Today’s youth are spiritually hungry and ready to throw themselves into God’s work. Here’s how you can tap into their energy and create an explosion.
You’ve seen their faces on television screens, on the front pages of newspapers and weekly periodicals such as Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report, and on multiple Internet news services. Wearing red tape with the word “life” in large letters over their mouths, they stand in front of the Supreme Court building, abortion clinics and wherever else the right to life is being threatened.
They are the emerging generation of Christians-the revelation generation. They are defined by their dreams, fueled by their fasting, passionate in prayer-24/7-and armed with holy activism. They are one voice among many who are contending for the coming of God’s kingdom. They are you and your generation, and they are seizing the moment to make a difference now.
Defined by dreams.
In his book Engaging the Powers, Walter Wink describes a phenomenon that is applicable to this generation. “Consciously or unconsciously, one lives not only one’s life, but the life of one’s time. … Are our dreams, for example, to some degree facets of a larger mass dream that is beginning to happen in the world?
“… To put it another way, when God wants to initiate a new movement in history, God does not intervene directly, but sends us dreams and visions that can, if attended to, initiate a process.”
Forty years ago, one man gave voice to a dream that resonated in the hearts of a generation defined by dreams of freedom. That man, Martin Luther King Jr., mobilized a movement among an oppressed and marginalized people that shook the pillars of injustice and cut off the chains of segregation. It was a revolution that changed the face of a nation and transformed a generation in America.
Once again, a young dreamer generation is rising, and their dreams are from heaven. For 32 years since Roe v. Wade, the silent screams of the unborn children have been crying out to heaven for justice. And God, the greatest countercultural dreamer, has commissioned another generation of holy activists who will shout: “I have a dream! Let my people go-end abortion!”
With the issue of life and death hanging on the outcome of the 2004 presidential elections, 70 young people from across the nation dreamed with me that the shadow of Haman’s death decree over a generation could be turned back by day-and-night intercession. We stood on the verse, “Will God not avenge His elect who cry out to Him day and night?” (Luke 18:7, paraphrased).
For 50 days we gathered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to fast and engage in fiery 24/7 intercession, and God gave us dreams-specific CIA (Christian Intelligence Agency) dreams. Multiple dreams pointed to Washington, D.C., where we saw ourselves building a white house right next to the White House-stretching out a measuring line over this prominent national landmark. We recalled a Scripture from Zechariah: “’I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy. My house shall be built in it,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and a surveyor’s [measuring] line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem’” (1:16, NKJV).
We heard the Holy Spirit speak to us: “Right now, D.C. is your Jerusalem. There is a hill above Capitol Hill! It is My holy hill. I have an alternate government center to contend with the government of men-day-and-night intercession around the throne.”
Weeping, we prayed for a building as close as possible to the Capitol where we could begin 24/7 governmental intercession: praying for those in authority (see 1 Tim. 2: 1-8) and crying day and night for speedy justice-an end to abortion (see Luke 18:7).
Immediately after we arrived in D.C., an upper room opened in one of the most strategic locations on Capitol Hill, only two blocks from the Supreme Court building. As soon as we walked in, we knew it was the place for our House of Prayer. Standing in the room, one could stretch a measuring line down Pennsylvania Avenue through the Capitol and straight toward the White House.
Within days two men who had heard the vision each wrote a check for $7,000 to cover the first two months’ rent. The Justice House of Prayer-DC (JHOP-DC) was established! Today, young people are living out the dream and fueling the JHOP-DC, calling for righteousness and justice in our nation’s capital.
Fueled by fasting.
The emerging generation is hungry for revelation, and their hunger is fueled by the discipline of fasting. As Wink writes: “The slack decadence of culture-Christianity cannot produce athletes of the spirit. Those who are the bearers of tomorrow undergo what others might call disciplines … to stay spiritually alive.”
A young university student has been on a Daniel fast-fasting meats and sweets-for two years, praying for the end of abortion in America. After the election of George Bush, clearly a pro-life president, the young man asked God for permission to eat normally again. He determined that if God did not give him a confirmation to continue the fast, he would break it the following day.
That evening, just before midnight, my young intercessor joined one of his friends to study. Seeing an unfamiliar student, he introduced himself. The stranger replied, “Hello, my name is Daniel Fast.”
My young friend knew this was the confirmation he was praying for, and he has continued his fast to this day. God seemed to be shouting to him, “Oh, Daniel, you are highly esteemed in heaven!”
Many other young people across the nation are entering into fasted lifestyles. They are clearing the decks and making their lives a landing strip for revelation. And like Daniel, they are being rewarded with dreams. I believe they are a prototype of this end-time generation.
Passionate in prayer-24/7.
A movement of 24/7 prayer is gaining momentum around the world. Ministries have sprung up to spearhead the movement, and young people are involved at ground level, playing a significant role in such efforts as the International Houses of Prayer (IHOPs), Boiler Rooms, 48HOPs, 24-7 Prayer and now JHOP. All sponsor prayer initiatives in various countries.
I believe the houses of prayer, fueled by the young, are just the beginning of what is to come. The Bible says we are to rule in the midst of our enemies. To contend with the increasing demonization of the nations, governmental houses of prayer must arise. In fact, I have a dream that justice and governmental houses of prayer will be established in every capital in the world.
By praying and fasting in these houses, we can remove the demonic veils that blind our leaders and influence their decisions. We can hold the government of men accountable to the government of God. Out of the houses of prayer, prophets will stretch out the measuring line of justice and the plumb line of righteousness to the rulers of the earth.
The church is called to be the standard of truth. When rulers do not line up with God’s Word, we are to pray and fast that either their hearts will be changed or that they will be removed.
Defined by activism.
God is stirring the hearts of the emerging generation with divine strategies that take them out of the prayer closet and into the streets. This is not activism born out of rebellion, anarchy or defiance; rather it is an outpouring of love and compassion motivated by a burning desire for justice.
The young friend I referred to who is on a Daniel fast received a dream (the reward of a fasted lifestyle) in which he saw an aerial view of a massive sea of people converging on the Mall and the streets of Washington, D.C. The vision zoomed in on their faces, and they were wearing tape with the word “life” written in capital letters on their mouths.
I could not get this dream out of my mind. Could it contain the wisdom of God that shakes principalities and powers? I asked myself (see Eph. 3:10). I wondered if the Author of our destiny was revealing a strategy to end abortion.
We decided to follow the dream. Within minutes of our arrival at the Supreme Court building, the National Organization of Women (NOW) came to hold a press conference in which they broadcast their stance for the ongoing legalization of abortion and homosexual marriage.
While I stood there with tape over my mouth and tears in my eyes, the Lord spoke to my heart, “Lay a siege on the Supreme Court!” He quickened Ezekiel 4:2 to my spirit: “Lay siege against it. This will be a sign. … According to the number of the days … you shall bear their iniquity. … I have laid on you a day for each year.”
I realized that it was 31 days before the 2004 election and that we had endured 31 years of legalized abortion! Here was our divine assignment-to stand in identification with the silent screams of the unborn and in repentance for the silence of the church on this issue, pleading the blood of Jesus.
As we held our silent siege in the face of the shouting crowd who were waving signs with the messages “Keep Abortion Legal” and “Same-Sex Marriage,” I was gripped by the power and wisdom of God. The contrast of our silence to the loud press conference was deafening. Little did I know that as we stepped forth in faith to follow the dream, God was opening a door for a potential nationwide youth movement to overturn abortion!
One day as we stood at the court building, a young man approached us and said, “If you turned this LIFE-tape into wristbands like the Livestrong bands, I would take it back to my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, and start a youth justice movement to end abortion like Martin Luther King did for civil rights.”
We dared to dream: What if 10 million young people wearing LIFE-bands would covenant to pray every time they looked at the band? (Even five prayers a day per person would add up to 50 million prayers assaulting the fortress of abortion.)
What if we replaced the 22-word prayer removed from schools in 1962 with a 22-word prayer to end abortion? What if the wearers of LIFE-bands were committed to voting only for pro-life candidates, and they began to burn for cultural revolution? What if we began a movement called Bound4LIFE.com that would mobilize an army of the upcoming generation to pray, vote and act for the ending of abortion in America?
In 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right; a man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice; a man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.”
In 1962 prayer was removed from schools by Engel v. Vitale, and the church quietly complied. In 1973 abortion was legalized by Roe. v. Wade, and the church was silent for years.
Yet out of the silent bones of the church, a generation is emerging that will be a voice in the face of injustice. God is blowing His trumpet, and dry bones are rattling.
Young men and women conceived under the shadow of abortion are hearing the wind rush from the four corners of the earth-“Live!” They are rising as deliverers. Passionate and equipped for battle, they have been waiting in the wings for a cause, and they are ready to rally for the pre-born, young unwed mothers, orphans and the gospel!
Little did we imagine when we first took our stand the divine convergence of events that would soon catapult the issue of life to the forefront of the nation’s conscience. God has taken the red tape and blasted it around the nation shouting “Life!”-and a generation is responding.
Now young people who have seen our pictures and heard our message are spontaneously mobilizing Silent Sieges at their courts and abortion clinics. Kids are wearing red LIFE-tape at their high schools and spending their lunch breaks fasting and praying. Young children, gripped by the urgency of this message, are standing to pray at an inner wall adjoining an abortion clinic. It is called the “wailing wall” because these children literally weep as they stand in the gap to save the lives of their generation.
In Kansas City, Missouri, a young man mobilized thousands for a 21-day Silent Siege at an abortion clinic. In Spokane, Washington, young intercessors held a 21-day Silent Siege at their federal courthouse. Near the end of the siege, the city council, for the first time ever, denied a federal grant to Planned Parenthood and allocated the funds to a Crisis Pregnancy Center.
Momentum is rising, and a wave of youth is taking up the message of life. They are praying our 22-word prayer: Jesus, I plead Your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation. God, end abortion and send revival to America.
So urgent is the fire in their hearts that ministries from across America are partnering with us to send teams of LIFE-riders nationwide. I believe God is raising up an Ezekiel 22 generation who will build a wall and stand in the gap for this nation-pleading the blood of Jesus and holding Silent Sieges at every abortion clinic and court in America.
Lou Engle is the founder of Bound4Life, a movement to end abortion and re-establish a culture of life in America, and the Justice Houses of Prayer, 24/7 prayer ministries in Washington, D.C. and outside Charlotte, North Carolina. He is committed to raising up young people to pray and take action for justice and revival .