Springtime is a season of new life and
also of ... spring cleaning. In Israel this is typically done before
Passover. While removing the leaven from their homes, people take stock
of their belongings and spruce up their apartments.
At Tents of Mercy, spring cleaning came a bit later this year. After
Passover, during the weeks between Passover and Pentecost (Shavuot),
members of the "Ark" (the youth and young adults' ministry) spent
time before the Lord and one another. The physical appearance of the
youth center needed to be improved. In parallel, the spiritual state of
the youth groups was stagnant. Our young people were not experiencing
breakthrough in their regular meetings and gatherings.
So we cleaned and painted and announced three days of fasting and prayer
for the teens and young adults culminating in Shavuot. For three weeks we
prepared physically and spiritually.
Going out from the prayer room
at the break of dawn
Then came the anticipated days of fasting and prayer. The first two
nights were not highly attended, but the Lord spoke to us about new
wineskins. Another Scripture we were led to was: "The voice of my beloved
is coming ... Rise up my love my fair one and come away with me" (Song of
Songs 2:8, 13). These verses spoke to us about the longing of the groom
for the bride and the bride's need for the sound and voice and
security of the groom. It was a call to rise up, to come away, to
separate and dedicate ourselves to being with the Lord. The youth
responded with repentance, proclamation of the Word, and intercession,
along with an enthusiastic style of worship that is unique to the youth.
On the last night, we came intending to spend the whole night in prayer
and worship. To our surprise, almost 40 youngsters showed up, filled with
expectancy and hunger. Words cannot express what we experienced together
as a group. There was a transformation in many of the youth regarding
their walk with the Lord. People received a burden to pray for the lost.
They prayed for the congregation and our visions and activities. They
went to war against mediocrity and hypocrisy. We sensed the Lord's
presence and His pleasure.
The power and motivation from the youth themselves over a full night of
prayer was far above and beyond what we had anticipated. The youth had a
desire to seek God in a new way that we had not seen before. Several
times during the night we put the live internet broadcast of the Revive
Israel Shavuot prayer on the projection screen. It was a great
encouragement for our youth to see, and to pray in unity with the prayer
directions that Revive Israel had set out. At the break of dawn everyone
in the group prayed in accord. God had fed and cleansed us.
It was the Lord's plan to bring us to this place. This is a new
stage in the vision to prepare the next generation. God is raising them
up. He wants to give our young people a clear message to unbelievers, a
strong focus on the Lord and an understanding of our identity. We will be
ascending new heights that our "fathers" have not yet reached. The young
people are the promise and hope of the congregation. Yet at same time,
with all of their promise and potential, they are the group that is most
vulnerable to attack.
We ask you to pray for the shepherding and protecting of this portion of
God's flock. May they mature and grow in their faith, even in the
midst of trials and temptations.
Praying through the night