This year saw the growth of 10 Days from 3 cities to 12 cities. This growth happened quickly, in the span of a year, but it happened naturally, organized by the Holy Spirit through the knitting together of kindred hearts.
Throughout the year, I kept returning in to the call from the Lord in 2004. During this experience, I asked the Lord “who is this [the 10 Days] for”? I saw was a map that kept getting bigger and bigger, until it was as big as the United States. At this point, I was overwhelmed and frightened, and said “Stop!” I’m fully convinced God would have kept on going if I hadn’t asked him to stop…
This year, I believe we began to see that vision fulfilled. I fully believe the 10 Days vision is designed to benefit and bless the Church around the world as part of a global movement of the Holy Spirit that’s already upon us, leading to unity, maturity, and preparing God’s people for the return of Christ.
10 Days Stories: As I hear more and more testimonies from people around the country, here are some common themes that I’ve been hearing:
Unity: God is releasing grace through these times to break down walls and knit hearts together in love. This seems to be visibly expressed through groups of leaders meeting together in an ongoing way.
Repentance: Many are reporting a deep sense of cleansing, many examples of people from his congregation that were significantly impacted in the place of heart-level repentance through participation in just one evening.
Revelation: God’s using this time to release the knowledge of God into the hearts of His people. When we spend time in the presence of God, we start to see things from God’s perspective, leading to lives filled with faith, hope, and love.
Catalytic for more prayer and new callings: God’s using these times to launch individuals and groups into new things! For example, here in Western MA, we launched a prayer room in the weeks after the 10 Days.
10 Days Stories: Highlights from Several Locations
Karen Covell of the Hollywood Prayer Network shared how believers in their area felt called to this, but weren’t sure they could cover all 10 Days. They decided to just do seven days (LA Week of Prayer). However, after they were done reaching out to people they discovered they had exactly 10 hosts and three groups had to double up. They experienced a change in unity in the city that was striking and are excited to see what God does next year through the 10 Days.
Connecticut: 40 Days of Worship
In an unprecedented move of God, 130 congregations and ministries partnered to host 40 Days of Worship in CT. The 40 Days was a combination of the “10 Days” with another prophetic invitation they had as a state to do 40 Days of consecutive worship. Their excellence in organization and administration was a beautiful inspiration—because of it, I can share cool facts: for example nearly 15,000 people attended gatherings during the 40 Days.
I visited a pastor’s gathering shortly after the 40 days in CT. There was a tangible revival atmosphere as 150 church leaders worshiped in full voice. They all came in encouraged, full of faith, and united. There was a clear sense of encouragement and one of the pastors of a smaller, NE denominational congregation said to me: “It’s an amazing time to be ministering in New England.” What I most sensed at this gathering was alignment in a common purpose and vision among the leaders gathered.
Kelly Steinhaus took over as coordinator in Boston this year, freeing me up to support her and other groups. Over 50 local congregations participated. One major answer to prayer was that one evening was hosted by a Roman Catholic parish this year. Amazingly, on that exact day, the Pope called the global church to a day of fasting!
I was touched by a night hosted at a large Suburban church in Boston, where 10 congregations partnered to host the evening. God showed up powerfully during worship and the pastors with one voice cast vision for a united regional church, while acknowledging at the same time “we don’t know how to do this.” At the end of that gathering, several of us who have been working for unity for years looked at each other and said: “WOW”.
10 Days Chico grew this year, with 35 congregations and ministries hosting a total of 26 worship and prayer gatherings. Dai Sup Han, who coordinated the 10 Days, also served a key role in spreading the vision to other parts of the West Coast. I have a special heart connection to Chico thanks to friends like Dai Sup, Gaylord Enns, and Larry Lane.
Rather that moving from place to place, 31 different local congregations participated in a 10 Days hosted at Symphony House of Prayer in Manchester. Dick Kiernan, who coordinates the NH Alliance state-wide network was amazed by the increase in unity that came about during the 10 Day time-period. In the aftermath, he shared how someone decided to invite a few pastors to meet and 50 Manchester leaders showed up! This kind of thing had not been happening before, but all of a sudden there was grace to come together. Dick, who is an evangelical Catholic, is trying to spread 10 Days to the other cities of New Hampshire.
Locations for this year: Bellingham (WA), Chico (CA), Hemet (CA), Los Angeles (CA), San Diego (CA), Long Island (NY), Rhode Island (State-wide), Connecticut (State-wide as part of 40 Days of Worship), Boston (MA), Western Massachusetts (Northfield), North Shore (MA), Manchester (NH)
Areas to grow: The City Vision
It’s amazing that the vision of the map is beginning to be realized! However, I think there’s another part of the vision that God wants to bring to reality.
On that night in 2004, I saw a city that was glowing, radiating light. In the city, normal life had been suspended as everyone was united in seeking God’s face. Normal work, entertainment, normal life rhythms were suspended for this season of corporate encounter. It was like the entire city had become a picture of the throne room in heaven. I knew this was a picture of what 10 Days was intended to bring about.
This vision of the city also reminds me of the original purpose of the founders of New England, that we would be a “city on a hill” and a “light to the nations”.
So far, I don’t think God has released grace for people to fully grasp the “lay down everything to seek God for 10 Days” part of the vision. It’s pretty counter-cultural and is a big investment of time. However, I’m not sure if there’s anything more eternally productive we could be doing together! I can honestly say that anyone who has embraced this call has come away changed. My heart’s passion is to see entire cities and regions doing this, laying down life as normal for 10 Days drawn by cords of God’s love, resulting in personal and community transformation.
To this end, I’ll be working on a book over the next couple years. People need to sit with the vision a while, understand the thinking behind it, and also get a sense of where God’s taking us and the need to dramatically alter the culture of the Church from its current state. So, please keep that ongoing project in prayer.
America’s Best Days
The other day I was talking to a friend, Christ (rhymes with “wrist”) Otto. Christ shared with me that God had impressed on him this phrase: “The best days of America are ahead, not behind”. That’s probably not the news that you’ll see on TV, but I believe that is God’s perspective on this nation. Before I left for California last fall, the Lord spoke to my heart something similar: “from sea to shining sea, [I am going] to bring this nation back to me, her first love.” While it seems that on many sides darkness is increasing, let’s focus on the many ways that God is beginning to move and pour out His Spirit in America. Let it be, Lord, and stir up hope in our hearts to look to you as our only Hope!