A message from Angela Pleasants, Catawba Valley District Supereintendent:
What is a prayer vigil? A prayer vigil is a predetermined amount of time a group devotes to prayer. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 ESV.
Last night, God impressed on my heart to share these words with you.
I remember as a child hearing the word “tarry” quite a bit from the older folks. My mom used to say, “you have to tarry a while before God.” We don’t know what that is about in our churches today because we are too busy watching the clock. But, when the older generation talked about tarrying before God, it was a time to spend at the altar.
At my home church, every Sunday after the sermon, the pastor would give an altar call. The older folks and some younger would flood the altar. Sit back a while because there was no time limit on how long people would moan in prayer at the altar. Mothers were praying for wayward sons and fathers praying for their families. We would also have times of testimony where we would hear how those tarrying prayers were answered.
What does the church need today? We don’t need larger buildings, larger attendance, money, or programs. For too long, this has become our focus. When we focus only on numbers, we soon begin to compromise to achieve the numbers. So now, drawing large numbers becomes a sign of success and not what happens when the people show up.
What we need is a Spirit-filled revival, and it begins during times of tarrying before God. To tarry is to linger for periods of time, seeking only the presence and will of God.
As we enter this season of Holy Week, I am calling us to use this week to tarry before God. Clergy invite your congregations to tarry before God.
Our prayer focus this week is for a revival. It may look like we are lying dormant for a while because we are not in our church buildings, but the church is more than a building. Look at what happened when Jesus was in the tomb those three days, the power of God was working. Powerful things are happening now; if we stop moaning that we are not physically in our churches and realize wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is revival.
Let us also join together this week and pray that this virus will weaken and die. Pray for lives to be spared and homes and jobs restored. Pray for a revival across our land.
We share many memes on Facebook and social media. Let us share this across social media and brings others in with us to tarry this week. Let’s overpower the gates of heaven with our prayers on one accord.
We are not fighting for victory; we are fighting from victory. And, we wage war on our knees. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” II Corinthians 10:4 ESV.
Let’s join this week in prayer and God’s Word. While we are at home, we have time to tarry and read scriptures.
Monday of Holy Week: Matthew 21:1-11. We have the victory.
Tuesday of Holy Week: Hebrews 5:7-9. Our fervent prayers are heard.
Wednesday of Holy Week: I Corinthians 1:18 There is power in the word of the cross of Jesus Christ.
Thursday of Holy Week: John 13:1-17; 34-35. We are a part of Christ’s body.
Friday of Holy Week: John 18:1-40; Hebrews 10:16-25. This is a time to press in even harder and tarry before God.
Saturday of Holy Week: Matthew 17:1-6; Lamentations 3:21-25. God is doing a work in our souls.
Resurrection Sunday: Matthew 28. Shout and praise God for the victory.