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Issue 10-10

Revival in Egypt?


One of the positive aspects about no longer being responsible for a daily broadcast or telecast, despite the fact that I often miss having a national voice, is that I am free to pursue other assignments I believe the Lord puts in my way. Recently I received a call from Terry and Barbi Franklin, dear friends with whom I have ministered in meetings any number of times.

“David, have you heard of the remarkable time of prayer and fasting
entered into by thousands of Egyptian Christians at the end of 2010?”


I confessed that, though Egypt had been dominating much of the secular news headlines, I had not heard of this movement. As you may know, Egypt is predominantly a Sunni Muslim country with Islam as its state religion. The percentage of adherents of its various religions is controversial, but around 90% are identified as Muslims. Cairo, the largest city and Egypt’s capital, is known as “The City of a Thousand Minarets.”

Now, there is also a significant Christian minority in the country. Believers make up 5 to maybe even 18 percent of the overall population. The vast majority of Egyptian Christians belong to the native Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. It was established back in the first century by Saint Mark the Evangelist.

In downtown Cairo, near the now-famous Tahrir Square where extended protest demonstrations took place, sits the largest Christian church in the Middle East, with some 7000 members. In November of last year, the leadership of this congregation called for a 40-day period of prayer and fasting. At this church alone, no less than 1200 people showed up for daily prayer during these 40 days. In classic revival fashion, word quickly spread among believers. Reports coming out are that tens of thousands of Muslims were saved during this season of prayer and fasting, with many now coming to worship Jesus in various churches.

What took place in Egypt after the first of the year became front-page news.
In January, mass protests erupted in this most populous country of the Arab world.

On February 11, Hosni Mubarak stepped down, ending 30 years of autocratic rule.


Of course, nothing was mentioned in the secular press about the prayer-and-fasting movement. Other reasons—youth leveraging the social network for one—were given, but reports of this spiritual component was always left out.

Terry and Barbi were so moved by what they saw as a modern-day miracle that they traveled to Egypt to talk to the key leaders. You can see that powerful interview by going to www.AwakenUS.com. The Franklins then joined their voices with others calling American Christians to a similar period of fasting and prayer. The dates have been set for November 21 through December 31—forty days, with December 31 being set aside as a day of celebration. People aren’t expected to fast all 40 of these days. Neither does it mean if you are a concerned Christian that Thanksgiving and Christmas need to be downers this year.

Central to this challenge, however, for us here in the States should be an extended time of more intense praying than normal—first for our nation, which like Egypt stands in dire need of prayer, then for our brothers and sisters in the Lord in Egypt, for the entire Middle East including Israel, and for God’s Kingdom worldwide. The future of Egypt is uncertain and still precarious for church people there. As of this writing, I have fasted for eleven individual, non-consecutive days. It is a labor of love, believe me.

This is a crucial time for the American church to not only beseech God
for the privilege of seeing a miracle, but actually being involved in one as well.


My part will be to write sample sermons pastors can use to prepare their people to participate. These will be simple one-point Sunday sermons for October 30, November 6, 13 and 20. I’ll also write sample sermons for the remaining Sundays of the year that will center on the theme of Advent, Christmas and New Year’s, but they will still include references to this fasting emphasis. These messages will be posted on the www.AwakenUS.com Web site at least one month prior to the actual preaching date.

I am doing this work gratis. I have had a heart for and been praying for revival for some decades now. My hope is that God will use this corporate experience to trigger something marvelous for America as well as for other strategic countries of the world.

I hold a conviction that America’s problems are beyond the ability of our politicians to solve.
Whether it knows it or not,
this nation is in a wrestling match with God.

The future of this once-great nation is now in the hands of the people of God. How we respond to challenges like this will determine what’s ahead for America.

Could the Lord be laying a similar challenge on your heart? See if the facts in the box below might stimulate that intercessory desire.

Did you know:
•  Coptic Christians have for years faced discrimination at multiple levels of government.
•  The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life ranks Egypt as the fifth-worst county in the world for religious freedom.
•  Egypt is also included among the 12 worst countries in the world in terms of violence against religious minorities, and specifically in terms of social hostilities against Christians.
•  The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has placed Egypt on its watchlist for religious-freedom violations that require close monitoring due to the nature and extent of violations engaged in or tolerated by the government.
•  Since Mubarak took office in 1981, more than 1500 violent attacks against Coptic Christians have left literally thousands of believers killed or injured.

Dr. David R. Mains

NOTICES

Annual Advent Retreat of Silence

Tiffany Stamen tells us that by mid-September, Breathing Spaces had 35 registrants. This is unusual activity so soon and indicates that the Advent Retreat of Silence registration will fill early. If you are thinking of coming, you need to register ASAP by following the following information.

This notice comes from Tiffany Stamen, the Director of Breathing Spaces, who will be leading the Annual Advent Retreat of Silence.

As summer winds to a close and fall is upon us, the Advent Season will be here before we know it. We are already thinking and praying and working on the ADVENT RETREAT OF SILENCE and want to invite you to pray about participating once again this year. Sibyl Towner (author, Listen to Your Life) and I will be facilitating, and we look forward to entering into this time of corporate silence as a powerful way to begin the Advent Season. There are only 50 spaces available, and this retreat does fill up, so please let me know (by e-mail or phone is lovely) if you would like to attend. I have also included a link to a simple registration form. Here are the details:

Date/Time:  December 1, 4:00 p.m. – December 2, 3:00 p.m.
Location:  Bishop Lane Retreat House, Rockford, IL
Theme:  Flesh and Blood: The Incarnation
Regular Fee:  $130 (after October 15)
Early Registration:  $110 (by October 15)
Newbies/Friends:  $100 (for both the newbie and the friend)
Shared Room:  $90

The fee includes your room, three meals and all retreat materials. Registration forms (download link below) and checks may be made out to Bridge Ministries (now the parent organization to Breathing Space) and mailed to:

Tiffany Staman / 10810 Keokuk Trail / Roscoe, IL 61073

If you are on Facebook, you can also view this event at:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=239882179384105

We look forward to seeing many of you again this year! Blessings on each of you this day—

The link to the registration form is:

http://www.breathingspaceorg.com/tiffany/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Advent-Retreat-Registration.pdf

Karen Mains Is Blogging About the God Hunt

If you want a short daily encourager to keep hunting for the intervention of God in your every day world, Karen is capturing snippets from her book The God Hunt, as well as from her daily experiences. These should be helpful encouragers for all who sojourn in a busy, sometimes overwhelming modern environment.

You can read Karen's "God Hunt" blog online at http://blog.karenmains.com/blog/thoughts-by-karen-mains.

Karen will be out of the country for several weeks, returning on October 12. Prayers for safety, health and future plans for the Global Bag Project would be appreciated.


Reminder!

The Soulish Food e-mails are being posted biweekly on the Hungry Souls Web site. Newcomers can look that over and decide if they want to register on the Web site to receive the biweekly newsletter. You might want to recommend this to friends also. They can go to www.HungrySouls.org.


David Mains

Dr. David R. Mains

“The future of this once-great nation is now in the hands of the people of God. How we respond to challenges like this will determine what’s ahead for America.”
BOOK CORNER

The God Hunt

The God Hunt
by Karen Mains

(back-cover copy)
Finding God incognito in the world...
    is delight. It is joy. It is wonder.
It is a childlike, wiggling anticipation that somewhere, any moment, just around the next corner, when you least expect it, the Divine is going to jump out...
    and you are going to respond,
    "GOTCHA!"

Join Karen Mains on the God Hunt—a playful and profound way to seek and find those seemingly ordinary moments when God intervenes in your life with guidance and help.

You'll find such moments happen much more often than you think! And you'll be drawn into deeper communication with God as you tune in to the many ways He answers prayer, shows evidence of His love, helps you do His work in the world and "works all things together for good."

The God Hunt
is available for $12.95 from Mainstay Ministries' Web site. You can pay directly online or through PayPal.


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Copyright 2006-2011 Mainstay Ministries. All rights reserved.

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