Dear Church. This is not business as usual with the exception that everything is online now. People have died by the thousands over the past few days. Tens of thousands have entered eternity in the past few weeks. Many are entering a Christ-less eternity. People are dying. Creation is groaning. The church must be praying. There has never been such a clear, in-your-face, signal of urgency from heaven like this in our lifetime before. He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
This isn’t the time to simply pray for a few seconds, watch Netflix, and wait for things to return back to normal. Being the Church in this hour isn’t about learning how to broadcast our services online. Being the Church in this hour isn’t about how to get “more views” for our church services online. Being the Church in this hour is about being the Church. Loving God and loving our neighbors. Living the gospel and declaring the gospel. Being the Church in this hour is about repenting of the sins in the Church that have become far too comfortable in our hearts for far too long. Being the Church in this hour is about repenting of the sins of our nation and of our generation. Sins of prayerlessness. Sins of spiritual apathy. Sins of adultery. Sins of abortion. Sins of racism. Sins of greed. Sins of idolatry. Sins of spiritual abuse. Sins of pride. Sins of pornography. Sins of lust. Sins of sexual abuse. Sins of narcissism. Sins of ambition. Sins of wanting to be a celebrity and worshipping celebrities instead of following Christ. Sins of selfishness. Sins of impatience. Sins of unkindness. Sins of jealousy. Sins of loving this world, more than longing for Jesus. Sins that Jesus came to die for. This is how we need to be preparing for Easter. By examining our hearts and seeing that we are still in desperate need of a Savior. Yes, our neighbors need to hear the gospel. Yes, our neighborhoods need revival. And that revival needs to begin in our own hearts first. “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Our concern in this hour should be to humble ourselves before our holy God and pray to Him. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24) God is calling us to repent. To turn from sin and to trust in Him. God is shaking the world. God is shaking His Church in this hour. He is not coming to us in a whisper. He is screaming. Arise! Awake! Repent! For the Kingdom of God is near! “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17) It is Spring cleaning for the family of God, therefore we must repent, fast, and pray.
More than prayer meetings, we need to see prayer movements rise up. God is calling the Church to pray. We must live in the place of prayer, and fasting must become a normal part of our discipleship. Church leaders, allow prayer and fasting to become central parts of your church’s life and culture. Lead your people into His Throne Room and call them to intercede. Call them to fast - a meal, a day, several days, and let it become a regular part of their lifestyle. John Piper calls fasting, “a hunger for God.” May our hearts be marked by that hunger.
We are in a physical and spiritual battle. Therefore we must fight on our knees for a breakthrough in this pandemic. We must fight on our knees for healing, for a vaccine, for the provision of supplies, for protection for medical professionals. We must fight on our knees for hearts to return to Christ. We rejoice in seeing so many doctors and nurses praying before, during, and after their shifts - on the rooftops, in the hallways, and in the ER. We rejoice that God is moving. We must follow His lead. We must move with His Spirit that is drawing all men and women and children to Himself. We must fight on our knees for wisdom to be released in greater measure over our leadership. We must pray for God to use President Trump and other world leaders for the good of the people and for the glory of God. We must pray against racism and for a spirit of compassion and kindness to reign in our communities. We must pray for homes to be filled with love and forgiveness, joy and laughter. We must pray for the Church to repent and pray.
God is calling His Bride to turn from sin and return to Him. For He is our hope. Jesus will heal. Jesus will restore. Jesus is coming back to make all things new. And Jesus is coming back soon. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.
There is so much pain. There is such great urgency. There is so much to pray for. There is so much at stake. And there is hope. Jesus is the hope of the world.
Brothers and sisters … let us pray to Him, trust Him, treasure Him, and point the world to Him.