A small group of prophetic people from across the UK and the US have been meeting together to pray and discern via Zoom since lockdown began, gathered by Cath Livesey of Accessible Prophecy. We offer our discerning to the wider church body, having submitted ourselves to accountability within the Catalyse Change movement, and praying that what we share equips and enables the church to stand effectively at this moment in time. We very much recognise the need for co-discerning in the Body of Christ as we offer these words.
As a group we had been collectively receiving similar words and pictures about tsunami waves and darkness coming over the earth – much of this was before anyone knew about the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. Initially we shared a scepticism of waves as a prophetic word. Waves have sometimes been unhelpfully played up as a ‘move of God’s power’ in prophetic circles without really appreciating the destruction real tsunami waves bring. But we think this revelation speaks to this time containing not only the Covid-19 pandemic as a wave, but also other waves that are happening now and also are yet to come. We were horrified to find ourselves talking about a potential pandemic of hatred and racism before the senseless murder of George Floyd.
We do not see these waves as coming from God – they are a result of the deep brokenness of our world. We’ve also sensed something about this season of waves being a God-ordained time: timing that can’t be changed or altered by us. There is a deeper spiritual, humbling and exposing work that God wants to do in us (his Body) that won’t be rushed, especially in the West.
We see that some of what God is nonetheless doing through and despite these waves are: sifting the church, calling us to prayer, crying out for justice on the earth, releasing provision and seeking the prodigals. We must trust in him in all things as we look to the signs of his kingdom breaking in through the darkness.
Sifting the church: God is refining us: sifting and heating the church to purify it. This is about shaping good leaders who will care for God’s people, and an end to false religion and idolatry in our culture. Will we identify so much of our cultural norms as what they truly are – idols? Things that replace and dull our dependence on God?
There is a shift to leadership culture & praxis coming that will reorientate the church towards Jesus afresh. There is an anointing on teams, collaboration and 5-fold ministry where leadership responsibility is more shared than most current practice. (Ephesians 4.11) We also wonder that there is something of God’s Spirit especially blessing the ministry of smaller churches with a very distinct sense of community/fellowship, mission and awareness of the supernatural battle we face.
Calling us to prayer: Prayer can change the outcome for individual people – minimising harm and enabling people to stand in the chaos of the waves and the spiritual battle going on within them, where demonic and angelic beings seek to either support the people of earth or destroy them. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented prayer. We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him! And he has already won the final victory. There is a lot to say to encourage the church through this imagery so that action and prayer comes from a place of victory and taking heart rather than fear and intimidation. (John 16.33)
Crying out for justice on the earth: We sense the concern of God’s heart for justice. God invites us to deal with each other fairly, no longer oppressing the ‘foreigner, fatherless or widow’ and to end the ‘shedding of innocent blood’ (Jeremiah 7). This speaks to the current wave of social protest about racial injustice, but it is also bigger than that. We must reframe how we do commerce and trade so that the poorest and most vulnerable are protected. Will the church speak up about this? We sense God giving the church a choice – will we more radically side with the vulnerable and oppressed worldwide and take up our local and global responsibility as the body of Christ?
Releasing provision: God is releasing supernatural miraculous provision to those who ask at this time. There will be more than enough. God’s redemptive purposes will be far greater and bigger than any destruction. He is birthing so many new things in this time; we are to pay close attention to what He is doing that is new or unfamiliar amongst us. Financial hardship will force change upon the institutional church that it has been resisting, but this will result in growth, not death. This is God’s provision for the future – sometimes it must get worse before it gets better. (Matt 6.26-34 & Luke 18.27)
Seeking the prodigals: God’s intention is for many, many children to come home to him at this time. We are to pray in the midst of this darkness for a harvest – God’s arms are open to embrace. There is also huge opportunity in terms of a wave of post-Covid health & economic challenges where the church could and should pivot to be a key voice and place of compassion and healing in society. (Luke 15.11-32)
We hope these five points bring hope and encouragement to many church and other leaders who are faithfully grappling to lead with integrity in this time. In all of the anxiety and fear we need to remember that God will lead us through to better days. God will use this time of darkness for so much more. It is always his way – resurrection always follows crucifixion. (Ezekiel 47.1-12)
Cath Livesey (Network Church Sheffield & Accessible Prophecy)
Hannah Montgomery (Central Church Edinburgh)
Ed Wethli (St Ferdinands Cranbury Township Pennsylvania)
Anna Evans (Frontline Church Liverpool)
Charlie Baxter (Freedom Church Romsey)