“Launching the Circle of Covenant Prayer Project!” To listen to last Wednesday’s call, please dial the playback number (641) 715-3598, access code 552-690.

“Circle of Covenant—Breaking Out of Captivity!” To listen to audio message CLICK HERE.

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND. I pray you enjoy good times with family and friends. In the midst of parades, hot dogs, beaches and ball games, afternoon naps and Rolling Thunder, take some time to remember why America pauses for this much-deserved long weekend in the first place. 

Plant a flag. Thank a veteran. Take to heart their sacrifice. And above all else, thank God for preserving the freedoms granted to this covenant land. 

Below is a prophetic word we shared in 2011 called “Dawn’s Early Light.” We were actually living in Frederick Maryland at the time, where the author of the Star Spangled Banner once resided, worshiped, and practiced law. I began to redig a well. And when the Holy Spirit began speaking to me about “Dawn’s Early Light,” I knew He was inviting us into a sacred work of forerunning prayer for a new day for our nation. Neither Jolene nor I had any grid that this work would soon usher us into the highest halls of power, and even to relocate to Washington DC to see the breakthrough more fully realized.

And we had no idea that the Lord would soon add an incredible group of leaders and intercessors to surround us—to make this journey together. Thank you Lamplighter family! 

The word “Dawn’s Early Light” soon became our focus for the year, and much of its contents became the final chapter of our first book “Crown and Throne.” It is inspiring to see how many of the prophetic promises now coming to pass before our eyes. But both the fullness of the promises and also the peril still very clearly exist. 

As Ronald Reagan observed, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” 

“Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; in holy array, from the womb of the dawn…” (Psalm 110:3).

For God’s crossover people and for our nation, I believe a new day has been decreed. Over the past few months we have watched with the Lord for breakthrough. Nationally, a window of opportunity has now been opened to turn our nation back to God. For 2011, it’s time to stand for a full release of this Great Return, where multitudes disengage from Jezebel’s table and return to the table of the Lord!

Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to refresh us. But in the midst of refreshing, let’s strengthen our resolve to advance. Dawn’s early light is beginning to shine!

Anthem for Our Hour
A few years ago, Holy Spirit began to speak to me that our National Anthem is prophetic for this hour of history. This year marked the 196th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner, written by Francis Scott Key, a native of Frederick, Maryland. It is as though Key saw into our day and its challenges. The song of his day prophesies to saints in our day the potential for victory in the battles we now face!

This “new song” was birthed in the midst of battle being waged through the night, in a war that would determine the destiny of our nation. Really, the battle was fought to determine who would rule our land. We are facing a similar challenge now. The great question is whether or not we will remain the “land of the free.”

To an extent, the answer depends on our response at this time. Just as Key watched – and prayed – through the night, so we are being called to stand with the Lord both symbolically and literally till the break of dawn.

Dawn’s Early Light
Long before Francis Scott Key penned these words, the imagery of “Dawn’s Early Light” was used to describe how Jesus would bring a surge of life to Israel. Luke records that “The Sunrise (Dawn’s Early Light) from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death” (Luke 1:78-79).

This describes our battle. Corporately and individually, we have been warring against the empowering of death in our land. For the past few years – beginning in my understanding when the Stock Market fell 777.68 points on Rosh Hashanah 2008 – a shadow has seemingly enveloped the land in a pronounced way. The most hopeful among us cast our heads in disbelief as challenges seemed to overwhelm the labor of our lives.

I believe prophetically that as of Rosh Hashanah 2010, this shadow is now being penetrated by “Dawn’s Early Light.” In 2011, many are being called forth like John the Baptist as “forerunners of the dawn.” Just as John the Baptist was described by Jesus as a “burning and shining lamp,” so these forerunners carry a dimension of this sacred fire within their very being. This year, His light truly begins to shine.

Does His Banner Yet Wave?
This is the most important question this generation must answer. Does His banner yet wave over the land of the free, the home of the brave? Will it continue?

A few years ago, our friend Cindy Jacobs shared a vision of an angel of the Lord over America, draped in the American flag as a mantle. She watched as the stripes of the flag became like a river, and poured into the nation. As she saw this, Holy Spirit spoke to Cindy, “By His stripes you are healed.”

Cindy shared that the red represented the Blood of Jesus, and white represented His righteousness pouring into our land. By His stripes, even our land can become healed. Finally Cindy saw the stars from the flag pouring down. These stars became as burning torches throughout the land. Again, we believe this year we will see a great release of God’s holy fire to illuminate that which has been hidden and bring us through the break of dawn.

The Lord wants to establish His banner – His “bridal canopy” – over our land. I believe this year, God’s bridal canopy will begin to form and connect over our regions in a whole new way, bringing forth healing, life and protection. These regions will become known as “cities of refuge” in times of future challenge.

The Significance of 11-11
Many prophets have noted that the number 11 denotes transition. In John 11:11, Jesus prophesies a literal life-transition available to us today: “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.”

As we move towards 2011, it is amazing to discover how many times the number 11 comes up in our history. On 11-11, 1620, the Pilgrims made covenant with the Lord for our nation, committing the land and government to God’s glory and the advancement of the Christian faith. Maryland became a state after ratifying our constitution on 11-11, 1776. Washington State came into the union on 11-11, 1889.

And on 11-11, 2009, a year-long youth awakening was sparked by a visitation of the Holy Spirit at IHOP-KC, in the heartland of America. From coast to coast, I believe we are called by God as a nation of awakening!

Beach-Head for Freedom
An aspect of the Pilgrims’ legacy is very important for this hour. Through covenant with the Lord, the Pilgrims intentionally established our governance as a beach-head against antichrist dictatorships.

The Pilgrims were walking out a holy commission from the Lord. Both Jews and Christians were being pursued, persecuted and martyred by European dictatorships infiltrated by an antichrist spirit. Fleeing this persecution, the Pilgrims were called to “cross over” and establish a lampstand for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They committed the land and government to “the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.” These holy roots helped forge our land into what it is today.

Heaven-Rescued Land
Again, we believe that the words of our National Anthem are prophetic for our hour. Most of us are familiar with the first stanza alone. Therefore few know how Francis Scott Key describes America as a “Heaven-rescued land” and calls us to “Praise the Power that hath made us, and preserved us a nation.” This is in our National Anthem!

Today, let’s stand together before the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, and ask to again be a Heaven-rescued land. May we this year remain a beacon of liberty to the world, illumined by Dawn’s Early Light!

Star Spangled Banner (first and last stanzas)
Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!