Jerusalem 33 A.D.

It was between the years of 30 A.D. And 34 A.D. Of the Roman occupation of Israel. The Jewish people saw their nation in the most serious trauma. They had watched what promised to be one of her most influential leaders, crucified on the eve of Passover in 33 A.D. In a political move that shocked thousands throughout Israel, the temple leaders had turned over the one that many had hoped would finally be the revolutionary deliver of Israel, Jesus of Nazareth. The beloved Nazarene had been executed by the Roman empire to the horror of many. But now reports were flying fast and furious throughout Jerusalem that this man had come back to life. With thousands giving personal accounts to verify His being alive. In fact, in one encounter over 500 people were shocked when He paid them a visit. A movement that had turned into a catastrophic nightmare only days before, had suddenly been given a resurrection shot of life. Now the witnesses at the behest of Jesus were told to seek and wait in prayer. And so they began to meet for the reflection upon the scriptures and for fasting and prayer. With great anticipation day after day they came together to seek the Lord. The numbers began to dwindle as the days wore on and then in the upper room of a small home a reduced group of patient Galileans, numbering 120, continued to wait steadfastly for the promise of the Holy Spirit. And then it began, suddenly the presence of the Lord manifested in a way that had never been seen before as these men and women began to worship, while being filled with the presence of the Lord. Not only was the Lord making Himself known among them, He was inside them filling them to overflowing. Their strong expressions of emotion toward the Lord were so loud that immediately it drew the attention of passers by and the crowds began to assemble to see what the commotion was all about. Many cried out to the Lord in languages that they could not possibly know, while the international community stood in wonder. Now the followers of Jesus who once fled for their lives, hiding from both Jewish and Roman authorities were in the center of town proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. They announced the forgiveness of sin and proclaimed Jesus Christ the true messiah, the deliverer of human hearts. One of the group, a former fisherman and follower of Christ, not known for his bravery or public speaking, spoke boldly with passion about the man they had come to know. The presence of the Lord exploded over Jerusalem. Three thousand received Christ as Lord in that one moment and a few days later another 5,000 were born again. Every day people were being transformed as the Spirit of God was poured out with the Good News. Immediately the religious leaders aggressively took matters into their own hands as they authorized regiments to prosecute an internal war on what they considered the scourge of this new prayer movement which proclaimed their former nemesis as Lord. Years earlier, the Shammah Pharisees, a radical religious group had gained political influence over the temple to the chagrin of the more passive Hillel Pharisees. It was a temple that during the peak holiday season employed over 50,000 people throughout and around Jerusalem. Now the Shammah Pharisees saw their influence being threatened by this new prayer movement. A vicious persecution broke out against the church. Believers were beaten, tortured, incarcerated, and executed. The very same leaders who opposed the ministry of Jesus could not comprehend the nature of the threat to their power. This was the ministry of the Holy Spirit from God in Heaven. The more intense the persecution, the more the people prayed, and the more the power of God was in display. For the next eleven years the good news could not be stopped. Then something happened which no one anticipated. Reports were now filling the land that Gentiles were now confessing that the God of Israel was the true and living God, as the reports of Christ's resurrection and subsequent forgiveness filled their hearts. Now the Lord was drawing other nationalities into the body of Christ. What the prophets could never of imagined began to unfold right before their eyes, as the promise of Abraham became real. Revival spread throughout the Middle East, with hundreds of thousands coming to Christ as the Good News was proclaimed. Under way was the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham. His seed was for all nations and a movement that would change the course of history and the lives of untold billions. His name is Jesus, He's alive. Today His gospel is literally reaching around the world and touching the lives of hundreds of millions, because of God's faithfulness through praying believers. This battle between good and evil is playing out in every heart and home and is for the high stakes of the lives of people. So let us bend the knee and surrender to the presence of love Himself, becoming the cracks that He forced through. His promise is written in His own blood that if we set everything aside in pursuit of Him, He will be found.

...know them that labour among you... 1 Thessalonians 5:12 * ...pray for one another... James 5:6 * ...the eye cannot say to the hand I have no need of thee... 1 Corinthians 12:21 * ...there is one Body and one Spirit... Ephesians 4:4 * ...the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth... Ephesians 4:16 * ...I pray that they may be one with us so that the world will believe...John 17:21 * pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity...Psalm 133:1 "The purpose of life is companionship." *** "Worship is that form of companionship where we love on Him in response to His great love for us." *** "The most powerful drive in the human heart is the desire for companionship." *** "We inherited this drive from the One we were patterned after." *** "The difference between manipulation and leadership is motive." *** "Motive is purified and guided in the presence of God: Prayer." *** "Pride is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency, an attitude of self-entitlement and a motive for self-glorification." *** "Pride starts subtly and then turns into the aggressive enemy of real companionship" *** "The Cross and the presence of God brings fellowship (heart to heart), but the world offers only socializing (facade to facade)." *** "Every relationship has a foundation. The pride of public ministry has been a foundation for too many. At some point it consumes" *** "There is a difference between worshipping the idea that we worship God and actually worshipping God." *** "Why do we want to see prayer back in the schools, when it is no longer in our homes or churches?" *** "Corporate prayer around the Throne must return the center of church life if there is to be any hope for the masses." *** "Corporate prayer produces effective preaching, not preaching produces corporate prayer." *** "If we are so in the know, why do we no longer gather together to seek God, navigate through our haughty hearts to get a glimpse of God's heart and then pray in the lost?" *** "Christianity is not an enterprise, venture for self-discovery or political or civic organization. It is a Blood-bought fellowship of prayer focused on One." *** "Prayer-based friendships are the only ones that last." *** "Prayer-bathed friendships are not incidental to ministry, they are foundational." *** "Prayer is not a ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is the ministry" *** "It's one thing to tell somebody what we believe about Jesus, it's quite another to be able to introduce someone to our Best Friend." *** "We are more like Martha than Mary; More like Christian activists, than people of prayer." *** "We need unity in humility found at the foot of the Cross, not prideful uniformity that says: 'Look at us doing God's work'" "There has got to be a practical, excecutable strategy in place for us to dethrone the ministry of Hollywood in our homes and bring families and communities together via corporate prayer inspired by the Spirit. Technology is not the enemy; Our disobedient laziness is the enemy." ***