A prophetic picture arrived in my email last week. Captured only a few weeks ago in our nation's National Archives, the photo reveals a small but remarkable discovery. It made no headlines, but wound around a wooden spool and bound with red fabric in the official government fashion of the day, the scroll depicted in this picture was determined to be a petition of signatures presented to Congress in 1881. Such directly submitted petitions were almost never read or acted upon. Instead, they remained "bound" with red tape, often tabled indefinitely. Worse, faced with frigid D.C. winters, clerks frequently used them for firewood.
But not this one.
This one is marked with 32,000 signatures from citizens who were interceding on behalf of Native Americans for the pain and many injustices they had endured. In this photo, you are looking at 135-years of unanswered prayer; bound, yes, but also preserved. And now, rediscovered.
Written inside, the petition states that "by unanimous consent ... 32,000 citizens of the United States" were "praying (for) Congressional legislation to prevent the encroachment of white settlers on Indian reservations, and that the treaties with the Indians be faithfully executed."
A Sign of Governmental Shift for the Native Soul of Our Land?
While prayers uttered in 1881 may seem lost to time, the courts of heaven forget nothing. Bowls of intercession fill and, eventually, spill. For a legislative document of public prayer to come to light amidst a resurgence of hope touching dozens of native reservations is nothing less than a divine oracle—if we have eyes to see and ears to hear. In 1975, Dr. Billy Graham declared that the native peoples were a mighty, sleeping giant. But, he said, "You are now awakening! Just around the corner you may become a spiritual superpower in this country that could change not only America, but the world!"
We believe a new chapter is about to open that is both necessary for America and good for the native tribes who have suffered. Gathering from across the entire North American continent, on behalf of Lou Engle, TheCall, myself and Chasity Sandoval of All Nations North America, I want to invite you to meet with us for three days in a spirit of humble, bold, expectant prayer. Even now, keys are being granted to open long-closed doors.
The ANNA Call is a gathering of the Body of Christ to historic Tahlequah, OK, the tragic terminus of forced relocation known as the Trail of Tears. Here, tribes from the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida were uprooted from their homes and sent on a death march. Thousands perished. Tahlequah is emblematic of the deep and varied griefs carried by countless tribes in their collective soul, spread across many territories and generations. It is only one of many scars on the land.
Led by natives, we will gather and unite at the Pow Wow grounds of the Cherokee Nation, October 7-9, 2016. There we will seek to unbind—to reverse the curse. In many ways, from Tahlequah, we will bend the bow of our intercession and aim straight for origin points in North Carolina as part of an overall strategy of revival. A multi-faceted prophetic storyline is unfolding in this hour. We believe the same trajectory of broken covenant can be reformed into a "Trail of Blessing and Hope" instead.
The native tribes of the land are deep in the Father's heart. From the healing miracles of Coma Lee, the native intercessor renamed Azusa (which we believe may have set the stage, in part, for the historic Azusa Outpouring of 1906), to the recent gathering in Los Angeles at AzusaNow, the story of "Native Destiny" continues to press upon us. Where sin has abounded, grace abounds even more.
That means The ANNA Call is positioned as a hinge, a door of invitation, by which native peoples can release keys—reconciled brotherhood and the heritage of peace—like a salve upon the plagues of division in our nation. For this reason, to honor our native brothers and sisters, from Los Angeles in 2016 to Azusa East in Charlotte, 2017, we feel we must pass through Tahlequah for the full release of God's purpose.
Cutting the Red Tape of Prayer for Revival
Which brings us back to the great backlog of prayer and reconciliation efforts over decades and even centuries. With a massive, unanswered governmental petition suddenly brought to light just weeks before our gathering, could we dare to put in motion our own legislative prayer cry that finally cuts that red tape and releases the bound-up history of native pain? Could the cries and prayers of Native tribes, for hundreds of years, along with the genuine love and steady, unsung intercessions of American settlers on behalf of our native brothers, finally be poised for an answer?
For two years this solemn convocation has been building momentum. Living out of a green van, burdened with prayer and traveling among countless villages, reservations and native communities across the North American continent, Chasity and other young native leaders have spread the word that a great, sacred assembly was coming in 2016. Elders have been summoned. In the process, the Spirit of God has already begun moving mightily with healing, restoration and revival.
From the Mashpee Wapanaog Tribe in Massachusetts, to revival among the Crow in Montana, the sleeping giant has begun to awaken. From the mighty Seminole of Florida to the federally unrecognized Ohlone Tribe of Northern California, we are seeing dreams and visions of friendship emerge from within the tribes—no longer "us" and "them," but Christ in all. From Alaska, to Quebec, to the Navajo and Apache lands across the American southwest, a new man is rising from the ashes. He is neither red, nor yellow, nor black, nor white. He is every tribe and tongue submitted to the cross of Christ, who bore all our pain that we might live in unity together.
Taken as a symbol, the scroll of prayer in our National Archives tells an important truth, that prayers never die. Intercessions never cease. And so, in this moment of divine synergy, we are believing ancient prayers and recent prophecies are about to break loose among the native peoples in extraordinary fashion. Even now, the curse of the past is being broken as the Lord Himself makes all things new. This will be our appeal to the everlasting covenant-keeping God of heaven. Everyone is invited.
We call all who carry a heart for the promise of total reconciliation in Christ, even between historic enemies, even in the midst of covenant breaking. In particular, we urge the new breed of young Nazarite among the native tribes: Make this journey! Take your stand with us. Lead us as we appeal to heaven together.
The ANNA Call is not a symbolic gesture. It is about closing doorways of accusation across our land between people groups who claim Jesus as Lord. It's not glamorous, it's necessary. It's not a feast, it's a fast. Come shape history with us in prayer.
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