Intercessory Prayers for Revival
In the 47th chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel, the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to the Healing Waters and Trees. Let us meditate on verses 1 to 12. There was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east; it was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar (vs.1). The people of God in the body of Christ, the Church have been interceding for revivals. Their prayers with tears flow like water from the temple. The water proceeds from the right side of the temple. This means that the intercessory prayers are in accordance with the will of God. It emanates from the altar of the temple. When the people of God sacrifice their comfort and time to spend time at the feet of God, their prayer emanates from the altar of God. The people of God should come to the House of God and sacrifice their time for intercessory prayers.
Towards the east
The water flows towards the east. Biblically speaking, the east and the west directions are very significant from the point of view of distance (Ps.103: 2). Isaiah says that the Lord would bring the descendants of Israel from the east, and would gather them from the west. (Is.43: 5). Prophetically speaking, the spiritual Israel, the Church, will give birth to a large number of children who would be from the east, and would gather the people of God together from the west. The western nations, who are mostly evangelicals, would be gathered together in the body of Christ and the eastern nations, who are mostly non-evangelicals, would become the descendants of the spiritual Israel. The water from the temple flows towards the east. Since the west has already been watered, the water has to flow towards the east.
Three types of prayer life
The man in the vision of Ezekiel brings Ezekiel to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side (Vs.2). . The prophet is shown as a sign. The man goes out to the east with the line in his hand and measures one thousand cubits, and brings Ezekiel through the waters; the water comes up to his ankles (Vs.3). Firstly, the prayer of the people of God flows like water reaching up to the ankles of the prophet. Secondly, the prayer of the people of God flows like water reaching up to the waist of the prophet. Thirdly, the prayer of the people of God flows like a river that the prophet could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed (Vs.5).
The standard of measurement at one thousand cubits remains the same on all such three experiences of prayer. The Lord has already set the target of one thousand cubits at the initial stage of the ankle deep experience itself. The measurement of one thousand cubits is achieved only at the final stage of the swimming experience of the people of God in their prayer life. One has to reach the prayer stage of the ankle deep experience, then the second prayer stage of the waist deep experience and finally the last prayer stage of the swimming experience. The final stage of intercessory prayer is the travailing prayer – a prayer until the child is born.
Three types of praying Christians
Most of the Christians are merely content with their initial experience of the ankle deep prayer life. They pray for their own needs, for their own churches or pastors and at times for others.
Quite a number of Christians, apart from praying for their own needs, also intercede regularly for others or for their pastors/ministers. They are not like those people who just sing hymns in the churches, say a few prayers, hear sermons, participate in the Holy Communion and then leave their churches on Sundays. But, they also intercede for others. They have thus experienced the waist-deep prayer life.
A very few Christians, who fall under the third category, pray for revivals in the churches and travail in their prayers until “the descendants of the east” are born. These people of God pray day and night and do not give rest to God. They come, lie all night in sackcloth. These very people of God are not mere believers but are priests “who minister before the altar”. They organize or participate in all-night prayer meetings and pray for revivals unceasingly. They humble themselves before God and wear “sack cloth”. They fall before God in their secret chambers and plead God to send revivals to the churches of the world. Their prayers are aggressive so as to move the Hand of God. They plead before God to spare their nation from His wrath. (Joel 13:13-14). The intercessory prayers of this category of Christians cause “a river” which cannot be crossed.
Very many trees
The prophet finds “very many trees” on one side and the other of this river (Vs.7). Due to their intercessory prayers for revival of our churches, “many trees” will spring up. We will see a large number of mighty ministries if we join the third category of prayer warriors. Many apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral and teaching ministries will spring up on the bank of this very river. The river of blessings will flow towards the eastern region. It will go down into the valley of darkness and will set free the captives of the devil (Vs.8).
The Great Sea
The river of the intercessory prayers for revival finally reaches the Great Sea, which means the source of the power of God, and its waters are healed (Vs.8), with the result that God pours out His Spirit on all nations. Our self-centered prayers like “Bless me…my family…my pastor” will never reach the Great Sea of God. God accepts the intercessory prayers being made for the other afflicted people, for the missionaries in the distant nations, for the other members of the body of Christ throughout the world. Such prayers which flow like a river and which bring about revivals in the churches and great blessings in the world are perfect (or healed) and pleasing in the sight of God.
A very great multitude of fish
Why cannot we cause a river to be sprung due to our intercessory prayers? Wherever these waters go, there will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes (Vs.9).
These days, we find our Christian missionaries through their nets catch a few fishes, and that too, after paying a heavy price through their personal lives. If this river goes to their mission fields, there will be a very great multitude of fish; people with incurable diseases “will be healed”; “everybody”, be it a Hindu, a Sikh, a Buddhist, a Jew, a Muslim or a nominal Christian will find eternal life in Christ and “will live”.
Fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many (Vs.10). The fish, which these fishermen will catch in their nets, will be the same as that of the fish of the Great Sea. When the river flows towards the east, the ministers of God will travel from one end of the world to the other end of the world or from the west to the east and bring multitudes to the Kingdom of God.
The fish of the Great Sea means those saints of God who entered glory and are now of the Heaven, the Great Sea of God whence the power of God is released. The new disciples of Christ (whom the fishermen will catch) will share the same glory of the old disciples of Christ who have entered glory. Dear child of God, you can share the same glory in the Heaven of the early Apostles like Peter, Paul, John, etc.
Swamps and marshes
Verse 11 says, “But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt”. The swamps and marshes are tracts of wet, spongy lands. In our midst, there are people like swamps and marshes who are already wet, having once received the power of God. They have received salvation and other spiritual experiences from the Great Sea. Now they do not want any further flow of the river into their lives. They are content with their wet lands and do not want the river to flow into their lands. They have been taught their church doctrines and do not want to move in the direction where the Spirit of God moves. They do not have a vision about the universal body of Christ and about the revival of their churches. They would not get healed in the new move of the Holy Spirit. They try to fetter the Holy Spirit with their church doctrines. However, the Lord will not forsake them but will give over them to salt. The Lord will chasten them through His judgment because He loves them (Pro.3:11-12).
Fruit bearing trees
When the river flows in the wilderness of this world, all kinds of trees will be grown (Vs.12). The wilderness will turn into rivers. There will be all kinds of ministers of God who will bring forth fruits, which can be “used for food”. People of this world will experience greater miracles and greater healings than they experience today. The leaves of these trees will not wither. These ministers will continue to perform their power-filled ministries constantly and will never let up on their work. Their fruit will not fail. The blessings, which flow from their ministries, will be stable. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary of God. They will be like the fruit-bearing trees, which bear fruit every month. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.
The Holy Spirit now exhorts us to pray for revivals in our churches and in our nations. Our prayers should be travailing, continuing and aggressive until the revival breaks out. Will you please take heed to the voice of the Spirit and obey Him today?
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