Prayer Targets: "I Am Jazz"; Solemn Assembly; Coronavirus; Roe Challenge?; NDP; Call2Fall; Much More
February 26, 2020
"Even now," declares the Lord, "return to me with all your heart... call a sacred assembly..." Then the Lord was jealous for his land and took pity on his people. (Joel 2:12-18)
Dear Praying Friends,
P. Douglas Small (see bio) is a Bible teacher, prayer leader, ordained Bishop and International Director of Prayer Ministries with the Church of God. A former pastor and faculty member of several accredited Bible colleges, he founded and is President of Alive Ministries: Project Pray, where he trains and equips pastors, congregations, and intercessors. Doug chairs the PCCNA Prayer Commission and is on the Executive Leadership team of the Denominational Prayer Leaders Network. He and Barbara have five children and 20 grandchildren. Here is his "Call to Solemn Assembly" (edited for space):
Twenty plus years ago the Church of God, Southern Baptists, United Methodists, Assemblies of God and others, called for "Solemn Assemblies." Manuals were produced. Solemn Assemblies were conducted in congregations and by denominational leaders. Some involved thousands -- 39,000 clergy in Atlanta. The "Stand in the Gap: A Sacred Assembly of Men" met on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. with over a million men. I was among an estimated 50,000 pastors who took part prayer summits in that movement.
The events were meaningful, but only introduced the idea of Solemn Assembly. Sadly, we treated these as a series of helpful events, but not a movement that progressed from repentance and the fruits thereof toward revival and cultural awakening. Solemn Assembly and corollary prayer summits were too often checked off the spiritual 'to-do' list and pastors and churches moved on -- back to old habits and practices.
It seems remarkable that the idea of Solemn Assembly, so prominent in biblical history is nearly unknown to the average church member or pastor. Those who know the term often little understand the concept as a pathway to revival, through repentance, transformation and cultural impact.
A Solemn Assembly is a time of corporate reckoning with God over the sins of a nation, a state, a city, a congregation and its families.
It requires soul-searching and self-examination for the express purpose of getting people right with God, of repenting and reorienting toward obedience and mission, of renewal with purpose in mind. It is not a program, not a service one conducts one time, it is a conceptual template for a biblical process. It is a means of resetting the spiritual and moral compass in our homes and churches, in cities and nations.
The Solemn Assembly map provides a way for a people to return to God, beginning with the process of repentance then through restitution, consecration and sanctification, restoration of true fellowship with a holy God and one another as holy people. Solemn Assemblies are needed by a biblical people to seek God, not just for individual sin, but also for corporate sin.
Corporate sin can only be repented of when the corporate body comes together to acknowledge and confess sin and ask God for forgiveness. Fasting, contrition of heart and genuine humility before God are essential.
A Solemn Assembly begins when the preacher-prophet calls for repentance. Realignment and renewal follow true repentance by the people of God which enables the church to function effectively in its priestly role of intercession for those without. Such is only meaningful when it is offered by a sincere, repentant and broken people in behalf of the sins of cities and the nations, sins against God which invite his wrath and require his judgment When a humble, repentant, righteous church stands in the gap for its cities, God can send revival to his people and awaken the lost.
Solemn Assemblies do not happen spontaneously. They are called by faithful leaders.
We are at a critical intersection not only for the nation but also for the Church, for Christianity in America -- imagine! The land is filled with Christians, who like ancient Israel, are blinded, unaware of how bankrupt they have become in spirit. They can see the problems of the nation but fail to see how through active or passive disobedience they are contributing to the cultural mayhem and dissipation. They are unmoved by calls to repentance, excusing or rationalizing their sin. They look to others to pray for them and do not really want a church that is a house of prayer, they want a weekly religious performance -- a show-stopping Sunday Morning event. There is little fear of God, true awe or reverence in our cozy daddy-god world. Holiness has become an old-fashioned term associated with legalism. Some desire grace, but too many want endless, easy, cheap grace.
We have only one option -- we must repent and return to God. The roadmap God has given us, is the Solemn Assembly - a time of corporate repentance intertwined with and meant to evoke in each us, personal repentance. The individual and the people, the church and the home, acting together. Each and all need God's sanctifying grace. (P. Douglas Small, "Call to Solemn Assembly"-- edited for space).
The Solemn Assembly is not just about repenting of sin, it is about dedicating ourselves afresh to God Himself, to nothing less than vital, wholehearted, biblical Christianity!
In this hour of all-but-universal darkness one cheering gleam appears: within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be found increasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities and will not be put off with words, nor will they be content with correct "interpretations" of truth. They are thirsty for God, and they will not be satisfied till they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water. This is the only real harbinger of revival which I have been able to detect anywhere on the religious horizon. It may be the cloud the size of a man's hand for which a few saints here and there have been looking. It can result in a resurrection of life for many souls and a recapture of that radiant wonder which should accompany faith in Christ, that wonder which has all but fled the Church of God in our day. (A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, first written in the 1940s)
- Father, the National Day of Prayer on May 7th and the Call2Fall on June 28th (the Sunday before Independence Day) both point to our need for a National Solemn Assembly. Lord, stir the leaders of your people in America. Use these important gatherings to prepare your people with the spirit of Solemn Assembly. Raise up men and women from among the priests and the elders (pastors and civil leaders) to lead our churches and America in repentance before Almighty God. Enable the people of our land to rush in returning to you, God. May pastors preach and prepare for their people to return. May they teach their people to know about and understand this forgotten practice of your Bible-believing people. How else can nations return to you? Thank you for the tokens of your grace and mercy that you have distributed to our nation amid the shocking confusion and unrelenting moral, spiritual, and political threats that face Americans today. Cause us to return to you, Lord. Restore our churches via all the elements of the Solemn Assembly, with every heart motivated by the promises of 2 Chronicles 7:14. We pray, too for all people! Bring revival in every nation! (2 Chr 7:14; Neh 1-13; Joel 1:14; 2:12-18)
- God, as we choose our national, state, and local leaders in November, may we go to the polls having thoroughly repented of all known sin, with clean hearts and alert minds. (Ex 18:21; Ps 24:3-4; Pr 20:9; Mt 5:8; 1 Tim 1:5; Heb 10:22)
Finally, please pray over these matters:
2) On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted 56-41 to defeat the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, just four votes short of the 60 vote threshold required to pass it (read Tony Perkins' Update and interview with Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.). The House equivalent bill has been the subject of FRC's End Birth Day Abortion Campaign, which is still underway. It highlights the horror of the barbaric practice of some abortionists who actively kill babies who survive abortion or lay them aside ultimately to die unattended. Read Patrina Mosley's take on why we need this law. See FRC's Pro-Life Map showing which states protect born-alive survivors.
3) Also on Tuesday, the Senate defeated another pro-life bill, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, by a vote of 53-44, seven votes short of a filibuster-proof threshold that if reached would have prohibited abortions after 20 week gestation (when scientists say unborn infants definitely feel pain). Pro-life senators pledge to persist until this law is passed.
4) Tomorrow, the anti-Christian Human Rights Campaign and the powerful National Education Association are urging public schools across America to recognize Thursday as "Jazz and Friends National Day of School & Community Readings." The program organizers are using pro-transgender propaganda to indoctrinate children and hope to make the reading of books including I Am Jazz (a storybook designed for children) an annual event. The book is based on the real-life story of "Jazz," a child convinced that he was born in the wrong body, who, as a child was injected with hormones to block his normal sexual development, and recently had radical surgery to complete his "transition" to another sex. Read Cathy Ruse's blog, "Keep Your Kids Home on Transgender Propaganda Day This Thursday!" It has links to a report about what some parents are doing and an opt-out letter for parents to deliver to their children's school.
5) On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review Fulton v. The City of Philadelphia. In March 2018, days after putting out a call for 300 more foster families, the City of Philadelphia stopped allowing foster children to be placed with families working with Catholic Social Services. Although the city has worked with CSS for over 100 years, they demanded that CSS either endorse and certify same-sex relationships for child placement or close their operations. CSS was denied an injunction from a U.S. District Court and the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. This is a key religious liberty case.
6) Abortionists are challenging a Louisiana law requiring them to hold admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility. They are claiming that the law is an "undue burden" to women seeking abortions. The Supreme Court will hear the case next Wednesday, March 4th. FRC submitted an amicus brief in the case and 39 Republican senators and 160 House Republicans signed a brief asking the Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade based on the Louisiana case.
As always, so much more. Thanks for praying over these issues as the Lord leads you!