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While in Branson, MO, praying with the amazing community at Morningside Church as they dedicated their new Prayer Mountain Chapel, the Lord gave me a vision. I believe this vision has everything to do with an assignment He is extending to prophets, intercessors and, well, everyone—on how to effectively pray for the United States of America. (Note: I love all nations, so I’m convinced that within this message is a strategy to pray for other nations too.)

Ask for the Lord’s Translation

In the vision, I simply saw the hand of the Lord reaching out to prophets and intercessors, giving them rolled-up scrolls on behalf of their cities and states. Anytime we have supernatural experiences, visions or dreams, we cannot be content with simply indulging the supernatural imagery without contending for an explanation.

The high benchmark of the prophetic ministry is not, and I repeat, NOT how supernatural or spiritual our prophetic words, visions, dreams, and experiences sound. When we receive messages from Heaven they will always come in a slightly “coded” manner. There will be this veil around them, not because God is making things difficult for us, but rather He’s inviting you and me into dynamic communication with Him as friends and intimates. He wants you and me to ask Him for the translation—and He is faithful to provide it!

The veil of mystery surrounding prophetic messages from Heaven cannot motivate us to immediately indulge our “push button” society, where we jump out and simply share the word as is, in its uninterpreted, strongly-symbolic or allegorical format. Certainly not. Instead, when we believe that we receive a prophetic message from Heaven, we need to first present it back to the Lord and ask Him for clarity on what it means.

What Were the Rolled-Up Scrolls?

When I asked the Lord what those scrolls were, He told me they were the scrolls for cities and states in the USA. What was written in these scrolls represented God’s will and intended purposes for our cities and states; they carried what God wanted for the United States of America.

Reactive Prayers: Cleaning up Messes Made by the Devil

We cannot pray reactively, we must pray responsively. Reactive prayers sound like we are constantly trying to clean up messes made by the devil. By nature, we are reacting to the very real and present darkness around us. I refuse to pretend away the darkness in our land in favor of a pie-in-the-sky, end-times scenario.

Isaiah 60 gives us a stunning parallel of what to expect in this hour: gross and deep darkness colliding with a people upon whom God arises and shines with superior glory. And that glory is not meant to be contained, but rather have a measurable impact on a society gripped by darkness. Jesus did say we are the salt of the earth and light of the world, which means our presence in the earth should transform things around us.

Responsive Prayers: Responding to What’s Written in God’s Scrolls

Responsive prayers are not born on Earth; they were birthed in Heaven. They are not motivated by what we “scroll” through on our news-feeds everyday, but rather, they are driven by what’s written in God’s scrolls for our cities, states and nations.

The ultimate question should not be what is the devil doing? The question is what is God saying? The truth is, we will pray prayers that are driven by one or the other. We can pray based on what the enemy is doing in our nation—with such prayers sounding frantic, hopeless and full of despair—OR, we can be very alert and in tune with the darkness, while praying superior prayers not driven by what darkness is doing, but are rather influenced by the word and purposes of the Lord.

How to Pray Responsively

Here are some very practical “next steps” on how to pray responsively to what the Lord is doing right now:

1. Refuse to allow darkness and the devil to influence your prayer life. Practically speaking, this means you watch the news but don’t pray it. You track world events but don’t pray the problems. You don’t agree with the darkness. Be very aware of what’s going on in the earth, but refuse to partner with the enemy’s agenda.

2. Ask the Lord, “What do YOU SAY about my city, state and nation?” The news often tells us what the enemy is saying concerning our nations. This is why the scroll imagery, I think, is so important, especially considering the day and age we live in. We’re constantly scrolling through news stories and headlines, being influenced by what we are reading. No doubt many prayers have been crafted based on what our eyes have come across while reading the most recent, horrific news headline. Let’s shift things. Let’s be very aware of what’s going on in the earth, but perhaps more aware of what the Lord wants to do in our cities, states and nations.

3. Specifically ask the Lord for the scroll of your city and state. This is not some mystical thing; it’s a matter of the Lord unveiling to you what He wants to do in the place where you live. More than what we see in the news, we want to see what’s written in Heaven come to pass in the places where we live. (Photo via Unsplash)

4. Research the prophetic history of your city/state. Often, the unfinished work of the Lord can be discovered by acquainting ourselves with the prophetic history of our cities and states.

Recently, I was overwhelmed by the Lord’s presence as He told me things like, “I remember Frank Bartleman. I remember William Seymour. I remember John Wimber. I remember Aimee Semple McPherson.” This was all in respect to California, which many tend to write off as perhaps the darkest state in the USA. And yet, there are powerful, spiritual seeds still in the ground. The Lord remembers these seeds and I believe His work is yet unfinished in California. Likewise, it’s unfinished in your city and state!

5. Practically ask: “How can I get involved in what God is doing?” Yes, we pray, but oftentimes in prayer, the Lord wants to share prophetic solutions and strategies that demand our engagement. He will tell us to do something so that His will can be released into the earth through you. Of course He is the sovereign God and can do things Himself, but He is looking for agents in the earth realm who He can commission and deploy into every sphere that’s been influenced by darkness.

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