Positioning yourself for revival prayer
I CAN STILL recall the moment. It was years after the publication of my book, In the Gap, a phrase taken from Ezk. 22:30. Sitting alone in my family room, grazing through my Bible, I happened upon the text that inspired my ‘gap~~ theme to begin with: “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land.” My eyes fixed on a phrase I had not noticed previously: “stand before me in the gap.” Stand, yes. But before God. What did that mean?
An Old Testament commentary revealed that the Hebrew text read “before my face.” This phrase was often used to describe the role of a priest in the temple. God had them ministering before His face: in His presence, for His pleasure, at His call, to His glory In other words, in an attitude of prayer.
Immediately, God’s plea in Ezekiel 22 took on a new meaning. Not only are we to repair the breach in the wall by throwing ourselves into it wholeheartedly, but we are to do so as a people of prayer We’re the royal priesthood (1 Pet. 2:9), representing God’s heart to the nation and interceding before God for our nation. That work of prayer is our only hope that the gap can be closed, the nation revived, the land spared, the enemies defeated, and the purposes of God in Christ fulfilled.
This “revelation” came to me in the spring of 1984. In June, I found myself providing leadership at the International Prayer Assembly for World Evangelization in Korea. This historic event rallied nearly 3,000 prayer mobilizers from 70 nations to spend a week praying for world revival and strategizing on how to get Christians everywhere to do the same. As I looked out over the sea of faces on opening night, I marveled that God could not say “I found none,” as He did in Ezekiel’s time, but rather “I found thousands.” Today, 13 years later, He can say, “I found millions!”
Recently I joined the hundreds of men who gathered in locations throughout the Northeast in a “Men’s All-Night Prayer Meeting.” For seven hours, until early morning on Saturday they cried out to God with passion and determination for revival in our cities. Many of them met around New York City, where a multiethnic, multidenominational prayer movement has been unfolding for nearly a decade. Here in one of the world’s global cities, thousands of believers are coming before God’s face in a round-the-clock prayer vigil called The Lord’s Watch-on behalf of Christ’s kingdom there. In the gap.
On October 4, nearly a million are expected in Washington, D.C., for a Promise Keepers-sponsored day of repentance and prayer. We’ll be “on our knees in humility and on our feet in unity” says founder Bill McCartney Confessing the sins of our nation, and seeking heaven’s throne for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in revival, it is called-you guessed it- “Stand in the Gap.”
But the event also has a subtitle: “A Sacred Assembly of Men.” The sacred assembly concept comes from the prophet Joel. Joel called Israel, which was overwhelmed by a devastating locust plague, to leave behind everything and come to the threshold of the temple to be “before His face.” There Joel told them to cry out, “Spare your people, 0 LoRD” (prayer talk for revival). And “Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples ‘Where is their God?”‘ (2:17) (prayer talk for advancing the kingdom). God’s answer? A promise to repay them for the years the locusts had eaten (2:25); to pour out His Spirit upon all people (2:28); to bring the nations into the valley of decision (3:14); to return to dwell in Zion (3:21). All because Israel took a stand, as a nation, before God’s face.
These gatherings in Washington, D.C. and New York are modern-day examples of what God appealed for in Ezekiel. This is what it means to stand in the gap together. And God is waiting to perform wonders for those who will stand like this, before His face, as people of prayer.
Come stand in the gap and know you are not alone. Millions are coming to stand with you through prayer. Come and stand like this:
- Strategically position yourself for whatever God wants to do.
- Count yourself among those who are making a difference.
- Be aggressive and persistent.
- Stand alert. Keep watching and be ready to move as answers come.
And do all of this “before God’s face”:
- Proclaim that God is the only hope for our nation and generation. Tell Him you will look nowhere else.
- Seek a greater revelation of His person, until His “countenance shines upon us.”
- Worship Him, face to face. Intercede that others might also behold His glory
- Serve Him in your priestly role. Lift up holy hands on behalf of the land. And stay in His face, until revival comes!