Thursday, June 21, 2007

Prayer Update

On May 1st we launched the "Divine Experiment." Four urban churches were involved and over 300 people participated for three weeks. The focus was on deep personal repentance. Each weekday we met at 6:00 AM and 6:30 PM for prayer. It was an intense time especially since many were involved in various forms of fasting. Most went through a prayer guide nightly in their homes to help establish a family altar.

Those who participated were committed to disengaging from the busyness of their lifestyles to take the time to experience God. There were several breakthrough prayer meetings that brought us closer to the Lord and to one another. There was a desperate cry for God's abiding presence. We knew there had to be more. As a result, a number of remarkable incidences occurred that served as a reminder that we are on the right track to seeing our community transformed.

~ One of the participants had recently had cataract surgery but was afterward told that damage had been done to her retinas. After faithfully participating in the Divine Experiment, she made arrangements for the retinal surgery. After the examination the doctor informed her that there was nothing wrong with her retinas, no surgery was required, and that her eyes hadn't looked this good in years.

~ One participant testified that she anticipated having to buy gas and was trying to explain to her daughter how expensive it was. Suddenly the tank completely filled up right in front of her eyes!

~ On the last weekend of the Divine Experiment there was a focus on repentance for sexual immorality. That weekend, within 500 feet of the one of the participating churches, a huge sex trafficking ring involving eight brothels was busted by the federal authorities. It was the largest in Minnesota history and was reported on national news!

"The twenty one days have changed my life. I realized in my heart that I had lost my 'first love.' In the prayer guide it speaks of this and I knew it to be true. But during the Divine Experiment, God has given me back my first love. All I want to do is pray and worship God. My heart has become so tender." - Participating pastor

"Transformation is taking place, and we see it in and around New Hope Church. We see people being delivered from tobacco and alcohol. We see it in our environment. The crime rate was so high the Minneapolis police had declared the immediate area out of control. Yet we've seen the entire block cleared of crime centers. The houses used for this purpose are now vacant and boarded up, or vacant and for sale. Last Sunday our assistant pastor got up and repented in a way that I know pleased God. We've had more visitors to our hardcore worship service than ever before. Transformation is taking place." - Participating pastor

Bethany Urban Development's commitment is to see His kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Please continue to pray for us and the participating churches as we continue to walk the path of transforming revival.