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Often when major news breaks, the media does not cover the spiritual dimension of events.  When we can focus on what the Lord is doing in the midst of crisis, and the role prayer plays in the course of events, we can glean wisdom and understanding about how we can be most effective to impact the spiritual realm and the crisis.  Following are some main points recorded from interviews with intercessors who lived and prayed through what was arguably the most devastating fire in our national history – the Santa Rosa fire in Sonoma County, California, in October 2017.

  • There were warnings from the Holy Spirit before the fire broke out. Those who had ears to hear took note and began to be led in prayer. One month before the fire, a young intercessor “saw” angels chattering among themselves, as if something was about to happen. Another saw angels in counsel over the city.  Still another sensed the deployment of angelic activity around the city.  They did not know the significance of this until after the fire, but took note and prayed into it at the time.  One intercessor who is particularly aware of weather changes, was troubled by the reports of the coming 75 mph winds before the fire.  He began praying and woke up to the smell of smoke before the news broke.
  • It is crucial for intercessors to find each other and continue to persevere together through the crisis. We can often better pray on site with insight in a crisis when we work together. Rapidly changing circumstances and shifts in the wind precluded the intercessors gathering in Santa Rosa.  Conference calls worked well – they prayed nine out of the first ten days, then three times a week for the rest of the twenty-three days until the fire was contained.  For the last two months they have prayed two times a week. As they persevered, they realized that physical endurance was a real issue; not only for the prayer effort, but even for what practically needed to be done.  They saw the need to be ready physically, emotionally, and spiritually for what was coming. They witnessed miracles as they were led by the Holy Spirit.  They saw fires stopped, winds subside and shift away from the most vulnerable areas, close-call evacuations, and just-in-time rescues.  One intercessor was led to go to all forty churches in the city and pray protection.  All forty were spared amid block after block of total devastation. As they prayed for law enforcement they saw law and order maintained with no increase in crime or looting. Law enforcement remained safe, and intercessors sensed angelic intervention. They prayed for rain, and when it came, they prayed there would be no floods or mudslides.  That prayer was answered.
  • Information from news sources is often unreliable, especially in the early stages of a crisis. As local intercessors attempted to get informed, they encountered much chaos, confusion, conflicting news, and faulty reporting. Without the ability to hear the Lord’s still small voice, they would have been rendered much less effective and more vulnerable.  They found that the local radio stations were the most accurate and up-to-the minute in their reporting. One local TV station was also most reliable because it could be at the scene in real time.
  • Things have forever changed in the aftermath. One intercessor made the point that God’s insight didn’t come until they had the chance to reflect on their experience after it was over.  There is now unprecedented unity among churches, with a new appreciation of their role in the city.  There is a new level of co-operation between city government, agencies, and churches. There is a new vision for the future of the city emerging, and the church is finding its voice for that vision. One important development is the leadership of a former pastor who stepped up to be a bridge between the church, city government, communities, agencies, and businesses.  He sees this as a critical time for a “re-set” in the direction of the city, with God’s purposes in mind. People are excited about the new opportunity a “blank slate” presents for a new direction of the city.  There is also a new city-wide gratitude and humility to serve one another, exercise compassion, and be part of the solution. A new model of city building and city-reaching  is emerging.
  • There is a need for cleansing. One important spiritual and physical aspect in the aftermath is the evidence of toxicity in the land.  The fires caused extensive pollution of air, land, and water.  Urban fires were far more toxic than rural ones. Pollution has seeped into the soil and ground water, and will require much remediation.  Agencies are very concerned about the spread of toxicity through run-off and storm drains.  A parallel can be drawn in the spiritual realm.  As we pray to heal the land, the Lord can give us guidance as to the root spiritual issues involved.

Much more could be shared, but hopefully this brief report will give others who find themselves praying through disasters, some help and insight.  God, through our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit, is always faithful to see us through and see His purposes accomplished in the earth.

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  1. This is an excellent example of how we exercise dominion in the earth. We do it as we are led by the Holy Spirit through prayer and intercession. A very encouraging article thank you so much.

  2. Thank you for the testimony about the California fires. I was feeling very frightened, as if God was far away from us. The evidence of pollution was very heavy, and I felt there is no hope. Many tears were shed.
    However, the various victories read about in this article, and real tangible evidence of God’s love and protection even when we can not see it through the fear, are all I need. God is in control. Not a sparrow falls without His knowledge. Our holy Father does hear our prayers, and prayer works. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, all prayer warriors and partners. May God keep you and bless you all.

  3. I love these stories and answers to Prayers. Affirms to us that God is aware, that he is listening (and in cases like this, gives guidance to pray ahead of need) and that he does respond. People alert, listening and RESPONDING and God affirming and responding in return. GREAT, PTL.

  4. This is a powerful testamony of Gods powerful ,mighty hand and how things change when we walk with our God given authority to call on the Holy Spirit. Wonderfully encouraging to hear how God is working on the West coast !!

  5. Thank you for this report that brings honor to the Father! At the end of the summer I read, I think in WND, that radical muslims had announced that they intended to make fires everywhere they could. I started to pray about this that the Lord would be in control over this evil plan. In the time following, august big fires started in many western nations ( the southern part of Europe) and in the US Calif.). I have prayed a lot as I could not believe that all the fires started naturally.This report shows that prayer in such a crisis is absolutely necessary. And that the Body of Christ makes a difference. My husband and I have been involved in intercession, for nations and cities,for many years. And prayer for the city/nation is a spiritual tool from the Lord to step in and stand in the gap when we see, not only fires, but also extraordinary heat waves, and in other nations heavy flooding, wars,and earthquakes.Share the good news. The Lord hears and answers.

  6. This gives great insight as to what God wants His church to do. Be alert, stand firm, perservere in prayer, and walk in unity of spirit with one another. Love others above ourselves. Show His love that He will receive all the glory and have ears to hear what He is saying too His church.

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