By Fidel "Butch" Montoya
Three years ago when we started to warn the pastors and churches about immigration issues, I know that many of them laughed at us. Many refused to understand the seriousness we were going to face. Many simply refused to accept the information.
Today, there are still many pastors who simply will not accept the fact that times are going to be very difficult for the faithful. The Latino Evangelical Church still needs to prepare for more attacks of the evil one....and we need to pray.
I have been sending out notices about prayer ONCE a month for ONE hour on Wednesdays. Thus far only ONE other pastor has opened the doors of his church for prayer.
Some pastors are too busy with their own agendas. Too busy with their own ministries not to understand their ministries will be affected. Too busy to stop and think about joining together in prayer. Praying with one another strengthens the fellowship between pastors. It strengthens the body of believers.
Last week, no one showed up to pray. I prayed alone.
It may be true that pastors are too busy. But unless we make time to pray together, when the times of hardship come....and trust me, they will, we will not know how to pray for each other.
Like everything else, we must train and discipline ourselves. WE do that by praying with each other. The Lord called for his disciples to pray with him....on the eve of his arrest. While “he prayed more earnestly,” we are told “his sweat was like drops of blood falling to ground.” – When the Lord looked for his disciples, his one question to them was, “Why are you sleeping?”
Are our churches sleeping through the biggest crisis of our time? Are we still more concerned with the ministry within the four walls of our churches? Can’t we understand the new laws that passing in state legislatures will make life so much more difficult for our people?
All across America we are seeing the effect of hate, suspicion, and fear upon our communities. The communities of Latino immigrants are being uprooted and they are running away in fear from the ICE agents.
Oh, that we would simply heed the words of the Lord. Oh, that we might fall on our knees in humbleness seeking His face and wisdom. The Holy Spirit is ready to minister to our needs, to help and guide us through the difficult times we face.
Instead we are stubborn and think WE know better. WE don't need to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit. WE think we know the way. In all reality, this is the time that WE must rely upon the wisdom, strength, and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
We need to find a better way and God is waiting for us to stop playing church and to get serious about the problems facing not only our ministries, but the problems facing our people.
As I read the newspapers from across the country, the problems are the same everywhere. Laws are being passed to make life more difficult. Along the way, it is not just the migrant or undocumented immigrant being affected, but Latino citizens of the USA as well.
Latino Evangelical pastors...born and raised in the USA are being pressured, harassed and intimidated by ICE agents. They are attempting to shut down the one most important leader in our communities, the Pastor.
If they can intimidate the pastor from standing up for the undocumented immigrant, from preaching justice from the pulpit, from assisting families that need support, ICE agents will win this battle and churches might as well hang signs that say, “Closed.”
It is past time of trying to get more pastors to understand that our country is changing for the worse and Godly people must speak out.
It is time our pastors join together in prayer on a regular basis. It is time for the pastors from across the country to understand that united in prayer, we can call upon the power of the Holy Spirit to fight for us.
My brother and my sister....there is nothing like the power of prayer. Why can't we understand that? Many preach that doctrine every Sunday, but yet we have not learned to put it into practice ourselves.
Let us learn to pray without ceasing. In Micah Chapter 6, verses 6 -9, we ask what offerings we should bring as we bow down before the Lord.
Should we bring a brunt offering of calves a year old?
Would the Lord be pleased with a thousand rams?
How about ten thousand rivers of oil?
Should I offer my first born for my transgressions?
How about the fruit of my body for the sins of my soul?
The Prophet answers those questions by telling us, HE has shown us what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you? "To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God....and Listen...for the Lord is calling to the city...."
Why can’t we act justly? Love mercy? Walk humbly with our God? Listen to His voice?
I believe in order to hear His voice, we must join together in prayer all across this country in great need of revival. If we write it down in our hearts, He will direct our work for His Honor and Glory.
Fidel “Butch” Montoya
H. S. Power & Light - Latino Faith Based Initiative
Denver, Colorado 80212