Becoming People of Prayer

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

In Jeremiah 5, God pleaded, “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; see now and know; and seek in her open places if you can find a man, if there is anyone who executes judgment, who seeks the truth, and I will pardon her” (Jeremiah 5:1, NKJV). The Lord was saying, in essence, “I’ll be merciful, if I can find just one person who’ll seek me.”

During the Babylonian captivity, God found such a man in Daniel. When the Holy Ghost came to Daniel, the prophet was reading the book of Jeremiah and asking why God was not delivering Israel after the promised 70 years. When the revelation came that Israel had not repented, Daniel was provoked to pray, “I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession” (Daniel 9:3-4).

Daniel knew God’s people had failed, yet did the prophet lambaste his peers for their sins? No. Daniel identified himself with the moral decay all around him. He declared, “We have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from your precepts and your judgments… O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against you” (Daniel 9:5, 8).

God strongly desires to bless his people today, but if our minds are polluted with the spirit of this world, we are in no position to receive his blessings. Daniel made this powerful statement: “All this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. Therefore the Lord has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which he does, though we have not obeyed his voice” (Daniel 9:13–14).

We must examine our own walk with the Lord and let the Holy Spirit show us areas of compromise. We should do more than pray for a backsliding nation. We should be crying out, “Oh, Lord, search my heart. Expose in me all of the spirit of the world that has crept into my soul.” Like Daniel, we could then set our faces to pray for the deliverance of our families and our nation.

Breaking Chains of a Curse

Gary Wilkerson

In Genesis chapter 34, we’re following the events in the family of Jacob and his 12 sons who eventually became known as the 12 tribes of Israel. Levi was one of the 12 children of Jacob, and he had a sister named Dinah.

Now, Dinah was mistreated to the point of actually being raped by some men in a village near where they were living, so Levi and Simeon went into this village and enacted murderous revenge. When they came back, Jacob was so frustrated with them. A few chapters later, Jacob was dying. The tradition in those days was that you would gather your children and speak a blessing over them at the end of your life.

Here were his 12 sons, and he spoke 10 blessings. Instead of a blessing Levi and Simeon, he said, “Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel” (Genesis 49:7). I can’t help but imagine that their father really affected them, and it would seem so in scripture. The Bible doesn’t mention the tribe of Levi or Simeon very often in the next couple hundred years.

Finally, we find the tribe of Levi mentioned again. Moses went up on top of the mountain, God carved out the Ten Commandments, then Moses came back down off that mountain only to find Israel had put together this idol of a golden calf. They were dancing and partying and worshiping it. Moses was struck to the heart by this and how lightly they took the things of God. “Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, ‘Who is on the Lord's side? Come to me.’ And all the sons of Levi gathered around him” (Exodus 32:26).

People in the tribe of Levi were the first ones to step out of worldliness and stand with God’s chosen leader and the law.

Do you know what Moses said to them through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? “Today you have been ordained for the service of the Lord, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, so that he might bestow a blessing upon you this day” (Exodus 32:29).

God made the Levites into a dedicated tribe of priests to serve him in his temple. God can break generational curses and pain. Step into a relationship with him and bow to his truth, and he can transform anything.

Honoring Those That Came Before Us

Claude Houde

“For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone” (Psalm 71:5-9, NIV).

I have always found Psalm 71 extremely poignant. It is a cry from the heart of a man who was close to God all the way from his youth into his later years. He had accomplished great deeds and was even, in his day, considered a hero and role model by his peers. It is also the portrait of a man who, in the autumn of his life, now fears being forgotten.

This heart-deep cry is all the more overwhelming because it is the echo of a silent epidemic today, that millions of men and women of a good age feel like they have been put aside by a performance-based society that is disproportionately and cruelly focused on youth.

In modern parlance, the Psalmist would be concerned about the fact that his son only calls him once a year at Christmas, that his grandchildren are always too busy to come and visit him. He would fear losing his intellectual faculties, his memory or his autonomy.

Of course, government advertising campaigns make us aware of the afflictions of loneliness, neglect and sometimes even abuse that many seniors experience. Nevertheless, I believe that, as children of God, raising awareness is the least we can do. We are called to protect our seniors and to be a refuge for them. They are the ones who built the society in which we live as well as the churches in which we come together to live out our faith.

I encourage and challenge you to show respect, care and love for the elderly around you. I urge you to protect them from the loneliness and isolation and to honor them as God calls us to do.

Claude Houde is the lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.

The Redemption of God’s Judgment

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

God is about to do something new and glorious. This new thing is beyond revival, beyond an awakening. It is a work of God that he alone initiates when he can no longer endure the polluting of his holy name. He says, “I acted for my name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out” (Ezekiel 20:14, NKJV). 

There comes a time when God determines that his Word has been so trampled into the mire and abominations have so defiled what is called “the church” that he must rise up and defend his name before a lost world.

You can read it all in Ezekiel 36:21–38. God makes awe-inspiring statements about what he will do, most importantly to bring back the honor to his name. “’I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,’ says the Lord God, ‘when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols’” (Ezekiel 36:23-25).

For his own name’s sake, God is going to do two mighty works. First, he is going to purge the nations and his church with awesome redemptive judgments. He is going to stop the invasion of his house by homosexuals and charlatans, and he is going to purify and cleanse the ministry and raise up shepherds after his own heart.

Second, God is going to glorify his holy name with a great intervention of mercy. In the throes of judgments being fulfilled, God is going to save the day by a supernatural “turning” of a remnant back to himself. What he did for Israel when they were being judged, he will do again in the days ahead.

Let us seek our Lord fervently in the prayer closet and look forward to the great and glorious redemptive work he is going to do for his name’s sake.

The Secret of Spiritual Strength

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Here is God’s secret to spiritual strength: “For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength’” (Isaiah 30:15, NKJV).

The word for quietness in Hebrew means “repose.” Repose means calm, relaxed, free from all anxiety, to be still, to lie down with support underneath.

Not many Christians today have this kind of quietness and confidence. Multitudes are involved in a frenzy of activity, rushing madly to obtain wealth and pleasure. Even in the ministry, God’s servants run about worrying, fearing and looking for answers in conferences and best-selling books. Everyone wants guidance or something to calm their spirit. They seek solutions in every source except the Lord. They don’t realize God has already spoken a word for them through Isaiah. If they don’t turn to him as their source, their striving will end in sorrow and confusion.

Isaiah describes what God’s righteousness is supposed to accomplish in us. “The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever” (Isaiah 32:17). If we’re truly walking in righteousness, our lives will bear the fruit of a calm spirit, quietness of heart and peace with God.

As Isaiah looked around, he saw God’s people fleeing to Egypt for help, trusting in men, relying on horses and chariots. Ambassadors were coming and going. Leaders were holding emergency strategy meetings. Everyone was in a panic, wailing, “What can we do?”

Isaiah assured them, “It doesn’t have to be this way. Return from your backsliding. Repent of your rebellion of trusting in others. Turn to the Lord, and he’ll cover you with a blanket of peace. He’ll give you quietness and rest in the midst of everything you’re facing.”

Beloved, the same is true for us today. The New Testament confirms it. Christ told his disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

We must hold fast to this word for us, no matter what the circumstances are around us.