This is a prayer from Art Katz:
I want you to bow your heads, because I believe God is recruiting tonight. He is looking for men and women who have a realistic anticipation that suffering is the consequence of obedience to the heavenly vision, and yet are still willing to be arrested and stopped in the midst of their successes, so that God can bring them where He willeven for one soul. If you are such a one and want to be established in the school of preparation for suffering, martyrdom, or going up to hills from which you may not come down, then I ask you to stand right now and settle it with the Lord. The things that keep you from this reality are your own wits, your cleverness, your savvy, your ability, your evangelical expertise.
Let the Lord empty you of all that. Let Him undo you! He will bring you to the school of humiliation. He will bring you to impasses that you will not be able to explain to others, because He has not explained them to you. He will ask you to praise Him in that circumstance, so that the prisoners might hear you. Is there a soul here who has had a gut full of phony burdens that are not heartfelt or a so-called love for the Jews that is sentimental and shabby? Have you never experienced the divine burden of God that burns and will not let you go? Are you willing to be a vessel through whom the grief of God can be expressed?
Are you willing to be seen as an ungainly freak because of the way that He would have you to respond to His grief? Are you willing to confront men in the Spirit of God by calling them ignorant or by telling them that their spirits stink? You will be a reproach, a shame and a scandal, even to Christians. They will tell you that you blew it and will say, What are you doing in a cell anyhow, when God had you in a groovy ministry that was successful?
So, precious God, in the Name of Jesus, if this has been the Word of Truth tonight, out of Your heart, and if this has not been the exercise of a man, if this has been the cry of God looking for a man or a woman, calling us to the apostolic conclusion of the age, then I ask you to seal, by name, every soul that has stood to their feet for this invitation tonight. Lord, I do not ask that You spare them. You have not spared me, and I am only at a beginning of these things. We are not asking that You give us an explanation to take the sting out of our humiliation. We are just asking that You, who know our frame, would shape us. Cut away all the so-called good things. Give us the willingness to suffer services that fail, rather than manipulating men and getting things moving, in order to give the appearance of something that looks spiritual, but is only a soulish counterfeit.
Give us the willingness to experience failure and disappointment, because we have determined to seek only the glory of God, by the Spirit. Oh, precious God, seal us with this divine call. We know that You mean business. Deal with us where we are. Shake us to our foundations. Show us every counterfeit thing which we have been pleased with up to now. Strip us. Make us barren, in order that You might raise up and bring forth a man in whom the spirit of God is. Amen.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon