Dear Loved One,
As a nation, we are about to observe the 15th anniversary of one of the most deeply unsettling days in history, September 11th, 2001. Do you remember where you were, who you were with and what you were you doing that day? I most certainly do.
I was standing before about 300 pastors in Williamsburg, Virginia, only about 125 miles south of the Pentagon. The pastor in charge came down the aisle and whispered that the World Trade Center towers had both been struck by commercial airplanes.
What happened in the next fifteen minutes is one of the most profound memories in my entire spiritual experience.
All 300 of us began to intercede in prayer. The Lord gave us the knowledge of how to pray, and the firm conviction that our prayers would be effective. Normally, my mind would have been preoccupied by the horror of what had just taken place, but the Holy Spirit clearly told me to pray that the adversary be stopped.
So, we fervently prayed together that any follow up attack be neutralized in its effectiveness. It was discovered later that at the exact time we were interceding, the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 were gaining the courage and boldness to overtake the plane. At great personal sacrifice, these brave people put a stop to the further destruction intended for that plane.
Our prayers for the neutralizing of the enemy were certainly answered!
I share this not to make the blanket assumption that if more Americans would have prayed, the tragedies of September 11th would not have happened. Human, or even God-ordained, holiness is no insulation from horror. Nor is there any earthly power or human plan that can guarantee protection.
But we do know this: in the present, threatening situations all across our world, intercessory prayer is the only real defense we have. Our prayer focus in these days should be to raise “umbrellas” of faith to cover and protect our families, communities, cities, nations and the world as a whole.
Remember the words in Ezekiel 22:30, “I sought for a man among them who would . . . stand in the gap.” God is looking for people who will offer intercessory prayer and bring a defense against the plans and purposes of the enemy.
We live in a broken world, a world where hellishness still rages. As the Body of Christ, our primary call is to faithfully engage in intercessory prayer. This is not a matter of crossing our fingers in hope, or merely reciting prayers for protection. We need to understand that fervent prayer will prevail!
We cannot afford to retreat in this season when passionate, faith-filled prayer is so desperately needed.
Throughout history, there are great evidences of God’s hand at work, as His people respond to the words and call of the Holy Spirit. What is the Holy Spirit saying to the church today? Undoubtedly, the call is to prayer!
I believe the Spirit is saying this call to intercede in prayer goes to depths and dimensions the Church has not known before.
“But, Pastor Jack, aren’t we always supposed to pray?” The answer, Loved One, is most certainly yes. However, I see the call of the Holy Spirit to the Church right now as unique and distinctly pointed.
At an international, interdenominational level, God is setting Himself up to do things unlike anything that has been done or known yet in the history of the Church.
For the release of these things to occur, there has to be a frontal assault of prayer by the people of God. We must gather together and recognize ourselves as spiritual warriors who, if we do not move in intercessory prayer, leave the invisible realm unprotected and available to be occupied by the works of hell.
At specific points of human crisis, believers standing in intercessory prayer is what made the difference. The children of the Lord must rise up and fulfill their role in these circumstances. As we do, we will gain a spiritual perspective and be able to see beyond the limitations of the immediate disaster.
World Shapers and Shakers of Cities and Nations
I would like to share a few things with you that I believe will help prepare and equip you to be a powerful intercessory prayer warrior.
First, spiritual insight and influence in the invisible realm are not the exclusive domain of the “spiritually” inclined.
There are many people who disqualify themselves in their own minds. God did not disqualify them. They disqualify themselves by thinking other people seem to have more of a spiritual touch and sensitivity. They identify as solely “practical people.”
Just because you feel you are a very pragmatic person does not mean that you can’t be charismatic, as well. Not charismatic in the sense of some glib or superficial spirituality, but in the sense of someone who wants to be endowed with spiritual insights, gifts and power.
Truly spiritual people are practical people that are uncompromising in their integrity, their commitment to God, their character and their conduct.
Becoming someone that shakes the world and shapes cities and nations does not mean you have to be a person in a high level office. You may work at an automobile plant, a bank, a school, be a medical professional or someone in law, administration or government, or you may be a full-time wife and mother.
God is looking for people who will penetrate the darkness of every sector and industry they are in, because of the glory of Christ radiating from within them. And they do this with such pragmatic sensibility that people want to be around them. They are not weirdos.
The second thing is God gives special attention to those with uncompromising commitment to Him coupled with commitment to practical living and sound thinking.
“Pastor Jack,” you may say, “I thought God was no respecter of persons and equally loves everyone?” That is true, dear friend. However, there are distinct people who have learned to respond to God’s love and release the possibilities of His works and power to them and through them.
He does not love any others less, but because they have not learned to respond to Him yet, He is limited in what He can do through them. As we learn to rightly respond to the Lord, we grow as children of God and are better able to accept responsibility and become what He made us to be.
Third, the affairs of cities, nations and kingdoms are ultimately determined by actions occurring in the invisible realm.
Don’t think for a moment principalities and powers don’t want to keep everything they can in their clutch and under their control. In the invisible realm, just as in the visible, physical realm, there are forces positioned and postured for whatever kind of conflict may occur. These forces are battalions of beings, and the Bible says in the invisible realm there is ongoing, continual struggle.
The outcome of the struggle in the invisible realm is determined by the prayers in the visible realm. Please hear this, Loved One, what goes on in the invisible is determined by what happens in the visible. You and I are the visible. We are warriors in the visible!
Answering the Holy Spirit’s Call
I believe God is raising up a generation of prayer warriors. A generation that will say “we are going to take cities and nations.” And this will happen by power-filled, intercessory prayer.
Loved one, we need to be equipped and ready at all times to intercede as the Holy Spirit leads us. As we learn more about the power of intercessory prayer, we can help encourage and equip others to be prayer warriors, as well!
You and I are gatekeepers of our cities. As believers, we determine what shall access the city, and what will have to retreat. We determine the government in the invisible realm. We have been given the privilege by God to turn the balances of power, to take our place in prayer and become shakers and shapers of cities and nations.
Will you join me in answering the Holy Spirit’s call to shake and change the invisible realm by faithfully interceding in the visible?
Standing with you in the gap,
P.S. In case you haven’t heard the wonderfully good news about my dear wife, Anna, click here to read the update I sent last month through our church and in a ministry email. The support from friends like you has been remarkable. Anna’s journey is a soaring testimony about the power of intercessory prayer and I believe it will encourage you to keep interceding for our nation and for each other. Also, below is information on some helpful resources that will better equip you for fervent and effective intercessory prayer.
You and I are gatekeepers of our cities. As believers, we determine what shall access the city, and what will have to retreat. We determine the government in the invisible realm. We have been given the privilege by God to turn the balances of power, to take our place in prayer and become shakers and shapers of cities and nations. As we learn more about the power of intercessory prayer, we can help encourage and equip others to be prayer warriors, as well!
God is looking for people who will penetrate the darkness of every place they set their foot upon, because of the glory of Christ radiating from within them. In his audio series, Winning the Unseen Battle, Pastor Jack Hayford removes the veil shrouding the epic battle raging in the unseen realm and reveals God's call to each of us to confidently and successfully wage spiritual war.
To thank you for a gift of $35 or more, we want to send you this biblical and practical series. God is raising up a generation of prayer warriors. A generation that will say "we are going to take cities and nations." And this will happen by power-filled, intercessory prayer.
The 8-CD set includes: The Responsibility of Warfare, The Lords Way to War, Battle of the Age, Prevailing Over Hells Gates, Authority Through the Blood, How to Receive Gods Triumph, Rations of the Warrior, Praying With an Understanding Heart