Prayer Targets: Dr. Corinthia Boone; Church Helps; Plagues & Priests; The Return, a Solemn Assembly
March 18, 2020
He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' (Luke 10:27)
Dear Praying Friends,
Dr. Corinthia Ridgely Boone, a native Washingtonian, has chaired the Capital City National Day of Prayer since 1985. A distinguished educator (Bowie State University, B.D., M.A., and Union University Ph.D.), Corinthia spent 25 years as a teacher, principal, and instructional specialist in the nearby Prince George's County Public Schools before serving as Minister of Education at her church, Evangel Temple, which is among D.C.'s largest. She founded Together in Ministry and the International Christian Host Committee to build lasting relationships among churches, ministers, and ministries to pray and work together to advance Christian unity among leaders of all races, nationalities, and generations in the D.C. area. She has beautifully modeled Christian love. Now 85, her friends from across the national prayer movement insisted she write her fascinating autobiography, Corinthia -- My Potter's Wheel Journey Overcoming the Odds. Here are some excerpts:
WALK IN LOVE - Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love (Rom 8:38-39)? Paul suffered rejection from friends, persecution from the Roman government and many months of isolation in a prison cell. Regardless of what people or the circumstances of life brought, Paul clung to the fact that nothing in this life has the power to separate us from God's care (Romans 8:38-39).
The love of God contains eternal force! Nothing has the power to disconnect us from that love. Prayer is the connecting link -- daily contact between God and human beings. Nothing will ever be able to disconnect us from his powerful, awesome, all-consuming love.
We must victoriously live it -- and here's the key.
Jesus taught that the two most important commandments are to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind" and to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:37-40). The Apostle Paul told us that "these three remain: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love" (I Corinthians 13:13). We must walk in God's love even toward people who don't share it in return.
Failure to judge yourself (and live a life of love) leads to God's judging you. "If we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God."
Every step we step out of love by being offended, or harboring bitterness, unforgiveness, or hate is a step into sin. It allows Satan to afflict you in body or soul. Let us prove to the world that we have moved from death to life because we love other people-even the unlovable.
God the Potter has [taught] me to judge myself-not others. Let God correct you and leave the others to him. My love for all people is more important than mountain-moving faith, prayer, praise and worship, and discipleship. Love covers a multitude of sins.
EXAMINE YOURSELF - Be sure you are up to date with God regarding unconfessed sin (1 Corinthians 11 :28). Surrender the difficult areas of your personality and character to God. This means performing a "heart check" on yourself. It does not imply perfection, but to have the psalmist's attitude of seeking forgiveness for hidden faults (Psalm 19: 12). His holiness and humility in us blow away the accusations of the enemy.
We must always wage war against sin and have a repentant heart. As Christ's followers, we have his mind revealed to us by the Spirit. We experience his sanctifying power in our hearts which brings forth good fruit in our lives through words and actions which the Holy Spirit imparts to us.
While we are being molded and shaped on the Potter's wheel, our work takes on value and significance. It is his work with the marred clay that brings forth love's qualities and abilities that are notable, deserve respect, attention and become suitable for bringing him glory.
I have been commissioned by God with the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5: 18-20). This message is based on the new covenant law of love. The revelation of God's love is the most important truth in the Bible.
Faith to work miracles and move in other spiritual gifts, must work by love to be acceptable to God.
LOVE IN ACTION - Love in action always pleases God. This God-kind-of-love bears no ill will toward others, is not self-seeking or selfish, it never puts what is best for oneself in front of others, pays no attention to a suffered wrong and does not take account of an evil done to them.
Love takes form in community-just like the Eternal Godhead. It discerns the "Body of the Lord" and does nothing to divide it. Love is our anchor in reconciliation. When we love each other, it anchors us in stability and confidence during this uncertain time-as opposed to the world's divisions.
Be a reconciler of others through the power of Jesus.
BRIDGE THE GAP - God uses people to bridge the gap between individuals and nations so that his purposes can be accomplished. For example:
- God used Joseph to save his family from starvation by bringing them to Egypt (Genesis 50:20).
- Moses begged God not to destroy the Hebrews when they had worshipped the golden calf (Ps106:23).
- Esther stood in the gap with prayer and fasting for her people, saving them from Haman who wanted them destroyed (book of Esther).
- God himself stood in the gap for us by sending his son Jesus in human form to live as a man, die for our sins, and rise from the dead so we could be restored into a personal relationship with him.
Clearly, God's heart is moved when people cry out on behalf of others. "I looked for someone among them who would stand before me on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it" (Ezekiel 22:40). God is searching and waiting for people to stand in the gap so he may respond mercifully.
The enemy is very active in the world today. He knows his time is short. Together we must urgently and intentionally set our wills to love one another (John 14:35) and be reconciled as a spiritual family to answer the call.
We must walk in "gap-standing" faith that is aggressive, pro-active, going on offense, and refusing to let the enemy divide us in any way. It is God's love in action that will win us the victory over the accusations of Satan through human beings.
Here are some scriptures we must build into our lives:
- Leviticus 19:18 - "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord."
- Mark 12:33 - "To love him and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
- Galatians 5:14 - "For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"
- James 2:8 - "If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, 'love your neighbor as yourself' you are doing right - "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this; 'Love your neighbor as yourself' There is no commandment greater than these."
Dr. Corinthia Boone is a gift from God to the Body of Christ, a living legend in Washington, D.C. and in the national prayer movement. We have much to learn from this special lady. In a time of political and ideological division and hostility, overwhelmed by a viral pandemic and international panic, fear is keeping many believers from exercising bold faith, speaking the truth in love, and taking advantage of this opportunity to share and live out the love of Christ in creative ways! Pray God will show each of us just how he wants us, our families, and our churches to do that. We have the opportunity, now, to demonstrate the love of God, glorify him, win souls, and help bring our nation together.
Creative Church Solutions Amid the Virus Shutdown -- Many governors have directed their people not to meet in large groups and to stay at home if at all possible. My local church met together by phone Sunday and devoted our service to the National Day of Prayer called by President Trump. The Holy Spirit was with us mightily. We simply sent out a brief note with guidelines to the people asking them to stay home and dial in at the appointed time. We used one of many conference call sites available on the web (an HD service). It could have accommodate 1,000 people on a call. With church families at home around the phone, most churches can do this if they do not have other means. "Ministry Grid" offers free training and resources for church leaders. Included is a sample pandemic response policy, suggestions from the CDC, and checklists. FRC is seeking pastors to share with us creative ways they are meeting that have proven effective during the present distress. Write me at email@example.com and I will get your story to the right people.
- Father, please help each church find a way to powerfully continue their ministry to all! (Acts 20:22-24; 2 Cor 6:3-5; 2 Tim 4:5)
Standing Between the Living and the Dead -- The entire nation and people around the world are in panic over the coronavirus (COVID-19), a panic driven by fear of its consequences upon their health and wealth, their families their livelihoods. Many are acting reasonably and some irrationally. But as for God's people, Scripture tells us we "are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that [we] may declare the praises of him who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9). Christ has made us "Kings and priests unto our God." The Apostle Paul outlines our priestly duties when he urged Timothy to lead and teach the church: "First of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people-- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." He went on to stress the salvation of people as God's ultimate purpose and called "men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing" (1 Tim 2:1-8).
When a plague came upon the Israelites in the desert after Korah and his sons stirred up a rebellion against Moses and Aaron, God brought judgment upon Korah and those who followed him. But the people were unrepentant and continued to complain. Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before God and, as they did, a plague broke out among the people. Moses told Aaron, the high priest, to take his censer with incense and burn coals from the altar to make atonement for the people. Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them.He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped. But 14,700 people died (Num 16: all, especially verses 46-49). As a kingdom of priests, our duty, like Aaron's, is to stand in the gap with prayer. God is able to stop the plague.
Many of God's faithful leaders are calling for prayer. Lou Engle (founder of the prayer and evangelism movement The Call and The Send) and his supporters around the world have been on a 40-day fast for a move of God in evangelism. Amid the fast, Lou is appealing to Christians everywhere to join those who are already fasting for three days between March 18-20. (Those just learning about it can start ASAP and fast for three 24-hour days. See Ways to Fast.)
- God, please move on the hearts of believers across America and the nations to join Lou in this fast and for churches, pastors, and laypeople to fulfill our biblical calling to stand in the gap between the living and the dead. Together, through prayer and fasting, we plead for you to stop this plague that is bringing death, loss, fear, and confusion to our entire world. In Jesus' Name, Amen! (Daniel 9:2-4; 20-23; Mt 17:20-21)
2020: Year of Prayer, Solemn Assemblies, and Repentance -- Many have predicted that 2020 would be the year prayer would flourish in America as never before, very possibly turning our nation back to God via 2 Chronicles 7:14-like prayer that seeks him.
Dave Butts, Chairman of the National Prayer Committee, wrote this week:
"Those who were with us for our Annual meeting in Sarasota (January) might remember my bold/foolish declaration that revival has at last begun in America. I said that based on what we had heard all that week about the vast number of prayer events scheduled for 2020 across our nation. I think now that God chuckled and said, "You got it right a bout revival, but not for the reasons you thought." The Lord of Heaven looked on our efforts... but realized we needed more. We needed His intervention. And in a way we could never have imagined, He used a dreadful virus to draw far greater numbers to Him in prayer than our events ever would.
This year, the National Day of Prayer, the Call, Call2Fall, Promise Keepers, and many other important national gatherings have paved the way for "The Return," a national and international Solemn Assembly (see video). Each of these great events have been pictures of and precursors to the biblical call to a National Solemn Assembly, in this case, a worldwide Solemn Assembly in which God's people from many nations and all walks of life return to him in such numbers that their entire nation is changed. I know many of the people who have envisioned this and have been praying for it for years. It has burned in their hearts like fire. They, too, while they knew God was leading them, had no idea the world would face this deadly plague.
- Pray for each of these prayer gatherings and the Solemn Assembly! (2 Chr 7:14; 2 Chr 30:6-9; Pr 28:13; Hab 3:2; Mt 3:8; 4:17; Acts 3:19; Jas 4:8; 2 Pet 3:9; 1 Jn 1:9)
Finally, as we pray, let us keep in mind those across our world utterly blinded against the gospel. During one of the recent televised presidential election debates, Ron Reagan, President Reagan's son, appeared in an ad for an anti-Christian organization and boasted that he was a "life-long atheist" and urged viewers to join his group.
Thank you for your love for God and others. And thank you for praying!