Churches Mobilize for Scripture Study, Prayer, Service
Published: 3/26/2012 12:47:31 PM
By Rev. Gary Frost
There is a certain sense of urgency that must accompany praying that touches heaven and moves earth. Effective intercessors are those who operate from the context of desperation and expectation. Throughout his letters, we observe that the Apostle Paul evidenced that kind of spirit. There was an urgency that constantly compelled this man of God in his mission to advance the Kingdom of Christ.
In Romans 13:11, Paul writes, “ … Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”
Drawing from these inspired and challenging words of the Apostle Paul, Concerts of Prayer Greater New York, in collaboration with The New York City Leadership Center, American Bible Society and New York City Intercessors, has embarked upon a scripture/prayer/service initiative known as NOW IS THE TIME: NEHEMIAH. This joint project is an attempt to mobilize hundreds of churches across the Greater New York Region to join in a 40-day journey of hearing from God, responding to God, and living out God’s love in our communities. The campaign will run from Easter until Pentecost, April 8 to May 27, and beyond.
Our scriptural focus is the Book of Nehemiah. As God spoke to this mighty rebuilder to lead His people in the restoration of the walls of ancient Jerusalem, we look to hear God’s voice to guide us in the work of spiritual restoration in modern New York. We are all aware that Now Is The Time for the restoration of the brokenness in our personal lives, our families, our churches, our communities and our nation. It is our prayer that this initiative will compliment other similar initiatives that will serve to bring us to a place of agreement that might be the grounds for revival and spiritual awakening in our region and beyond.
If there is one thing we have learned from history and have seen for ourselves in ministry over the years, it is this: When leaders and churches unify to co-labor in the name of Jesus Christ and are committed to glorifying Christ’s name and spreading Christ’s fame, God shows up in extraordinary manifestation. Surely Now Is The Time for New York City and beyond to see much more than Christianity—there is an urgent need for this culture to see Christ. This initiative is one more opportunity for God’s people to demonstrate their love for one another and for the lost as we seek to emulate the leadership of our Great Nehemiah, Jesus Christ. Surely the Nehemiah of old is a preview of a more Wonderful Leader who is summoning His people to gather “with a mind to work.”
The American Bible Society, with headquarters in Manhattan, has worked tirelessly with Concerts of Prayer to produce practical and relevant scripture engagement resources known as Brick By Brick. These engagement tools provide churches with scripture reading planners, discussion guides and sermon outlines that will support the implementation of a 40-day scripture engagement journey. Also available is a DVD of seven videotaped lessons based on the Book of Nehemiah, recorded by several regional pastors. We are thankful for the participation of several New York area pastors and leaders who have participated in the development of this material.
While prayer will saturate these 40 days of engagement, we will also join in a special day of intercessory prayer. Saturday, June 2, 2012 has been designated Pray Day 2012. We are encouraging congregations and ministries throughout the region to set aside this day to engage in prayer walking and prayer evangelization in their communities, with a focus upon spiritual revival and awakening.
To culminate our times of scripture engagement and united prayer, we are committed to “take it to the streets.” In collaboration with Convoy Of Hope International, we are encouraging congregations throughout Greater New York to join with our brothers and sisters in Hempstead (Long Island) and the South Bronx to minister the love of Christ in two of the most impoverished and challenged communities in our region. Remember, Nehemiah told the people that whenever a section of the wall was experiencing special assault by the enemy, the trumpet would sound and all the families should rally to the cause (Nehemiah 4:19,20). Well, we hope you hear the trumpet sounding. There’s a battle being waged and there is work to be done.
If you would like more information about NOW IS THE TIME: NEHEMIAH or if you would like to register as a participating church you can simply go to www.nowisthetimeny.org .
By Rev. Gary Frost, president of Concerts of Prayer Greater New York (www.copgny.org).