40-Day Focus: Week 1 – The Hour

March 1st, 2010 - Tim

While most of this 40 days is going to be spent focused on the heartbeat of the broader move of God, I want to take this first week to lay hold of the significance of this current window of time. There is real reason to enter this 40 days with tremendous urgency… and with tremendous expectation. This is a critical hour for our nation – the signs of spiritual crisis abound, but so do the signs of a Holy Spirit answer.

Our hour of need
Opening our eyes to recognize our hour of need is not our favorite part of revival, but its a critical one. When God wants to give birth by the Spirit, He searches for the barren. It is the poor in spirit who receive the kingdom of heaven. When we are desperate for something that we have no means of obtaining except by the grace of Another, we are in the right place for God to show Himself strong. We may be in favor of revival, but are we desperate for it?

Kenneth Copeland prophesied on July 4th, 2009 that a ‘Great Awakening’ is hanging heavy over America, but it will come to the praying churches first. “And they’ll say, ‘My, revival broke out over there.’ ‘No, answered prayer broke out over there.'” This current outpouring in Kansas City can be traced back to 10 years of night and day prayer in a community that, even while ministering faithfully in the day of small beginnings, refused to quiet the cry that there must be more and instead diligently pressed in with a cry for more of God. More specifically, it came on the tailwinds of a spontaneous movement of prayer and fasting among the IHOPU students that started following a blunt analysis of America’s spiritual crisis and desperate need for revival by Daniel Lim (read a summary article here or the full transcript here). Staring in the face of our hour of need is often just the incentive we need to drop our crutches, our good ideas and our stable attendance and admit that we need God.

There is no doubt that our nation is in a moral crisis: rampant consumerism, abortion, sexual immorality, humanism and relativism have not only been fighting to define our culture, they’ve become our primary export. The most terrifying signs, though, are not the direction of the culture, but the direction of the church. As darkness in the world around increases and a generation desperately needs the light of Christ, they have not found it. The statistics on church engagement reveal a terrifying reality – church engagement is steadily and rapidly declining. Generation after generation is failing to find answers inside the church and is turning to other sources.

  • Builders generation (1924-1944) – 65% church engagement
  • Boomers generation (1945-1965) – 35% church engagement
  • Buster generation (1966-1983) – 15% church engagement
  • Bridger generation (born after 1984) – 4% church engagement

Every generation faces its giants, but for this generation staring into the face of a culture that bombards it with false ideologies on every side the real crisis is not that they are faced with problems… it’s that they have not been able to find answers in the church.

God’s provision
I am completely confident that God has the answer to the cry of this generation. More than that, I am confident that God is the answer to the cry of this generation. God wants to give this generation something more than the answers that have been offered – a smoother presentation, a friendlier theology, a more comfortable structure. God wants to give a generation the supreme answer – Himself. The power and presence of Christ is the only real answer to this generation’s problems as God is powerfully demonstrating in Kansas City. Since November 11th, the Spirit has been moving in a powerful way there particularly among the students and interns. God is delivering a generation: from low self-esteem, depression and anxiety, from addictions, sin and condemnation, from physical and spiritual bondage, a generation is experiencing the love of God and finding the freedom that comes in walking in that love.

Already, this move has touched places all across this nation and the globe through the webstream. Several college campuses have experienced the love of God, healings and boldness for evangelism as they join in. Now, after a series of prophetic leadings, IHOPU leadership is sending out the third and fourth-year students for a ministry trip among New England colleges. Over these forty days as many across the nation join in prayer and fasting for an awakening to hit America’s campuses, they will be leading prayer meetings and awakening services, and witnessing on the campuses of the Ivy League schools (more info). It is a strategic assignment from the Lord: to redeem the Ivy League schools many of which have Christian roots from the strongholds of intellectualism that have been prevailing there. What if the next generation of lawyers, doctors, politicians, teachers and leaders of all spheres walks away from their time in college having encountered God rather than high-minded humanistic philosophy? What if they take their place in society filled with the Holy Spirit rather than the empty philosophies of men?

Standing in the gap
Rarely do we get to see our options for the future so clearly – the direction this nation is headed absent a move of God, and what it would look like if a generation experiences the touch of God. It’s gaps like these that are our natural home as a kingdom of priests – to stand between a nation in desperate need of God and a God desperately longing to reach out to a nation, and to cry out for a move of God in our day – with urgency, and with expectancy.

Understanding that another Great Awakening hangs over this nation both as its desperate need and God’s chosen answer, it is not a time to sit and wait but to set our face in prayer and fasting as Daniel did (Dan 9:2-3). First because the promise is real but not yet realized, and we stand in a transitional time for this nation where we could see the great shift we need, so we press in for all of what God would give. Second because it is a transitional time for us as well – it is a time to position ourselves to be touched and to be used as the Lord moves in our day.

Lets start this fast allowing God to grip us with two realities: that we are in desperate need of nothing short of a great move of God, and that God desperately wants to give us nothing less than Himself.

These are not new, but lets focus for a week on the God who longs to answer: Joel 2:12-17,28-32; 2 Chr 7:14; Luke 11:9-13; Heb 4:1

One Response to “40-Day Focus: Week 1 – The Hour”

  1. […] Week 1 was focused on what God is doing at this present time – in our nation and in the nations of the earth. The Lord is doing such a significant work in our day – and it’s a most needed one. We’ll be looking a lot more at its contents and where it’s going in the weeks to come, but we wanted to simply recognize what God is doing and praise Him for it, as well as throw ourselves into asking Him for more – to complete the work that He has begun. […]

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