Many of us love this familiar passage:
“”And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.”
Joel 2:28-29 ESV
However, we tend to overlook some verses that lead up to it:
“”Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.
Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber.”
Joel 2:12-13, 15-16 ESV
Can you imagine pastors in a region issuing a call for prayer and fasting — and having all of God’s people respond, with parents bringing their children into the prayer gatherings, and newlyweds leaving their honeymoons to come and pray? How desperate would we have to get for something like that to happen? How much more violence, bloodshed, civil unrest, and terrorist attacks will it take for the Church in America to repent, fast, weep, and allow our hearts to be broken? What will it take for us to make joining together in prayer a priority?