Newport as a carrier of news and provisions between England and Virginia that Newport News Point got its name. The reason for the founding and location was a fresh spring of water which the ships entering and leaving took on. The point became known as Point Hope and was a place of peace. It became known as a place of "good news."

The zeal and burden felt by Rev. Alexander Whitaker is well illustrated in His sermon entitled, "Good News from Virginia" published in 1612.

"And you, my brethren, my fellow laborers, send up your earnest prayers to God for His church in Virginia, that since His harvest is great, but the laborers few, He would thrust forth laborers into His harvest.."

Today, the CBN Center and Regent University are located just ten miles from the Cape Henry Landing Memorial bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to the nation and world helping to fulfill the original covenant. Radio stations across Virginia are bringing the good news of what prayer and fasting are doing through initiatives like Root 52.

Christian media personnel in Virginia recently made the following prayer requests for the media which is well suited for the Root 52 prayer initiative generally:

"Pray for a breakthrough in all media for Truth-that all that is reported in news agencies is free from personal agenda or corporate agenda-that all stories in the news media reveal the Truth-that the bonds of deception that have governed media in Virginia for so long be broken and that the lies are disentangled. Secondly, for the Christian media, pray for a decrease in reliance on programs and that personal agendas and motives will decrease and Christ will increase in all presentations. Pray for a spirit of cooperation to arise in Christian media enterprise throughout the state-that competition be used only as "iron sharpening iron" and take second place to the message of Jesus. Pray that as an awakening comes to Virginia, that media will not just be a bystander reporting on what is happening, but that it takes a leadership role in revival. Pray for a clearing of the air. Pray for protection for media personnel and their families."

Despite what we hear, see, or experience through the media, let us in prayer and faith proclaim the good news of Christ as our forefathers did. (Isaiah 52:7; Luke 2:10)

PRAY FOR VIRGINIA'S RICHMOND CAPITAL

Richmond is not only the state capital but was the confederate capital during the Civil War. It was the site of the first slave market in the nation where over 300,000 came through and is still the highest minority city in Virginia. Rev. Lott Carey, a freed slave and Richmond native, was the first American missionary to Africa.

There are several key facts to note about Richmond. One of the twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks in the nation is located here and it houses the records for all the other eleven Reserve Banks. It is the home to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. It is the location of the only Jewish military cemetery outside of Jerusalem. Also the oldest continuously active Masonic Lodge in the nation is here.

Much healing and reconciliation has occurred in Richmond and many of the key positions in the city government are African American including the mayor who is also a pastor.

PROPHETIC WORDS SPOKEN OVER VIRGINIA

A number of prophecies have been spoken over the city that share a common thread:

"Richmond is marked by God to be a city "in revival" and it will hit every sphere of influence in society from schools and universities to the highest levels of governmental authority."


Corey Russell from IHOP-KC felt that Richmond was going to become known for its music and that many songs would be birthed there.

"Richmond is marked to become a financial center that will help resource the Kingdom in the earth."


Graham Cooke recently visited Richmond and prophesied that a tsunami of the Presence of God was coming in that direction.

Michael Ratliff gave a prophetic word regarding Richmond at Bethel Temple in Hampton Roads in 1998:

"...For the Lord says, what was in the Civil War in Richmond will be something in revival decidedly in the same historic measure...but greater. Every road of revival is leading into Richmond and out of Richmond. Even Me, says the Lord, I will march into Richmond in a way of victory and triumph and rejoicing. For the Lord says, it is My doing to bring a very bright light into Richmond and make it a torch to shine brightly-shining into all areas of darkness. And whosoever goes through, around, and even close, so will light expose criminal activity. So I will catch the crafty in their craftiness and it will go nationwide. Behold, the Lord says, unclean spirits will not find their way out of Richmond until they are cast out. And, they will not find their way into Richmond because I am the Lord; I am setting the perimeters for battle. I am setting the perimeters here and there. And I am going to use both this place and Richmond in a way many would say is impossible..."


Pray that the citizens prepare their hearts and mind and their lives for an invasion of the Lord's Glory in Richmond, (II Chron. 7:14) May there be a complete surrender to the ways of Christ. We proclaim a sweeping revival in every sector of the capital city to affect all areas of the commonwealth and the regions beyond.

Prophetic Words given during "The Journey From History To Destiny"
Bethel Temple - May 18-20, 2007

Dutch Sheets

"I believe we're heading toward, with great speed, this great awakening that we've all been praying for a long time. I believe we're very close. I believe we're in the beginning stages, but before the year is over it can be really launched into a tremendous strength."


Chuck Pierce #1

"Not only are we calling it a spiritual wind, but I saw a physical wind come as a sign toward this area. You can read about it in Exodus 14. When it was time for them to cross over and the enemy's adversity was following them so closely, what they did was, Moses extended his rod. I want you to do that while we make decrees. He extended that rod and in the midst of it, it created an angelic force that came down and caused the division for the people to move forward through the Red Sea. The Lord showed me that a physical wind will start coming toward this place as a sign. It says in that word that during the morning watch, it turned. When you see that, you're going to have authority to travail for a nation from this place. You will be able to travail during the morning watch and as a sign; the winds will begin to make a shift. Because you do that, it is a sign that the adversity of this nation to stand in the wrong direction for the next twenty years will shift. God has ordained us here to give us a clear direction and to say, this is the place where you will be able to control the winds."


Chuck Pierce #2

"Now I am here to announce here at the root of this nation, that God is ready to break the fragmentation off of this nation and He is ready because He's chosen me to speak here. I was invited. God said this is the place and this is the people you're going to announce. It is time for them to start prospering in a new way."


Chuck Pierce #3

"And the Lord will say to you, I have brought you to this place at this house, and I have built a place here that I am now going to begin to rest on. I say my angelic forces are now going to come and surround this place over the next five months, says the Lord. I will begin to surround this place with harvest angels. I say harvest angels will begin to rest in the midst of you as a people. You will begin to sing songs of harvest and songs of deliverance and the angels will begin to rejoice. They will begin to send out light that creates pathways for many to come in, for I say this will be a house of deliverance and healing, says the Lord. This will be a house of increase. I say speak on harvest. Speak on increase strategies for I say this is a people that I have made capable to break into increase. I say to you that I have come to cut a cord that is holding you today. To cut a cord that is holding you and I say I am removing that cord now. Get ready for freedom to break loose and many will be brought in to be free."


Chuck Pierce #4

"The Lord says, I have created this place for visitation, says the Lord. I've updated it. I've upgraded it and I've expanded it. The Lord says, You won't have to worry about the finances of this place, for I am going to start....I see a picture, I didn't mean to go this way. I see a picture ..... I see it's like a radar scope and scanner and it's a broadcaster, and Lord says, I am going to broadcast a 300 mile radius from this place. I'm going to start sending out sound signals that the Spirit of God is here. I am going to have the angels start announcing for five months. I say, I am going to begin the third week of June and I will create an announcement coming from this place. And I will announce through Thanksgiving that I am coming to visit here and then, I say, get ready and prepare yourself for I am going to begin to move. Get ready to move in ministry. Get ready to move in worship in a new way, for I have created a house here that I have chosen to come to. I say to you, I will fill this place with my glory, says the Lord."


Chuck Pierce #5

"God's anointing is on this area NOW. And I would say to you, I'm going to begin to release recovery strategies in the night. I'm going to begin to give you dreams and visions over how to recover. I'm going to begin to show you how to unlock what needs to be unlocked in days ahead. I'm going to begin to move out into this territory and define the harvest of this territory. I have come now, during this weekend to create a turning point, pivotal time for you. Now the prayer life of this church will change. Now I will mobilize worship into a sound that people will come to hear. Now I will begin to birth songs of deliverance in this place. I have even brought many of you who are visiting like this woman, because it is your now time and you have walked into the "house of now" says the Lord. I say, this will now be called My House of Now. Many will come in and many will begin to say 'must have healing now' and I say to you, release it to them and it will manifest. There will be a great breakthrough from this house where I penetrate the schools of this region, says the Lord. There will be crying out and many will say, 'Now, my daughter, now, my son needs to come into the Kingdom.' And you will say 'now' and it will be done, says the Lord.
Now Norfolk and Virginia Beach and Hampton and this region has now become a target of the enemy, but I say now I am raising up a people that will create a shield so the enemy will not work at night, underwater, to begin to stop the plan that I am doing and discourage a people. I say to you, this is a now moment for this nation and I say, Invite Me in on this particular coast and I will begin to move in a nation, NOW, says the Lord."


Chuck Pierce #5

"God says, receive an anointing to profit. Receive an anointing to advance. Receive an anointing of creativity. Receive an anointing to unlock your gift and do not be ashamed of the gift I have put in you, says the Lord. That spirit of shame from this region will be blown away. There will come a wind to blow away the shame of the root of this land. This place will become a house of prayer in this area. A watchman's house that is not only watching, but is decreeing what will happen in the future of this land. I release the mantle of the Issachar prophet upon this house. I release the anointing upon these people to take back wherever they've come from. I say, they will now walk in the now time and see You in their midst in a new way. Divine recovery! Divine release! A release of profit! They will profit in a new ways."

To Chief Anne Richardson of the Rappahannock Tribe of Virginia
"You are now going to be given the authority to stand before governments and give a decree. I'm giving you authority over the lands and the elements of this land. After this year, over the next ten years, the natives are going to be able to control the elements of the land and I'm going to restore you back to My original intent where you will decree a thing and that element will begin to happen. You must walk in holiness for you will decree judgments onto elements of this land where it will be seen that God is restoring the land through judgment. You will decree restoration onto elements of this land. I say, this is the year that I'm giving you authority as the first host people of this land to decree the elements of the land will work to change the course of this nation."

ROOT 52 PRAYER EVENTS IN VIRGINIA

Here is a partial list of churches and ministries that will host the Root 52 prayer gatherings during Virginia's week.

The mountains (gates) that receive special recognition and prayer are listed for their respective days.

Friday, March 19, 7:00 p.m. - Kick-off Rally
Fredericksburg Prayer Furnace Pastors Scott Bradshaw and Bowie Currie
4430 Lee Hill School Drive Fredericksburg, VA 22408

Friday, March 19, 7:00 p.m. - Kick-off Rally
Richmond International House of Prayer Pastors Matthew and Sherrie Moore
1701 E. Main St. Richmond VA 23223 804 658 5164

Friday, March 19, 7:00 p.m. - The Arts and Entertainment Mountain
Portering the Glory/Christian Leadership Ministries Kim and Marcia Brunson
3203 South Ox Road Edinburg, VA 22824

Saturday, March 20, 1:00-4:00 p.m. - The Military Mountain
Military Ministries Karen Trimble
750 Middle Ground Blvd. Newport News, VA 23606 757 928 7200

Saturday, March 20, 7:00 p.m. - The Family Mountain
Worldwide Outreach Worship Center Pastors Bob Collins, Russell and Sylvia Everson
1233 Shields Road Newport News, VA 23608

Sunday, March 21, 10:00 a.m. - The Church and Religion Mountain
Green Springs Chapel Pastor Brian Britton
3687 Ironbound Rd. Williamsburg, VA 23188 http://www.gschapel.org/

Monday, March 22, 7:30 p.m. - The Business Mountain
Christian Assembly Pastor Alvin Chun
8200 Bell Lane Vienna, Virginia 22182

Tuesday, March 23, 10:30 - 1:30 p.m. - The Government Mountain
State Capital in Richmond Sandy Grady and Beth York
Entrance at Visitors Center at 10th St. and 1000 Bank St.
House Room #2 off the Rotunda on the lower level on first floor of Capital

Wednesday, March 24, 10:00am - The Education Mountain
Northern Virginia Community College Annandale Campus Karen Van Horn
Little River Turnpike Visitor parking in garage off of Wakefield Chapel Rd.
Meet outside between buildings CN, CG, and CS.
Also visit and pray for your neighborhood schools and colleges.

Thursday, March 25, 7:00pm - The Media Mountain
Liberty Community Church Donna Daigle
11775 Morgansburg Rd. Bealeton, VA. 22712 540-439-0500


Prepared by Sandy Grady, USRPN-VA

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Life Blog: Russell Fragar

Here's a brief message by worship leader Russell Fragar that is simplistic in nature, but profound in its implications. Here's the link to his blog which is the part of The Life Church in Manassas. He's known internationally due to his role in the early days of Hillsong worship music. Here's his official website. Enjoy!

RUSELL FRAGAR ARTICLE

About two years ago a huge eighty-foot oak tree came down in our backyard. It fell overnight. We didn’t hear it happen, but there it was in the morning, sprawling all over the backyard. Even after it fell, the tree looked as if it had been healthy apart from one area low down on the trunk.

Within a few days, the old tree was cut into large chunks and left in an enormous pile at the edge of lawn where it remained until a few days ago, when Bobby came over with a log splitter and a couple of chainsaws. We set about turning this big pile into small logs we could use in the fireplace, a job which took all day.

As we split apart the logs I was really surprised by many things I saw hidden inside. Over the decades, the tree had grown over old breakages, burnt trunks, dead branches and more. All the old damage was invisible from the outside. And many times the strongest, most difficult parts of the wood to break apart were where old damage had occurred. The tree had turned injuries into strengths.

But from the outside you would never have known any of this. Time and growth had healed all the injuries of the past and the tree had gone on to live a very long and beautiful life.

For us, going on after a major difficult life-event is a choice. Some people hit a life-crisis and they seem to stop there. Their lives become focused around an injury or hurt and all future growth is suspended indefinitely.

But other people just seem to be able to move on, and turn their hurts into hope. They get through it, and go on to live healthy and beautiful lives. You would never know from the outside what they had been through.

I think there are a few things that help us move on after tough experiences. You have to
• Believe you can move on
• Focus on what the future holds, making it bigger than the past
• Forgive and let go, This is a process not just an event

Moving on takes courage, but compared to the pain of staying stuck in a bad place, it is far preferable.

You were destined to live a long and beautiful life, full of surprising events, odd angles and of constantly moving towards the light. Mark Twain said “Life is just one darn thing after another”. Twists and turns happen, but destiny is calling.
“One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Monday, March 8, 2010

An Excellent Article on Prayer by Bob Yarbrough

MARCH 2010 NEWSLETTER

Dear “Awakening Child” of God,

Luke records the “awakening” of the daughter of Jairus. After telling him “she is not dead, but asleep” Jesus speaks life to her, saying “My child, get up!” (Mark preserves his literal Aramaic words, “Talitha koum!,” for the tenderness of expression [Mk. 5:41]). The result? “Her spirit returned,” writes Luke, “and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat” [Lk 9:52-55]. Since all the actions of Jesus are “signs,” recorded to teach us spiritual truth by the Holy Spirit, what is the lesson for our hearts in this miracle? We may see this event as a teaching metaphor to help us live in the Spirit and develop a greater consciousness of God’s kingdom. Before Christ touched us we were “dead in …transgressions and sins,” though we were physically alive in the grave of this world, held captive by the ruler of a kingdom of illusions [The meaning of Eph. 2:1, 2]. Christ’s voice spoke Spirit life in us and we were born into the kingdom of God. It was morning in our hearts as the Light of Christ dawned in us!

But our old captor, Satan, the great deceiver, still seeks to lull us to sleep, to relax back into the darkness that shrouds the world about us. Enticed by the subtle drugs of carnal pleasures, many drift away from their new creation consciousness and their spiritual awareness fades.
But Christ is faithful! He knows that we are no longer “dead” but sees that we are “sleeping.” Lovingly, he speaks to our slumbering spirits, saying: “You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. You do not belong to the night or to the darkness [1 Thess. 5:5],” and again, “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, my morning Light is shining on you!” [Eph. 5:14].

Jesus taught that the key to staying awake was to live by prayer: “…men ought always to pray and not to faint…” [Lk. 18:1 KJV]. True prayer is living in conscious spiritual awareness. Otherwise we “faint” or lapse into spiritual unconsciousness. To those who followed him into the garden to pray, Jesus said “are you asleep? ... Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The Spirit is willing, but the body is weak” [Mk. 14:37]. Jesus wasn’t asking them to act as “look-outs” to save him from what the Father had ordained. Rather he was calling them to be alert as was He to spiritual reality. It means to open the eyes of the heart and look beyond appearances to see heaven hovering and ready to break through.

Jesus taught us how to respond in times when darkness closes in and we feel threatened in the natural: “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” [Lk. 21:28]. Instead of studying “times and seasons” with our carnal intellect, we are called to watch for the appearing of our Lord who already sits enthroned in the kingdom of our Father. Our basic concern is not to “fix” this broken world, but to allow the kingdom of the New Creation to come in us, who are the first fruits of it [James 1:18]. Under His authority, whatever we put our hands to do will prosper as we listen and obey from our hearts for the eyes of the Lord. [Ps. 1:3; 122:6; Is. 55:11; Col. 3:23].

By shaking our culture, God is giving “wake up calls” to the children of the day. Some hear His voice but harden their hearts and choose the comfort of “cultural beds.” But those who have their spiritual lamps ready are going out to meet the Bridegroom. They are even now on their journey to the Father’s house where their Beloved and the great Wedding awaits.

It is time to grow up into Christ and leave behind our childhood prayer: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.” Now, as awakened ones, let us confess, “I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep!”

Be blessed to know that “He who watches over you will not slumber, indeed he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” [Ps. 121:3,4]. Let us watch with our faithful Lord in this hour!

NEW COVENANT PRAYER: STANDING IN CHRIST
“He lifted me out of the…pit… and gave me a firm place to stand.” Ps. 40:1, 2

We continue our witness concerning the contrast between the natural [pagan] prayer consciousness and that of those ‘who have been raised with Christ and seated in Him at the right hand of God” [Col 3:1]. We have said that the prayer of the carnal mind based in ego motivations is well described by the metaphor of being in “…the slimy... pit of mud and mire” [Ps. 40:2]. We stated that the first step out of that pit is to stop digging, to confess our need to “repent” - that is, to have a new mind about prayer. We know about God with the carnal mind but we can only personally know Him through spiritual union with the mind that was in Christ Jesus. Jesus declared “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” [Matt. 4:17]. He meant that we are to turn in our minds from the natural view of reality in preparation for receiving the heavenly perspective. For God to raise our consciousness to the kingdom level, there must first be a choice to go beyond the natural mind. To use Paul’s metaphor based on Christ’s work for us on the cross, I must be “crucified with Christ” to the “old” consciousness so that “the new [consciousness] comes” as “Christ lives in me.” I am “raised to walk in newness of life,” as part of the New Creation Body of Christ. Richard Rohr writes:

“…Jesus primary metaphor for this new consciousness was ‘the kingdom of God.’ He is not talking about a place, or an afterlife, but a way of seeing and thinking now.” [The Naked Now, pp. 100,101]

When we are willing to cease our praying from the perspective of the carnal mind, what do we do? Again, Psalm 40 instructs us. The “pit” we are in is the result of our “fall” into the carnal mind created by believing the lie of Satan that we should be our own “god.” Now we repent of this mindset and believe that by the death and resurrection of Christ for us we are now one with Him in God! In that faith, “I wait patiently for the Lord…He lifts me out of the slimy pit…’ He sets my feet on a rock and gives me a firm place to stand.”

Perhaps the greatest barrier to coming to that place is our inability to “be still” and “to wait patiently on the Lord.” We are so use to our anxious thoughts and fears that we keep on rehearsing them in the religious terms taught to us as ”prayer.” I want you to hear and believe the truth I have learned through long and bitter experience: True prayer in the Spirit begins only when my false prayers in the flesh cease! In Paul’s teaching, “do not be anxious about anything” precedes prayer that brings the “peace of God that transcends all understanding.” [Phil 4:6,7]. Jesus’ word, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” precedes “trust in God; trust also in me.” [Jn. 14:1] The angelic “Do not be afraid!” precedes the “good news of great joy.” [Lk. 2:10] In each instance, something must end before something else can come. This is “repentance.”

This repentance requires persistent discipline to “ demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and … take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” [2 Cor. 10:5]. Unlessl we tune out of the static of what once, in our carnal minds, we assumed was prayer, we will not be able to find the clear channel that carries His voice. For a time we may continue to “fret” in our old pre-prayer routines. But as we grow in grace we will learn to “Be still and know God as Christ in me, the hope of glory” In this “waiting upon the Lord,” we will rise up on eagle’s wings.

Finding our Sabbath-rest in Him, we will begin to see with the eyes of our heart “…a door standing open in heaven” [Rev. 4:1]. In our renewed consciousness, “Christ in us” lifts us and we find “our feet standing in the gates of Jerusalem.” [Ps. 122:2]. Now, in His Name, “We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is his body,” and in union with our “great priest over the house of God we draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith” [Heb.10:19-22]. And in the Spirit we “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need” [Heb. 4:16]. In His authority we then turn to do His will on earth as He works in us to will and do His good pleasure!

The true prayer of which I speak is not offered from Rome, or Mecca or Old Jerusalem. It is only made in that true “Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God [where we] come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven….to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant…”[Heb. 12:22-24].
Do you know that place? Would you offer true prayer there? “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you” {Matt. 7:7,8]. I exhort you, “Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession…”[1 Tim. 6:12]. And rest in this blessed assurance: “He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son” [Rev. 21:7].

Amen

Sunday, March 7, 2010

An Uninvited Guest: Shame

As I was going through my blog archives, I came across an article that I'd written a few years back on 8/9/07 that I never published. I was rather surprised by my blunt vulnerability and thought that it could be useful for further dialogue.

Enjoy...

I wrote a response to Brian Heasley’s blog that turned into something far more than just a short reply. In this blog posting, Brian bears his heart concerning the feelings of shame that he encounters in life. Unfortunately shame is an issue that I am well acquainted with—which, explains why I was intrigued by Heasley's stories and brute honesty.

Even today shame seems to raise its tormenting head to whisper lies into my soul. Do I listen?—well, I try not to. Often it is simply a “feeling” that swarms me at moments of vulnerability and personal letdowns. For many years it was a constant companion, reminding me of my every shortcomings and failures. Literally it drove me to the edge. Interestingly eight years ago when sharing with a prophetic gentleman concerning the suicides of my biological father shortly after my birth and the suicide of his father several years previous—this man-of-God said, “It was shame the drove him to end his life.” Although one could argue that we don’t know with absolute certainty, I certainly couldn’t refute this statement and it did bear witness with my spirit. I believe the Lord desired to uncover a generational curse that has sought to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10) the fullness of God’s calling upon my life.

Shame has plagued me for most of my life including my Christian walk.

Lately I’ve been astounded by the shame that engulfs me after delivering God’s Word through teaching and preaching. Honestly I thought I wouldn’t have to deal with this issue after the Lord graciously enabled me to walk in victory over past sins such as lust. Now I am blitzed by shame when I feel that I didn’t quite do as good as I intended when preaching or teaching at my home group. The full brunt of shame and humiliation vex my spirit in the aftermath of such times—it is quite disparaging. The very thing that I love and burn to do—preach the Word of God with authority—becomes the very thing that the enemy seeks to nullify through a pervasive onslaught of shame. This I believe has roots in several childhood experiences that gave entrance to a wrong self-perception that borderlines sin because ultimately it does contradict God’s Word and His intentions for my life. In essence I am permitting the spirit of darkness to trump what God’s Word declares about me.

Two early childhood experiences come to mind when reflecting on this diabolical root in my life.

The first experience was simply the placement into special education classes for the hearing impaired in elementary school. I came to despise this as I grew older because it made me feel as if I were different, inferior to the other kids. This was especially true since we had to wear phonic ears that consisted of a box strapped to our chest. Superman had his big ‘ole "S" plastered on his chest—meanwhile, I was sporting a strapping box on my chest. This device was intended to amplify the voice of the teacher speaking into the microphone—yet, from my vantage point the bull's eye on my chest communicated to others that I was different. This translated to a “feeling” of being dumb, which continues to plague me to this day even though I’ve attained the following: a BS in History and Political Science from Bridgewater College; a Bachelor of Practical Ministry from the Wagner Leadership Institute; a two year degree from Christ For the Nations Institute; and last year I earned a M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Regent University. Somehow in the process of all of this schooling, I can still feel the lingering shame of feeling dumb.

Then in fifth grade I can recall having to stand in front of the class to share my science fair project, which I was greatly ashamed of. It fell short of the electronic devices and gadgets that others had put together. My project was a drawing I had done of an astronaut explaining the different parts of their gear. I threw it in the trash before my scheduled presentation, but the teacher made me take it out of the trashcan in front of the class. Befuddled, I stood without anything to say. Finally the teacher asked me a question to try to get me to speak—my response triggered laughter from the class. Especially humiliating in that moment was the scene of two girls that I had a crush on, simultaneously laughing in the back of the room. My desire was simply to crawl away never to be seen again.

So these experiences formed the bedrock of a lifelong feeling of inferiority even when my schoolwork and experiences proved otherwise.

I wonder how many people around us are in a place where they must confront the pangs of shame. Obviously I am not referring only to those in the world, but also to those who are of the Redeemed.

I don’t have any easy answers. Yet, I press on towards Christ so that I may walk more fully in the reality of who I am in Christ. Two steps forward…one step back, etc. Henceforth, I refuse to allow myself to waddle in a place of shame that robs me of my confidence in the Lord. I have some more thoughts on this whole issue, but I’ll save them for another day. Initially this whole post started as a response to what Brian Heasley wrote on his blog, but I felt compelled to turn it into a posting for the blog.

What are your thoughts?

For the Cause,

Brian Francis Hume

VIRGINIA WEEK OF PRAYER & FASTING - March 19-26

The U. S. Reformation Prayer Network has implemented a strategy whereby in each week of the year a different state is highlighted for prayer by all the nation in the order in which they joined the union. The initiative is called “Root 52” because it is a 52-week prayer strategy to bring the nation back to its covenantal roots.

The first two weeks encompassed all fifty states standing together in covenant fasting and praying in agreement for our national leadership and government to walk in Truth and in the fear of the Lord. Then we began our fifty state initiative with Delaware , the first state to join the union.

Virginia was the tenth state to join the union and our designated week is March 19 – 26. During that week of prayer and fasting over Virginia , there will be a focus on the governmental leadership, the seven mountains or gates, the founding documents, prophetic words, and covenantal roots. The gates of prayer include business, government, education, military, media, arts and entertainment, family, religion and church. Thousands across the state and nation will be joining in with us in prayer and fasting that week for God to move mightily in these areas.

We are encouraging churches, prayer leaders, houses of prayer, and ministries throughout Virginia to unite in corporate prayer and fasting throughout that week for our commonwealth.

In Hebrew, the United States is translated “Artzot Ha-Brit,” which means “lands of covenant.” Virginia is known as the “ Covenant Root State .” If we will covenant together as the body of Christ, we have an opportunity to turn the battle at the gates. We know that the Lord is faithful and He has a plan for good and not for evil; to give us a hope and a future and an expected end. Let us bow together and war together and stand together for the soul of Virginia and our nation.

Here is a partial list of churches and ministries that will host the event during that week and the dates:

Friday, March 19, 7:00 p.m.
Fredericksburg Prayer Furnace
Pastors Scott Bradshaw and Bowie Currie
4430 Lee Hill School Drive
Fredericksburg, VA 22408

Friday, March 19, 7:00 p.m.
Richmond International House of Prayer
Pastors Matthew and Sherrie Moore
1701 E. Main St.
Richmond VA 23223
804 658 5164

Friday, March 19, 7:00 p.m.
Portering the Glory/Christian Leadership Ministries
Kim and Marcia Brunson
3203 South Ox Road
Edinburg, VA 22824

Saturday, March 20, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Military Ministries
Karen Trimble
750 Middle Ground Blvd.
Newport News, VA 23606
757 928 7200

Saturday, March 20, 7:00 p.m.
Worldwide Outreach Worship Center
Pastors Bob Collins, Russell and Sylvia Everson
1233 Shields Road
Newport News, VA 23608

Sunday, March 21, 10:00 a.m.
Green Springs Chapel
Pastor Brian Britton
3687 Ironbound Rd.
Williamsburg, VA 23188
www.gschapel.org

Monday, March 22, 7:30 p.m.
Christian Assembly
Pastor Alvin Chun
8200 Bell Lane
Vienna, Virginia 22182

Tuesday, March 23, 10:30 – 1:30 p.m.
State Capital in Richmond
Sandy Grady and Beth York
Entrance at Visitors Center at 10th St. and 1000 Bank St .
House Room #2 off the Rotunda on the lower level on
First floor of Capital

Wednesday, March 24, 10:00
Northern Virginia Community College
Annandale Campus
Karen Van Horn
Little River Turnpike
Visitor parking in garage off of Wakefield Chapel Rd.
Meet outside between buildings CN, CG, and CS.

Also visit and pray for your neighborhood schools and colleges.

Thursday, March 25, 7:00
Liberty Community Church
Donna Daigle
11775 Morgansburg Rd.
Bealeton, VA. 22712
540-439-0500 540-439-0500