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The Promise

A Call to the Nation / Carter Conlon
The Truth Network Radio
October 2, 2022 6:00 am

The Promise

A Call to the Nation / Carter Conlon

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October 2, 2022 6:00 am

it's time to pray

The Promise

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Carter Conlon from the historic Times Square Church in New York City. In my office that very first day as the Lord led me to this passage of scripture, he gave me a promise. That's the title of this message, worldwide prayer, the promise.

So here was the promise. Welcome to A Call to the Nation with Carter Conlon. A few years ago, the Lord spoke to Carter's heart to do something amazing for the city of New York. He was told if he did this, God would give him a special promise. Carter was led to read a particular passage in Isaiah chapter 58. There it was revealed to him what he was to do that would affect not only New York City, but the entire world.

Let's find out more as we join Carter now. It was about 10 years ago after a Sunday service. We'd had about two Sunday services in New York in a row where there were so many people coming to the church. They weren't special occasions or anything like that, but we just had such a crowd that we were standing people in hallways and corridors. They were all over the place. And it was the security team that came to me and they said, Pastor, there's so many people attending the church right now in the last couple of weeks that if we don't find a way to handle this, if the fire department should come in, they'll shut us down.

They told me, they said, we believe it's a fire hazard. So we need to find a way to handle the volumes of people or we have to close the doors perhaps at 10 o'clock or at the very latest 10 after 10 and tell the people we're sorry, but you'll have to come back at another time for another service. And so the following Tuesday, I went to prayer over this issue and my prayer was quite simple. I prayed, Lord, where would you have us plant satellite churches in the city? That's what everybody was doing at that time. If you had an overflow crowd, you just found another location. You said that you tied the group of people to that location.

And it seemed to be the reasonable thing to do. And I knew of some locations that were available in the city, in Manhattan, in particular at that time that we could have rented and it would have actually been a blessing to the church and it would have given the church an opportunity maybe to have more of an influence in the city. So I'm in my office on Tuesday. I take moment to pray and I'm pacing back and forth and I'm saying, Lord, Jesus Christ, just show me what to do. Where do you want me to plant satellite churches in the city?

The answer that came to me was not what I expected. I remember the Lord started speaking to my heart and he said, Carter, there are satellite churches already in the city. They will just never be called Times Square Church. They'll be called the First Baptist Church of 81st Street.

They'll be called the Presbyterian Church of some other place, Salvation Army, Messianic Jewish congregations. The Lord said, I want you to do this. I want you to underwrite 100 churches in the inner city to feed the food deprived in their communities.

And you're to do it. You're to tell the churches that they're not to tell anybody that Times Square Church is doing this, that it's the local church. We're to give each church $1,000 worth of food per month for the food deprived in their communities. So it was a huge commitment actually on the side of Times Square Church.

It was $100,000 a month that we were being committed to. I remember I took it to the board shortly after that of Times Square Church. And I told the board, I said, my responsibility as a pastor at that time of this church is to hear from God and to lead this church as best as I know how in the directions of God.

And your responsibility is to stop me in a sense or to give me advice. If I've overstepped, if I've missed God, if you don't bear witness to this in the spirit, then let's not do this. So we went around the table in the board meeting and I was quite surprised that the number of men who wept openly at that particular meeting. And then one man just summed it all up at the end.

And he said, as every man did in that room that day, he said, this is God. And one board member said it this way, he said, the worst case scenario is that a lot of hungry people are going to get fed. So what could possibly be wrong with that? Let's go ahead.

Let's do it. And so we have been, Feed New York is still in existence today. It was at that time 100 churches feeding. The last report I had years ago, we're feeding roughly 19,000 people a month in the inner city. Many people, many of those people had no access to healthy food.

They had no access to the things that we were eventually able to provide. I remember the blessing that God brought on Feed New York. When the Amish community in Pennsylvania found out about what we were doing and quite by accident, actually, and sent a delegation into New York city and they told us, they said, we understand there's hungry people in the city. We would like to be part of the solution for this particular problem. So you give us enough money to plant the seeds and just to live on and we will grow the food and we'll bring it in and refrigerated trucks and take it to centralized locations where all of these hundred churches can come in and pick up the food and they can take it to their communities. And all of this food will be organic.

It would be the stuff that you actually buy at high-end stores in the city. Only God can do that. Only God can do that. And so we began to feed people. God began to provide and really in miraculous ways for these churches.

He increased the food supply and then we started to meet. All the pastors and leaders of the hundred churches began to meet together once a month and we would pray together and God would visit us. I remember when the first time the Amish community delegation came in, there was a collective gasp in the room and the presence of God literally filled the room. I have to tell you, these were true genuine brothers in Christ. Two of them shared their testimonies of how they found Christ in their community. And they brought a chicken and tomatoes and eggs for every pastor was there.

Where could you go in New York City? I told them where you're going to go home on the subway with a chicken and eggs and tomatoes. And I remember asking the Amish delegation, I said, are these live chickens you brought in with you or are they dead chickens?

I wanted to be sure because live chickens are not very appreciated on the subway system in New York City. It turned out they were already dead and they had brought them in and the blessing of God was in these meetings. And so we began to pray together and the Lord gave me a promise. When He spoke to my heart to gather together a hundred churches and begin to feed the hungry in the city, He took me in my office on that first Tuesday to this particular passage in Isaiah chapter 58.

Let me read it to you. He said, is this not the fast that I've chosen to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens and to let the oppressed go free and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? When you see the naked that you cover him and hide not yourself from your own flesh, then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily and your righteousness shall go before you and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard and then you will call and the Lord will answer and you shall cry and He will say, here I am. If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, if you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your soul in drought and strengthen your bones. You shall be like a water garden and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail and those from among you shall build the old waste places. You shall raise up the foundations of many generations.

You shall be called the repairer of the breach and the restorer of streets to dwell in. And in my office that very first day as the Lord led me to this passage of scripture, He gave me a promise. So that's the title of this message, worldwide prayer, the promise.

So here was the promise. If you will not hide from human need, if you will not hide from the needs that other churches and communities in the body of Christ have in this local area, especially in the most deprived areas in the city, if you will reach out and become part of something much bigger than just Times Square Church itself, He said, I'm going to be able to answer your prayer. Now I remember at that particular moment, I thought, well, that is kind of an odd thing for the Lord to say because my prayer was where shall we plant satellite churches? But that's not the prayer that the Lord was speaking about. It was another prayer that would be coming at a later time. We began to meet monthly and we began to pray and the fellowship was amazing.

All different backgrounds, all different denominations, and nobody cared what name was on the door. All we cared about is do you belong to Jesus? Have you trusted Him for your salvation? Has His blood cleansed you of your sins?

Are you believing in Him and in His atoning sacrifice for your salvation? And if you are, you are my brother, you are my sister, and the fellowship was heavenly. I can't describe it any other way. It was amazing. Our prayer meetings were amazing. The presence of God would come down upon us in that room. The love, the camaraderie, the fellowship that would happen after as we would meet at the table to meet, to sing, to pray, whatever we would do.

There were moments from those years that I will never, ever forget as long as I live. I think I learned to love people in a deeper way than I ever had before. I learned that how these barriers that we erect around the churches and around each other are just so man-made and actually obnoxious in the sight of God. That when you let them come down and we don't focus on what divides us, but we focus on what unites us. And we move together in prayer and the blessing of the Lord.

I know I'm laboring this point, but I was there. And the blessing of the Lord, especially by heart, was just out of this world. The worship was sweet. People didn't want to stop worshiping in that room many times, many weeks, many months when we met together. It was in one of these prayer meetings that the Lord began to lead us. Now, I'm going to skip over something very quickly, but one of the leadings we had in those prayer meetings was to meet in Times Square and to pray for the future of the cities.

We met in 2007, 2008, 2009. We gathered a hundred churches and anybody else in the community that wanted to join. And in 2009, 60,000 people showed up to pray.

It all came from Feed New York. It all came from a hundred pastors getting together for the common cause of reaching out in the name of Christ, of praying together, loving one another. 60,000 people, the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, came as well at that time and joined with us with his delegation. We prayed for the future of the city. And interestingly enough, right where we prayed, it was about a year later that somebody tried to detonate a car bomb and it didn't go off in that area. So who's to say that God didn't answer our prayer in that specific way and save us in a sense from what could have been another very difficult moment in the city.

Then after that, we got together as pastors again in the prayer meeting that we had because of this moment in the office and the promise of Isaiah 58. And we got together and the Lord led us to, we said, let's have an interactive live prayer meeting where we pray for New York City. Let's advertise it in the subways and such like on the radio.

I was on the radio at that time in New York City. Let's advertise it. Let's put together something where people can text in live real time, or they can email in live real time. And we can interactively pray live with people from all over the city for the future of the city. And there was this common witness that we're going to do this.

We're walking together in unity. And Psalm 133 says, when brethren walk together in unity, God commands the blessing of life. So we believed that God would command a blessing of life as we reached out to the city and gave people an opportunity to come in. They didn't have to come to church. They could come in live online and pray with us. And so that first worldwide prayer meeting came on Tuesday night. We didn't know what was worldwide.

We thought it was citywide. And there was 40 pastors. I remember that night. We all showed up on the platform. We had no real program other than to pray. It was a Tuesday night worldwide prayer meeting, or it was a prayer meeting, not worldwide at this point.

And we're going to pray for the city. And so we were kind of like sitting on the platform with a bated breath as they said. We didn't know what was going to come in or how many prayer requests were going to come in. The screen was live and we knew that people were going to be texting in and we expected to be able to stop and pray for specific prayer requests. And our jaws dropped because the curtain went up, the service began, the worship started, the prayer requests started coming in. And we were looking on the screen, Japan, China, Russia, India. The prayer requests were coming in from all over the world, but we hadn't advertised all over the world.

We'd only advertised in New York City, but they were coming in from everywhere. And what had happened is that God had given us a worldwide prayer meeting. And that prayer meeting has continued to this day with hundreds of thousands of prayer requests coming from 211 countries and dependencies. Now, some are individuals, some of these are groups of people, some are churches, some are meeting, some are groups of pastors.

I met one group that get up in their time zone, it's like 11 o'clock at night, and they get up and they come in in their pajamas. That's what they told me. And they actually meet together with hot chocolate and they pray with us. Now, it comes back to the original promise, I will be able to answer your prayer if you will do this.

It dawned on me one day. My prayer always has been, God, send a spiritual awakening before you return. Especially in this hour that we're living in now, especially at this time when there's such crisis in homes and families. There's such dealing with mental issues and such like that where addictions and divorce and the breakup of the Christian home and the whole world seems to be mounting an offensive against the truth of Jesus Christ. But God sends moments of mercy in seasons like this. I don't know what part worldwide prayer is going to play in this and I don't claim exclusivity and neither should we at any time. There's a big church out there. As in Elijah's day, there's 7,000 others that have not bowed their knee to the gods of this hour. There's a lot of other good churches out there, good pastors, good leaders, good prayer meetings. But on our part, the prayer of my heart is God Almighty send a spiritual awakening. And remember the promise in Isaiah 58 is if you don't hide from human need, which we didn't when we started to reach out, not just Times Square Church, but also don't forget the hundred little churches in New York City, they didn't hide from human need either. They went out to their communities.

They began, they had to be the arms and the legs of God's goodness into their own communities. And then he said, if you do this, when you call out to me, I will answer and say, here I am. I will guide you continually. I will satisfy you in drought. I will strengthen your bones. You will be like a watered garden whose waters do not fail.

And those from among you, so this is where you come in online, those from among you. In other words, those who are part of what God has chosen to do at this particular time in history shall build the old waste places. Now the old waste place for you might be your own mind, might be your own body, your own life, your own future.

But those who are part of what God is doing now, God says, you will become a rebuilder of the old waste places. Your family might be a wasteland right now. Your community might be a wasteland. Your city might be a wasteland.

I don't know. You might be living in a building with a lot of people whose lives are being destroyed all around you. But those from among you, those who turn to God at this particular moment in history and cry out and God will say, here I am. And you'll not just be a person standing there with your hat and your hand, spiritually speaking for the rest of your life, but God is going to put tools in your hand and victory in your life that will cause you to be a rebuilder of the places that have been destroyed by sin all around you. And you will raise up the foundations of many generations, places that have been destroyed, lives, families, and ruins, communities that just don't even know where to go in the future. You will be part of that solution of God in this last hour of time to rebuild these communities and these foundations of many generations. And you will be called the repairer of the breach and the restorer of streets to dwell in.

The context of the breach means something in the wall, a place where the enemy was able to break through the wall and get in and wreak havoc in families and lives and minds and homes and bodies and communities. God is going to raise you up. You see, you are what was in the heart of God 10 years ago when he spoke to me in my office. And I'm only talking about our part as a church, our part.

We are only 1,000th of a piece of a 1,000-piece picture that God is putting together right now. But he spoke to my heart about what this prayer meeting would be and how he would respond to us when we cry out. Not just us in the physical facility here at the TSC Summit Campus Church, but not just that, but it's those who are part of this meeting who are crying out at home. You're crying out for freedom. You're crying out for deliverance.

You're crying out for victory. You see, it's amazing because two weeks ago, Pastor Tim Delina spoke on a Sunday morning about a four-day fast that Times Square Church is undertaking. And it's going to culminate on the fourth day back in this prayer meeting. And he said, we're going to pray for bondages to be broken, families to be healed, minds to be brought back into right order, lives to be transformed by the presence and power of God.

We're going to pray for the Holy Spirit to be poured out on people's homes. And as I heard him speak that message, I realized, God, that's what you spoke to me 10 years ago that you were going to do. It's what I believed in my heart. And Pastor Tim, it's the Holy Spirit that spoke these words to him.

In the mouths of two witnesses or more, everything is established. It's absolutely amazing. It all came back to my mind against it. God, that's what you spoke to my heart all these years that you were going to do, that in a time of calamity and crisis, there was going to be a spiritual awakening. You were going to pour out your Spirit. But I didn't realize it would be in homes all over the world. That's why we say in this prayer meeting, stay and pray.

This is not just a program. Stay and ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit. Stay and ask Him to give you the courage, the strength to walk this walk and to be everything that God promised He was going to make you into. Now this is the promise of the Lord for you. This is what God is about to do. Jesus Christ, when His ministry began, it's going to finish the way it began in this world. He stood in a pulpit and He said, the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He's anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, the recovery of sight to the blind, and to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

Then He closed the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. Today, I want to tell you, today, this is the day that God spoke to me about. This is the promise 10 years ago that He spoke to my heart back in my office and said, if you will do this, if you won't hide from human need, if you will acknowledge the body of Christ, if you will not attempt to be just exclusive and try to do this all by yourself, but if you will acknowledge there's a church, a body, if you will break down the walls and become part of this body, in other words, stop pointing the finger and start reaching out the hand. If you will together begin to serve the poor in your afflicted communities, when you cry out to me, I'm going to answer you. And not just am I going to answer you, but I'm going to answer you in a profound way, where I'm going to give you light in your seasons of darkness.

I'm going to give you water in a season of drought. And when everyone else around you is destroying, I'm going to make you into a builder. When they're trying to break down the walls, I'm going to make you into a person who can restore those walls, those places of dwelling in God. This is the promise of God.

And this is the time that God spoke to me about. This is the moment where I believe that if you will open your heart, God will give you His Holy Spirit in abundant measure. God will bring deliverance to your mind, to your life, to your body.

God will heal your sicknesses in your home. God will do the things that only God can do. I speak it with authority. I speak it from a heart that's walked with God all these years. I know what He has spoken to my heart.

He's spoken to me about you, because you are the end time army of God. You are the men, you are the women, you are the young people that God is about to raise up in this generation. And according to Daniel, you will be strong and you will do exploits in the name of God. You will do things in the power of God that can only be done by God through surrendered vessels. You don't have to be strong in yourself.

You can be weak. You don't have to be noble. You don't have to be of royal birth. You don't have to be overly intelligent.

You don't have to have 10 degrees on your wall. You just have to have a voice and a heart that says, Jesus, I want everything you've got for my life. I want to be the person you've called me to be. I'm not sitting here any longer. I'm not going to be an X this and an X that or an X something else. I'm going to be the man, the woman, the young person that you have destined my life to be. And I'm going to be that in the strength of my God. And I'm going to be a restorer of paths to dwell in.

I'm going to be the one who builds up the breach. I'm going to be that spring of water that doesn't fail. I'm going to be that light that is not extinguished in the darkness. That voice that can't be drowned out by all the contrary opinions to God and to God's word.

I'm going to stand as a city set upon a hill that cannot be hidden. And my voice is going to bring a shout of glory to the name of God and a shout of glory in the hearts of many people throughout the world. And I'm going to be able to say, like we sang tonight, behold the glory. Behold the glory of God.

Behold the one who makes her way through the waters. Behold the one who walks with us through the fire and we don't get burned. Behold the healer of our sickened bodies. Behold the healer of our diseased minds. Behold the one who's coming. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

This is what you will be. This is the promise of God to my heart that came with the worldwide prayer meeting 10 years ago. So I encourage you, my brother, my sister, stay and pray is not a program. Stay and pray is a cry from God's heart to you. Stay and talk to me, God is saying. Stay and ask me to do in you what only I can do.

Stay and call out to me. Ask me for the Holy Spirit. If you know how to give good news to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? Those are the words of Jesus. How much more will your heavenly Father give you the Holy Spirit?

Take you out of all bondage, out of weakness, out of confusion, out oflessness and powerlessness, and bring you in to the fullness of what God has for your life. The message today has been brought to you by Carter Conlon from Times Square Church. For more information, log on to tsc.nyc. That's tsc.nyc. Plan to be with us next week for A Call to the Nation with Carter Conlon.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-28 22:29:59 / 2022-12-28 22:40:29 / 11

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