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“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” –  Romans 10:9

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Lives Transformed through Confessing and  Repenting

As a little girl back in the 50’s I remember going to Wednesday night prayer meetings with my mom and dad. We’d first have a potluck dinner and then the youth would go to their youth room and the adults would go to the upstairs meeting room and I would join my parents in prayer. I remember the smells of the room and the hard folding chairs. When it was time for prayer, everyone would get on their knees on the bare linoleum floors. The hard floors would hurt my knees so I would lay down on the floor as the parents would pray. I would often just fall asleep.

As we moved into the 60’s, prayer began to stop in the church. And yet, as a teenager, I never stopped praying. I knew in my heart that God heard my prayers. I just knew if people would pray, God would answer and move on their behalf.

Fast forward to the late 80’s. We moved to Nashville, TN and I was a leader in woman’s ministry at our church. We had many programs for the women, and many Bible studies. But, surprisingly, there was no prayer. I knew God wanted me to start a class on prayer but I knew nothing about teaching prayer. My friend suggested I buy a little book called “What Happens When Women Pray”. So I went to the Bible book store and bought this book by Evelyn Christenson. I never realized how this book would change my life and the lives of so many woman in our Baptist church.

The book was interesting because it was the story of how God taught Evelyn to pray effective prayers. The first two or three chapters described how her prayer group was asked to be the assigned prayer group for a Billy Graham Crusade that was coming to their city. The first meeting Evelyn opened up by reading Ps. 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, God will not hear my prayers”. She said, that is where we start…by getting rid of sin in our hearts.

The group followed James 5 by confessing their sins one to another. The Holy Spirit showed them sins they never recognized before. One woman confessed pride, she never saw herself as a prideful person before. And yet the scriptures tell us we all deal with the Pride of life, the lust of the eye, and the lust of the flesh. God used His Word to expose sin and to teach them about what sin was. One of the women loved to talk about others, she never thought of it as gossip. They soon realized they all gossiped and so they confessed and repented of their sins of gossip.

They soon realized that confessing sin wasn’t enough. They had to stop doing the sin and repent of and change their behavior. Words are cheap, you can say you are sorry all day long, but your behavior has to be a demonstration of your words. It was amazing how God kept them in this process of confessing and repenting for several weeks. And through the process their lives were totally transformed. Evelyn Christenson said over and over in her book, “prayer will change you,” and she was right.

I remember teaching my first little group of ladies and together we learned about sin and repentance and then we would practice what we learned. Some of the ladies had never prayed out loud before. I learned how to encourage them by teaching them how to pray subject by subject and to pray short sentence prayers. It was awesome to watch the transformation, they not only got the confidence to pray boldly, they became prayer leaders.

I remember a conversation I had with one of the women in the group. I said to her, “I don’t know what is making the woman change so quickly” these women have been in Bible study for years”! Suddenly, I had a download from the Holy Spirit. I knew immediately what the cause was for their change. And I spoke it, “it was because the women were confessing and repenting of their sins moment by moment and God was coming in and the sin was going out!

This is a mystery of God! And the enemy, for generations has kept Christians from understanding the power of confessing and repenting of their sins. It’s not enough to talk about confessing and repenting of sin. We have to do it, and in order to do it we must be taught how to do it. I remember sitting under Evelyn Christenson’s teaching. She would lead everyone in her audience through the process so that we all knew how to confess and repent.

It’s now 2016 and my husband and I have been using the teachings about repentance in our State Capitol for years. It’s been miraculous! This principle of confessing of sin and repentance is powerful. It not only transforms individuals but also changes cities, counties, states, and nations. It’s so simple, that even children can learn and see their lives transformed.

It’s true…confessing and repenting is not a one-time transaction, it’s a moment by moment lifestyle that keeps us in right relationship with the Father.

My question to you is, do you want breakthrough in your life or marriage? Do you want transformation in your church? Do you want to see the Great Awakening in our nation? True confession and sorrowful repentance is the Key to opening the door.

Lee Brown
Global Intercession/Worship Nashville
State Capitol, Nashville Tennessee USA

Live at Peace With Everyone

As we all know, September 26th had double significance. It was not only The National Day of Repentance, it was also one of the most holy days in the Jewish calendar—Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is a time of soul searching and atonement. It is Jewish custom to seek out persons with whom you have unresolved differences and seek forgiveness and repentance. In my own personal life, I have had a serious rift with a very close family member for 18 years. Now, I have offered many olive branches to this person over the course of 18 years as I truly attempted to be at peace with everyone according to Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

However, this person was painfully resistant to any overtures—much to the discomfort and distress of the entire family. During the course of the previous week, during which we were supposed to be in a time of reflection, I had turned the matter over to God (I should have done this sooner—right?). I knew in my heart, that several attempts were already made and there was really nothing further I could do if the other party was immovable. I made my peace with God about it and forgave the person in my heart. Strangely and miraculously on 9/25 I received an email from another family member who felt that God was calling him to be a conciliatory mediator between the two parties. He had no idea that evening would begin “The National Day of Repentance” or that seeking conciliation was a Biblical mandate during this time.

This ultimately opened the door to an asking of forgiveness and an acceptance on each side. While all 18 years of problems did not simply vanish, it was the first major step in a long time. This also resulted in a healing of another family relationship that was badly affected by the situation. I was humbled by God’s miraculous timing and his concern about the smallest details of our lives. If we have it in our hearts to obey him, he opens doors for us. Truly, to be a person “after God’s own heart” we must be humble, repentant and obedient—not perfect.

VICTORY in the War in the Heavenlies

As the National Day of Repentance approached, I studied diligently in the Bible and in my own personal conscience as to what God would have me do that day. Jewish customs can be meticulous and detailed such as not showering or adding perfumes, etc, during this time. However, for me, I felt that I should simply refrain from all food, all liquids other than water and separate myself from any usual activities—therefore, absolutely no regular work. I’m sure God dealt individually with everyone on what he required of them according to their own conscience.

We happen to live nearby to a beautiful Gothic Oratory. At first I was tempted to go to the shoreline and admire God’s creation, but I felt the occasion required more solemnity. This was the perfect location. Upon entering the sanctuary, it was difficult to miss the focus: Jesus on a huge cross illuminated with natural light from above. The rest of the interior was muted and hushed. Now, if you told me when I began that I could sit in one location without moving for three and a half hours—I would have thought you were crazy. I tend to be a “Type-A” person and this is not one of my strengths. However on this day, 3.5 hours actually FLEW by and I was actually DISAPPOINTED when it became necessary to depart.

At sometime during my prayer vigil, the church began to fill up. Much to my surprise, there was a Latin Mass scheduled for noontime. Never having seen such an event before (as I am not Catholic), it was of great interest to me. The priest gave a highly appropriate homily about the times we are living in. The challenges in America today require us to stand fast against the culture and choose sides. No lukewarm Christians will survive the upcoming battle. I felt this was a message directly from heaven. At the end of the Mass, most people slowly dissipated. I continued my prayer vigil. At one point I opened one eye to peek around and there were about 10 people praying with me. I earnestly resumed my prayer, not giving much notice again to those surrounding me. When I opened my eyes the second time the entire chapel was completely quiet and empty. I distinctly heard very gently in my spirit: “Are you the only one left my daughter?” I know there are those who will scoff at this account but this wording is not terminology that I would normally use or think of. I truly felt it was God speaking to me.

Later, when I got back home, this event had a “déjà vu” quality to it. WHERE had I heard this before? God led me to the 10 lepers story in Luke 17:17 – But Yeshua answered and he said, “Were there not ten who were purified? Where are the nine?”~Luke 17:17

God prodded me further to study the significance of 17 in the Bible. There is quite a bit of interesting Bible relevance to 17 but allow me to summarize as it applies to our event. The National Day of Repentance occurred on Tishrei 10 (the 10th day of the 7th month in the Jewish calendar) which = September 26th, 2012 in our Gregorian calendar. The online Bible Study states: On the 10th day of the 7th month, the Day of Atonement, Satan is bound (Revelation 20:1-3). Thus,10 + 7 = 17, depicting Jesus Christ vanquishing Satan.

Clearly, at the end of the day, I believe God spoke to me a message of spiritual VICTORY in the “war in the heavenlies”. I hope this story comforts and encourages you.

Turn Back to God

When I first came upon “The National Day of Repentance” website it was quite Providential. I felt a strong urge that Americans needed to get together in a spirit of unity and national repentance. I had no idea how or where to go about getting information about this. I simply Googled “National Day of Repentance” and was directed immediately to Pastor Daly’s website. Obviously, others felt the same way as I did! Amazing. I began an intense and earnest search in the Bible for the significance and requirements of a national “Holy Convocation” such as the one outlined in the Book of Joel. My love for details, led me on an historic quest on just how exactly this was accomplished throughout history. Apparently, the technically appropriate fast, according to Jewish custom, was from sunset the previous day to nightfall on the following day. I’ve always had an inquisitive mind—sometimes it gets me into trouble. Nevertheless, I began researching why the difference? The time period difference between sunset and nightfall is roughly 40 minutes.

God led me to the story of Hezekiah (Isaiah 38). Apparently, there was another time when the people of God were disobedient and rebellious. God had the Assyrians poised (modern day equivalent=Iranian or Persian people) to strike against Israel. God also told Hezekiah to “get his house in order” as he was going to die. King Hezekiah “turned his face to the wall” beseeching God’s mercy. Those of you who remember this Bible story will know that God told him to request a “sign” that his prayer was answered. He eventually asked that the sundial be turned BACKWARDS 10 degrees. Historical scholars believe this is the equivalent of 40 minutes in today’s time.
“Backwards” is significant because the Hebrew root of the word “repentance” is to TURN BACK or TURN BACK to God. God ultimately gave both Hezekiah and the land of Israel a reprieve. This is in keeping with Joel:

Joel 12-14: (The Message)
12 But there’s also this, it’s not too late—
GOD’s personal Message!—
“Come back to me and really mean it!
Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!”
13-14 Change your life, not just your clothes.
Come back to GOD, your God.
And here’s why: God is kind and merciful.
He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot,
This most patient God, extravagant in love,
always ready to cancel catastrophe.
Who knows? Maybe he’ll do it now,
maybe he’ll turn around and show pity.

When the initial 24 hour fast was up—I resolved to “turn my face to the wall” and soldier on for another 40 minutes from sunset until nightfall. At this point, I had a splitting caffeine headache and I was nauseous and dizzy. I truly have a new mercy for those who go hungry in the world. We often fail to recognize the incredible blessings God has provided to this country. Every one of those 40 minutes felt like an eternity. However, I truly felt as if a spiritual break through was the end result. Who knows that our small convocation will not result in God’s mercy on America? Of course, I pray for a more permanent national repentance along with a major spiritual revival in the United States. Either way, we have the satisfaction of knowing that a “remnant” remained obedient to God’s commands. Just like Abraham in the Old Testament—Will God destroy us if he can find just 10 righteous among us?

Let’s pray not.