Mercy for the Whole Image
After Massachusetts adopted ‘gay marriage’, we as a ministry sought to understand and pray for what was at stake for a nation that elevated the status of homosexual unions to those of heterosexuals.
We prayed for mercy, not judgment, for this ultimate expression of idolatry—the creature shaking its fist at the Creator and declaring that (s)he would image herself anyway (s)he wanted.
Yet we had a small emerging hope: we as a nation could turn back before it was too late. God might relent and have mercy.
Of course we knew that ‘gay marriage’ was simply the logical conclusion to the desecration of marriage itself; we had already burned her boundaries and assaulted her integrity with no-fault divorce and all manner of sexual abuse, including adultery, premarital sex, and porn addiction.
For all of these sins, we sought to offer hope and healing pastorally. Still we prayed for what was at stake for our nation. We positioned ourselves, not before legislatures, but on our knees. We chose not to be a political ministry; we believed we should offer to Caesar what was rightfully his. Marriage was different—it originated in God’s heart. We chose to fight prayerfully and give God what was rightfully His.
Toward that end, we began to wonder if our home at the Vineyard in Southern California was right for us. The Vineyard’s emphasis on worship and compassion was and is our foundation at DSM. But we needed a community that incorporated more fully the prophetic and intercessory prayer.
After much travail, we decided to move to Kansas City and work in tandem with Mike Bickle and the International House of Prayer.
What a shift—it rocked all of our worlds, reduced our staff (most stayed in CA), and simply marked the biggest change DSM had ever endured.
Poised in the middle of the nation, we were in some ways starting all over again. We renewed our emphasis on equipping the saints to do the work of pastoral ministry. And we prayed, a lot.
Inspired by IHOP, I did my first 40-day water fast and majored on prayer for mercy to overcome the idolatry in the land. It was life-changing. And timely. The battle for marriage was heating up in our country. Activists targeted states with weak judicial and legislative arms that could be swayed to redefine marriage. As we became aware of these targets, we would pray for them, and alert as many as we could to do the same.
We fought on two levels for the ‘whole image’—both the pastoral and prophetic. We would minister to the broken marriages in our community then pray for the integrity of marriage overall in our land.
It was important for us to stay tuned to the source of the problem—the flames of sin and the cultural winds that fanned them. Humbled (and singed) by the nearness of the problem, we could then pray for marriage in our land with a more tempered authority.
Our strategy became all the more focused for Prop. 8 in CA. The State Supreme Court overturned the will of the people (they had already voted to define marriage as heterosexual) and redefined marriage to include gays. Prop. 8 was conceived by the people and for the people–citizens wanted the right to define marriage for themselves. It became the biggest battle any state-wide proposition has ever faced in the history of the USA.
We majored on prayer for that fight, and won. (Its fate now rests with a federal judge; ultimately, Prop. 8 will be decided by the National Supreme Court. For this we pray daily!)
We have since battled on our knees for many states that have been targeted by activists. So far, in 2010, no state in the USA has voted for ‘gay marriage.’ Given a choice, the people have always decided to uphold the true definition of marriage.
For that we are grateful, and will continue to fight. Today we center on Latin America where the ‘gay marriage’ wars are just beginning. We pray for mercy on our land, that we might have authority to extend that mercy to other nations.
‘As You have shown us mercy, O God, in the desert places of our lives, would You show mercy to the beleaguered state of marriage in the USA? As the Perry vs. Schw. case wends its way to the National Supreme Court, prepare for Yourself a victory. We shall render to Caesar what is Caesar’s but we shall prayerfully fight for what is Yours, O God. Prepare the hearts of each justice, especially Justice Anthony Kennedy, to uphold marriage according to Your merciful design. Remember mercy, O God.’
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