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So… we start our “Dire Straits Prayer Project” just as news breaks about a massive buildup of US military forces in the Strait of Hormuz.

At the same time, Iran has given the world a “fireworks show,” as one commentator put it, firing a cadre of missiles as part of war games inspired by a fresh round of sanctions.

Welcome to the World War Watch.

You may remember that the Holy Spirit originally quickened to us about a “World War Watch” from 5-8 through 8-5. Today I felt it would help to review our original “World War Watch” posting on May 8.

World War…Champs?
Before we get started–here’s just a brief token of encouragement. I went again to the Lincoln Memorial yesterday. Just as I was finishing praying through the “Declaration of Covenant”–at 12:12pm–a kid comes running up the memorial steps and stops right in front of me, with a few friends. His tee-shirt read “World War Champs!”

Don’t tell me I’m making this up. I’ve got pictures. With the time stamped! World war champs. I want to encourage you–Jesus is calling us all to watch because He is moving in this season. There is a way to victory! Keep your post with diligence. Watch and pray! From May 8:

World War Watch (excerpts)
It is no coincidence that, a year later, Jolene and I are residing in River House, literally overlooking the Pentagon… And it’s no coincidence that, a year later, the Lord began speaking to us about the urgent need to watch and pray. In this apartment, He recently whispered the words, “World War Watch.” I felt He emphasized the dates between today, 5-8-2012, and 8-5, 2012, for this extended season of intercession.

Commissioned to Pray for America
Many who follow these postings identify with a strong call to pray for America. Since before 9/11, Holy Spirit has strongly quickened me to seasons of prayer for our Nation. My time working for the Department of Homeland Security only increased this intercessory burden for our intelligence communities, first responders, military, State Department, President and elected officials. Like most of you, I honestly feel like a novice in praying for these arenas. Thank God for the power of praying in the Spirit, asking God to fulfill the actual intercession!

Commissioned to Pray for Israel
And since 2002, Holy Spirit has strongly quickened me to pray for Israel. At the time, I was one of the original “intercessory missionaries” at IHOP-KC, and had helped to start an Israel prayer watch there. But it wasn’t until December 2002, at a prayer gathering in Washington DC, that the Lord actually commissioned me as an intercessor for Israel.

Cindy Jacobs convened that meeting, and I shared a suite with Rick Ridings. When the Holy Spirit spoke to me about this commissioning, Rick laid his hands on me and sealed it with prayer.
Ironically, 11 years and 1 month later, God used Rick to again intervene, this time calling Jolene and me to move to Washington DC with a call to pray for America and Israel.

Intercession: Averting Crisis
Which leads us to this World War Watch. I am fully aware that, for those who take these postings seriously, this is an unusual and sobering word. Many of you have been with us on this journey for a long time. Together we have seen crisis both exposed and averted, and it is my ardent hope this season of intercession will bring forth the same. If no bombings occur during this World War Watch, and folks say we missed it in our warnings, we will rejoice all the more!
Protect and Defend

But I know in the depths of my spirit the danger is very real, as is the urgency of this call to prayer. Jolene awoke this morning with the same sense of urgency, speaking the words “Protect and Defend.” To be fair, we had just had a private prayer meeting where I shared on these themes. But those who know Jolene know that the Lord speaks to us in very different ways. For her to receive the same directive is extremely rare, and historically has been extremely confirming.

Legacy of Rees Howells
So that’s our call for this season. Protect and defend! I am reminded of the legacy of intercessor Rees Howells in this regard. I really commend to you the book “Rees Howells, Intercessor” for inspiration in this season!

Rees got radically saved in America, and returned to Wales just as the Welsh revival was breaking forth. For decades, the Holy Spirit taught and trained him in the ways of prayer. Just as Hitler was beginning to gain influence in Germany, the Lord quickened this Welshman to purchase land and start a Bible school. Rees and this group of young, radical believers watched in prayer throughout World War II. God would give them literal battle strategies, which they would pray through and then watch as their very prayers became headlines later in the week.

Rees Howells’ primary commission was to his homeland–through intercession, to protect and defend. Story after story recounts how Nazi air strikes were supernaturally turned back–even through an air battle where they encountered British fighter planes when none were actually in the air!

You explain that! I can. Except that the Lord watch over the city, the watchmen labor in vain. But when the Lord is watching… protect and defend!

We were talking along these lines with our friend Randy Demain, a key apostolic leader. Randy recounted his recent visit to Wales. Randy could still feel the awesome power of Holy Spirit on the land of that Bible institute founded by Rees Howells! What a legacy. Not coincidentally, while praying for years through World War II, Rees was gripped by the Holy Spirit with continual travail to see a new nation birthed. That nation was Israel!

And now Holy Spirit is summoning many of you to pray for the legacies our forefathers in the faith spent their lives on, and ultimately gave their lives for. Lets stand in prayer for God’s covenant in America, and Israel to be fully secured and greatly advanced. We are in a World War Watch!

Tisha B’Av
Final comments. My greatest warning so far has been to intercede for the enemy’s plans to be halted. I felt strongly the enemy desired to ignite this world war and impel Israel into war around the time of the 9th of Av. If you are not familiar with “tisha b’av” please do some research. This time period historically has marked Israel’s most devastating times, from rejecting the invitation to the Promised Land to the destruction of the First and Second Temple to the slaughter of Jews, pogroms, and eventually key aspects of the Holocaust. All on or around the same date–9 Av.

I felt we needed to pray against the enemy’s plans to draw Israel into this legacy of tragedy during this same time period. The 9th of Av occurs July 28-29 this year. Please begin praying NOW!

5-8 to 8-5
I don’t know whether the dates 5-8 through 8-5 for this World War Watch are figurative, literal or both. Revelation 5:8 recounts how God’s saints come before His throne with harps and bowls full of incense. Revelation 8:5 recounts how, when our prayers fill the bowls before God’s altar of incense, these bowls are poured out. Lightnings, thunderings, voices, and an earthquake shake the earth in the outpouring!

This is a picture of God’s war, a war in which we are all engaged, a war in which His breakthrough eventually shakes the earth with revival. We encourage you to picture these Throne room scenes as you pray. Every whisper is treasured by our generous Savior, and every prayer helps fill these bowls of incense!

Ok. THANK YOU for tending to this burden in prayer, and for joining us on this World War Watch. The Lord empower you to see, stand and pray!