In January this year Ps Aaron Jarvis (Londonderry Baptist Church, Oldbury) and I were honoured to be sent on behalf of Love Black Country to the World Generation Gathering Prayer Uprising event in Jakarta, Indonesia. The latest in a series of multi-generational, multi-national prayer gatherings, this movement of prayer is gathering momentum in its seeking of God for unprecedented revival amongst the youth in all the nations of the world.
For the first three days we joined with 300 others from 40 nations from 9am to 9pm for worship, teaching, ministry and prayer. Whilst the style and sound of the worship was surprisingly familiar, the strength, conviction and declarative nature of the worship leaders, themselves only teenagers and young adults, was bold and decisive. There was no room for worship warm-ups and we all knew why we were there – to press into the presence of God and passionately contend for a generation.
Ps Jerome Ocampo, a key leader, launched into the first session he called ‘The Battle For Our Eyes’. He taught that the last Judge of Israel, Samson and the last King of Israel, Zedekiah both had their eyesight taken from them by the enemy, looking to destroy God’s people by blinding its leaders. Moreover, the last of the church’s listed in Revelation, Laodicea, lost sight of their first love, Jesus. Ps Ocampo’s call was for the church to have its eyesight restored. When Jesus healed the blind man of Bethsaida, He had to touch his eyes not once, but twice. The challenge and the prayer is that God would touch the eyes of His church a second time. That its God-sight would be crystal clear in these days and that we would know the purposes of God for us and for the nations in these days.
The location of the Prayer Uprising, Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, was poignant with many prophetic voices into the region having prophesied the last great revival before Jesus’ return will begin in the Muslim nations and sweep west. Until recently, Indonesia was a poster-boy for modern democracy and tolerance, a nation spanning 18,000 islands and 400 languages. However, Indonesia is currently experiencing a significant rise of extremism and intolerance. With persecution a growing reality, the Christian population is calling out to God in earnest.
The major lasting impact from our short time spent in Jakarta is that prayer must be front and centre if we are to see anything like our dreams for the Black Country achieved. The heart, the passion, the readiness to pray, the call to regular ‘solemn assemblies’ (Joel 2) exemplified a desperation for the Lord that I’m not sure I’ve witnessed often in the UK.
On the final day as we stood, knelt, worshipped our guts out and prayed alongside 2500-3000 teenagers and young adults outside the country’s national stadium, for 6 hours straight. I sent home photographs to various leaders of what I was seeing in real time. Tim Fellows WhatsApp’d in response: “What are you sensing Pete?”
I replied, and I still reply, “If we really mean it, if we’re single-minded and give ourselves over to prayer and action, we can see this.”
Back home, the experience continues to have an impact on both Aaron and I, not only in our local congregations but in the immediate communities we serve. Furthermore, the first One Heart Sound prayer gathering in January, that is the pursuit of God for the generations on home turf, caught alight and we expect a greater fanning into flame again in June. Be encouraged. It is a fact that The Lord is moving powerfully in our region and yet, we know there is so much more! Refuse to settle in these days, lift your eyes, raise your expectations, dream God-sized dreams, believe for the impossible; battles will be won, giants will fall and Jordan’s will be crossed. Remember, we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. (Hebrews 10:39).
It’s time to pray.
Pastor, Springs Church, Gornal.