May 19, 1931 - April 27, 2011
"I see a plague coming on the world, and the bars, churches and government will shut down. The plague will hit New York City and shake it like it has never been shaken. The plague is going to force prayerless believers into radical prayer and into their Bibles, and repentance will be the cry from them and of God in the pulpit. And out of it will come a third Great Awakening that will sweep America and the world."
- David Wilkerson, 1986
The last few days I have seen this prophetic word posted on social media. Apparently, it is not a factual quote, but I can see why it spread so quickly! David Wilkerson did share some amazing messages, founded Teen Challenge, wrote the Cross and the Switchblade, and shared many prophetic words that still ring true in our lives. Just because this is not necessarily true, does not mean that God didn't know exactly what would take place in our lives and nation at this point in history.
Sometimes it seems unreal that anything could be predicted or forecasted before it happens. Not even our weather in Memphis can be predicted accurately a few days in advance! We serve a God who knows the future. In fact, He holds the future! Take a glance throughout scripture and you will see prophecy after prophecy fulfilled in the coming of Christ. Nothing takes God by surprise.
What we are going through today is not making God wring His hands in worry. This is one of my favorite attributes of David Wilkerson, his faith in God. He had an incredible trust in the God that he served.
A few years ago I read his biography that Gary Wilkerson, his son, wrote in 2014. If you ever have a chance to pick it up, I would highly suggest it. It takes you on the incredible journey of the Cross and the Switchblade and so much more. If anything stood out to me about David Wilkerson, it was his prayer life. The actions that he took, leaving his rural church in Pennsylvania to a courtroom in New York, would not have happened without prayer. The boldness that he had in confronting members of gangs, living out of his car for weeks at a time, and potentially laying down his life, does not happen without an intimate relationship with God.
The only way to trust God is to know Him. The only way to know Him is to spend time with Him. We don't have a trust issue as much as we have an intimacy issue. If anything sticks out to me about David Wilkerson's life, it is that prayer is of the utmost importance in our lives. There is a passage in his biography that says this, "Yet something profound was indeed happening in (David's) prayer life. He no longer prayed only in the afternoons; he now prayed late at night, when his family was asleep. He had stopped watching late-night movies out of conviction, to avail himself to God, and that's when the change began to happen."
Prayer is what will change our lives. Prayer is the agent of change in our nation. Prayer is what delivers people. Prayer is what will cure the sick. Prayer is what causes God to bend down and listen. Prayer.
Even at that, it is still not for our benefit only. This whole thing is wrapped up in a Great Commission to go and tell others that they as well, can know God intimately. I cannot wait for the church to come back together in worship to God. More than anything, I miss worshipping with other believers. But this can't be only for ourselves. We cannot bury this hope, truth and life in the ground. The purpose in coming together is to then go out. David Wilkerson said this, "We're Christians who seek Pentecost only for ourselves. Can that really be Pentecost?"
I am praying and believing alongside so many believers for a Third Great Awakening in our nation and around the world. I want to see God move in a new and powerful way. I want Him to revive our hearts, bring prodigals home, and see sinner's come to repentance. The question remains, are we willing to do what it takes for this to happen? Are we willing to pray and seek His face? Are we willing to humble ourselves and love our neighbors?
"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8)
David Wilkerson said, "send me."
I am saying, "send me."
In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.