Two days before the September 11 tragedy, on a Sunday afternoon, I
was so compelled to pray to the Lord that I stopped what I was doing
and grabbed my Bible and asked the Lord, "OK, What is it?"
I had been sensing God was calling me to fast and pray for several
weeks prior to this meeting. Selfishly I figured God wanted to reveal
something about my career or my ministry or -- could it
be? -- my future husband. I just knew it had to do with me.
As I prayed for the Holy Spirit's revelatory knowledge in that restless
hour, I was led to several passages, none of which seemed relevant to
my personal issues. Specifically, I recalled reading Matthew 13 in its
entirety. I read about the farmer scattering seed on the different soils,
of the wheat and the tares, of the mustard seed, and other illustrations
concerning the Kingdom of God.
Impatiently, I asked, "God, what does this have to do with anything?"
There was silence. The heavens were as brass. And after what I considered
a largely unfruitful and frustrating time with the Lord, I went about
my usual business.
Two days later, my world changed forever, as I learned of the terrorist
God began reminding me of all the things He had shown me in His Word,
particularly the words of the prophets, and He began to bring to mind
dreams that I believe truly are prophetic about our nation. I was stunned
at what the Lord was revealing to me for a second and third time…
"Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as
wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is"
"For you do not know what tomorrow brings…"(see James 4: 13-14).
Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim
and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. After
three days the officers went throughout the camp, giving orders to
the people: "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your
God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move
out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way
to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance
of about a thousand yards between you and the ark; do not
go near it." Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow
the LORD will do amazing things among you" (Joshua 3:1-5).
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing
a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making
a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:18-19).
"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a
sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like
a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your
people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old
foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer
of Streets with Dwellings" (Isaiah 58:11-12).
I felt like Peter, after that rooster crowed three times. My heart
was torn in two, because I realized that I had not listened to my Lord.
I had not heeded any of His words. I had not felt the urgency of His
call. I had simply brushed off His words as my own wild imaginings,
of voices I had made up in my head.
Since Tuesday's tragedy, I have never felt the hand of God so heavily
upon my sinful nature as now, rightly judging my frivolity, my pride,
my apathy. I have never felt the Words of the Bible sear my soul as
now, spurring me on to good works in Christ Jesus. I have never felt
the urgency of the Kingdom of God and the mandate 'the fields are white
for harvest' as now. I have never felt the presence of a powerful and
yet merciful King as now. He, indeed, reigns on high. He will be exalted
in all the earth!
God is setting us apart, Christians. He is setting the stage for a
mighty work. And we, like Moses before the burning bush, must take off
our sandals, because God is making this holy ground.
God is in the process, as never before, of exalting every valley and
making every hill low. He is straightening out the crooked roads. He
is making the rough places smooth. This applies to our nation and to
our own hearts. God is re-establishing His balance of justice, correcting
Several days ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with a spirit
of fear hanging over my head. I couldn't sleep, because my heart was
pounding, so I prayed. But I struggled to stay awake, as the disciples
likewise fought to keep watch while the Lord Jesus awaited death on
the Cross. Prayer at this hour was so imperative that God would not
let any sleep befall me. So I prayed more, for a total of a half an
hour, until the peace of Christ returned.
The next day, I learned that several others in my office had also been
woken up by the Lord to pray for our nation. Who knows how many more
were praying that night? Ten? Twenty? A thousand? And who knows how
those prayers redirected the course for our nation? Only God knows.
But we do know that ultimately it is that kind of prayer that changes
the course of history. It is that kind of fervent prayer that turns
back our enemies. It is that kind of action on the part of Believers
that will bring a revival -- not of our pocketbooks, not of our lips,
not of our government, but ultimately a revival of our hearts and souls.
I pray that God would show you and I how to live in this season to
His glory. And I pray that we would be ever tuned in to what He says,
however foolish it may sound at the time. We do not know what tomorrow
In the meantime, I know that He will give us the words to say. He will
bring us comfort so that we can comfort those who mourn. He will be,
as He has always been, our strong tower, our refuge, our strength, and
our fortress. He can be trusted, because He is a good Father. Though
we may not understand it all, God is with us. He will never leave us
nor forsake us.
Now go and do the work God has called you to in all fervor and humility.
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.