All Consuming Fire
There was a time where one of the churches I attended became more wrapped up in its building and the personal agendas of the people within it, than the agenda of Jesus Christ and His spirit. Because of this the power and presence of God was not experienced deeply within the corporate body of the church. God moved more individually in the lives of those that attended. It was my heart to see the church grow and numbers and prosperity and impact many lives and seeing the specific situation it was in, I decided to pray a two-part prayer in the spirit.
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The prayer started that the church would go through a Holy Spirit cleansing fire: The type of fire that burns but does not damage or consume you, but rather blesses and restores you. The image that ran through my mind was the burning bush that burned at Mount Sinai without being consumed by the flame.
I prayed that this burning fire would enter into the church, all families within the church and even purify the church itself; defeating any work of the enemy that might be against it. As prayed (with my wife agreeing with me by my side) this prayer took an unexpected turn. Within an instant, the Holy Spirit urged me to pray for a physical fire.
I paused for a second to verify that this was actually what I was supposed to be praying for and did receive confirmation from the holy spirit. So then I prayed and did I ever pray. I prayed for a physical fire to come upon the church and burn it from roof to foundation! I prayed also that lives would be changed within the church and that the church would go through a purifying time. I prayed with passion and conviction. I prayed as an intercessor with everything I had within me. My yearning heart longed for God’s direct intervention in this area.
Upon completing this prayer the Holy Spirit confirmed by giving me a sign in my flesh that the prayer was heard and will be answered. Immediately a second vision came to my mind. I envisioned a new building and a new congregation worshiping the Lord in a new facility on the land. I envisioned the Holy Spirit to be ablaze in the church (not consuming this time) and inhabiting the lives of all that were in it. I envisioned the parking lot full of cars and ass the evening sky melted from crimson to blue, people would be called into the church to experience the greatness that was within it. People were pulling over their cars at the side of the street and waling to the doors to receive of what God desired to do in their lives. People that did not even know God before would be called to this place because His miraculous presence would be there, manifest in its glory.
I then zoomed out for a second and saw my city as God moved in other churches as well in the city and began to pour out His spirit with abundance. I saw the beginnings of what I saw as a revival. At this, I praised the Lord, thanked Him for the work He was about to do and concluded my prayer with praise and adoration for my Holy Father.
I spoke of this prayer to no one. I have learned over the years that when God gives a person prophetic gifting, it doesn’t mean that they should just get up on a “soapbox” and announce what God has shown them. Being a prophet carries with it a great amount of responsibility, respect, patience and many other virtues that I continue to try to grow on a daily base. Over the next three weeks, I had completely forgotten my wife and I agreed in prayer about the destiny of the church.
Almost three weeks to the day, I received a call from one of the youth within the church. She was almost in hysterics as she reported to my wife that the church was on fire. My wife and I both laughed at first thinking she was just kidding while remembering the prayer we shed just a few weeks earlier. Then I quickly remembered that I told no one of the event and what she was stating was most likely true. I was not surprised at this event in the least because I knew God had confirmed that prayer with His holy spirit when I prayed it. I tried to calm my friend down and told her I was on my way to the church.
By this time I was filled with glee. I was tempted to buy some marshmallows on the way there just to have some fun, but decided against it because I didn’t want others to misinterpret my actions. I knew that what was happening right now in to the physical was only the first part of my two-part prayer that affected not only the physical but also the metaphysical as God would move in the church in the future. This burning flame to me was just a sign of great times to come and I was ecstatic.
When we arrived, the fire department was already there and the 100-year-old building was completely engulfed inflame. The all-wood building had become a blazing inferno and was quite a sight to behold. I felt a huge peace enter me as I felt the warmth of the blaze and watched the building burn to its foundation. I realize while typing this that it must sound a little morbid that I felt these things, but please remember I felt these emotions within the context of a larger picture that I completely understood.
Even though many members of the church were in tears as the building fell, I knew this was the dawning of a great time to come.
As it turns out, that the church did burn from roof to foundation (as I had prayed). The fire started because a worker was working on the roof with a torch when He accidentally lit a shingle on fire. The blaze quickly grew out of control and the rest is history. It is amazing How Jesus answered my request even in the order that I had requested it. When I prayed the actual prayer I had envisioned a receptacle fire of some sort and had no idea that my prayer would be answered in its literal form rather then the figurative form that I had envisioned.
To give you an update. The church has now been through a trying number of years and still (in my understanding) has some fires it needs to put out and negative influences it needs to purge. I still remain somewhat active in that church to this day. I know the church is not presently ready for the second half of the prayer that I had prayed and I know in God’s beautiful and perfect time, all things will come to pass. In the meantime, I look at the church’s hardships as victories and praise God as its victories continue to grow as time passes.
If it is God’s calling for my life, I do look forward to being present the day the Holy Spirit decides to infill that place with His manifest presence. I know it will be an awesome day as I have already seen the hearts and lives of some of those that will be changed when that day comes. Remember when I said prophetic gifting takes patience perseverance and time? Well, I am patiently awaiting God’s time and loving every minute of it.
May the Lord bless you indeed.