Last Saturday night God gently whispered to me the words, “Pray for rain”. Since then this request from God is something that God has continued to unfold. I feel a strong urgency from God for collective prayer to be lifted up to God. God has promised rain, he has promised a flood of his Holy Spirit to his church and he is inviting us to ask him for this rain. He is asking us to seek him for his salvation; for the resurrection power of Jesus to be witnessed in his church and beyond. This prayer for rain is two fold: the demonstration of God’s rain in the natural and also in the spiritual. In our nation at this very moment we have a very strong reason to pray for physical rain. With the drought affecting so much of our country, fires are ravishing our land and are out of control. This Sunday the NSW Firies were attempting to back-burn a portion of the Blue Mountains to protect the Blue Mountains Botanical gardens. They did it on what would be considered normal ‘safe’ conditions as they have done so many times before in the past, however, this time was different. Due to the drought what would have been okay didn’t work. The fire went out of control and several buildings were lost, including buildings at the Botanical gardens. I was reading the article and looking at the photograph of the discouraged looking fire-fighter. When I did, I heard God say, “This fire cannot be controlled by what is normal.” In this statement, I believe that God was speaking about the natural and the spiritual situation.
Concerning the spiritual, over the last few weeks I have endured a long and calculated attack from the enemy. Despite knowing it was the enemy, and even knowing what was being spoken from the enemy as lies, I was unable to shift the attack of the enemy. What I would normally do to combat the enemies arrows just had no affect. Last week things were getting worse and I was struggling. In this very dark place of desperation I heard God ask again to pray for rain. I started to try, but found myself confused and unable to. I then felt led to play sounds of rain on my phone. As soon as the sound of rain started to play, the assault from the enemy stopped. Joy came within my being. In fact I felt the joy that is experienced when new life is birthed. I could hear the ‘sound’ of God’s restoration and hope filled my being. I went from discouragement and confusion to focused prayer and clarity. After nearly 4 weeks of onslaught from the enemy (and several days of playing rain) the ongoing enemy onslaught suddenly lifted and peace and clarity was restored to my soul. I believe God used my playing rain in my home as a demonstration of how his rain is what is required to combat this attack of the enemy.
Just as the drought in our nation has resulted in out of control fires to large portions of Australia. The enemy is using the drought and the long-term onslaught experienced by many in the church to burn a fire that isn’t of God in the spiritual realm. While I know from experience God can bring his goodness to what the enemy has harmed, it is also important to note that this enemy fire is ravishing our families, our churches and our nation. It is a fire that cannot be put out by natural means or by what has been done in the past. It is a fire that needs the salvation of God’s rain.
A picture that God has shown me is of Israel during their time of captivity in Egypt. He showed them crying out to him due to their affliction. I literally saw their prayers go up to heaven like lyrics in a song rising to heaven. Now I know that in the bible it speaks about how they were groaning to God asking for their freedom (Ex 2:23, Ex 3:7-9). The concept of constant groaning by many can be seen as annoying and a reason to shut off. However, in this vision Israel’s groans or cries for help was something God was interested in and listening to (like you would a song). God listened to Israel and in response to their cries, or their seeking for God’s salvation, he delivered them from the enemies cruel hand. Our churches, families and nation (both physically and spiritual) have been plundered long enough. I believe that God is promising restoration and inviting us to be a part of it.
I was sharing this with a friend of mine. Her words really spoke to me about the truth of what we choose to focus on… what we see with our natural eyes or what we can see because God has shown us. She spoke about how inspite of the difficult imminent weather forecast it is important to hear the forecast that God is speaking. Faith is not based on what we see with our natural eyes, but based on the strong foundation of who he is and the truth of his promises. His words and promises are sure.