Two days ago, we came to the end of a glorious prayer retreat of The Preacher, bringing a week-long fast to an end in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Thank God for His glory that was manifest in several ways, to the point of the visions of fire and smoke that participants saw, and the healings in body and soul, without anybody laying hands on anybody. Several were speechless at the freshness and revival of spirit that they had not known for a long, long time, the awesomeness of God's atmosphere, the liberty in spirit, the heavenly worship sessions, and the book of Revelation coming alive. We thank God for all. However, I have come out with an old burden churned awake again by the stirrings from that meeting as well as by the rumours and reports that daily reach us from other altars and from seeing the signs of the times in the seasons of Nigeria.
During the protracted prayer watch from midnight to 4am, which is tagged "Midnight Voices," a number of crucial issues came up for intercession: bloodguilt on the land deriving from politicians and pastors, the daily unveiling schemes of Ishmael to wave his black flag over Nigeria with covert endorsements from thrones in Nigeria, the upcoming retreat outreaches to the UK, USA, Israel, Liberia, Nigeria, and so on. One report, because it re-echoes the same old alarms, has kept me awake again. A pastor from Umuahia in south-eastern Nigeria, told his experience that is not so lightly dismissible. He had been overwhelmed by a strange burden that would not let him go to church the previous Sunday. He stayed back, praying. In the afternoon, he went to visit his hospitalised child, and the girl told her dream or trance in which she had seen her father being stripped and taken away by strong armed malevolent men, in spite of her protests and tears. They smelled like Ishmaelites. Later in the afternoon, his wife returned to narrate two strange events at church. An eleven-year boy had been wailing uncontrollably in his Sunday school class. When they asked what had been ailing him, he told his vision of blood and deaths. Meanwhile, in another class at the same time, a much younger girl of about six years, had also been wailing. When they gathered to console her and find out what her problem was, they made out through her tears and sobs she was telling of her daddy killed and so on. Both paintings were no different from the now common revelations of a threatening war in the land, of Islamic invasions, of the ravaging of the Church...
My mind goes to 1 Samuel chapter 3. When God starts talking to children, it might be that the priesthood has fallen into the error and blindness of Eli, which could be tragic: blood in the land, deaths in the priesthood, the ark of God taken by reproaching armies, the birth of Ichabods... (1 Samuel 4). When this perception struck us at the vigil, everyone, including the church leaders and traditional royalties in their regalia at the meeting, sat on the floor to wail that night, with the little children who had been no less awake in that electric atmosphere.
That has not been my only confrontation with child-prophets that are a rebuke to an aging priesthood. Maybe in a subsequent post I shall tell better of the little girl in our Monday intercessions who saw the death of the APC gubernatorial candidate in Kogi State, in the Middle Belt of Nigeria, days before he went to bed and never woke up. She had seen him in a river of blood and headless ritualised bodies on the altar of political aspirations, and how he suddenly collapsed and died in that blood. She woke up her mother announcing in fright, "Kogi State governor is dead!" Her mother said to her, "You don't even know where Kogi State is, so what are you talking about? Go back to bed." About three days later, it happened exactly, and everyone knew where Kogi State was.
It is an indictment on the priesthood when God begins to solicit the witness of children. Calls for weeping at the altar. I seem to hear again the sounds of war drums that I was glad had since died down, and I see men scheming to provoke it. May the elders at the gates discern the times and turn Haman's sorceries against himself. And Niger Delta, mark Saturday, April 2, 2016. Haman has determined the date against you. They since have plotted this, and their soldiers are entrenched already among you. Open your eyes, alert appropriate securities, mark the date before and after. We already have had a vigil on this matter, yet... He that hath an ear to hear...
From The Preacher's diary,
March 16, 2016.