What we can Pray for that isn't Forbidden by Prophecy
From SaveTheWorld - a project of The Partnership Machine, Inc. (Sponsor: Family Music Center)
To the tune of La Bamba:
Let's go out and move a mountain! Jesus said that with a little faith we can make a mountain go swimming! Evil, evil, evil mountain, bye bye bye! Chorus: Bye bye mountain! Evil mountain! Evil mountain, bye bye bye!
2. I no longer see a mountain! Where the evil mountain swam I can see nothing left but a few bubbles! Bubbles, bubbles bubbles, Mountain, bye bye bye (Chorus)
3. I remember evil mountain. Jesus told us with some prayer and action evil would jump into mem’ry. Thank you Jesus, you make evil go away! (Chorus)
4. Children, they no see the mountain. They no see that it was evil. They don’t think it could be so bad. We’re just old, old fashioned folks who don’t like to have fun! (Chorus:) Hello Mountain, Evil mountain, Evil mountain, Not again!
5. Our forefathers moved some mountains Trusting Jesus, with their hard work, made a whole range of mountains go swimming! In their footsteps, we can send the rest away! Bye, bye, mountains! Evil mountains! Range of mountains, bye bye bye!
But when I talk about really huge goals, the hope and indeed expectation of seeing A LOT accomplished before I die, against evil in the world, Christians tell me such a prayer goal is against prophecy: prophecy says the world will get worse and worse in the Last Days. So how can I Biblically pray for A LOT of accomplishment against evil?
So this article is my prayer. It is my vision of what I can pray for that doesn't "violate prophecy".
First of all, we don't know the Last Days timeline. We don't know how much time is left. I have thought The End must be within the next half dozen years for the past 60 years. We should not make a limit which we can't establish our excuse for making our struggle against evil small. In fact, to do so makes us part of the evil that strangles the world. It puts our "fire insurance policy" at risk of default.
Second, even if Antichrist reveals himself tomorrow, Bible prophecy says he will have enemies that he will fight against. I aim to be one of those enemies, if I live that long. In fact, I aim to be one of those enemies who are so successful that Antichrist will have to send his armies out to stop me.
Revelation 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
So with Jesus' blessing, I will pray as big as I can dream. My limit is not prophecy. My only limit is what would be good.
I would like to pray for the work I am doing to be so successful that there will be worldwide revival, and all the governments and churches of the land will be righteous. But would that be good? How many people WANT evil kicked back to Hell, and the world ruled by righteous governments and led by righteous churches? God grieves that people don't want Him.
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
But God doesn't want to come as a dictator and send police out to drag people into righteous living.
John 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. Matthew 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
So what can I pray for that leaves people's Free Will intact?
I can pray for two things:
(1) That enough people will join me in studying God's will for Christian gatherings, reasoning with each other, to establish great precision in our understanding of those Scriptures.
Or if anyone is already doing that, with the intention of establishing what they document the Scriptures urge, tell me where, so I can join them! But where is it happening? Where is there an assembly of people who love the Lord enough to reexamine all they assume about Christian meetings? In every church I know about, anyone suggesting they study whether Scripture calls for a very different manner of meetings than their denomination has followed for the past several centuries, would be asked to leave for being "divisive". It is not a question that would be welcome in any seminary I can imagine, because people go into debt several years' worth of salaries to graduate from a denomination's seminary in order to get a job in a church of that denomination to pay off that debt, but if they dare entertain serious questions about the denomination's official assumptions, they won't get a job.
But a "Multitude of Counsellors" willing to address the question will succeed, God promises:
Proverbs 15:22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.
There is a great body of theological literature presenting the Biblical evidence that the manner of a Christian gathering is a forum in which all are free to participate verbally in an orderly manner: there is no Biblical precedent for only one person to be allowed to give "The Message", with no significant verbal interaction allowed. There is another great body of theological literature showing that God means for Christians to be involved in opposing even that evil which governments sponsor. ("Politics".) What I am still looking for is people who will publicly acknowledge both that the Biblical format of Christian gatherings really does resemble a "Multitude of Counsellors" more than a Sermon, AND that the Biblical topic of discussion at the top of God's list is how to work together doing "good works", such as shining Light in Darkness - even in the deepest Darkness, where government supports it.
But maybe I don't know as much as I think. I look forward to scrutiny of my studies, and my opportunity to discuss the studies of others, as part of a Multitude of Counsellors.
(2) The second thing I can pray for is enough people to participate with each other in the manner God outlines to generate enough success that the whole world will see the success, will see that is indeed the way God calls us to interact - in a way that will shine Light in Darkness and spread healing.
Not that the whole world will welcome good, but at least that everyone will see it and understand it is theirs if they will only want it.
In fact, that is precisely the promise of one of the more clear prophecies:
Matthew 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
The prophecy is commonly trivialized by imagining what will be "preached in all the world" is a version of "the gospel" that fits in a pocket cartoon tract that tells you 2 or 3 things to say and/or believe to get in Heaven. I believe the Gospel does not exclude how God asks Christians to interact when they meet. 2 Chronicles 7:14 is oft quoted, and it is oft noted that the emphasis is on whether "my people, who are called by my name, will repent", which determines whether God can heal a land - not whether Moslems or Communists repent. My message is that when Christian pastors and laymen insist on a worship service with no precedent in the Bible, and censor any discussion approaching the interaction the Bible urges, isn't that a rather major departure from Biblical living, calling for repentance? If Christians are indeed that far away from Christian living, and suddenly become Biblical in their relationships, wouldn't the world have a lot more hope?
Just one teensy example: legal abortion has strangled America's soul for over 46 years now! I have spent a lot of time with Christian activist leaders who know beyond reasonable doubt that legal abortion would have never made it to its first birthday, had churches simply allowed members to share what they know about political steps to stop it, with their fellow church members, using their church facilities. How many readers understand how unthinkable that simple step is to pastors and church boards as far as the eye can see? I can't imagine anything that could have made Satan happier!
Several of my Bible studies on these matters are posted at www.Saltshaker.US.