May 24, 2013
Jun 27 - Terri Brown
Please take a moment to read this as we share with you what we sense the Lord is saying in this season and some prayer points. Please pass it on to your friends who will join us in praying for Colorado.
Once again, I wake up to the smell of smoky air coming into the windows of our house in Colorado Springs. I almost reflexively pray, “Lord, send rain!” This is not some deep, theological, Spirit-led prayer, but instead the prayer of desperation and need, one that comes from the same place as “Oh, Daddy, fix this!”
As prayer leaders in the State of Colorado, we have been praying about fires in our state this year for quite some time. We see winters without enough moisture, springtime without the large dumps of snow, early hot days, and we can sense impending danger. We see the large forests devastated by the beetles and can’t help but seek the Lord. We know and see the sins of the people of our state and cry out. We have studied the history of the people of our state and know where the enemy has wreaked havoc in the past and again turn our ears and eyes to the Lord.
We must be careful to not jump to conclusions, to not begin to pray from a place of fear and judgment, but instead to continue to listen to the Father and respond to Him. Repentance is always good, but sometimes in an effort to avoid suffering of any kind, we can get into a place of religious repentance. This is not repentance in response to the conviction of the Holy Spirit for a specific sin either personally or corporately, but comes from a place of general condemnation and can become a work of the flesh. It comes from a theology that says, “I can avoid all pain and suffering; therefore if things are hard or bad, it means I or we are in sin.” It becomes like a child playing darts with unlimited darts, throwing and throwing our prayers to the sky, hoping against hope that we will hit the bull’s eye or at least the dart board. We are getting nowhere, but hope our effort will make the difference. It is not living and responding from a loving relationship with the Father but from a desperate place of trying to reach a distant God.
We have been trying to do the former and avoid the latter. Frankly, we have had enough religion and pharisaical pride in Colorado that we sure don’t need to feed into that in this critical season. We want to be careful to not get into company with Job’s friends and jump to conclusions because we don’t like the silence of God or the suffering of our friends.
So what have we as prayer leaders in Colorado been hearing? I say “we”, because God is using many people in this season for prayer in Colorado.
1. We don’t sense the fires are a judgment of God. We say this with a strong sense of the fear of the Lord, but many key intercessors are saying this in the state.
It is similar to the time the disciples were seeking understanding, but not quite seeing in John 9:1-3 (The Message). Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?” Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.”
We do know that the lack of the rain is because of a curse on the land and are diligently asking the Lord if there is another layer of repentance or a prayer action that needs to occur concerning the curses on the land. Strategic Warfare teams have been and continue to be active in this state. We don’t say this from a place of defensiveness as much as from a place of encouragement to those who might not be in the loop to know this is taking place.
Pray for more insight and revelation for these teams.
2. Seek the Lord that we might know His ways. Yes, fires are destructive, but they are also purifying. Yes, throughout scripture, fires are a sign of judgment; however, John describes the eyes of our Lord as flames of fire (Revelation 1:14), and the tongues of fire were a sign of the outpouring of Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:3).
Fire is not always negative. If we are not led by the Spirit in this, we once again can fall into the hands of religion and confuse both the believer and those who don’t yet know the love of God.
We must in this season move beyond a knee-jerk reaction to what seems obvious and seek the Lord that we might understand His ways. We must move beyond pat answers to real discernment. His ways are higher (Is. 55:9). We are firm believers in the power of the decree and declaration, but we must be led of the Spirit on this to come in agreement with what the Father desires to do, not decreeing what we desire and therefore somehow expecting Almighty God to fall into line behind us.
3. Pray for exposure of those who have been setting fires. Many of the fires in the western United States have been started by lightning, but some have been started by accidents, and some have been intentionally started by arsonists. In Teller County, CO alone, arson is suspected in about 20 fires in the last week. (1) Bind the spirits of lawlessness and terror that are trying to fuel this type of activity. We call what is hidden out into the light,
4. Intense terrain, shifting winds, and record high temperatures make fighting fires in Colorado very dangerous. Pray for wisdom for those making decisions and protection over those on the front lines.
5. Pray for the many through out the state who have been displaced or lost their homes. Please also remember those who are suffering because of the smoke or stress of these situations. And especially pray for those who don’t know their loving Father and are trying to weather this intense storm without the hope and comfort He gives.
6. Anytime we are battling something it is good to remember to come in the opposite spirit. For example, where there is pride, sow humility. Where there is hatred, sow kindness.
One of our trusted intercessors in the state, Traci Bartelo said, “I heard to fight fire with fire. God is love, and our God is a consuming fire. We need to go out and share the love of God in tangible ways. This will tip the scales unto righteousness on this land, and the enemy will no longer have the advantage. This will form a firewall - wall preventing the spread of fire: a fireproof wall put in place to ensure that if a fire occurs it is confined to one area. Brothers, let us not love in word only, but in deed and truth.”
Sow love and kindness. People in the state are already doing this. There has been such an outpouring of volunteers and donations that many are saying, “Please don’t bring any more” or “we don’t need any more volunteers.” Some may be doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, but many are responding to a prompting of the Spirit. Ask the Lord what you are supposed to do to sow love.
We need mercy; let’s sow mercy. We need love; let’s sow love. We need action; let’s sow action. (Galatians 6:7) We don’t sense this has to be complicated or related directly to the fire, but what can we do to be His hands and feet all over Colorado in this season? Even if you are in an area that has no fires, act with the urgency of those who smell the smoke. Those that have been doing this have already seen an amazing receptivity.
7. Remember the faithfulness of God. Stay in a place of worship and faith over your own life and destiny and over the destiny of Colorado. Gather together and worship the Lord for He is worthy.
As I was in great anguish over the fires so close to our city, now crashing into our city, and over the destruction of this beautiful state where so many come to enjoy God’s creation, I had to quiet my soul and get into a place of worship. I quit trying to figure everything out and got into a place of rest with the Father. From that place, I then said, “If You desire to speak to me, I am listening.”
He immediately took me to Lamentation 3:19-33 (The Message):
It’s a good thing to hope for help from God.
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.
When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The “worst” is never the worst.
Why? Because the Master won’t ever
walk out and fail to return.
If he works severely, he also works tenderly.
His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.
He takes no pleasure in making life hard,
in throwing roadblocks in the way.
Pray with us for the land and people of our beautiful state.
Terri Brown | Colorado Coordinator for United States Reformation Prayer Network
Becca Greenwood | Christian Harvest International and Strategic Prayer Action Network
Barb Becker | Colorado Coordinator for Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network
(1) Wineke, Andrew. The Gazette Colorado Springs. Waldo Canyon Fire: Progress made but danger still smolders. 26 June 2012.