For some reason, I found it extremely tough to connect with leaders in this state. Interestingly, it’s the only one of the six New England states that I’ve never had a speaking engagement. Maybe it’s just coincidence; maybe it’s me.
Many other New England leaders describe Rhode Island as “tough ground,” often mentioning the “Independent Man” who sits atop their Statehouse as, perhaps, a prophetic explanation for this. Could be, I suppose… But in my experience, when it comes to spiritual strongholds in high places (see Ephesians 6:12), none of us are immune, regardless of whatever silly “totems” the adversary might want to puff up in our thinking.
Truth is, we’re ALL too independent. As the Church, we’ve taken our Declaration of Independence (against tyranny and oppression) and used it as a theocratic justification for all the “self-made man” accolades we pat each other’s backs with. I’m not preaching against personal responsibility, God forbid…but couldn’t the American Church really use a “Declaration of Dependence” upon Jesus Christ?
But I didn't end up praying alone. God sent a lifeline, a lifelong street-mission pastor named John Staiger. Here’s a pic of me with this mighty prayer warrior. God bless you John!
Let’s pray: If Rhode Island, like the rest of us, is too independent, bring conviction, Lord and heal her from the inside-out. Set the body of Christ ablaze with repentance-in-unity! In the meantime, forgive us if we’ve inadvertently cursed our brothers and sisters in Rhode Island and called it “prophesy.” The challenges of spiritual warfare are real, but succumbing to fear (and even superstition) is never Your portion. We speak blessing on Rhode Island and a deep DEPENDENCE on You for all things, for them, AND for us. Amen.
And thanks to Marie and Pastor Steve for trying on such short notice...next time.