Every year, I take time to go away on several prayer retreats with the Lord. I especially like to spend a few days alone, prior to the new year, listening to God’s heart for the following year.
This year, God pulled me away in September, at the Jewish New Year, to speak to me about the year 5780 and our civil year 2020.
The Lord led me to visit Northfield, Massachusetts, the place where Dwight Moody was born in 1837.
Moody built a Bible school that overlooks the Connecticut River, and in recent years, there have been many revival meetings held on his Northfield campus by different Christian ministries. Moody’s birthplace and grave are in Northfield, along with his wife’s, and I prayed about revival as I walked the grounds.
Dwight L. Moody was brought up in utter poverty. He was the sixth of seven children whose father died when he was only four. He had the equivalent of only a fifth-grade education, yet he was internationally known for his revival preaching. His life reminds me that the power of God has absolutely nothing to do with how well-educated or intelligent we are!
We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God.
We don’t speak from our own wisdom, but from wisdom that the Holy Spirit teaches.
The Bible says the world cannot discern godly wisdom because it is foolish to them.
The world asks, “who can know the mind of the Lord?” But the Bible says “we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor 2:16)
Our faith is not in the wisdom of men but in the power of God!
OPEN THE WELLS OF REVIVAL!
After I returned from walking around the Northfield campus one day, I was upstairs praying in my room at an AirBnb I had secured for the retreat. I was crying out to God for revival, praying that we believers would make an impact for Jesus in our generation. I was pacing the room and praying that God would reopen the ancient “wells” of revival, as Isaac had done in ancient times. (See Genesis 26:18.)
I hadn’t noticed it before, but suddenly in the midst of my praying, I opened my eyes. There in front of me was an antique wooden bucket; an ancient bucket used to draw water up from a well!
The bucket had Chinese lettering down the sides, which spoke to me of reaching the nations. At that moment, I heard the Holy Spirit declare: “YOU ARE THE REVIVAL!”
Revival isn’t just something we are waiting on God to do; revival is something we ARE when we are filled with the Spirit of God! To open the wells of revival is, in one sense, to open up our hearts and yield to the Spirit of God.
I believe God wants to use us to ignite revival in the communities around us because we ourselves are those buckets full of living water!
This was just the first of several signs the Lord gave me on my retreat. There were more to come!
SIGNS AND WONDERS FOLLOWING
On another day, I felt compelled by the Spirit to visit a landmark one town over in Greenfield. Built in 1879, it is called the "Poet's Seat Tower." It is a favorite spot for poets and authors alike to write and meditate, and has beautiful views of Western Massachusetts.
This tower became a prophetic place the moment I stepped into it! As I was leaning on the cement ledge, looking out at the magnificent view, I noticed that someone had written a message on the ledge itself. This is what it said:
Before you say that this is just graffiti, remember that I am on a prayer retreat. God has brought me specifically here, and already He is beginning to speak to me in various ways. This first message, “You are Loved,” became the theme of the prophetic word He was about to release to me.
As I descended from the tower, I began walking along the rocky wooded trails around the cliff, praying and meditating on the Lord.
Suddenly, I looked up, and directly in front of me were two doves on a rock. Just in case you’re not tracking with me, this is a reference to Song of Songs 2:14, which reads: O my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the crevices of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your countenance is lovely.
This was the second sign: the Bridegroom was calling to the Bride!
As I hiked back to my car, a third sign occurred. A father came walking towards me with his two daughters in tow. The girls were about 3 and 6 years old, and the younger girl was obviously a Down’s Syndrome child. She was absolutely full of life and joy, and when she saw me she came running up to me and wrapped her arms around my legs, embracing me. Her older sister saw this and also ran to me, embracing me from behind.
The father, of course, was surprised and apologized, saying they had never done this before. He wasn’t sure what was going on! But as these two children embraced me I felt the arms of the Father surround me also, reinforcing the message of love for His Bride. It was a powerful moment.
When I returned to my room and entered in to a prayer time with the Lord, He drew me into the book of Song of Songs. Out of this came a prophetic word for the coming year. Here is what I heard Him say:
"In this new era and new season, I will shift the Body of Christ out of a place of despair and distress into a season of joy and great value. For I would again reveal to My Bride the value I place upon her: her love, her devotion, and her sacrifice (See Song of Songs Chapter 4).
In previous seasons, My Bride was undervalued by man; the coming season will be an era of great glory, marked by a display of My favor upon My beloved one!
I will destroy the lies of the enemy about the condition of My Bride with the words of My mouth. My words will always take precedence! Every word of the Bridegroom from Song of Songs will become a declaration of love and an explosion of empowerment over you!
Make ready your garments! Make yourself ready as a bride adorns herself for her husband, for so you will adorn yourself for Me! Let the love-truths of My Word demolish the hateful lies that your brothers and your enemy have spoken over you.
Arise, My Beloved, and come into the full understanding of who you are and what you mean to Me! No more will I allow prior hurts to define you. No more will you speak of yourself as ‘dark’ or ‘damaged.’ For you will HEAR, and some will hear for the first time, the depth of My loving call to you, the sound of My voice and even the sound of My whispers!
My whispers in the night will shatter invisible barriers with which the enemy has encircled you. You will no longer ‘hide behind the lattice,’ visible yet invisible, but will be released to come and follow after Me! All that has held you back in previous seasons is gone; a new day has come. ARISE, My love, and come away!”
As we meditate on the Song of Songs, we notice that the Bride at first is so very aware of her “darkness,” and of her failure to tend her own vineyard. Although she is in love with her Bridegroom, she is very conscious of her sins and flaws.
In this new season, we will hear the words of our heavenly Bridegroom saying, “You are all fair, my love, and there is no spot in you!” The love-declarations of Jesus in this hour will set the Bride free!
Why do these passionate words matter? Because our intimacy with Jesus is what shatters the work of the enemy!
When I returned from my retreat, I had breakfast with a friend of mine who is a mature woman of God and an intercessor. I began describing to her this warrior-bride I had seen on my retreat, and the importance of the Body of Christ understanding her authority in the coming year.
To my amazement this intercessor had seen the same thing in a vision. (She is an artist, and sees things in pictures, while I typically see prophetically in words.)
My friend began to describe the picture God had shown her of the Bride, dressed in a white gown that was made of stretchable leather fabric.
She, too, was meditating on intimacy and she saw that on the forearms of the Bride’s gown were spikes, like pointed studs that protruded from the dress itself. Every movement the Bride made, whether in prayer, worship, or dance, cut through the demonic realm and inflicted damage on the enemy!
For the Warrior-Bride, intimacy is her place of authority!
THE LORD'S DECREE FOR 2020
“What you see, decree! What you decree you will see!
Those who can boldly take their places beside Me in the throne room of glory will have the privilege of seeing what they decree in the Spirit come to pass on the earth. I want to co-labor with you to establish righteousness on earth and this will require you to boldly take your authority IN ME and use it for good!
Your place of prayer is your place of battle, and you have the privilege of sitting with the greatest General who ever lived, to see and receive My strategies for this hour. As you decree them I will carry them out, for I have myriad troops at My disposal."
The battle belongs to the Lord, but the secret strategies belong to the prophets. This is a year to stop fighting with natural methods and instead, use our access to the throne to employ God's mighty warriors, the heavenly hosts!
We need prophets and prayer warriors who are intimate with Jesus more than ever this year! We need the overcoming declarations they are making in their prayer rooms to reverberate and resound across the earth. We need those who can step into their secret place of love with God and do damage to the enemy. Now is the time and this is the year to do so!
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.