Loving greetings from Boston! Before I give you a report on our trip, I believe we still have one seat left for the Israel Prayer Assignment in March. If the Lord has been tugging at your heart about it, please obey Him!
This has been an amazing journey so far! After three long days on the road, covering the 1500+ miles from Arkansas to New England, we settled in on Cape Cod for three nights.
We had a beautiful time of fellowship with Bishop Louis and Lydia Williams and the church that meets in their home. They are investing in the lives of some wonderful young men whom they are discipling. We look forward to seeing what God does in the future with these young men!
We spent the next day going up and down in Plymouth, where our Pilgrim Forefathers built the first European settlement in New England. God had mastered the winds and Winter sailing conditions to keep them from landing in Virginia to connect with the Jamestown colony. The Pilgrims and crew signed together the document known as the “Mayflower Compact” to enable them to work together to establish a government to which they would all submit, for not everyone on the ship shared same faith that the Pilgrims had, and some of the crew members had been making mutinous statements. Part of their stated purpose was for the advancement of the Christian faith, and they came with high hopes. Forty-five of the 102 Pilgrims lost their lives that first winter to disease, but they continued to trust God.
We spent some significant time in prayer along the first street of that village. As we prayed and redeemed the land there, we repented on behalf of all the inhabitants of the land, from even before the Pilgrims came until now, over the abominations that bring a curse on the land:
- the shedding of innocent blood (the Wampanoag tribe practiced human sacrifice)
- sexual immorality, perversion, and abuse
- witchcraft and sorcery
- idolatry, including Freemasonry that crept in in later generations
- breaking covenants
The Holy Spirit impressed us also to repent on behalf of our Pilgrim Forefathers for the divisions that developed in the Body.
As we studied the history of this and other settlements we visited the succeeding days, the same story occurred repeatedly. These were God-fearing people who took their faith seriously. Then one (usually of the younger generation) would receive or embrace a revelation that was different from the mainstream of understanding. And the ones who in their generation had stepped out in faith to walk in the revelation they had received, rejected and persecuted the new move. Offense was given, offense was taken, and pride caused the agape love of God to be laid aside—and a split was the result. Schisms and divisions were some of the prominent reasons for the establishment of new communities all over New England. That’s not a very good foundation, and splits usually followed.
Interestingly, Philip and I have been reading the book of First Corinthians together and I found it amazing how Paul’s writings fit with our prayers as we repented for the Body of Christ and the many divisions that have their roots in the founding of our nation. He refers to the many divisions among the Corinthians. I hadn’t ever seen chapter 13, “the love chapter,” in the context of divisions in the body before. It makes perfect sense that the love of God is the answer to divisions and schisms. I have been asking God to fill us with His love that will help us to find one another in the spirit, and so we become intercessors for those whom we feel are out of sync with the Word of God.
We also spent some significant time praying in Enfield, Connecticut, where Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.“ The Great Awakening was well underway all along the Connecticut River Valley, but Enfield was untouched. The inhabitants were hardened, and complacent. Some were out right visible sinners who didn’t care anything for the gospel, and others, worse still, were hardened and complacent, proudly, religiously sitting in their church pews every week, but untouched in their inner man by the Spirit of God. Edwards and other intercessors spent the night in prayer before that Sunday morning when he preached his most famous sermon. He preached it in an unemotional, monotone voice, but prayer had prepared the ground, and he had to stop at one point because the cries of the people were keeping him from being heard as they felt they were falling into hell. Real revival ensued, and Enfield was set ablaze by the gospel! You would do well to read that sermon. https://www.blueletterbible.org/comm/edwards_jonathan/sermons/sinners.cfm
Today there is a boulder marking the place of that meeting House engraved in commemoration. I was moved by the fact that that property is for sale. I’ve felt in prayer that revival is available to those who will pay the price — but who will pay the price?
We also spent some time praying at the site of the meeting house in North Hampton, Massachusetts where Jonathan Edwards was the pastor when the Great Awakening broke out. My aunt attends services there. My heart grieves at the signs of the world’s thinking that has crept in to influence those who worship there. Lord, pour out Your Spirit there once again, and let it spread all over New England, and the nation, and to the nations of the world!
And now we are in Boston to participate in Ignite Ivy, sponsored by Jerry and ETH Judy Ball and Breaker of Dawn Ministries. Pastor Mark Bristow, and Claren and Nancy McQueen are also here. Please pray for a mighty outpouring on these young adults who are studying in the Ivy League schools with the potential of rising into prominent positions in the world. They need the power of God operating in their lives! They are potential world changers! Pray with us!
While we are here in Boston, we intend to pray over a couple of other places to repent for injustices. Anne Hutchinson, a godly woman and Bible teacher, was tried and banished because she taught revelations that were beyond the accepted doctrine of the Puritans. Her father had been a well-educated preacher and educated his daughter well in the Word. He had gone to jail a number of times for criticizing the church for allowing people in the pulpit who didn’t have enough training to qualify for it. Anne and her friend, Mary Dyer, embraced the teachings of John Cotton who taught a covenant of grace instead of a covenant of works. Later they were influenced by the teachings of George Fox and became Quakers, teaching that you can hear from the Holy Spirit for yourself.
Mary had left Boston in 1638 with Anne and approximately 60 others who went on to form the community of Newport, Rhode Island. 22 years later, the Puritans were trying so hard to keep Boston pure that they enacted a law forbidding Quakers to come, upon pain of death. Mary and two Quaker men defied the unjust law, coming to Boston to preach the gospel as they understood it. They were arrested and sentenced to death for defying the law. Mary’s sentence was commuted to banishment at the appeal of her husband who was an upstanding citizen and not a Quaker. Seven months later, when her husband was gone on business, Mary returned, determined to die to demonstrate how unjust the law was. She was again sentenced to death and this time was hanged. When her death was brought to the attention of the government in London, orders were given to change the law in Boston, and her sacrifice contributed to a change in people’s thinking, to become more tolerant of those whose faith differs from their own.
Please agree with us as we pray over this history, repenting for the wrongs that we’re done, that the strongholds that have been keeping the people of Boston from receiving all that God has for them will be broken.
On Sunday we return to Plymouth for the Oceans of Glory camp meeting with Shelli Manuel, at the Pilgrim Sands Hotel. Please pray for mighty move of God there. Then on Wednesday we will drive to the Washington DC area to be with the president of our branch, Loretta Neely and attend “The Turnaround: Appeal to Heaven” meetings at the Trump Hotel. I feel like we have been doing our small part to contribute to God’s purposes that He intends to accomplish in this great event on His calendar in DC. Please pray with us for God‘s will to be accomplished, and that we will not lose the momentum once the turnaround happens.
On February 25 at 10:30 a.m. we will be at Godpleasers Family Church Worldwide, 10110 Greenbelt Road, Lanham, MD 20706. Please join us if you can.
Your handmaiden and servant,
Sharon and Philip