Arthur Manigault pastors Spirit and Truth UMC along with First UMC in Williamston. In a recent meeting Arthur shared a practice that his churches have begun in what they have discerned a season of prayer. They are making up index cards with a prayer that they will pray as a church together. This prayer is known to them as a BREAKTHROUGH prayer. Both churches have faced challenges during this season. Both have met the challenge that not meeting during to the Coronavirus Pandemic has brought. Spirit and Truth has also faced the challenge of their sanctuary being destroyed by fire as a result of the church being burglarized.
We all face times that just seem overwhelming with little to no hope. A 16th Century Spanish mystic and poet, St. John of the Cross, wrote about the Dark Night of the Soul. It is a season when all seems lost. You have come to the place in your life that you finally give up and surrender to all that is God. It is in this place that we find mercy in perseverance. The 17th century English Theologian and Historian, Thomas Fuller, expresses this sentiment “It is always darkest just before the day dawneth.” In his travelogue of the Holy Land: A Pisgah-Sight of Palestine and the Confines Therof.” There is great value in realizing that while you are in those dark places that it is important to just be present where you are in this season. It is in being present that you will realize incredible personal and spiritual growth. When the season has reached its full time, it is in that moment that you will experience a BREAKTHROUGH!!!
King James Version
6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
It will not by might, nor by power but by the Holy Spirit of the Lord God Almighty that will bring you out. Christ himself will establish you stronger than what you were before you ever went with through the dark place. And when the breakthrough comes, there will be no denying that God has met you in your greatest need to bring you out with a blessing. It is important to remember in those dark places that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. Fighting your neighbor only makes matters worse and wounds all the more you and someone else.
King James Version
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
God is at work to unite us under the Lordship of Christ. Think of it this way. This experience of the “dark night of the soul” accomplishes a couple of things. Because you have been there you can help someone else to endure the test to receive the breakthrough. You cannot lead others where you yourself have not gone. The “dark night of the soul” is difficult, but “oh the joy” when you come out on the other side as a result of a BREAKTHROUGH. You have just experienced “a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development.” Your life will never be the same. You are a Disciple of Jesus Christ.
Our Strategy for this season as a District is to first and foremost cover our District in prayer. Read Pastor Susie’s letter to find out more what it means to cover our District in prayer. Our prayer strategy will connect us relationally in a season of petition before God. Connecting relationally is intentional, persevering, organic and consistent. We must remember not to count the things that are small as small. Jesus changed the world with 12. I would expect that we all could disciple one person within a month. That would be over 100 new disciples when we have only seen 1 in the last 10 years.
So the second part of the Strategy is each one reach one. Smaller is greater. When you begin with one, you are beginning the foundations of a team. You cannot do this by yourself. Pour into the lives of people of peace. People of peace are those individuals that Like you, Listen to you and want to serve the vision God has placed in you. Before November we all should have a “twin”. Someone who is just as excited about the Gospel and shares your ministry to reach our area.
We have a story to tell to the nations. Let us be a people that pray and make disciples for Jesus Christ.
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