Network for Revival – Newsletter March 2020

We are pleased to reproduce the latest Newsletter of Rev Tony Higton’s, Network for Revival. 

Please go to networkforrevival.co.uk for further details or contact Tony at email: tony@higton.info

Prepare

Network for Revival March 2020

What is God saying through Coronavirus – including about Revival?

Our hearts go out to those suffering from Covid 19 and we pray for their healing. We also need to pray for and care for our neighbours facing the effects of the crisis. We need, where possible, to help them as they face anxiety, loneliness, job loss, financial crisis, frustration and boredom. We need to pray for the government and NHS as they face huge demands and inadequate resources. I don’t for one moment minimise this suffering and self-sacrifice in what I am going to say now.

But we also need to ask about God’s perspective on the crisis. What is he saying? What is he doing? This may not become the worst pandemic in terms of the number of deaths. Some 200 million died in the Black Death and 40-50 million in the Spanish Flu epidemic following the terrible losses in World War 2. But it is having a very dramatic effect on society. Sky News referred to a week in mid-March as “frightening and bewildering.” The Chancellor of the Exchequer said “We have never in peace time had such an economic fight as this one.” One commentator said “The world will never be the same despite all technology because a very tiny invisible object can bring us down.”

This huge worldwide crisis comes at a time when there is also profound concern about the environment – and some scientists believe the spread of Coronavirus resulted from abuse of one aspect of the environment. It is also a time when persecution of Christians is worse than ever; when the Western world has largely turned away from its Christian heritage and when, as we noted last time, the church is abandoning important teaching of God’s Word. It is likely to result in the global economic system being under very serious threat (it doesn’t take much imagination to think it could at some stage collapse in a day as the Book of Revelation describes in chapter 18). It also comes at a time when there are significant events happening with respect to Israel (see my article http://www.prayerforpeace.org.uk/paradox50.html). All of these things are matters which Jesus said were signs of the End. Although some of them are early recurring signs, the coinciding of them all is surely intended to make us prepare for his Return, as Jesus taught his disciples.

The serious effect and the context of Coronavirus show that it is an act of redemptive judgment, i.e. it is one of God’s warnings intended to lead us to repentance. It is making people think about their mortality and the meaning of life. Doubtless many outside the church will turn to prayer. People are likely to be more open to God than they have been. We trust also that leading Christians will use the media for evangelistic purposes.

The Coronavirus crisis is also God calling the church back to him. We now cannot even worship together! Yet we have seen the church develop endless, largely prayerless, committees, synods, reorganisations, regulations, administrative procedures, etc over recent decades. But God is calling the church back to himself – which primarily means extensive individual and, where feasible, corporate prayer. Jesus felt the need to major on prayer. How can we soft-pedal it? How many churches have prayer meetings? During this crisis many Christians will have time on their hands. We need to use that to major on prayer. It is vital to do so, not least because the Book of Revelation teaches that redemptive judgment, if unheeded, is followed by eternal judgment.

God is also calling the church back to his Word – not just renouncing liberalism but living biblically i.e. being radically biblical in the power of the Spirit. How many modern disciples match up to the standards Jesus taught “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life – such a person cannot be my disciple … In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples” (Lk 14:26, 33). Obviously the word “hate” is not literal but it is Jesus’ dramatic call to put God way before all loved ones. How many churches correct persistently sinful members as Jesus said they should? How many churches proclaim the sternness of God as well as his kindness, as Jesus did?

I have no delusions of grandeur – I am a tiny piece in God’s jigsaw picture. But I know that, out of the blue, in November 2015 he gave me a strong sense of call to major on prayer and preparation for Revival. He called me initially to invite people local to us to join in, then, to my surprise, to create a national mailing list, which he has blessed. The four years since then have been probably the most spiritually rewarding I’ve ever known. Now almost 600 people, mainly clergy, ministers and church leaders in the UK, are members of Network for Revival. This is significant and now we are confronted with this Coronavirus mega-crisis. I believe it is not a coincidence but a God-incidence.

For members of the Network, Coronavirus is also a call to redouble our prayer and preparation for revival. I believe God is calling us to pray that many, many people who feel vulnerable and therefore more open spiritually will turn to the Lord. The Coronavirus crisis is not just a difficult event. It is a powerful divine call to pray for Revival now. It is intended to give us a sense of urgency as we see remarkable events and trends in the world. I am very sympathetic to those affected by Coronavirus and, as a family, we are seeking to reach out to neighbours pastorally and evangelistically. But the fact that people feel vulnerable, sense their mortality and therefore are more open spiritually is, I believe, an answer to prayer. We need to pray they will concentrate on eternal realities and the need to be ready to meet God and that this will be a permanent change, not just whilst the crisis rules

We need to pray for revival to happen now. The way it comes about may be different from earlier revivals. Pray that this crisis will turn into revival. We must not miss this opportunity – for the sake of humanity – and for God’s sake. God is calling us – the matter is urgent!

Pleading for Revival: Pleading the Name of God

It is a primary duty to honour the name of the Lord (Lev 22:32).

The Lord is zealous for his holy name

The Lord says “I will be zealous for my holy name” (Ezk 39:25). He is profoundly concerned that his name should be honoured and he acts to achieve that. He makes that clear through Ezekiel: “Wherever [Israel] went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, ‘These are the Lord’s people, and yet they had to leave his land.’ I had concern for my holy name, which the people of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone. Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: it is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes” (Ezk 36:20-23).

He brought Israel out of Egypt for the sake of his name “for the sake of my name, I brought them out of Egypt. I did it to keep my name from being profaned in the eyes of the nations among whom they lived and in whose sight I had revealed myself to the Israelites” (Ezk 20:9 cf vv 14 & 22). He says to Israel “You will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices” (Ezk 20:44). So he blots out Israel’s transgressions for his own sake (Isa 43:25 cf 48:9-11). He says ‘“I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the Lord am the Holy One in Israel” (Ezk 39:7).

To plead the Lord’s name is spiritually powerful

The Psalmist regularly pleads the name of the Lord in prayer ““Do not hold against us the sins of past generations; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need. Help us, God our Saviour, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake. Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ (Psa 79:8-10 cf 25:11; 31:3; 143:11).

Jeremiah prays similarly “Although our sins testify against us, do something, Lord, for the sake of your name. For we have often rebelled; we have sinned against you …. For the sake of your name do not despise us; do not dishonour your glorious throne. Remember your covenant with us and do not break it” (Jer 14:7, 21).

Daniel prays “ ‘Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us. ‘Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favour on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name” (Dan 9:15-19).

We need to pray earnestly that the Lord will honour his name in revival

We live in a largely godless society and a church which often fails. This profoundly dishonours the name of the Lord.

The devil is therefore mocking the Lord and saying to us “Where is your God?” (Ex 32:9-14, 32; Isa 37:14-20; Psa 74, 80, 123). This should greatly distress us and in our prayer for revival we need to pray earnestly “Come to make your name known to your enemies” (Isa 64:2); “Do something for the sake of your name” (Jer 10:6).

Be assured of my prayers for you, especially at this stressful time.

God bless you,Tony

Hope for the Countryside – Seeds of Prayer – April 2020

Seeds of Prayer Apr 2020Have you ever thought of praying for the Countryside? Check out the latest Newsletter from Hope for the Countryside.

Monthly Newsletter for April 2020 – Seeds of Prayer

In particular this month are some thoughts and prayer pointers into the current coronavirus situation.

Click on the newsletter image to the left, to download and view as a pdf.

Praying for the NHS in London

Just received from our friend, David Vincent, at London Prayer

London Prayer white

londonprayer.com

Dear Friends

I wanted to share with you a simple initiative for raising informed prayer for the NHS in London at this critical time. London Prayer has created a single point of contact for those wanting to regularly pray for London’s NHS or for NHS staff wanting to share prayer requests which we can guarantee will be prayed for.

A contact number (07857 051229) has been set up from which a single daily prayer update based upon reports from across London and its NHS staff will be sent. Staff can text this number if they or their hospital needs urgent prayer.

More details are online here:
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Download a printable pdf document of the scheme  – click here.
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These documents and the above phone number can be shared publicly.

At London Prayer we want to facilitate effective regular prayer for the NHS at this time and also to stimulate churches to create prayer groups to pray for their local health services so that together we cast a net of prayer over our city and those working on the front line.

Many thanks
David Vincent

Petition – Call on the PM for a National Day of Prayer

National day of prayer

We were delighted to see today a petition that has been set up to call upon the Prime Minister to call at National Day of Prayer.

It references our own webpage about The miracle of Dunkirk during WWII

ctntp.uk/other-insights/the-miracle-of-dunkirk/

Visit the Petition site here for details:

change.org/p/boris-johnson-call-upon-boris-johnson-for-national-day-of-prayer

Coronavirus – Praying at this time of Global Crisis

Soldiers on the Western Front in a happy mood as they eat a meal to celebrate Christmas Day in a shell hole partly occupied by the grave of a comrade.It is said that in the last World War that there was no such thing as an atheist in the trenches! Well, right now we are in the midst of a Global war on coronavirus, and Prayer is surely on the agenda of many more than it was!

Whether we pray as a result of a large scale ‘call to prayer’, or on the other end of the scale as individuals, every cry to our Heavenly Father is precious and is heard. We must all take our part in the 24-7 groundswell of prayer and praise that, like we read in 2 Chronicles 20, will defeat the enemy.

Golden prayer bowlsRevelation 5:8, shows us that our prayers fill Golden Bowls of Heaven… and surely, the answers are starting to tip back down to earth – Heaven, The Kingdom of God is coming to Earth!

Keep praying, as The Spirit leads you.  An end times revival awakening is surely upon the earth!

National Call to Prayer by CTe – Sunday 22nd March

National call to prayer

Presidents of Churches Together in England have issued a call to prayer in the light of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is for all churches and people of prayer to join on Sunday 22 nd March, Mothering Sunday.

They write….

This Mothering Sunday, 22nd March, we are calling all churches to a National Day of Prayer and Action. At such a time as this, when so many are fearful and there is great uncertainty, we are reminded of our dependence on our loving Heavenly Father and the future that he holds.

At 7pm this Sunday, light a candle in the windows of your homes as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer.

Whether you are continuing to worship as congregations or not, we have the great privilege and freedom to be able to call upon God, wherever we are, individually and corporately, for healing in our nation. We would pray for all in leadership at this time, making decisions about the containment of the COVID-19 virus, for those working in health and social care, and especially for the most vulnerable, whether elderly or those with underlying health conditions.

There are already stories being told of wonderful acts of kindness across neighbourhoods. Alongside your prayers, take the opportunity to telephone or email someone who is isolated, buy some additional food for your local foodbank, or offer to deliver shopping for an elderly neighbour. We may not be able to touch physically, but we can make connections in so many other ways.

In the meantime, do please attend to all the government health advice that will be issued, and look out for resources from your specific church governing bodies. At least for those of us in the global North, we do seem to be in unusual times, and wisdom and flexibility about worship gatherings are a key part of our Christian discipleship during this period.

We note that this call to prayer and action comes on Mothering Sunday: a time of thankfulness, remembering especially mothers who have served us, often in very costly ways. It is also a very mixed day for many. For some the remembrance is painful, and for others Mothering Sunday is a reminder of disappointment or loss. In many ways, this period under the shadow of the coronavirus will be prompting similarly diverse reactions and so it seems especially appropriate that the call to prayer is made this Sunday. At this time of uncertainty join in with the National Day of Prayer and Action, lighting a candle of hope.

“Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7

Presidents of Churches Together in England
Archbishop Justin Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster
Revd Dr Hugh Osgood, The Free Churches Moderator
Archbishop Angaelos of London, CTE President for the Orthodox Churches
Pastor Agu Irukwu, CTE Pentecostal President

 

Releasing Heaven – a personal testimony

Have you a desire to see signs, wonders and miracles, people healed and set free? Well it is much a case of gaining the right perspective of who we are in Christ and responding to His voice! 

David Gilbey, UK Coordinator of CTNTP, records what happened last week, and what it led to three days later:

Last Thursday, I attended a strategic leader’s prayer meeting in the City of Birmingham. As we started the morning in worship, I got a strong picture of a funnel, a vortex, connecting Heaven and earth. I saw a portal – our prayers were causing us to be a conduit between the two realms. 

I then recalled the story of Jacob’s ladder – the portal of Angelic activity described in Genesis 28.

Releasing HeavenThat evening I travelled to a seemingly unconnected meeting for dinner with Dr Candice Smithyman, co-pastor of Freedom Destiny Church and her daughter, who were over from the USA, and my friend and CTNTP Team Member, Suzanne Ferrett, who also heads up, Passion for the Nation. We had a wonderful time. Candice kindly gave us a copy of her new book, Releasing Heaven.  

During dinner, I mentioned previous prophecies over my life, that I would move in signs, wonders and miracles and see amazing healings!

Before we left, Candice prayed with us, and I knew something significant had taken place, particularly as we all then discovered some tiny flakes of gold dust on our hands and sleeves!

2020-03-06 13.56.40
Suzanne, Candice and David during their meeting for dinner last week

The next day I started to read Releasing Heaven. Wow! Awesome! (Not words we Brits. use frequently!). Candice’s insights immediately started to bring sharp focus to truths I was already aware of concerning my Heavenly position and authority, but which over time had become dulled.

My eyes really widened as I reached Chapter Three, entitled, Gateway to Heaven, where Candice opens up the whole subject of Heavenly portals, specifically referring to the story of Jacob, about which God had spoken to me just the previous morning!

Well, two days later the miracles have started!

A week before the wife of a close friend had a serious surgical procedure to her jaw. She had since been in pain, unable to open or move her jaw properly and had found it almost impossible to take in even liquid food by straw. She had lost several pounds in weight.

Sunday at Church this dear lady was able to explain the situation. As she spoke I felt what I can best describe as a tangible ‘rush’ of faith and felt compelled to pray for her. I made a declarative prayer for her ability to eat to be restored (and secondly for her jaw bone density at the procedure site to be restored. It was just 1.6 mm)

The next morning, I got the following message from my friend:

‘Praise God! … [my wife] got up this morning suddenly realising she can now open her mouth wide. Eating, albeit still no solids will be without hindrance. Likewise, she will now be able to clean her teeth. Pain is practically zero. Thank you Jesus…! This is important to both of us as I go away to [Bible] college today for the week knowing she is so much better. We are overjoyed with this surprise even with our own measures of faith. What was a dark prognosis is turning out to be a victory for Jesus!’

Waiting now to hear about the bone density!