THE HOUSE OF PRAYER ARISES. At this writing I’ve been back in Belize only a few weeks, and already our new house of prayer is coming together. When God moves, He moves quickly. I’ve had to revise this month’s Journal time after time because of new developments. I’ve spoken with 17 Belize City church leaders and they are all in favor of our Belize City House of Prayer (BC-HOP). They are glad that we’ll operate under the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches (BAEC)–the recognized leadership of the body of Christ in Belize. (See photos of one of the two locations offered for our house of prayer, which will be using the top story, which is already called the Prayer Tower).
BAEC President Eugene Crawford asked me to lead the house of prayer. I accepted with the understanding that I would raise up national-born Belizeans to take my place. And already I am seeking and finding fellow leaders, each to lead at least one night of prayer a month with a partner. There’s an advantage to having someone lead BC-HOP from an island (Caye Caulker is a 45-min. boat ride away): an islander would not use this prayer ministry to start his own church in the city. Church leaders will keep opening up their hearts to me as long as I stay impartial.
THE ACCUSER HAS BEEN THROWN DOWN. I tell them we do not want to take anything away from their present family and church commitments. Or from their church prayer ministries. We want to encourage them all to flourish. We are for every church in Belize as an important part of His body. In fact, the first thing we are doing right now is promoting a moratorium on criticism of any church in Belize. “For the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night” (Rev. 12:10). We can make great gains throughout the nation just by denying the accuser his usual day-and-night access to God. And make many more gains by working toward day-and-night prayer.
“Now shall not God bring about justice for His elect, who cry out to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them speedily” (Lk.18:7-8).
We will turn criticism into intercession. Each church in the city can engage in rebuilding its own part of Nehemiah’s wall. It’s not a wall around that one church, it’s a wall to keep the enemy out of the entire church of Belize City and–ultimately–of Belize. What our house of prayer is seeking is watchmen on that wall–plus other leaders for nights of praise and worship and soaking prayer and training in prayer. To begin with, each pair of watchmen will watch over one of the seven main mountains of influence over the nation–Family, Religion, Education, Economy, Domain (government), Onstage (arts) and Media. They will recruit others to watch with them. At least once a month, each pair of watchmen–a worship leader with a prayer leader–will gather their recruits to make a strategic advance on that mountain in prayer.
One example occurred at the Nov. 12 monthly prayer gathering in Belize City’s Battlefield Park. The crowd turned toward the Supreme Court building across the street and called for divine order, justice and exposure of wrongdoers. Before the next day dawned, five police officers were caught helping a plane land 2921 kilograms of cocaine on Southern Highway. It reminded me of the time in our children’s church when 10-year-old Yani Castellanos rose to pray that God would stop the killing and robbery that were escalating in Belize. The next issues of Belize’s two leading newspapers carried front-page headlines rejoicing over Custom’s seizure of “Guns, Ammo and Stolen Cars!” at the border. God got’em before they got further!
ROYAL HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM. We need to involve the simple faith of children like Yani, the energy of youth, and the wisdom of spiritual fathers who can train children and mentor youth. We need to turn these isolated victories into a long-term campaign, generation to generation. The most crucial prophetic call of our time is to “restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse” (Mal. 4:6). Together we must keep taking ground on these mountains until “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our God” at Christ’s return (Rev. 11:15).
In a real sense, we can start at the top of each mountain, and pray “Your kingdom come…on earth as it is in heaven,” for we are seated in heavenly places. In Rick Joyner’s allegory The Final Quest, there is a level on the holy mountain that enemy attacks cannot reach, named Galatians 2:20 (“…I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”). Beyond that is a further level: Unity of the Brethren, a key theme of our house of prayer. At the top of the mountain is The Father’s Unconditional Love, a place of true royalty with God. From these positions of the heart we can see well enough to shoot arrows of truth that knock down enemy spirits, and let the light of God’s love shine through.
But we must also work from the bottom up, taking the lowest place like Jesus, humbling ourselves that He might lift us up. “Whoever humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:4). The seven mountains influence children at a very early age, but God’s kingdom influence can be much greater.
MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE. In order to assess the current state of Children’s Church, I asked kids to write down what they liked most in our meetings. 43% said the Bible stories with Q&A, 21.5% said the praise songs, another 21.5% said the games, and 14% said the candy and prizes. So about two-thirds are coming mainly to learn the word of God and to praise Him.
One kid added, “I like how God speaks to us.” I want more kids not just to learn His word, but hear His voice behind His words. “Choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him” (Dt. 30:19-20). His voice empowers us to live by and prophesy His words. The New Testament church began as the fulfillment of Joel 2:28, “your sons and daughters will prophesy” (Acts 2:17). Peter ended his Pentecost preaching on Holy Spirit baptism by saying, “The promise is for you and your children…” More kids must learn to hear God for themselves.
“My sheep hear My voice” (Jn. 10:27). Lambs may follow older sheep more than the Shepherd, but at some point sheep become mature enough to follow the Shepherd’s voice. In the past I have urged kids to ask God, “What praise song, prayer or testimony can I bring to Children’s Church?” There have been some really good results. But now I plan to go to groups of kids before our meetings and say, “You choose the praise songs and prayers and Bible story and testimonies for Children’s Church, and I’ll help you.” Before long they can have more meetings without me!
We want kids to grow up as royal heirs of the church, of Caye Caulker High School, of the Belize City House of Prayer, and of God’s kingdom on earth. Isa. 56:7 speaks of His heirs as “those I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer.”
Yours in Christ, George