Is It Taking Shape--This Highway of Holiness?
by Ben Gray, Founder and Apostolic Oversight—Australian Prayer Network
Seeking to build a Biblical viewpoint, rather than one built just around cultural, social or political commentary, let me share some insights that may help you pray more effectively for North Africa.
These past 5 years, our National Prayer Networks international efforts have been focused primarily in North Africa. Why is this? In 2005 the Holy Spirit directed our attention on this region and its peoples, because—now was His time for this region to see change, ‘to open the ancient doors and rebuild a highway of righteousness from Gibraltar to Jerusalem’. This sovereign call came with the Biblical injunction of Isaiah 62:10 and Chapter 19:23-25.
In my 20-year involvement with strategic intercession globally, God has confirmed to us in the natural what He is seeking to do in the spiritual; this is not unusual nor is it inconsistent with scriptures like Romans 1:20… Where since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen. Being understood from what has been made…(NIV). God confirmed His word through the headline in a magazine that read, ‘The World’s Largest Highway Project….’ Guess where? It was being built across North Africa (commenced in 2007), with a feasibility study underway on a tunnel through the Straits of Gibraltar. This gave us the sign in the earth realm that things had definitely entered a new phase in the heavenlies across North Africa.
Since 2005, strategic prayer teams have entered into these nations, serving God’s kingdom agenda in opening up the region to God’s transforming power and saving grace. Even though we have walked among some of the world’s most ancient stones, we were more captivated by God’s ‘living stones’ and their witness for Jesus in extreme and dangerous circumstances. From the research and prayer that our teams have carried out, I get a sense that the recent people’s revolution in Tunisia has become a ‘Tipping Point’ in the Arab world, especially the region of North Africa.
The speed and scope of recent events in Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya have caught many by surprise. Some media commentators are drawing parallels with the fall of Communism and the ‘Iron Curtain’ in the 1980s, where one nation after another broke free of its grasp. One news report said, “All hell seems to have suddenly broken lose. Or heaven. Who knows? It's as though a big hand came from somewhere and is stirring things up with a cosmic spoon.” Others note the role of modern communications and have dubbed it the ‘Facebook Uprising’. As a friend of mine recently said, “The current events in North Africa and the Middle East have the potential to bring us to one of the greatest mission opportunities in the history of the Church.” An obvious prayer for the fledgling Church there is that the newfound freedoms will not open the door to Islamist governments. One of the leaders in the church in Tunisia urges us to pray, “That as the church, we will be bolder in what we do and continue to press for more religious freedom.”…
As the Church, we need to pray for those who are angry, frustrated and fed-up with such things as: abuse, unemployment, corruption, autocracy, the absence of human rights and basic human freedoms, that they would encounter Christ through an emboldened Spirit-led church. Pray for political and religious freedom to be enshrined in the Tunisian and Egyptian constitutions. For real reforms to come to Libya’s system of government and true freedom for it’s people. It’s time! Time for genuine spiritual and societal transformation to take place: now is our time to stand with our brothers and sisters. On the ground this is an incredibly unstable situation yet our confidence and hope is not in the politics of the moment nor worldly systems. We have the certainty of God’s word that, …through the church the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms according to His eternal purpose (Ephesians 3:10 NIV).
I agree with my friend, Mike Burnard when he said, “We cannot deny that we are called into a spiritual battle. We cannot deny that the battle is intensifying and that North Africa and the Muslim World are on the frontline of this battlefield. We cannot deny that the situation in Egypt is directly related to the battle for the hearts and minds of people. However we can try to deny, like in the days of Noah, that this will have no effect on us who live in the West.” To do that would be foolhardy and unconscionable. Let us not forget that the church was born in the midst of a national struggle. It was designed to be a light in the darkness to lead the way to mercy, justice and eternal freedom.
Let us join our hearts and prayers with our brothers and sisters in Egypt and North Africa. Together with the assistance of the angelic hosts of heaven, let us see His church stand like Esther did, for ‘such a time as this’.
(For the rest of this insightful article, please see this website: www.benfgray.org)