At the December 2019 Foundations Conference in NYC, a proposal was set forth for a Joint Resolution of United Prayer. This resolution is based on An Humble Attempt, originally written by Jonathan Edwards in 1748. Its design is to encourage God's people in the duty of united extraordinary prayer; setting aside some time every Saturday throughout 2020 to pray for the revival of His church and the advancement of Christ's kingdom in our homes, in our churches, in our nation, and in the world.
This agreement is not an absolute promise, but a friendly, harmonious joint resolution of united prayer that commenced January 2020 and continues each week for a total of 52 weeks. A weekly email is sent to the public participants of this resolution to encourage and remind us all of this commitment.
We have just passed WEEK 10 of this effort and I thought it appropriate to share publicly the most recent email that was sent out a few days ago, in light of the current worldwide events, to encourage more of God's people to pray and to use every Gospel opportunity for the cause of Christ's kingdom.
WEEK 10 FOLLOWUP
We leave WEEK 10 behind in the rear-view mirror. We continue to persevere in this work of prayer. I have been struck with the importance of being able to see with the eye of faith, and not just walk by sight. Do you remember that episode in 2 Kings 6 when Elisha prayed that the Lord would open the eyes of the young man that he might see? All the young man could see was the host of the armies of Syria arrayed against them. But once the Lord gave him spiritual eyesight, he was able to see the true reality of the situation; a mountain full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha! Isn't it a sad thing to walk through life and only see that which is physical and material? The attention of the entire globe is being arrested with the Coronavirus Disease and in very short order it has managed to affect almost every aspect of life on the world stage. Entire countries are being quarantined, factories are grinding to a halt, schools are closing, travel is slowing, markets are crashing, fear is gripping the hearts of men and women. Is this a random happen-stance? Just another day in the life? I think not. When we behold such things unfolding before our eyes, one must wonder and stand in awe.
I am reminded of an excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Case for United Prayer speaking of that great financial crash in the autumn of 1857â€”"the fearful convulsion in the commercial world."
"In the day of calamity, men consider. When the hand of God is suddenly laid upon city and country ... it is natural to believe that men will look away from themselves, and say, â€śVerily there is a God, who reigns.â€ť As in the time of an earthquake, or wreck at sea, menâ€™s hearts failing them for fear, they will cry to Him who rides upon the whirlwind."
May it be our prayer that the Lord would cause a great multitude of men and women, yea entire nations, to consider and say, "Verily there is a God who reigns." Believers in China are already using this opportunity to share the love of God to their fellow countrymen. We should pray for these believers. We should pray for the mighty advance of Christ's kingdom. We should pray for more doors to open for the Gospel. We should pray that more would be given the ultimate hope of the Gospel.
Another insightful passage is found in 1 Chronicles 21 in which the Lord is executing judgment upon His people by sending a pestilence which would eventually take the lives of 70,000 people. What is fascinating is that in verse 15, the Scriptures reveal another dimension to this storyâ€”a spiritual dimension. From man's view, it is a pestilence, a disease. But from heaven's vantage point, it is the angel of the Lord with his hand outstretched to destroy the city.
Friends, "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but MIGHTY through God to the pulling down of strong holds." 2 Cor 10:4. O that God would open our eyes as He did that young man. O that God would allow us to understand that our prayers have a cause-and-effect impact on realms unseen with the natural eye. If we truly saw it, if we truly understood it, we would be all the more importunate, all the more fervent, and all the more dedicated to the utilizing of this weapon of prayer as we PRAY IN FAITH, armed with the unwavering knowledge that "if ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it." John 14:14. So emphatic is our Lord that He repeats Himself in verses 13 and 14. Read it for yourself, and may your faith be strengthened.
We cannot claim to know what God is doing on the world stage. But one thing we do know, God hears our prayers. So, pray on, friends! Don't give up after just 10 WEEKS of prayer. We believe God is the God of the impossible. We believe God delights in the prayer of the upright (Proverbs 15:8). We believe that "the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him." 2 Chronicles 16:9.
If this is true (and it is), then we have every confidence to pray, and to pray believing that the answer is on its way.
"Give Him no rest." Isaiah 62:7
We hope you will consider joining us for the remaining weeks of this JOINT RESOLUTION of UNITED PRAYER for the REVIVAL OF RELIGION and the ADVANCEMENT OF CHRIST'S KINGDOM ON EARTH.