Prisoners/Homeless

40-day Objective

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Mike Swiger

Email: mswiger@tfmohio.com

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“Whenever God determines to do a great work, He first sets His people to pray” (C. Spurgeon). This reliable principle begs the question: “How does God mobilize his people to heartfelt prayer?” Most importantly, how does God move Christian leaders who shepherd His church to unite in fervent, persistent, biblically focused prayer for the fulfillment of His purposes? By two things mainly: 1) distress over the degradation of the church and the surrounding culture and 2) hope that God will pour out His Spirit on his church and fill it with His fulness until it overflows with transformative impact on society. Many believers are distressed at the current state of things. At the same time, there is much reason to hope for God’s divine intervention in response to passionate, biblically guided prayer.

Believers across America now mourn the debility of the church; its vitality is faltering, its impact fading, its mission neglected, and its devotion to God being undercut by love for this world. Right now we are enduring the largest and fastest religious shift in American history. Its scope is greater than every previous spiritual awakening in our history combined, only in the opposite direction. Christians are being confronted by “spiritual forces of evil” (Eph. 6:12) operating from the heavenly realms that boldly infiltrate every aspect of society, even the church. These dark powers aim to 1) frustrate God’s purpose to bless all peoples on earth through Christ with countless benefits, including righteousness, peace, joy, and justice, and 2)
inflict endless varieties of misery on everyone. When spiritual decline and cultural decay prevail, God’s people rise up to seek the Lord in prayer as the fountain of every blessing, asking him to fill the earth with his glory, pour out His Holy Spirit, inspire his church, and deliver people and cultures from innumerable troubles. Now is the time to pray with desperation for spiritual and cultural renewal, for divine intervention, for the fulfillment of God’s purposes for his church and his creation in Northeast Ohio.

Christian leaders, especially pastors, have a heightened responsibility to press into God with prayer for the church. Biblical precedent shows that gathering church leaders together to engage in heartfelt prayer for the welfare of their community often initiates widespread spiritual and social renewal both in church and society (2 Chron. 7:13-14; 15:8-10; 34:29-32). New Testament accounts show that when Christian leaders unite in prayer, often in response to social and/or spiritual crises, spiritual awakening and gospel advance follow (Acts 1:13-14; 2:1-4; 4:23-31; 13:1-3).

Jesus himself instills expectation of an outpouring of God’s Spirit in response to prayer with this promise: “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13). Our Father in heaven is especially ready to pour out upon us the blessing we most need and long for, the very Spirit of God who imparts divine life, wisdom, and virtue.

With all this in mind, now is the time for Christian leaders across Northeast Ohio to come together to seek the Lord with biblically grounded, Christ-directed, wholehearted prayer for a God-given spiritual awakening. The trumpet of God is blaring! He is calling us to pray! Join Christian leaders from across our region to humble ourselves, seek the Lord’s face, and be willing to respond through His intervening grace to any changes He calls us to make! (Psalm 110:3)

The Gathering is an extension of the nationwide PATH (Prayer at the Heart) initiative piloted recently in Northeast Ohio. Put The Gathering on your calendar: Sunday, September 24, 6 pm, Calvary Chapel of Cleveland, 709 Brook Park Road, Brooklyn Heights, OH.