Rather than sharing summaries of some of the other gatherings (you can read stories from more cities), we’ve decided to share this powerful series of take-awaysfrom Gregg Healey in Connecticut.
Connecticut had a unique, state-wide strategy for 10 Days that involved over 50 gatherings throughout the state. There’s a lot of encouragement and wisdom to be gleaned from Gregg’s report. Pick up and read!
Summary Report: Thanksgiving and Testimony from 10 Days CT 2015
The Lord Prepared the Hearts of His people
It was a privilege to connect leaders this year through Impact Connecticut for the Connecticut 10 Days of Prayer. There was incredible relational favor on the "coalition of the willing", such that it surprised me (in a good way!) Things came together such that you could sense the hand of God in it. When a slot needed to be filled, someone was ready to step in. When one conflict arose, a solution would be provided. It was a divine orchestration. I believe this is because God had prepared the hearts of His people.
I would be remiss not to discuss spiritual warfare surrounding 10 Days this year. I experienced it personally pretty intensely prior to launch. Others did too. For me, it manifested in various troubles at home and work. They were direct distractions attempting to take away focus and devotion to God’s call. Almost forgetting how bad it got a week or two prior (because then things went very well throughout the actual 10 days), it’s important to recognize and remember this. Why? Such trouble should be taken as encouragement to persevere (James 1:2):
A. Just because we are experiencing God’s favor one way (divine orchestration) doesn't mean there won't be difficulty, opposition, and/or persecution
B. It can be evidence that God is doing something significant, such that the enemy opposes it, but God allows it so we can persevere and overcome it. This also serves to draw closer to Him and increase dependency.
We had many, many gathering across the state. Praise the Lord for this! Someone told me after we kept expanding the calendar that we had reached 50 events. That surprised me too. But not God! What I really loved about these 50+ events was their diversity. Diversity in geography, socioeconomic status, denomination, race, gender, creeds, style, approach, flavor. Conservative to wild. Contemporary to Traditional. Hair down; hair up. Wild and crazy. Sweet and peaceful. Small gatherings. Big ones! How wonderful it was! It was like the amazing diversity of God’s creation (creatures, fauna, landscapes, seasons and climes) in awesome wonder.
Unity in Diversity
And, there was great unity of these 50+ diverse events coming together as one voice. One cry. One BIG prayer across CT across 10 days. The more diverse it was, the more unified it became. It’s as though unity was built through diversity; many streams flowing as one river.
One of our expressed goals this year was to deepen 10 Days reach into local communities around the state. The past 2 years focus being mostly on state-wide unity services. So we want to preserve this aspect, while deepening the expression within the regions. Multiple days and nights within a single region or location are part of the idea. The city of Hartford was one great example this year.
Another approach is meeting multiple times (or all the time!) in one location, in order to build a tabernacle of prayer increasing the Presence. So a few ministries set up multiple prayer times with good effect. Have you ever wished a meeting didn't have to end? Wellspring Church wanted to take the concept further and host a “camp-in” but couldn't pull it off logistically this year. The fullness of this style is 24/7 worship and prayer. Maybe we will experience this somehow next year?
We Satisfied the Requirements of Heaven
This is a really important point. You know, there are times where God won't move unless His people perform certain acts of obedience. This is all about the voluntary alignment of the will of man with the will of God (Isaiah 6:8: whom shall I send?). It is part and parcel with restoration and revival. Examples in scripture: Joshua 7 - atoning for Achan's idolatry of silver and gold before taking Ai; 2 Chronicles 7 - requirements for God's people to pray before He will heal the land.
10 Days is a time where we not only repent for our sins and idolatry, but we intercede for our land and nation. I was speaking with my friend Ruth on the final night and asked her what she sensed the Lord was saying about 10 Days this year. She responded (paraphrase): "The Lord is satisfied! Our prayers have been heard. The requirements have been met. There is a peace that is here now, that wasn't here last year!"
Heaven Doesn't Measure Success the Way the World Does
One of the struggles of any spiritual movement is the outward perception of it. This is especially difficult for leaders who are sensitive to people's perception of what defines "success". When we look through our natural eyes at something God is doing, sometimes we miss it. One might think: I guess revival isn't happening because there are only a few people at this meeting. Not necessarily! There is a difference between spiritual activity and manifested activity. Yes, we pray for the Kingdom come on the earth, but no, it is not always immediately obvious to the natural eye.
Recall 2 Kings 6 where Elisha asks God to open his servant's eyes to see the legion of warring angels at the ready. Success in the spiritual realm must be measured on the spiritual plane before the natural plane. Sometimes we have to perform acts and see things in the invisible, before seeing them in the natural. This is part of living by faith and often God’s way, which is Higher than man’s way.
For example, it was easy to be encouraged by the blowout meeting we had in Bristol (500 people from 16 churches), but some of the smaller intimate gatherings in strategic places (such as the Capitol) may have had an equal impact!
Persevering Past Enthusiasm into Heavenly Momentum
2015 being the 3rd year of 10 Days, represented a getting through the "middle period" where natural excitement and enthusiasm of a new initiative wanes, and the supernatural momentum of God must be relied upon instead. This can be a critical period where movements die. CT leadership evaluated this prior to committing this year. We couldn’t sustain another campaign by sweat and relational equity alone without approaching it differently and trusting God to buoy and refresh. Essentially our prayer was - Lord if you want us to continue, show us the way forward, call leadership, interest and enthusiasm such that we are not “pushing” anything, put rather you are "pulling it" forward. As my friend Harold Bredesen used to say: ‘Make it easy on us God, and hard on you!'
The Mystery of the Jewish people, Israel, the Church and End-time Roles
A defining phrase for 10 Days is a founding word spoken to Jonathan Friz in 2004: "Babylon refuses to mourn, but My people will mourn before My return."
To date, this phrase (to me anyway) represented two main themes: longing for Christ's return and mourning the state of affairs of our present age, the condition of the church, the people and the nations. But, wait, I think we found more! The following scripture was highlighted to me during 10 Days this year:
Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn."
While still unpacking this, I think I can safely conclude that "My People" in this scripture is also a reference to the Jewish people. We also know from Romans 11 that “all of Israel will be saved” as part of God's end-time plan. A critical part of this is gentiles “provoking the Jew unto Jealousy” (Romans 11:11). So perhaps the headline insight here is the role of Israel being saved prior to the Lord’s return and “10 days” facilitating intercessory prayer for its fulfillment. Thus, a new dimension to the phrase “My people will mourn before My return”.
More to come on this…
This was our 3rd official participation of Connecticut with Heaven in the 10 Days mandate. This year was a year of momentum, stretching and deepening. With over 50 meetings ranging from big to small; intimate and peaceful to wild and extravagant; giving thanks and praise to deep repentance, we saw many fulfillments and give thanks to God for what He has done. This was what the Spirit said through the churches of Connecticut at the conclusion of the last night of 10 Days at Wintonbury: "Come Lord Jesus!"
Gregg Healey, Wilton, CT