U.S. Faith Leaders "Appeal to Heaven" for Lives in the Womb — and Revival
Josh M. Shepherd : Jul 7, 2016
"Hundreds of thousands of kids are being touched in high schools. God led Brian to a place called Roosevelt High School. It is the only high school that has a Planned Parenthood on campus, and they've got hundreds of kids getting saved in that very high school!" — Lou Engle
(Tucson, AZ) — [Reprinted with permission from Bound for Life International] It's a movement dating back to 1775, when General George Washington first flew the flag emblazoned with an evergreen tree and the words 'An Appeal to Heaven' proclaiming the power of prayer. Rooted in the culture of the Iroquois Native American nation, the liberty tree symbolizes eternal covenant, liberty and peace. (Photo Credit: Gary Chapman via Bound4LIFE)
Bible teacher and author Dutch Sheets was serving in a Christian academic setting when he encountered this historic symbol in 2013. A year later, Sheets resigned his position and launched a years-long journey across America—spreading a message of repentance, revival and awakening to foundational values in God's Word, notably the sanctity of human life.
"I believe there is a two- to three-year window for us as a nation to see certain things change," Sheets said in Charisma News. "I feel a great responsibility and stirring in my spirit to be a part of leading in this. It has to do with prayer and, of course, the revival that I know is coming." He spent a year researching, seeking God for the heart of this message and writing a book entitled An Appeal to Heaven.
In November 2015, Dutch Sheets mobilized the first national Appeal to Heaven gathering in Middletown, Ohio. Months later, it was followed by a prayer event in Daphne, Alabama. The latest Appeal to Heaven gathering on April 28-30 occurred in America's heartland, the quad-cities area situated between Iowa and Illinois.
An election year is giving fresh energy to this movement focused on governmental intercession. The next Appeal to Heaven prayer event is slated for August 18-20 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Gary Chapman via Bound4LIFE)
Significant portions of the days-long meeting in Illinois were spent praying for lives in the womb—seeking God for forgiveness from the sin of abortion, believing for the adoption movement to grow and proclaiming reconciliation where divisions have kept believers from working together.
Brought together by Dutch Sheets, leaders such as Lou Engle of TheCall, Will Ford, Matt Lockett of Bound4LIFE International, Chuck Pierce and Tim Sheets often passed the microphone to local pastors and forerunners—who united in concerted prayer.
An itinerant speaker and author who teaches at Christ for the Nations Institute, Will Ford began the pro-life petitions, crying out, "God, I'm asking that You'd raise up in this hour new voices for the voiceless in the black community." In the past, some have criticized Ford for refusing to be silent on life issues.
Ford continued, pleading for principled leaders while noting how Planned Parenthood has targeted minorities: "God, raise up prophets and wise men in this season who won't fall sway to the money and influence of Planned Parenthood—the eugenic influence that is pushing to snuff out a whole generation. We ask that You would raise up leaders after Your own heart, and raise up a new civil rights movement that would include the unborn!"
Drawing parallels between the abolition of slavery and ending abortion, Ford inspired faith in the hundreds gathered, praying, "Raise up adoption centers. Raise up crisis pregnancy centers all over the nation. Raise up a new underground railroad for the unborn."
A mother of ten children, including six through adoption, Kelsey Bohlender provided a living example of how these prayers can be answered—giving a certain weight to her words. "As a woman and a mother, I stand for life today. We ask, God, that You would end abortion in America. We rend our hearts today and we repent for how we have said no to the babies, how we have even said, 'No, two is enough. Three is enough.'"
Involved in leading an adoption agency with her husband, Bohlender continued: "God, I pray that as a prophetic statement that You would raise up in this place, even in this city, mothers and fathers who would say prophetically, 'We'll take another around our table because we want the babies.' God, I pray that by Your compassionate heart, You would make homes for those who aren't aborted. God, I pray there would be a statement in the Spirit that is made: the church wants the unborn babies."
Many occurrences at the event began to confirm the words spoken in faith—including a...
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