By Francis Frangipane
“When He approached, He saw the city and wept over it” (Luke 19:41).
If Jesus came today and gazed upon the divisions and lack of prayer in His Church, would tears flood His eyes, even as He once wept over Jerusalem? Even now I believe the Lord’s hands are extended in love toward the Church in our cities. Knowing we cannot win the citywide war as isolated, individual congregations, Christ longs to unite us.
Unity in the born-again church is not a casual reflection in Christ’s heart. He said, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!” (Luke 13:34)
Please hear the compassion in the Lord’s heart. He pleaded, “How often I wanted to gather your children together.” Time and again He has called us to humble ourselves, and in united prayer, allow Him to heal our land. But He chastened, “You would not have it!”
The lack of blessing in many of our cities is not only because of the sins of the world. A number of our problems are because we as the Church have been focused our own agendas and programs. Maybe we are waiting for God to do something to unite us. Perhaps we are waiting for revival before we truly obey Him. We must see that revival follows obedience, not obedience after revival.
The question is not, will there be revival? Rather, the question is this: When will we unite as pastors and intercessors — even as just a group of two or three — and engage in humility and prayer that revival might come?
The Hour of Our Visitation
Even in the midst of our fallen condition, and even as many are warning of impending judgments, the Lord repeats to us what He said to Jerusalem:
“If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace!” (Luke 19:42).
There are things that make for peace, even in our cities and in our generation. When Jesus spoke these words, Jerusalem was soon to be destroyed! Yet even with the possibility of coming destruction, He said there were things that would turn the city from evil and bring it into peace.
What were those things? We can see them more clearly if we note that immediately after Jesus warned Jerusalem of her fate, He entered the temple and began to cast out those who were selling wares, saying to them, “It is written, ‘And My house shall be a house of prayer’ [‘for all the nations,’ Mark 11:17], but you have made it a robbers’ den” (Luke 19:46).
Jesus rebuked the Jews because they had turned the focus of His Father’s house from prayer and intercession, reducing it into a house of merchandise. It certainly is not wrong to present programs or spiritual training resources, but we must be careful to keep our focus on the main things, those things that make for peace that, under the anointing of the Lord, can help see our cities turned to God and redeemed. Remember, our cities are not worse than ancient Nineveh. When the people of Nineveh humbled themselves, repented and prayed, destruction was averted.
The House of Prayer
Jesus is seeking to bring His Church to the place where, even in the midst of our programs and church development, we become a house of prayer. The Lord will test the endurance of this newly praying Church, but the power of God will ultimately be released in the cities of prayer. The extraordinary presence of the living Christ will make miracles seem ordinary. Faith will once again rest on the demonstration of the Spirit and not upon the wisdom of man; multitudes will be genuinely saved.
You see, there are things that make for peace. Pastors and their congregations must be healed of the insecurities that have kept them isolated from each other. God has wonderful, awesome plans for our cities. But the substructure of these “things which make for peace” is the born-again church becoming a house of prayer.
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This preceding message is adapted from a chapter in Francis’ book, When the Many Are One. To order, please visit www.arrowbookstore.com.