I live in a region nicknamed the Garden Spot, and while one sees plenty of corn, wheat, and other crops flourishing in abundance, one rarely sees orange trees. Why? To grow oranges in this area would be a real challenge. Orange trees need warmer temperatures, a specific amount of rainfall, and sandy soil that drains away water in order to thrive.
While tending my garden one day, the Lord spoke to me of this difficulty in getting certain things to grow because of an environment that is conducive to certain plants but hostile to others. “In the same way, I want the fruit of the kingdom of heaven – righteousness, peace, and joy – to flourish even as wickedness and corruption die out,” I sensed Him saying. “Pray that this is true of the church, but also the region and the nation at large.”
There is something demoralizing about seeing individuals, especially repeat offenders, operating without accountability. When people in authority get away with criminal activity it is particularly disheartening. It discourages the righteous and emboldens those tempted to wickedness. Referencing a politician, a colleague of mine once said, “If he can get away with it, so can I,” as she rationalized her lack of integrity in a business transaction.
The lawlessness in our land is beyond our human abilities to do anything about it. Along with that is addiction and fatherlessness and debt and depression and confusion and a host of other giants that we’ve tried to address with programs, only to discover they’re beyond our capacity. “‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit’ says the Lord of angel armies” (Zechariah 4:6).
The Lord is bringing forth a new atmosphere over our land, and it’s one in which wickedness and lawlessness no longer flourish. False religions, demonic thought, and unbelief are finding it difficult to grow. He is establishing justice in the gate (Amos 5:15). He is ushering in a climate conducive to righteousness. How do I know this? Because this is how He is leading His church to pray.
For many months I’ve been praying for specific people and situations key to our nation and government. I’ve prayed the Psalms and I’ve declared decrees in confidence that this was the Father’s own will (Psalm 37:4). But of late, there has been a shift. It is as though a door has closed and another has opened. The Spirit groans with utterances too deep for words (Romans 8:26). And the heartbeat of God is for Heaven to come to earth (Matthew 6:10) For mindsets to change. For eyes to be opened. For hearts to be quickened. For a holy fear of the Lord to fall. And for there to be a groundswell of righteousness.
The other night I told my husband of my intense desire for Home. “I can’t remain in this state,” I said. “But I know my children need me, too. Something has to give. If I’m not released to go to Heaven, then Heaven must come to earth.” Last night at a tent meeting, a local minister whom I never met stood up and said the exact same words I’d said to my husband. The Lord is for sure quickening this longing in His bride.
A question that begs an answer is, do we really want the glory of the Lord to fall as it did on the early church, and even more? Such was the atmosphere in which two churchgoers died suddenly upon telling a lie (Acts 5:1-11) and a ruler was struck dead and eaten by worms for flaunting his celebrity status instead of giving glory to God (Acts 12:23). Mightn’t God do such a thing again?
A climate of such glory might be dangerous.
My pastor pointed out at a recent prayer meeting that this generation is pioneering something new in the earth, and as such, it’s not always easy because it hasn’t been done. And yet, he exhorted us, “God wouldn’t give you a burden for something if He did not intend to respond to it.”
The Lord has answered one impossible prayer after another these last twelve months. I look back over my prayer journals and marvel at what He’s done. But in many ways, the prayers are more desperate now than they were before. If He placed on our hearts such outrageous desires, and then brought about the realization of dozens of them, for sure He will do the same again (Psalm 37:4).
Are you crying out for righteousness as well? Please share how the Holy Spirit is leading your prayers.