Psalm 24 encourages us to open the gate and let the King of Glory, Jesus, come in. The one who is strong and mighty and mighty in battle. Gates are important places of influence and decision making. The elders gathered at the gates of the city to discuss and make decisions. Gates are opened to allow access or shut to refuse entry. This can be for protection and safety. Whoever enters through the gate brings their influence and authority with them. We all have gateways in our lives and minds. Every day we make decisions to permit or refuse things to operate in our lives and indwell our thoughts whether for good or bad . There are gateways in my home, my family, my work place, my town, my region and I want them to be opened for Christ and closed to evil. Not just a little bit open for Jesus but flung wide open. I encourage you to make a decision to swing wide the gate and let the King of Glory come into your situation whatever it is and wherever He needs to be. Trust him to help you overcome and strengthen you and bring freedom.
I believe there is power in prayer when believers come together in unity from different churches to pray about the gateways in their town. The local churches in our area did this for a season as God led us to pray at various gateways within the town. At one prayer meeting we stood on a bridge over the river which flows into and through our town. As we prayed, one of our group felt that we should all join hands and sing the words of the song “Swing wide the gate and let the King Come in” which is based on the verses in Psalm 24 and then the two people in the middle break hands and walk apart as a prophetic sign that we were opening the gate over our town to the Lord. As we did this and moved apart we looked down and a wooden gate was floating in the river and floated right underneath the bridge. We couldn’t believe our eyes at the time. The fact that a whole gate was floating down the river and that it passed just at that exact time we broke apart we believe was a heavenly sign from God. He had heard our prayers for our town and was showing us that the gate was opened. We are trusting God to bring that river of His presence into and to overflow through us in Christ Jesus so that we can bring His healing and restoring power to not only our town, but our region and nation. I encourage you to pray and believe for the same.
Over recent weeks God keeps bringing these verses from Isaiah 55 back to mind. v1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.”
Many years ago our Pastor had a vision in which he felt God say the following to him.
” I am going to restore the appetite of the church for the manifest power and presence of God. A spiritual famine has touched your land. It’s not the result of the lack of or withdrawal of God’s presence and power but it’s a famine of the appetite of God’s people.
Then I looked and saw two groups of people. The first group looked thin and drawn and slightly withered, they were frail and looked prematurely old. God said to me, these people are not the result of an imposed famine. Their condition is the result of a famine in their appetites for the presence and power of God. They have withdrawn in their faith, belief and expectation of God. As a result their appetites have been suppressed, reduced and their health is at risk.
Then I looked and saw another group of people, they were overweight, large people. I said to myself, they must have an appetite Lord. And I felt the Lord say to me “they are also part of a famine. They have just filled their lives with something other than the manifest power and presence of God. They have substituted their appetite for God for other things, as a result they too have suppressed their appetites. I was reminded of this scripture. Isaiah 55 v 1-2. Ho everyone who thirsts come to the waters and you who have no money come buy and eat, come buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why do you spend money for what is not bread and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me and eat what is good and delight yourself in abundance. “
I pray that God will restore our appetite during these days so that we may hunger and thirst for righteousness and will overflow the “goodness of God in the land of the living”.
This is a time for the body of Christ to wake up and get prepared. To be like the wise virgins who had enough oil in their lamps and were ready when the bridegroom came. We need spiritually to store up oil as without oil there is no light and without oil there is no fire. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit – the oil of joy our strength and to be on fire for Christ. This is a time to discern the season and what God is about. The cockerel has crowed for this nation and the clock is ticking down. God is on the move. Our faith needs to be strong and our feet planted on the solid rock – Christ Jesus. If we are then we will not give up in this season and will strive on to see Christ’s work accomplished. We will climb the mountain to experience His holy presence and see Christ face to face. Not everyone will follow and some may lose their way but those who press on will go through the Refiner’s fire. All the muck & chaff in us must come to the top and be skimmed off. Then, we will be as gold reflecting God’s love and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. We need to step into His holy fire as it will refine and purify us. The time is coming for the wave to break. It has gathered in the deep waters and is now pushing towards the shore. In the spirit, I saw this wave and it was huge – like a tsunami. The time for the wave to break will come soon and it will bring such a revival in the body of Christ. Those who turned away will repent of their sin and lack of faith. They will return to the Lord and He to them. They will go out to do His works. Isaiah 33 v 14 – “Who amongst us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who amongst us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly.” Hosea 3 v10 “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap in mercy, break up your fallow ground for it is time to seek the Lord till He comes and rains righteousness on you”. “to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings being confirmed to his death”.
In 2004, we had a picture of people from all churches joining together to pray for the area. We were pushing heavy gates and everyone had to push together. The gates were like large sluice gates and water was stored up behind them. As we all pushed the gates opened and water flooded in to revive the area. We believed this was a sign of unity in the body of Christ leading to revival in us and then the area. We sang that song “Swing wide the gates and let the King come in” and prayed from Psalm 24 verses 7-10 about the ancient gates being opened and letting the King of Glory Jesus come in. The other picture was of a cloud bringing the refreshing rain of God’s presence. As in the story of Elijah when he is praying for rain after years of drought and sends his servant to report what he sees. Elijah has to send the servant seven times to look and then the servant reports that he sees a cloud but it is no bigger than a man’s hand. Elijah knew then that was the sign the rain was coming. He had already heard it in the spirit. We have to keep looking for the cloud and believe in faith for this to happen. The Lord said the rain was coming but just as Elijah sacrificed we also have to get into His refining fire first and sacrifice self and our fleshly desires. The rain is coming Prayers for Stourbridge.
We drove around our area praying and blessing our town of Stourbridge and the wider area. We prayed for God’s will to be accomplished and we interceded against the works of darkness and evil influences on our town. The prayer route took us from the Ring Road out on the Hagley Road and then up the Hagley Mile to the roundabout by Wychbury Hill and Wassell Grove. We parked the car and walked up the hill to pray from that spot. We then drove on to Wynall Lane/Oldnall Road and prayed at the top overlooking Stourbridge. We then drove down the main Birmingham Road to Park Lane/Netherend Lane to Quarry Bank High Street and then onto the dual carriageway by Merry Hill. We stopped opposite Merry Hill and prayed for Merry Hill and the businesses there. We then drove down to Highgate to Russells Hall Hospital. We parked outside the Hospital and prayed for the patients, staff and everyone involved with the hospital. We then followed the road to the Cross at Kingswinford and straight across to join the main road leading to Kidderminster. We stopped and prayed for Wordsley. Left at The Stewponey site (now demolished) and into Norton via Racecourse Lane. We stopped at Racecourse lane and prayed and then down to Redlake Road/Ham Lane to finish. We sang, prayed, read scripture as we drove around and stopped and prayed at specific places which we felt God was calling us to spend time in prayer. Russells Hall Hospital in particular.Prayers for Stourbridge