Piercing The Darkness Vignette #2: Taking the Battle To The Enemy
Why not prayer-walk the darkest corners of Fortaleza? Why not ask God to give you that notorious crack house and brothel as your house of prayer?
A year ago God Himself said, Why not? I¹d love to give you that crack house. So on our first day of ministry in Fortaleza we gathered in that very house to pray, to worship, to serve soup to the hungry and to pray. I mean really pray.
We also visited the homes of some of those who live in the slum. Two of my sons and I stood in a dark 10' by 10' hovel that housed the six little children of the first convert from the ministry of the house of prayer. And Jesus was there, obviously present.
Later that night we went out the dark streets. In some places you can touch both walls as you walk. We went with young Brazilian disciples looking for spiritually hungry people. We did not have to look far. It is a desperate place. Two of the four men we approached in the dark entered God's kingdom that night with tears streaming down their cheeks.
At the same time Renee and our son Wes were with Nedyson visiting the heart of the slum, the site of a former slave market. There they prayed as they listened to shrieks in the distance. The darkness was heavy.
Ned grew up in that neighborhood and now serves as a one of the local ministry leaders. Ned remembers watching his mother try to murder his father with a butcher knife. Now his whole family is in Christ and is a radiant light in the darkness. Ned plans to return to that dark street in a few days with a guitar and courage to drive back the darkness with praise songs and prayer.
A few nights later one of my sons and I joined the team as they began taking the battle to the enemy in another neighborhood, at a brothel around the corner from my daughter's house. Every night they sit on the sidewalk outside the brothel and pray, and the demons tremble.
God has given them favor with Manuel, the man who guards the door. Manuel hates his job. Manuel asked them to pray for him. Manuel let them come inside to pray with the prostitutes.
I went with them one night to pray. It's heavy lifting to pray there. But I'm wondering how long it will be before that house of prostitution becomes another house of prayer.
Answer to Prayer: Here are a few photos that portray taking the battle to the enemy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/100841267@N06/sets/72157635247358526/