How You Can Change a City and a World
When we gather to pray at the Metrodome on Saturday evening, November 11 the seating will be in the basketball configuration. Last year about 7000 people gathered for united prayer for the awakening of the church and for the evangelization of the city and the world. The year before that 5000 people gathered at the Minneapolis Auditorium in concerted metro-wide prayer.
Bethlehem has been in on this prayer movement from the start because we believe that God wills to do great things for the cause of the gospel through prayer. Why do we believe this?
- The disciples were praying together when the power of the Holy Spirit fell (Acts 1:14).
- Again in Acts 4 they were together in prayer when “the place was shaken and all were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.”
- The teachers of Antioch were worshipping and fasting when the Spirit came and launched Paul’s missionary career that changed world history (Acts 13:2-3)
- When the church was united in earnest prayer an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison and released Peter (Acts 12:5,11-12).
- Cornelius “prayed constantly to God” (Acts 10:2) and in the ninth hour of prayer God sent an angel to him with instructions how to hear the gospel (10:30). The next day Peter, in prayer at noon, was prepared by God to take the gospel to Cornelius (10:9).
- At midnight in the Philippian dungeon Paul and Silas were “praying and singing hymns” when God shook the prison and opened the doors (Acts 16:25f.).
- Paul appealed to Roman Christians for united “striving in prayers to God” that he would be delivered in Jerusalem and succeed in his mission to Rome and Spain (Romans 15:30).
- He told the Ephesian Christians that their prayers would be the source of his boldness in the gospel (Ephesians 6:19).
- He taught the Colossian Christians that prayer opens doors for the Word of God (Colossians 4:3)
We believe in a movement of metro-wide concerted prayer because the forces of darkness will not be broken by anything less. The “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) holds people captive to do his will in the Twin Cities (2 Timothy 2:26). He holds institutions, media, arts, commercial interests. He is the “god of this world” and “blinds the minds of unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
And even more grievous he holds whole peoples and territories in darkness beyond the frontiers of the gospel. Many missionaries testify to the “thick darkness” they sense when entering peoples and places that for thousands of years have been destitute of the liberating gospel.
Do you have a personal strategy for how to make your life count in this warfare with darkness and unbelief and lostness? I urge you to consider this: Make PRAYER ’89 (November 11, 6:00pm) part of your life’s strategy for “piercing the darkness” with the light of God’s love and power. Put it on your calendar now. And pray for hundreds to join you from Bethlehem, and for 10,000 praying Christians from all over the Twin Cities. May God give us a heart to pray! Mighty, prevailing, united prayer to a God of hope.
Against the darkness and for the light,
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org