I Will Go Before You, and Make the Crooked Places Straight.

Beloved Intercessors,

Loving greetings from India! We spent over 24 hours in airports and planes to get here. Thank you for your prayers!

As I was awakening the morning after the State of the Union address, I heard in my spirit, “I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight.” I instantly took notice and found it in Isaiah 45:2. I felt it was a word for us regarding this trip, but when I saw the whole chapter was a prophecy to King Cyrus, I felt it was also a word that we should pray for President Trump since he has been called a Cyrus by both Christian prophets and Jewish scholars. Please pray this chapter prophetically over us and over the President. It is a powerful scripture!

As I was studying it again, I saw that it may also be interpreted as “I will go before you and level the rough places” or “make the rough places smooth” or “level the proud places.” This promise has the potential to remove the fear of the unknown. When we expect to encounter difficulties, we may not be able to walk in peace, but when we know that God has gone before us to straighten and smooth the path ahead of us, we can walk into the unknown in peaceful faith without fear. It’s a delightful feeling!

This is my fifth trip to India (the first being my arrival on earth nearly 61 years ago), and having been here before, and having encountered various complications, it’s easy to have some negative expectations. This time, though, with this word of encouragement from the Lord, I feel like an excited child going on an adventure! Hallelujah! And I’m excited to have a team of both experienced missionaries and a first timer who will be meeting us in a few days.

Just before we took off from our stopover in Paris (another place I’ve been burdened for), Quintessa sent me this:

“I went into the prayer room earlier and sat down and said, ‘Lord, I want to hear your heart for India.’ Immediately I heard a groaning, sorrowful cry that I cannot describe, and heard the following:

Oh, India! My beloved child!

How I have longed to gather you as a hen gathers her chicks. For too long, you have nursed at the breast of stone and wood, seeking nourishment from that which is dead, cold, and hard. Because of this, your masses are starving, poor, and naked.

I have come to bring you life, that you may have it more abundantly, and My desire is for you to prosper and be in health as your soul prospers in Me.

Come to Me! Come, you who are weak and weary, and I will give you rest. Karma and idols are cruel task masters that can never be satisfied. Come to Me, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

How I long to hold you in My loving embrace! But I cannot embrace you while you embrace idols. Let go and turn from your idols, and come to Me! I am calling to you with open arms.

Oh, India, India! My precious, beloved child…

“Then, after a few minutes of prayer, I had a vision of a beautiful Indian baby wearing eyeliner being held by its mother. Though the child had a round face, it was starving to death. I sensed that it refused to take its mother’s breast, but I could see that its stomach was full of stones. I heard the Lord say, ‘Unless this child loses its appetite for stones, it will die.’”

So with that word freshly received from the Holy Spirit, as we were flying over Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, I found myself groaning and interceding to our Father to pour out His Holy Spirit over these nations. I was lifting Him up with the lyrics of “What a Beautiful Name it Is,”

You have no rival!
You have no equal
Now and forever, God, You reign
Yours is the Kingdom
Yours is the Glory
Yours is the Name above all names.

Our praise is a powerful weapon, and it defeats the powers of darkness as the Glory of His Presence invades and dispels them.

Please join us in holding these praises and prayers for the outpouring before the Lord! It is time for the HARVEST! Let us implore the Lord of the Harvest to launch laborers into the fields to “bring them in from the fields of sin”!

Some years ago I had a vision of the Liberty Bell. Instead of the words that you normally see on it, the name, “India” was cast in the metal. It is clear that God wants India for His own. It is an amazing land with many beautiful people groups. I can understand why Sister Gwen called this place her “great love.” China was her first love, but India was her great love. Here’s the poem she wrote about India:

India, beloved India,
Why do I love you so?
Why do I long to stand on your soil
With your burden bending me low?

You’ve gripped my heart with a love so strong
That will not let me go.
And when I must leave you and come away
I cannot forget you, you know.

I carry your image stamped on my heart
My tears are oft mingled with yours.
I’ve suffered with you in the heat and cold
And worked with your sons for our Lord.

Your children I’ve held in my arms as they died,
Your widows I’ve comforted too,
I’ve prayed for your sick and searched for your lost.
What else, dear Lord, can I do?

If giving my life would help you to find
The Christ of the India road
I’d gladly say yes, and lay it down now
That you might be released from sin’s load.

How can I share this burden I feel
With a carefree, indifferent world?
How can I get my own people to care
For you that they all might behold

Your struggle and suffering, your pangs for birth,
Your cry for help in the night?
As darkness now closes you all around
How can I send you the Light?

India, beloved India,
Why do you pull me apart?
It must be because my Lord loves you too
And He’s loving you through my heart.

(Gwen R. Shaw)*

Thank you for your prayers and for believing God with us to build up the missions funding so that we will “owe no man [including American Express] anything but to love.”  (Romans 13:8a)

Your handmaiden and servant,
Sharon and Philip

*“India, Beloved India” from Unconditional Surrender

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