Draw the Circle: 40 Day Prayer Challenge
by Mark Batterson
"Day 34: Raise up a Remnant"
In the eighteenth century, Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf formed a holy conspiracy called “the Order of the Mustard Seed.” Members wore a ring inscribed with the motto “none live for themselves.” They solemnly pledged to be true to Christ, to be kind ot people, and to take the gospel to the nations. The secret order included such notables as the king of Denmark, the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, the secretary of state of Scotland, and the eighty-seven-year-old Creek Indian chief Tomochichi.
On the evening before the order was formed, Zinzendorf called his friends to prayer. He held up the ring and said, “Brothers, we know why we are here. Tomorrow we will make our covenant, but tonight let us pray.: Zinzendorf himself prayed all night. The next morning they pledged to use all of their gifts, all of their wealth, and all of their influence for the conversion of the heathen. Zinzendorf then laid hands on each member of the order and individually prayed for them.
The ceremony lasted a few minutes, but the covenant lasted a lifetime.
What was begun that day culminated in the Moravian Pentecost at Herrnhut in 1727. On August 27 of that year, a small remnant of twenty-four brothers and twenty-four sisters began praying around the clock. That prayer meeting was visited by the Holy Spirit, not unlike the 120 who prayed in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. Thus began hourly intercessions that would not stop for one hundred years! Even the children of the village formed prayer circles. And those prayers reverberated all around the world in one of the greatest missionary movements the church has ever known. Thousands of missionaries were called and commissioned. Some even sold themselves into slavery in order to reach their mission field.
At critical junctures in history, God raises up a remnant to reestablish His reign and rule. It’s rarely a majority. In fact, it’s almost always a small minority. But all it takes is a faithful few to begin a reformation.
It’s not a new discovery that sparks it. Reformations are birthed out of rediscovering something ancient, something simple, something true. In the days of Hilkiah the priest, for example, it was the rediscovery of the Book fo the Law that sparked national revival. That one rediscovery brought a nation to its knees.
Every generation needs a reformation. Every generation needs to tear down its idols and rebuild its temples. Every generation needs to repent of its sin and rediscover the ancient truths.
During our forty-day challenge at National Community Church, we felt we needed to circle one promise for forty days.
“If my people, who are called by my Name, will humble themselves and pray ansd seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
If we circle the promises of God, God will deliver on them. It’s not a question of if; it’s only a question of when. But if we are determined to pray as longa s it takes, revivel will come. It’s a spredictable as the sun rising in the east. It’s as inevitable as the sun setting in the west.
In the words of Charles Finney, “God is one pent-up revival.”
And all it takes is a remnant rising up!
As a reminder of the promise, our church started gathering at 7:14 a.m. for corporate prayer. When the clock hit 7:14, we hit our knees. It became as instinctual as hungar pangs. Not getting on our knees felt like missing a meal.
It was at 7:14 a.m. on the National Day of Prayer that I felt as though the Spirit of God gave me a word: I’m raising up a remnant.
To be honest, I was a little discouraged on that particular morning htat we didn’t have more people at our prayer meeting! After all, it was the National Day of Prayer. But that’s when God reminded me that all it takes is a remnant. I stopped worryinab out who had or hadn’t shown up. I started focusing on the promise of exponential potential when just tow or three pray in His name!
I believer there is a remnant within every church, within every city. It’s time to rise up. It’s time for reformation. The next great awakening won’t be the result of a planning meeting. Just as it was for Pentecost, it will be birthed in a prayer meeting.
Since the National Day of Prayer, I’ve been circling 2 Kings 19:30. I believe it’s a promise for our generation, for every generation.
“Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root believe and bear fruit above.”
We will bear fruit above! Heaven will be populated because of our prayers. But the root of revival is prayer. We’ve got to press into the presence of God as never before. Like the members of the Order of the Mustard Seed, we must covenant to ask God with all our heart and soul.
An Eviction Notice
In the 1950s, Argentina was a spiritual wasteland. According to Dr. Edward Miller, a missionary who spend four decades in Argentina, there were only six hundred Spirit-filled believers in the entire country. In his book Cry for Me Argentina, he describes the genesis of a revival that started in Argentina and swept across South America.
It began with fifty students in the Argentine Bible Institute who developed an intense prayer burden for the nation of Argentina. Dr. Miller said he had never seen people weep so hard or pray so long. Day after day, they wept and prayed. After hours of intercession, students would literally be standing in their own puddle of tears.
On the fiftieth day of around-the-clock intercession, there was a prophetic word. “Weep no more, for the Lion of the tribe of Judah fath prevailed over the prince of Argentina.” Eighteen months later, hundreds of thousands of Argentines were flocking to crusades at soccer stadiums. The largest stadiums seating 180,000 people, weren’t large enough to handle the crowds.
Dr. Miller came to this conclusion:
If God can get enough people in an area to reject the rulership and the dominion of satan, if enough of His people will reject satan’s dominion in the right way – with humility, with brokenness, and in repentant intercession – then God will slap an eviction notice on the doorway of the ruling demonic power of that area. And when He does, then there is a light and glory that begins to come.
We never know how or when or where a move of God might begin. But if we hit our knees, God will extend His mighty right hand on our behalf. If we lay a foundation of prayer, God will build something spectacular on top of it. IF we intercede like never before, God will intervene like never before.
Streams in the Desert: 360 Daily Devotional Readings
by L.B. Cowman
The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. ~ 2 Chronicles 16:9
God is looking for men and women whose hearts are firmly fixed on Him and who will continually trust Him for all He desires to do with their lives. God is ready and eager to work more powerfully than ever though His people, and the clock of the centuries is striking the eleventh hour.
The world is watching and waiting to see what God can do through a life committed to Him. And not only is the world waiting but God Himself awaits to see who will be the most completely devoted person who has ever lived: willing to be nothing so Christ may be everything; fully accepting God’s purposes as his own; receiving Christ’s humility, faith, love and power yet never hindering God’s plan but always allowing Him to continue His miraculous work. C.H.P.
There is no limit to what God can do through you, provided you do not seek your own glory.
George Mueller, at more than ninety years of age, in an address to minister and other Christian workers, said, “I was converted in November 1825, but I didn’t come to the point of total surrender of my heart until four years later, in July 1829. It was then I realized my love for money, prominence, position, power and worldly pleasure were gone. God, and He alone, became my all in all. In Him I found everything I needed, and I desired nothing else. By God’s grace, my understanding of His sufficiency has remained to this day, making me an exceedingly happy man. It has led me to care only about the things of God.
“And so, dear believers, I kindly ask if you have totally surrendered your heart to God, or is there something in your life you refuse to release, in spite of God’s call?
“Before the point at which I surrendered my life, I read a little of the Scriptures but preferred other books. Yet since that time, the truth He has revealed to me of Himself as become an inexpressible blessing. Now I can honestly say from the depth of my hear that God is an infinitly wonderful Being.
“Please never be satisfied until you to can express from your innermost soul, ‘God is in an infinitely wonderful Being!” selected
My prayer today is that God would make me an extraordinary Christian. George Whitefield