Friday, February 16, 2007


When Lynn and I were in Jerusalem a few weeks ago, we had dinner with a friend named Joel Chernoff. Joel oversees The Joseph Project, a humanitarian relief organization we’re working with closely in Israel. Over the course of the evening, he told an interesting story that really made an impact on us both.

Last summer, Joel was having a time of prayer and all of a sudden he began to have a vision. The room that he was in suddenly disappeared. He found himself standing outside, in the middle of a beautiful field. The sun was shining. The skies were blue. A slight breeze was blowing on his face. As he stretched out his arms and felt the warmth of the sunshine and the gentle wind across his face and hands, the Lord said to him, “This breeze is the level of revival I’m bringing to Israel right now.” He was encouraged. Then the winds began to pick up. They got stronger and stronger. Soon, they were so strong that Joel said he actually had to lean forward to keep from being toppled over. The winds continued to intensify, and Joel continued having to lean forward and crouch down to maintain his balance. Finally, the winds were so strong that he had to get face down in the dirt to protect himself. And when he did, the Lord said to him, “This is the level of revival that I am going to bring to Israel. Anyone who is not on his face before me is going to be blown away.”

I share this with you for two reasons:

First, because it’s such an exciting encouragement from the Lord that He is moving powerfully and He wants us to be part of what He is doing in the world, and particularly in Israel.

Second, because it’s a sobering reminder that God is not pleased by anyone who tries to take credit for what He is doing, or tries to do God’s work in his own (limited) strength, or who lives impurely, or who is not humble and disciplined enough to stay focused in prayer. Indeed, God is indicating that we will find ourselves in danger – even forcibly moved out of the way – if we don’t purify our hearts and our motives.

That said, thank you so, so much for being “joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12) Just please don’t let up! Now is the time to be on our faces in prayer, more than ever before.

Yes, great things are happening. I’m trying to report them to you as faithfully as I can. But we dare not be casual or lazy about our walk with Him at this moment in history. Too much is at stake.

Lynn and I are so amazed and so grateful by the exciting things that are happening. But we are also tired, we often feel that there are many more opportunities than we can possible respond to, and we are very cognizant of the evil that is around us, trying to destroy us. Two quick examples: last year, a prayer group in Canada contacted us and told us that they’d seen a vision of witches’ coven praying curses against Lynn, me and the boys. And just last week in Albuquerque, a man tried to rape a women in the hotel room next to mine. God alerted us to both events and allowed us to deal with them both quickly and effectively (I called security, they came quickly, and the woman was rescued.) But these are just two of many example that this is a spiritual battle and the enemy is playing for keeps. Worship, personal prayer and Bible study, strong marriages, accountability partners, and a faithful prayer team – these are the only secrets to success in an environment like this.

One thing has become clear to us in the past few months: it is not enough to build a little ministry around the small team that we have. God is building a global movement, built around four key objectives:

LEARN – We must help people learn God’s plan and purpose for the Middle East, the exciting things He is doing now and the prophecies that indicate what else is coming. Moreover, we must focus on teaching teachers and encouraging leaders. We need to help evangelical and political leaders understand the Biblical plan for the Middle East so that they (not we) can teach their own people what God is doing and why. Epicenter can play a role in this. So can the Epicenter documentary DVD we’re developing right now. As we look at our packed schedule, we also have to make wise choices about what else to do. Tomorrow morning, I fly to an undisclosed location to spend Sunday with an Iranian pastor who runs a satellite television ministry that reaches 3 to 5 million Iranians every night. I’ll be meeting with him to answer his questions and get him ready to preach on the prophecies of Ezekiel and Jeremiah that apply to Iran. Please pray that the time would be useful and fruitful and that the Lord would help me encourage this dear brother. Then, on Tuesday and Wednesday, I’ll be with Kay Arthur and her team in Chattanooga, Tennessee, teaching on Ezekiel 38-39 and taping a series of television shows with her on God’s plan and purpose for the people of the epicenter. Kay has read several of my books and gotten very excited about this message. Please pray our time goes well, for she will be powerful spokesperson on this topic in the months and years ahead. Also, when I was flying out to Albuquerque, I “just so happened” to sit next to Dr. James Dobson. We’ve met and spent time on several occasions over the years and this was a serendipitous reunion. He had just met with the President to discuss Iran, Iraq and the War on Terror, and he wanted to discuss Epicenter, Ezekiel 38-39 and God’s plan for the Middle East. I may be going out to Colorado Springs this spring to talk more about this with him. Please pray for Dr. Dobson as he considers what God wants him to say on these matters, for like Kay Arthur, he will be a powerful spokesman for the Lord in the months and years ahead.

PRAY – Once people better understand God’s heart for the Middle East, then we need to encourage them to become diligent in prayer. Not just individual prayer, although that’s the first step. We need to ask God to raise up prayer groups and movements of prayer warriors all over the globe who are praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), praying for God’s blessing on Israel and her neighbors (Genesis 12:1-3), praying for open doors for the gospel (Colossians 4:2-6), and praying for courage for believers in the epicenter to “fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19-20). On this note, we have fun news to report. Lynn and I are discipling a married couple that we have known for several years at our church. He was born in Korea. She is a Shiite Muslim convert to Christ who was raised in Iran and is now an American citizen. A few weeks ago, we encouraged them to start a Middle East Prayer Team of their own. They didn’t hesitate for an instant. They had us over for dinner last Friday night to bless their house and pray for their spiritual and physical protection. Tonight, they will hold their first prayer meeting specifically for the people of the epicenter. Anyone interested in starting the next Middle East Prayer Team?

GIVE – Once followers of Jesus begin to understand the times, and get on their knees in prayer, they will by definition be moved to action. One specific way people can get involved is to invest financially in the work God is doing in the Middle East. People certainly don’t need to give to The Joshua Fund. There are a lot of great ministries out there doing excellent work. But for those who do want to give to the work we are doing, we would love to get you on board. Calvary Chapel of Rio Rancho near Albuquerque just signed up to pay for two shipping containers to bless Israelis and Palestinians. Calvary Chapel of Albuquerque where I just preached last weekend did the same. And this is just the beginning of what I believe will be many churches who want to get personally involved. We have posted a list of our “High Priority Projects” and budgets at But just to give you an idea, we are seeking to raise:

* $192,000 to pay for 2 shipping containers a month to go to Israel for the next 12 months ($8,000 per container), (sending approximately $2.4 million worth of aid in the process);

* $32,000 to pay for 1 shipping container a quarter to go to an Arab ministry caring for Palestinians (sending approximately $400,000 worth of aid in the process);

* $300,000 to rent, outfit, and run a new, 15,000 square foot warehouse facility for one of our ministry allies in Israel

If you’ve got questions about where the money goes or how you and your church can invest, please contact Edward Hunt, our Director of Operations, at (703) 303-4998, or

GO – Jesus said in Matthew 9:38: “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus said: “Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations….” In Isaiah 6:8-9, the Lord says, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And his servant Isaiah said, “Here am I. Send me!” Not everyone will be called. Not everyone who is will have the courage to say “yes” to God’s call to go to the Middle East and bless people in the name of Jesus. But many will. I believe thousands – perhaps tens of thousands – will. The Joshua Fund wants to help churches encourage their people to go – and soon, while there is still time to make a difference. We are helping churches design for their congregations prayer and vision trips to Israel or Jordan or other epicenter countries. We are helping churches carve out a day of their tours to Israel to do humanitarian relief projects to bless Israelis and Palestinians. We take pastors and other evangelical leaders to countries and conferences where they can see what God is doing and learn how to mobilize their own people to get involved. And we would love to help you in any way that we can. Again, Edward Hunt is our point man. Please don’t hesitate to give him a call.

Thanks again so much for your prayer partnership with us. We are so grateful. I’d ask for special prayers for spiritual and physical protection for Lynn, the boys and myself in the weeks ahead, and for special grace that I might be able to focus on writing this last novel, Dead Heat, which is due to Tyndale on June 1st. Thanks so much. We love you.