Often we report on events that are taking place with lots of pictures.
But this issue of Moving With the Spirit Online I want to report on something that does not photograph well and is also very hard to report in words: the work of intercession and engagement in high level spiritual warfare.
Over the last few months there have been a number of major prayer battles taking place among intercessors associated with this ministry.
These have included the major dynamics taking place on the world stage, like the unrest in the Middle East, but also events in local areas. Indeed local struggles for the advancement of the Gospel usually are connected to the larger global currents.
The work of prayer is both local and global.
Right here in our little valley in North Carolina there is a major spiritual battle taking place in the town of Montreat which is the location of a national conference center of the Presbyterian Church USA.
(The Community of the Cross and offices of PRMI are located in the town of Black Mountain and in the valley next to Montreat.)
There seems to be a major demonic stronghold here that connects with the New Age movement which is very strong in our area, and the stronghold of Liberal Progressivism that has taken root in the national leadership of the PC USA that is leading to an abandonment of biblical foundations.
The battle is against the Montreat Presbyterian Church that has made a consistent stand for biblical faith in Jesus Christ as the way, the truth and the life and the only way to God the Father. It has been our experience here for many decades that the demonic stronghold that has taken root here, has as its purpose the driving out of the town of Montreat this clear evangelical witness.
This congregation through due process left the denomination and joined the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The church has no building of its own but for many decades has worshiped in facilities of Montreat College.
A few years ago an education building was built to house their thriving youth and children’s ministry. This facility was built with absolutely no help from the Presbytery of Western North Carolina.
But now the Presbytery has launched a lawsuit against the congregation to take away this building. This is a terrible situation. The time, attention and finances that could be focused on advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ are instead being diverted to dealing with this lawsuit, in essence, a way of blocking the Gospel.
The wonderful thing is that despite this law suit and the spiritual oppression often experienced in this valley, the congregation is not being distracted from its call to witness to Jesus Christ. Jesus is preached and experienced with power every Sunday.
The congregation keeps growing! It has two worship services, and has started another worship service in a bar and music venue in Black Mountain which reaches out to those who would never step foot in a traditional church.
The second remarkable working of God is the growing team of intercessors and prayer ministers at this congregation. I think the persecution the Church is enduring and the call to stand firm in their biblical faith under duress, has become a training ground for the powerful work of prayer that is having impact in this valley.
These intercessors from Montreat Presbyterian Church have been very much a part of the work of prayer at the Community of the Cross. In addition to the intercession team, the entire congregation has been invited to join in 21 days of prayer and fasting, leading up to their court appointed mediation dates. To see their prayer guide, click here: 21 DAY PRAYER GUIDE (link broken)
I videotaped the entire worship service on the Sunday that The Rev. Richard White preached a sermon about Christians and lawsuits based on I Corinthians 6. This is a most amazing sermon! It is a word of judgment and grace to the Montreat congregation and also to those who are bringing the lawsuit. It is amazing!
I think this is a model and example to any congregation any where as to how to be faithful to Jesus Christ under the difficult circumstances of meeting with opposition. Please listen to the whole service as that provides the context for the sermon and together shows forth the reality of what it means to be “all for Jesus!”
That the worship service and sermon could be so true to the Bible, so filled with compassion and love and so centered in Jesus Christ under these circumstances, is (I believe) the result of the colossal but mostly hidden work of prayer that has been taking place.