Prayer Targets: Dunkirk; Charlottesville; North Korea; SYATP; Respite
August 16, 2017
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:35)
Dear Praying Friends,
Norman Grubb (1895-1993), British missionary, writer, and Bible teacher, wrote dozens of books, including Rees Howells: Intercessor. Howells was a Welsh coal miner who founded a Bible college and taught his students to pray. When the clouds of World War II gathered over Europe, Rees led his students in prayer over the Allied and Nazi air, naval, and land troop movements. These excerpts highlight their prayers that contributed to the Miracle at Dunkirk.
During the four years, previous to the outbreak of World War II... the Lord was changing the burden on Mr. Howells from local concerns, centering on the development of the College, to national and international affairs. As he said, "The world became our parish and we were led to be responsible to intercede for countries and nations." We have also seen how the Lord was preparing in the company at the College a special instrument of intercession for the coming world crisis.
It was in March, 1936, that Mr. Howells began to see clearly that Hitler was Satan's agent for preventing the gospel going to every creature. As he said later, "In fighting Hitler we have always said that we were not up against man, but the devil...
On the day of the declaration of war, he published the following statement: "The Lord has made known to us that He is going to destroy Hitler and the Nazi regime, that the world may know that it was God and God alone who has scattered the dictators... He will deal with the Nazis as He dealt with the Egyptian army in the time of Moses. God will cause Hitler to fall..."
When, after a month of hostilities, an offer of peace was made by Hitler, the College stood with the Prime Minister in stating that war must be continued, "until Hitlerism is overthrown..." Howells wrote in December, 1939, "The God of Daniel will deliver Pastor Niemuller, and the hundreds of other German Evangelicals, who have followed him to the concentration camps... their places will one day be occupied by the fanatical Nazi leaders, if any of them escape a speedy death."
"We may have many a set-back before He does so... it may be that we, like the Israelites (Judges 20), will have to cry out to God in our extremity for the help which will certainly come."
Little did he imagine when that prediction was made, that the days around May 12, were to be the blackest in the history of our nation, and the nearest we had come in nearly 400 years to the invasion of our shores; for on May 10 Hitler's armored columns broke in on Holland and Belgium, and May 29 was that never-to-be-forgotten date in our history, the Dunkirk evacuation, to be followed by Mr. Churchill's memorable call to "blood and sweat and toil and tears."
[With] three [prayer] meetings on most days, we find ourselves among certainly not a fearful, not even chiefly a praying company, but rather among those who are already on victory ground, when all around men's hearts are failing them for fear; and what gave them such clarity and assurance that theirs was the victory, was the outward "death" of the prediction! If we say God was not with them, we may well ask ourselves this question: "Was there anywhere else in the whole of Britain or America or elsewhere among God's people another such company, maybe a hundred strong, who were on their knees day by day, holding fast the victory by faith, while our soldiers across the water were retreating mile by mile, whole countries surrendering, and the enemy within sight of their goal?" From this time on, through all the years of the war, the whole College was in prayer every evening from seven o'clock to midnight, with only a brief interval for supper. They never missed a day. This was in addition to an hour's prayer meeting every morning, and very often at midday. There were many special periods when every day was given up wholly to prayer and fasting...
When we look back now after these years, many of us in Britain recall the terror of those days. Remembering the miracle of Dunkirk, acknowledged by our leaders to be an intervention from God, the calm sea allowing the smallest boats to cross, the almost complete evacuation of our troops, and then the lead Mr. Churchill gave to the nation, how thankful we are that God had this company of hidden intercessors, whose lives were on the altar day after day as they stood in the gap for the deliverance of Britain. (Read Chapter 34 -- Intercession for Dunkirk -- Rees Howells: Intercessor by Norman Grubb)
Perhaps the most important part of the story was omitted from the script of Dunkirk, the movie: King George urgently called for a National Day of Repentance and Prayer (click to read). On May 26th, 1940, millions of Brits flocked to their churches to pray. Nothing less than a miracle ensued, and the trapped army at Dunkirk was delivered. Yet long before that day, the students at Howell's college, adults, college age young people, and grade school children, were crying out to God day and night for Him to intervene. Today, there are prayer groups across America, many using the telephone to host extended prayer conference calls (some 24-7). Amidst our current challenges, powerful and persistent prayer that lines up with the plans and purposes of God can pave the way for him to intervene with miracles!
Charlottesville -- Another horrific manifestation of the racial divide that persists in our nation was displayed in historic Charlottesville, home to Thomas Jefferson's University of Virginia. The city council's vote to remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee drew hundreds of protestors and counter protestors, who clashed violently -- screaming, punching, clubbing, hurling water bottles and spraying one another with harsh chemicals before the scheduled demonstration. White supremacists, KKK, and neo-Nazis came to the demonstration, some armed for violence. Counter protestors, too, arrived, some similarly armed. Some were injured in clashes. Later, a man from Ohio with links to white supremacist activity rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing one woman and injuring 19. Two law enforcement officers also died in a helicopter crash. The tragic loss of life was as great as the violence was senseless.
This confrontation only magnifies the political, cultural, racial, and religious divides that already exist in our country. While many have cherry picked the president's statements, few reported these words:
"Above all else, we must remember this truth: No matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are all Americans first. We love our country. We love our God. We love our flag. We are proud of our country. We're proud of who we are. So we want to get the situation straightened out in Charlottesville and we want to study it and we want to see what we're doing wrong as a country, where things like this can happen. My administration is restoring the sacred bonds of loyalty between this nation and its citizens -- but our citizens must also restore the bonds of trust and loyalty between one another. We must love each other, respect each other and cherish our history and our future together. So important. We have to respect each other. Ideally, we have to love each other."
Then President Trump condemned the violence, no matter the originator. Later, he called out some of the extremist groups by name. But his message about respecting and loving each other has been lost in a whirlwind of sanctimonious censure, some even questioning his humanity.
A group of conservative black pastors and Christian leaders held a press conference in Washington yesterday to respond to the media's attacks on the president. Corrogan Vaughn, a black Republican who in 2016 challenged incumbent Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), argued that "those in the media who blame Trump for the racial tension in the United States are trying to turn Trump into a villain... Don't make our commander in chief a villain when in actuality it is more the [villainy] of the media in terms of making something where nothing is."
It is indeed amazing to watch Americans tortuously manipulated by the liberal media (See Conservative Black Leaders; Charlottesville Prayer Leader Reports; Hear Tony Perkins & Bishop Harry Jackson on Charlottesville -- begin at 2:30).
May the Church be wholly identified with Jesus Christ as Lord and love one another out of obedience to His commandment. May we stand against racism of every kind and encourage respect and love for one another as creations of God. May we advocate for justice and the swift execution of the laws against every form of violence. May all among us stand for the liberty to think and speak freely while rejecting every form of political correctness and identity politics. May we never forget our nation's history, the good and bad, knowing that God, Himself, was careful to include in Holy Scripture both the goodness and the sins of the men and women he used in Bible history so that we could learn from both (2 Chr 16:9; 20:3-17; Ps 33:20; Ps 34:7; Ps 110:10; Ps 112:4; Ps 115: all; Is 12:6; Jer 30:21; Eze 22:30; Rom 14:4; 1 Cor 13: all; Jas 2:13).
Finally, Please keep these matters on you prayer list: 1) North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un has moderated his tone and says while he has a plan to launch missiles toward Guam, he will not execute it while he watches U.S. actions in the near future. Both the U.S. and North Korea have announced their readiness to negotiate. I firmly believe this moderation is due to prayer. 2) See You at the Pole, the amazing prayer initiative that has taken root in public and private schools across America and around the world, will be observed September 27th, at 7:00 a.m., local time. Students will rally at the school flag pole to pray for their school, friends, families, churches, and communities. They will also pray for global unity in Christ and their generation (see See You at the Pole). As always, thank you for praying!
P.S. The Prayer Targets will be taking a two-week respite and will resume on September 6th. God bless!