March 16, 2008
"I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Luke 5:32)
This week, we continue to press in during WEEK TEN of the 40 Weeks of Prayer and Fasting, to offer prayers of repentance for the sin in the church, the sin in the nation, and the blessing of Israel.
We now address these areas:
1. SIN IN THE CHURCH: RACISM AMONG WHITES
2. SIN IN THE NATION: RACISM AND PLANNED PARENTHOOD
3. THE BLESSING OF ISRAEL: PURIM AND IRAN TODAY
REPENTANCE FOR SIN IN THE CHURCH:
RACISM AMONG WHITES
The Cry For Reconciliation
Part One: Repentance on Behalf of "The White Church"
(Source: Francis Frangipane, "RACISM AND THE SPIRIT OF DEATH," taken from his series THE SPIRIT OF GOD'S KINGDOM: "Preparing Hearts For The Lord Jesus Christ," Vol. 5, No. 3, June 1991. Published by Francis Frangipane, Box 10102. Cedar Rapids. lA, 52410)
In his guilt, the white man has thrown literally trillions of tax dollars toward the inner-city problems, yet the situation is only worsening. Why? Our problems are not rooted in economics, but sin.
Originally, the average black man was simply saying, "I want acceptance. I want you to admit what you did was wrong so I can forgive you and put to rest the unresolved conflict in my soul." Today, however, increasing numbers of blacks are becoming more racist toward whites. The fear and death in our cities is escalating.
I do not expect the world to heed this message, but the church must. It was primarily the work of the white church that saw slavery abolished in the 1860s. It was predominately the black church which spearheaded the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. As we come to the end of a millennium, I believe God's anointing is again upon the church today. Now, however, He is seeking us to carry the mantle of healing beyond the passing of laws into modeling the life of Christ with His healing power of love. Out of this release of love between races, there will come a great harvest.
"And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there, and the others will be healed; so everything will live where the river goes." (Ezek 47:10) Wherever the River of Life flows, it will gather "very many fish" as it flows toward healing the nations.
I would remind you that in Ezekiel's vision, the River of Life flowed out from the House of the Lord. Its flow originated from the place of unity and love in the church, where the stronghold of cultural pride was demolished.
In the House of the Lord there will be healing, for this great end-time harvest will be from "every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues." (Rev 7:9)
There will not be segregation, racism, "white churches" and "black churches" in the Kingdom of God There will be one people, one body, one flock and one Shepherd Who unites us all in one flow of His forgiving, overcoming love. Even now, the true House of the Lord is becoming a colony of Heaven, a picture of God's eternal life on earth.
Therefore, in obedience to Jesus, we are calling for white believers to repent, as individuals and as congregations, of the sins of their forefathers. We must also renounce any lingering racist attitudes we may still harbor. . . In the context of the body of Christ there must be functional love and healing. The comparison of the glory of the Lord rising upon us in the midst of ever-deepening darkness in the world shall bring not only cities, but "nations to your light." (Is 60:3)
· As a member of the white church, I ask you to join with me in prayer, "Lord Jesus, by sinning against Your brethren, I have sinned against You. Forgive me for the sins of my forefathers in the area of racism.l confess, as a white man, that all my righteousness is as filthy rags. I have been born into a legacy of contempt for other races. Deliver me, 0 God, from this delusion! Wash me in Your blood, lead me deeper into the River of Life, until my life flows with healing to nations. Amen.
[Next week: Our final week addressing the issue of racism in America. Part Two: Repentance on Behalf of "The Black Church."]
THE BLESSING OF ISRAEL: PURIM AND IRAN TODAY
Giving Honor to Whom Honor is Due
As we continue to explore the roots of the sin of racism in our church and our nation, we must also be quick to thank God for the tens of thousands who came before us who have fought to have slavery -- and racism -- eradicated.
We particularly wish to honor the men and women who gave their lives during the Civil War, so that slavery would be abolished in our land, and the slaves set free to chart their own destiny. And, at the head of this legion of warrriors is the 16th President of the United States of America: Abraham Lincoln.
· Thank You, Lord, for those who have laid a foundation of righteousness in our land. Please help us to continue to walk in truth, love, honor and integrity, as they did in their own time and in obedience to Your Word. In Jesus' Name, amen.
· "Render to all what is due them . . . honor to whom honor." (Romans 13:7)
THE BLESSING OF ISRAEL: PURIM AND IRAN TODAY
The Story of Purim
On March 21 and 22 is the Feast of Purim. The day before, on March 20, is the traditional Fast of Esther. The story of Purim is the story of victory over Israel's enemies in the Persian Empire (Iran). The most crucial part of the victory was the revelation of the danger facing the Jewish people, first by Mordecai and then directly to the king through Queen Esther. When the threat was made known, the Jewish people were given permission to attack their enemies, which brought about a great victory.
"On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, the edict commanded by the king was to be carried out. On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them. The Jews assembled in their cities in all the provinces of King Xerxes to attack those seeking their destruction. No one could stand against them, because the people of all the other nationalities were afraid of them. And all the nobles of the provinces, the satraps, the governors and the king's administrators helped the Jews, because fear of Mordecai had seized them."
"For Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast the pur (that is, the lot) for their ruin and destruction. But when the plot came to the king's attention, he issued written orders that the evil scheme Haman had devised against the Jews should come back onto his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows." (Therefore these days were called Purim, from the word pur.)
Today there is once again, just like in the story of Esther, developing a life and death conflict between Persia (Iran) and the Jewish people. Steadily Iran is working towards its goal to destroy Israel. We must step into the gap like Esther did and pray. In 1981, Israel single-handedly wiped out the nuclear threat of Saddam Hussein by bombing his nuclear reactors in a very daring air raid, without asking for anybody's permission to do so. To express it mildly the international powers, including the United States of America, were not happy at all about this independent Israeli decision to defend themselves.
The present Israeli leadership has shown a lot more willingness to cooperate with the international community in handling the crisis with Iran. Iran's clear declarations to wipe out the state of Israel have from the beginning been met with an Israeli response that Iran is not primarily a problem for Israel but an international problem. We believe that this is a very dangerous approach.
We need to remember the words of Mordecai to Esther, "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:13-14)
We encourage all of you to fast and pray for victory in the battle against Iran's plan to destroy Israel in the Fast of Esther, March 20!
Esther 9:20-22 says, "Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor."
· Pray that the schemes of the enemy will be exposed!
"Esther said, 'The adversary and enemy is this vile Haman.'" (Esther 7:6)
· Pray that the Annapolis plans to create a Palestinian state this year will fail!
"The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations." (Ps 33:10-11)
· Pray for wisdom for supernatural strategies to the military leaders in Israel to deal with the nuclear threat from Iran as well as the attacks from Hezbollah and Hamas!
"On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place." (Zech. 12:6)
· Pray that Iran's plans to destroy Israel today will be stopped just as Haman's evil scheme was exposed and thwarted 2,400 years ago!
"So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai." (Esther 7:10)
· Pray for Israel's salvation and restoration in our day! "On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness," declares the LORD. 'I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations.'" (Zech. 12:3-4)
· Pray for revival in Iran!
"Cover their faces with shame so that men will seek your name, O LORD. . . Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD - that you alone are the Most High over all the earth." (Ps 83:16, 18)
Lars and Harriet Enarson
The Elijah Prayer Army
Prayer Alert; March 14, 2008
Watchman International Inc.