CHRISTIAN FINE ART GALLERY > JOHN THE BAPTIST ARTWORKS SERIES > Pray for Hobart
Print Code: JTBA16 | Print Sizes: S, M, L | Original: SOLD, Acrylic Painting, 55 cm x 80 cm (21.5″ x 31.5″) | Contact for Prints
This painting came out of powerful times of intercessory prayer for Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. God spoke to my heart about revival, which is rooted in repentance and holiness (2 Chronicles 7:14).
“The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16 NKJV)
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
On June 30, 2008, an inter-denominational prayer meeting was arranged in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. The purpose was to gather believers together in unity in order to repent for our sins, to seek the face of God in worship and prayer, to petition God for revival in the hearts of believers and to intercede for the salvation of unbelievers in Hobart and throughout Tasmania. Word of the prayer meeting got around, and there was excitement and anticipation within the body of Christ across denominational lines. With great eagerness, I had planned to attend.
The night before this meeting, however, I was spiritually attacked. I had a dream in which a black-robed satanist in Hobart came to intimidate me, strike fear in my heart, dismay me and hinder me from attending this meeting as well as prevent me (as one of many intercessors) from praying about these issues in general. Though his ‘attack’ was a little bit troubling to me at the time, it was completely unsuccessful and, in the end, could almost be described as ‘pathetic’. The thing that struck me most about this dream was that I could clearly see a deep, underlying fear in the satanist. He clearly had a terrible dread of the power, glory and victory of God that would be made manifest in Hobart through prayer.
When I woke from the dream, I was roused in my spirit to warfare prayer. As I prayed, this image of “Pray For Hobart” came into my mind.
Personally, I found it a bit strange that it was a satanist who had come to oppose this prayer meeting of God. This is because I do not view spiritual warfare as a battle primarily between Christians and satanists, for their leader, Satan, has already been eternally defeated through the cross of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago. Because of this, Satan, his demonic minions and all of his deceived human followers have no true power or authority (and never will) over Christ, His plans and His followers (within whom Jesus dwells).
I primarily view ‘spiritual warfare’ as a Christian’s battle against deception. I believe this satanist attempted to deceive me into thinking the devil has the upper hand in the battle for Hobart, but he does not. The Victory was already won by Jesus on the Cross. (See “The Lion of Judah Triumphant Over The Dragon”(The Lion of Judah Series)). Satan tries to deceive us of that fact (for his name means ‘deceiver’); therefore the ‘battle’ is over our belief in the truth. As we “stand” (Ephesians 6:11-13) in the truth, Jesus’ victory (as symbolized in Christ’s banner of the cross) is made manifest. I believe the manifest victory is also effectuated through prayer.
Let us pray for Hobart and never give up! (See Luke 18:1-18)
Interestingly, rarely have I encountered as much spiritual warfare over a piece of artwork as I did while producing this one. Also, I don’t think any work of art I’ve ever produced has moved me as deeply and as much as this one. While painting it, I experienced the full range of emotions: exceeding joy and anticipation for Christ’s manifest victory and revival in Hobart, heart-wrenching sorrow and tears over Hobart’s wretched sins–both believers and unbelievers, a deep burden to intercede for unity in the body of Christ and solid Biblical truth to be preached in Hobart, utter broken-heartedness and tears over Hobart’s lost souls, exuberant praise of the risen and exalted coming King of Kings, sobriety and spiritual zeal in warfare, and feeling the exceeding love of God for all the precious souls in Hobart.
I don’t say this lightly: I strongly believe God desires to bring salvation and revival to Hobart on a major scale. However, I also believe it must begin with deep repentance in the hearts of believers.
About a year or so after this experience, God spoke to my heart very deeply about revival in Tasmania, the pattern of which I believe would hold true for any nation. (Interestingly, I later learned that the day the Lord spoke this message about deep repentance and revival to me was Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, the day the high priest enters the Most Holy Place to atone for all of Israel’s sins by blood (Leviticus 16, Hebrews 7-10).)
There were two main things in particular God spoke to my heart in regards to repentance:
1) We must love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.
2) We must repent of all our compromise in sin.
[(3) I believe God also showed me that there must be deep repentance over the wrongs done to the Aborigines in Australia before God will bring revival to our nation. Aborigines, both as a people group and individuals, must be restored and uplifted (in the eyes of men) to the dignity and honor and worth they already have in God’s eyes.]
The following is a record of what I believe God spoke to my heart that day about revival.
The characteristics of revival:
“Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 115:1)
“…your name and renown are the desire of our hearts…all that we have accomplished you have done for us…your name alone do we honor.” (Isaiah 26:8,12,13)
Revival encompasses deep conviction of sin, deep repentance, contrition and forsaking of sin so that we, the Church, may walk in true holiness that the strong Presence of God may be in our midst again (2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1). Revival of the Church overflows to the unbelieving world, that they may be saved (John 17:20-23).
How the spiritual impression came:
The Lord led me into deep intercessory prayer for revival in Tasmania. When the following was revealed to me, it did not come like how many in Christendom would stereotype “revival” prayer. It was not filled with hooping and hollering and stamping my feet. Instead it came in an environment of quietness, solemness and stillness before the Lord. It was not the thundering, mighty voice of God speaking to me, but it was the still, small voice of my Heavenly Father whispering tenderly, gently and sincerely into my spirit.
As I was moved into prayer for revival, repentance is where the Lord led me.
This included repenting over my own sins and repenting for the sins of the Church of Tasmania (of which I am a part). We as a church have committed so many sins. While in prayer, they continued flooding into my mind, one after another. As only one person, I felt like I could not adequately grieve with all of the godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:8-11, Psalm 51) and all of the fullness of contrition (which is true, right and acceptable repentance) before the Lord over each sin, for they were far too numerous for just one person to adequately confess, “…my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me” (Psalm 40:12). And these were only the sins I knew about, the tip of the iceberg.
If this repentance is to be complete, then every individual of the Tasmanian Church must fully repent in godly sorrow for his or her sins. “If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared” (Psalm 130:3-4). In all this, I did not feel any condemnation or anger of the Lord against us, despite our many, many sins. Rather, I could sense his grief over them and his incessant, tender longing for us to be restored back to him. “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion” (Isaiah 30:18).
Then the Lord began speaking to my heart about what I sensed to be the 2 main sins we as individual Christians in Tasmania are committing that are most grieving his heart:
1) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).
Not loving God with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strength, it seemed, was the biggest thing I sensed that was grieving the Lord. We are to love God far more than anything else in this world. Nothing in heaven or on earth can be his rival within our hearts. He is to be our all-consuming love and passion, the One we live to love and love to worship. As God was revealing this to me, I could feel the great yearning love of our Lord Jesus for intimacy with us, his Bride. He longs that we would have that warm closeness with him, that he would be the sole desire of our hearts, just as we are the desire of his heart, and that we’d have a passionate love for him and a worshipful life. Intimacy with us is what he craves, and we are meant to be reciprocating that with him.
2) “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’” (Ephesians 5:3-14)
Compromise was the secondary of the main 2 sins I felt God revealed to me. We are not walking blamelessly before God–in true righteousness, godliness and holiness. We are walking in impurity instead of absolute purity. We are not truly living the righteous Word of God; many of us are compromising (to varying degrees). Because of our compromise, “As it is written: ‘God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you” (Romans 2:24).
Another important thing God also revealed to me was that, while we are aware of some of the sins we commit, many of us Christians are actually blind and oblivious to the full number of sins we’re truly committing against him. If we are to walk in true blamelessness before the Lord, not only do we need to repent of the sins we know about, but we also need God to reveal to us our unknown sins so that we can repent and forsake them too.
I really believe that our prayer needs to be:
“Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:12-14)
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
I also believe that the Word of God is what will expose and reveal our unknown sin to us. Therefore, let us read it, asking God to breathe revelation to us and expose our sin through it.
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give acount.” (Hebrews 4:12-13)
It was also revealed to me that fear of man is one of our biggest stumbling blocks into compromise. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe” (Proverbs 29:25).
Furthermore, the Lord also showed me that many of us Christians believe we are living more godly, holy lives than our brothers and sisters. Many of us believe we have greater revelations of the truth than our brethren and carry around an attitude of spiritual pride and superiority in our hearts, all the while looking down upon, slandering and condemning other churches, pastors and individuals. This is not love, though the Lord tells us, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). Spiritual pride causes division, and it is grieving him. Regardless of how righteous we may think we are, we nullify such “righteousness” if we condemn others. The Lord showed me that, instead, we should lovingly intercede for those caught in sin just as our faithful High Priest does for us. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17) and, “Mercy triumphs over judgment!” (James 2:13).
The Lord is looking for those who walk in purity without any compromise, who are unashamed of him before men, who let their pure light shine and whose lives have been purified by the sharp and perfect Word of God.
How revival comes:
Revival does not come by God magically zapping random people (or a group of people) to do his supernatural exploits. Neither does it come by going somewhere to “get it” or touching someone who’s allegedly “got it”. Neither will it come through a “great” preacher or a few “great” individuals who are the central focus of the revival. Revival never circumvents true repentance and holiness. Furthermore, holiness and Christlikeness, not worldliness and wildness, are the characteristics of true revival, for a fruit of the Spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:22); he will never deny or disgrace himself through unholiness and wildness. (Read Exodus 32-34).
Instead, God moved me to the Scriptures, and they pointed me to Jesus. He showed me that just as he, the Almighty God, was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in a meek, lowly, little baby, who was born to humble, insignificant parents in a small, despised, insignificant town, so also God will be pleased to pour out his Spirit upon meek, lowly, humble, contrite, insignificant people who earnestly repent of their sins, who earnestly desire him and who earnestly desire his glory and renown to manifestly shine throughout their land.
God showed me that he will work revival through people of this character.
True revival from God has no human “heroes”, for “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols” (Isaiah 42:8). God will not pour out his Spirit upon those who desire that kind of “hero” status in the eyes of men (See Acts 8:9-24). GOD ALONE will be exalted, and it will be the humble, lowly people who exalt him.
Ordinary, humble Christians will be God’s instruments in revival. They will be the Christians who have humbled themselves, and in godly sorrow, deep contrition and truthfully repentant tears, have forsaken their sinful ways. They will be the ones whose consuming passion is Jesus Christ, the unrivaled love of their hearts. They will be the ones who have allowed the Word of God to bring conviction, repentance and holiness into their walk with God. They will be the ones who have allowed the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit, to divide and cut away the sin and compromise in their lives so that their unashamed love for God and pure light shines abroad.
God also spoke to me that, just as salvation is preached to ALL and “Whosoever” calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved, so also this “offer” of becoming one of God’s instruments in revival goes out to all of his sons and daughters. NOT ONE CHILD OF GOD IS EXCLUDED FROM THIS INVITATION, and “WHOSOEVER” desires to be an instrument of God in revival will become one–IF they allow God to bring them into deep repentance and become a willing vessel to be filled with his Spirit to do his perfect will.
Whether you were born again 60 years ago or 1 day ago, whether you are a well-known pastor with a large church or an unknown housewife, an 85 year old pensioner or in the fifth grade, a Bible school student or a farmer, a businessman or a mechanic, whether you are a backslidden prodigal or a half-hearted worshiper, a lukewarm churchgoer or a gossiper, whether you struggle with pornography or alcohol, whether you are guilty of many sins or a few sins, whether you’ve been living in compromise for many years or in just a few areas, whether you’ve been a whitewashed tomb or if you’ve got hidden spiritual pride, whether you’ve been greedy for money and ripped people off or if you’ve gotten caught up in the ways of the world, whether you’ve been an idolater or sexually immoral, if you’ve been slandering other churches or are bowing under ungodly ecclesiastical pressure, whether you are a man or woman or child, whether God has worked a miracle through you or not, whether your gifts are being recognized in the church or not, whether you are depressed and downcast or ensnared living for pleasure, whether you’ve been distracted and sidetracked in your walk with God, no matter what your situation, WE ARE ALL ELIGIBLE FOR REPENTANCE AND ELIGIBLE TO BECOME GOD’S CARRIERS OF REVIVAL THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
The invitation is received through repentance.
“‘The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,’ declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 59:20)
The more people who are willing to become his vessels of revival and who will humble themselves and repent, the more vessels there will be to carry revival through the world. The more vessels there are, the larger the revival will be, the further it will spread, and the more God will be glorified.
Therefore, we should pray:
1) For God’s FULL will and ALL the desires of his heart to be fully accomplished. God has his own desire and plan of what he wants to do in the world. Let us pray that his kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Let us pray that ALL THE DESIRES OF GOD’S HEART would be FULLY realized in revival.
2) For God to send his Spirit to move us to deep repentance and holiness. Pray that we will yield to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, deeply repent and become his vessels of revival, filled with the Holy Spirit.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 2:7,11,17,29;3:6,13,22)
“So, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” (Hebrews 3:7-8)
“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:19-20)
Revival Fire (John the Baptist Artworks Series)
Pentecost: True Spiritual Unity and Fellowship in The Holy Spirit (John the Baptist Artworks Series 2)