Tag Archives: authority

Hurricane Joaquin Prayer Thoughts

JoaquinJoaquin means Lifted by Yahweh. For that reason, I would be a bit nervous if I lived near Washington. That city has done enough in recent history to warrant a reminder that the Lord is the one who is in charge, no matter what the three branches of our government tend to think. Hurricane Joaquin would not be a subtle reminder.

When the Supreme Court made gay marriage a civil right, it defied millennia of social consensus, and more importantly, God’s intent for marriage. At that time, I pondered whether a good-sized hurricane might bring a measure of humility to the judicial branch of our government. Now that Washington is actually included in a hurricane’s track, I’ve pondered that thought again, and concluded that I really don’t want to find out what a severe hurricane impact might do for Washington’s spiritual atmosphere. For the sake of all those who live there, I would much rather see mercy released instead of judgment (See James 2:13). I suspect that the people who live in that region would agree with me.

As I have observed Joaquin’s stunning increase in strength, and the associated reports of potential damage to the east coast, I have found myself interceding. While I recognize that the areas that are threatened have been hit by hurricanes in the past, I also understand that those areas are not built to withstand such storms in the same way that we are in South Florida. Even with our strict hurricane codes, we do not appreciate hurricanes of any size. I can’t imagine what it is like in areas that do not have the same types of codes.

For that reason, I thought I would write about what I would do if I lived in areas that are under threat from Joaquin. This is what I would do if I lived anywhere on the East Coast of the United States north of South Carolina, and I had no other information from the Lord about this particular storm.

  • I would begin to watch the National Hurricane Center site for its frequent updates (I would not watch the television updates—they tend to exaggerate and impart fear to improve their ratings). I would most definitely read the discussions that go with each NHC update. Often those discussions reveal things that can be incorporated into prayer.
  • I would begin to pray against this storm personally, and at every regularly scheduled meeting of my congregation. I would encourage my congregation to pick up the Keys of authority and use them to turn this storm out to sea.
  • The Keys of Authority work best with agreement (see Matthew 18:18-19), if my area of geographic influence was included in the cone of uncertainty for the three day track, I would call a prayer meeting for the first available time that interested parties could participate. If my geographic area was included in the five day track of a hurricane, I might call a prayer meeting depending on the circumstance, but at a minimum, I would alert my congregation that we may be having a prayer meeting soon so that they can plan accordingly.
  • When we met for prayer, I would build faith by recounting the many storms that our prayers have turned in the past. If I did not have a personal testimony in this arena, I would use testimonies that other Christians have. I most definitely would show this video from an NBC affiliate in Florida to reinforce that storms can be impacted by prayer: Hurricane Irene 1999. You might also watch this hour-long message that recounts story after story of what my congregation has done with the Keys of Authority and weather patterns: Picking Up the Keys. If you take the time to watch it, you will have increased faith to take on any storm.
  • When we met for prayer, I would acknowledge before the Lord that my geographic area is an area filled with wickedness (so is yours). Then I would pray for mercy, and recognize the fact that the Lord is always looking for intercessors to stand in the gap for their geographic area. No matter how wicked my area is (in my opinion), I would remember that the Lord is the one who initiated Abraham’s intercession for Sodom by telling him about the approaching storm. The Lord is always offering us opportunities to stand in the gap.
  • When we met for prayer, I would ask, seek, and knock on behalf of my area. At the same time, I would realize that this is not using the Keys. This is simply approaching the throne of grace with confidence because Jesus has opened the way.
  • When we met for prayer, I would also use the Keys. I would address the storm by name, and lock the door to any damage or destruction it might cause. I would raise hedges of protection against hurricane force winds and storm surges. I would call in shearing winds, dry air, cooler ocean currents, and whatever else is available to degrade the storm. I would use information from the NHC discussions about hindrances to the storm to strengthen those hindrances. I would command the storm out to sea away from my coastline. I would send the storm to the UK where they can use the rain (Okay, I really wouldn’t do that last one—that was a joke for my readers from the UK who have made it this far in the article . . .).
  • When we met for prayer I would let those who understand our authority also pray, so that agreement might be built. I would encourage them to pray in faith, even repeating things that have already been prayed as a form of agreement.

The above is a basic outline for our practices, developed over more than fifteen years of praying with effect about hurricanes and other weather patterns. I would like nothing better than to have intercessory voices up and down the east coast using this, or whatever outline the Lord has given them, to bring protection to their regions. As God’s people step into their authority, storms like Joaquin lose their ferocity, and mercy is extended to entire geographical regions. In that way, mercy can triumph over judgment.
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UPDATE (10/02/15): When I wrote this yesterday, I assumed, incorrectly, that the storm was only going to brush the Bahamas. It has become a category four and is pounding the Bahamas. I know many have been praying for the Bahamas as they have watched what the storm is doing. I simply wanted to acknowledge that fact, and encourage continued prayer for the people of the Bahamas.
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Images credit: National Hurricane Center

Danny, Erika, and Grace, Oh My!

Erika1When I was contemplating this year’s hurricane season earlier today, I heard this line from The Wizard of Oz: “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” Except I didn’t hear it in quite that way. I heard, “Danny, and Erika, and Grace, oh my!” Of course, Danny, Erika, and Grace are three tropical cyclones that we have exercised authority over this year.

As I wrote in my post about Erika (see post HERE), we used Danny for intercessory practice even though it was never a threat to Florida. Virtually as soon as Danny disappeared, the Lord showed us that Erika would be a threat to Florida. While I do not believe that Erika would have been the type of storm that would have brought widespread destruction to Florida, it would have taken a bite out of a particular testimony that I have been privileged to use as I explain the Church’s intercessory authority over storms of all types.

That testimony is this: Since 1851 when records started to be kept, Florida has been hit by a hurricane every two years on average. Prior to 2005, the longest stretch without a hurricane was only five years, and that only happened once. There were several times that there have been four-year stretches with no storms. Otherwise, prior to 2005, Florida has been hit by at least one hurricane every two or three years. As I write this, we are currently in our tenth year without a hurricane strike. If we have anything to say about it—and we do—we will finish our tenth year without a hurricane strike.

The Lord spoke to us about Erika because it posed a threat to that wonderful testimony of God’s grace. The National Hurricane Center predicted that Erika would hit Florida as a hurricane. The graphic above was the storm center’s prediction on Thursday, August 27 at 5:00 PM. That evening our congregation came together for a night of intercessory prayer. We specifically commanded the storm, in many creative ways, to shift and dissipate. We left that evening Erika3recognizing that we had an impact. This hurricane center released the graphic to the right on Friday morning. By Friday at 8:00 AM Erika had shifted to the west enough that the high mountains of Hispaniola promised to neuter its power, and the hurricane center downgraded Erika’s potential impact on Florida to that of only a tropical storm. By later on Friday, it had shifted even further west and its survival was in question.

On Friday afternoon and early evening, I was contacted by two different ministries that were meeting to pray about Erika. One was a ministry from Tampa, and one was from Boca Raton. They both asked if I had any insights or direction on Erika. Essentially, I told them both to drive a stake through its heart so that Hispaniola would end any storm threat. As a result, it was no surprise to me that even though the hurricane center had predicted Erika would last another week, it was gone by Saturday morning. That is the authority that God has given as we pray in agreement, linking shields to protect our areas of geographic influence. To me, that is exciting stuff.

I only mentioned Grace in the title, because it is a storm that we prayed about last Sunday. It was headed in our general direction, so we simply commanded it to dissipate before it got anywhere close. It disappeared by Wednesday. Oh my!

I am sharing this report as an encouragement to all those who are linking shields together against hurricane threats. We are doing the job that the Lord has called us to do. We have been called to stand in the gap for our areas of influence. I am pleased to be linking shields with many through these articles who have the heart to stand in the gap as the Lord has invited us to do. We are making an amazing difference.
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Images credit: National Hurricane Center

Use the Keys, Stop Bad Things

blueberriesThe avian influenza that ravaged the Midwest has been stopped in its tracks. No new cases have been detected since June 17. When I first warned of what the Lord has shown us about this epidemic back in April (see “A Turkey Shortage for Thanksgiving?“), just over one million birds had already died or been culled. I stated that if we did not pray, we would see far more birds die. According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)  information, the epidemic ended up claiming 48.1 million birds through mid-June. While the U.S. Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, is not ready to declare that the outbreak is over, I believe that God’s people have turned the key in the lock.

In an update released on July 19, the USDA admitted that it still has not nailed down how the virus spread. The reason they are puzzled is that large bird farms have fairly good biosecurity procedures. But in spite of that security, this epidemic rampaged throughout the Midwest. Since the Lord told us back in February that this plague had spiritual roots, I’m not surprised that they are having difficulties nailing down the transmission vectors. Medical authorities are at a disadvantage when things have spiritual roots. That is why we need to use the keys of authority that the Lord has provided us (see Matthew 16 and Matthew 18).

I personally believe the turning point came on June 2. Up until June 2, the spread of the virus was continuing unchecked. If you check the USDA website, you can see that detections of newly infected flocks were continuing unabated at that time (see full chart).

PoultryChart1

However, during the first week of June, hundreds of Kingdom warriors from around the United States came together at Heritage International Ministries in Fort Mill SC. We gathered for the MorningStar Fellowship of Ministries retreat. These are spiritual veterans who have ministries across the United States devoted to building the Kingdom of God. They have faith, and most have a growing understanding of the keys we have been given. Since they represented regions from around the United States and the world, the geographic authority represented in those meetings was massive.

On Tuesday afternoon, June 2, we held a prophetic panel. Dawn and I had been invited to be a part of the panel, and to share what God had been showing to us. By June 2, almost 45 million birds had died or been culled. I knew part of my job description on that panel was to explain what the Lord had revealed to us, and then to stand in intercessory authority with all those marvelous spiritual warriors so that we might crush this outbreak of avian influenza. We did just that.

I believe the tide turned that day. When you have flocks of a million birds, the detection procedure takes time. Flocks would have been infected days before the flu is detected, and perhaps even before that, especially when you are referencing a commercial flock of a million birds. When you factor that into the charts on the USDA website, you can see that my belief that June 2 was the turning point has merit.

PoultryChart2

My belief has even more merit when you realize that all those Kingdom warriors returned to their homes and ministries across the United States and used the keys in their local settings for the next several weeks.

By June 5th, the back of this epidemic was broken. One backyard flock was diagnosed on June 9, but obviously a backyard flock could have been infected for quite some time before detection. Since the June 17 detection involved a flock of a million birds, we have no way of knowing when it was infected, only that it was the last flock in which avian influenza was detected.

The USDA is officially stating that they believe the summer heat has stopped the flu outbreak. However, they are certainly not a credible source on this topic, simply because they do not even know how it has spread. Human hubris is amazing sometimes. We don’t know how it spread, but we think we can tell you why it stopped. Remember that they are ill-equipped to deal with issues that have spiritual roots.

I believe that God’s Kingdom people have won a great victory. But we may not be done yet. Scientists at the USDA are nervously looking ahead to the fall migratory season with more than a little trepidation. They are concerned that droppings from infected migratory birds could once again spark an epidemic. I too am concerned, simply because the Lord showed us the spiritual roots of this epidemic before it even started. It is a result of lack of thankfulness in our nation. Until we deal with that spiritual issue, those with Kingdom authority must be prepared to use their keys as soon as they hear of reports that indicate another outbreak is underway. In fact, it would not hurt if we locked the door preemptively to any such scourge.

There is another reason that it may not come back in its current form; the Lord has already shown us what the enemy is seeking to attack next. The enemy of our souls (and of our food supplies) will always look for openings. When we have used our spiritual authority to shut one door, he goes looking somewhere else. The Lord showed us that he is exploring how to impact the cattle industry. So as you are praying for chickens, you might also use your keys to bring protection to the beef and dairy industry.

I believe we have experienced an incredible victory for the Kingdom of God, and for the people of this United States for whom we stand in the gap. As with all spiritual warfare, this doesn’t mean we can let down our guard. In fact, we can use our new found faith and authority, something we receive with every victory, to extend the Kingdom even further. The Kingdoms of this world are becoming the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ—and he has given us the privilege of accomplishing it in his name.
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Image credit: USDA