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Distillation of a Day-long Pastors' Prayer Meeting - October 18, 2001


By Jerry Johnson

On October 18th, 2001, a day of prayer was called for the leadership of the Body of Christ in Hampton Roads. Scores of pastors came and went, many stayed all day. Huge blank posters were put on the walls and everyone was encouraged to write on them what they felt the Lord was saying to them as they prayed about "The Church" in Hampton Roads. At the end of the day I copied the essence of every poster in the room (as far as I know I got them all and most of them I got word for word). A day or so later, I tried to prayerfully digest what the Lord had spoken to us. What follows is my distillation of the thoughts that pastors had written on the posters. Bold text below indicates the major themes of the notes. Brackets [ ] indicate the number of times each major theme was mentioned or alluded to. I believe most, if not all, of the Bible references were from the posters.

We have broken our covenant with the Lord - Heb 12.
We lack unity - 1Cor 1: 11-13. 1Cor 3 (esp. 3, 7, 11).
We have ceased discipling and equipping the children of God - Eph 4.
We have left God - 2 Pet 2: 12-22.
We do not know God - Eph 1: 15-22. Eph 3: 14-19.
We require racial reconciliation - Gal 3: 26-28.
We require interdenominational reconciliation - James 4:11-12.
We require reconciliation between congregations - James 5: 9.
Our greatest failure is our lack of complete, total, absolute surrender to God - John 15.
Our leaders harbor strongholds against God in their lives - James 3.
Our leaders have unrepentant sin in their lives. - Psalm 19: 13.

In the face of these eleven indictments against us we must allow the light of His holiness and His righteousness to humble us and out of that heartfelt humility [10] we must prayerfully repent [4] - Rev 3:19, and then we must pursue a "disciple relationship" with our Lord in a lifestyle of godly holiness [27] in our hearts reflected in our Christian walk - Rom 12:1-2. Eph 4: 30-32, a sanctified (holy) lifestyle characterized by relational love [9]: love for God and love for our fellowman - 1Cor 13. Matt: 22: 36-40.

On this "grassroots" [this term taken from the posters] foundation, we must, in a sustained [13] atmosphere of personal holiness, humility and love before God and man, adjust our lives and our ministries [7] to the spontaneous leading [11] of the Lord and the fresh move of His Spirit - 1Thes 5:19. John 21: 19.

Trusting and obeying God in His concerns for us as mentioned above, we then can turn to address the following issues of the Church:

Functional unity [19] in the Body of Christ - John 17.

Sustained prayer and intercession [21] as the Lord leads (prayer: the fountain of all revival!) - Luke 11:1. 1Thes 5:17.

Revival [15] in the Church - Acts 16: 25-26.

Witnessing [8] to the desperate and fearful [terrorism-4] unsaved in the world of the hope of the Gospel - Matt 5:16. Rom 7:24-8:2.

Teaching those whom He brings in to be His disciples [7] - Matt 28: 18-20. 1Cor 3: 6-7. Acts 13: 48-49. John 21: 17.

Throughout, we must model the "grassroots" syndrome [10]: grassroots provide support from the bottom, supplying sustenance and nourishment to the rest of the plant, not visible, not concerned with vain appearances. The roots do the vital "dirty work" out of sight and void of the praise and applause received by the blossom and the foliage above. The roots struggle against the hardest environment but are called on to do the hardest work (move rocks). They neither seek, nor get any superficial glory. And in the worst of times, under the most difficult circumstances they are called upon to store the essentials of life, persevering through the worst of winter and drought - Matt 5, 6 and 7.

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