In Memory of Mother Marie Burks

This weekend we are celebrating the life and ministry of the late Mother Marie Burks, one of the apostolic pioneers of Prayer Everywhere and spiritual matriarchs to the Friendship Central Church (FCC) and a host of young pastors and emerging ministries.  Her home going was Spirit-filled and powerful. The anointing and attendance filled the sanctuary to capacity.

There are few people who truly possess a passion and commitment to prayer as did Mother Burks. The Lord set her apart for prayer and holiness.  Her prayer ministry provided a pillar in the house of God. Mother Burks was the Lead Intercessor at Friendship Central. She was the first named and ordained at FCC to this honorable office by the Bishop and Elders. She worked directly with the Bishop and Elders in the most important matters of prayer and spiritual protocol.

Prior to each worship experience Mother Burks would be on the stairs at the altar crying out to God on behalf of the house of God, the man of God and the people of God.  She “set the atmosphere”.  So many of us would enter the sanctuary to find Mother already in prayer.  All we could do was to join her and press on in.

So much of what we have been able to accomplish, including becoming and being a house of prayer has everything to do with Mother Burks and her spiritual maturity. She lived holy and preached holiness. She prayed and taught prayer. Her experience with the Holy Spirit was so authentic it was attractive.  The baptism in the Holy Spirit was her prized possession. She was “saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost and that with a mighty burning fire”.

Mother Burks was raised in a brand of Pentecostalism that provoked right living and daily consecration. She knew the power of holiness. Her prayers were packed with power because of her power with God. Only heaven will be able to reveal how effective her prayers have been for her family and her ministry. I suspect for years to come we will be witnessing the fruit of her prayers.

She was more than my member, she was my mother. She imparted into my life with such impact that her memory will always hold me accountable to the disciplines of prayer and holiness.  The foundation she laid by the prayers she prayed will help us to construct a world-changing prayer ministry. But more than that, she has bequeathed to us the gift of intimacy with God.

Prayer Excelsior 2012

My utmost appreciation to all the saints and partners who have helped us to carry out a corporate consecration!

Consecration is necessary for concentration. When we are consecrating we should be concentrating on establishing and fulfilling God’s (now) will in our lives. It is our time to rethink, restore and renew God’s ways of doing things in us and around us. It is our chance to make some changes.

Prayer Excelsior 2012 is a spiritual renewal campaign committed to helping believers develop spiritual disciplines in the Word and prayer. It began on January 5 and ends January 25. The 21 day intensive has especially included reading through the Gospel of Mark and participating in the National Prayer Call.

The National Prayer Call is featuring a weekly absolute fast day (Tuesday),  daily Bible readings through Proverbs and exhortations on all passages in the Gospel of Mark. The discipline of this daily devotion is profoundly helping us develop apostolic attitudes.

The tools of apostolic ministry are the Word and prayer. These two, the Word and prayer, applied are the high priorities of spiritual leadership. The apostles protected their commitment to preaching, teaching and leading prayer. “But we will give ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:4). The passion for preaching and Spirit-filled prayer is how the Spirit will prepare the end-time for the Second Coming.

This is the year we the Body of Christ must give attention to the season and seeds of government, establishment and fulfillment. We are in an apostolic atmosphere. This is the year to launch and lead the vision you have held so many years. This is the time to lay foundations and get things started.

The attention to the number 12 represents the apostolic order being established and fulfilled in the Body of Christ. The 12 apostles were the government of the early church.  Jesus left the apostles the power to bind and to loose;  to retain and remit in the hands of the Twelve.  The apostles had the anointing and the authority to establish and fulfill the commission of Jesus. We have the same anointing and the same spiritual authority to establish and fulfill the will of God in the earth.

The apostolic gift of Ephesians 4:11 is still in operation. While there will never again be the unique assignment of the first Twelve of Acts 1, there is still an apostolic anointing assigned to the earth. The Body of Christ is in the Apostolic Age. What we witnessed and the early church experienced under the leadership of the apostles is returning through an end-time remnant.

Like the 120 in the Upper Room, there are a people hidden and praying. This remnant will flow out of their upper rooms and impact the world with apostolic authority.  Multiplied signs and wonders will be done through the Body of Christ.  The remnant will have the power to establish, govern and fulfill the end-time commission, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel…” (Mark 16:15).

The Action Gospel

If you like action join the Partners of Prayer Everywhere as we go through the Gospel of Mark. This Gospel is fast-paced, dynamic and powerful. The journey we will take with Jesus through the Gospel of Mark will put acute attention on the anointed actions and activities of Jesus. Mark mentions 4 parables but 18 miracles! Get ready for the thrill of a lifetime!

Here are some features about the Gospel of Mark that you need to know:

  • “Mark” is John Mark, the nephew of Barnabas and the son of Mary (Acts 12:12, 13:3-13).
  • John Mark ministered with and was influenced by both the apostles, Peter and Paul (I Peter 5:13, II Timothy 4:11).
  • The Gospel of Mark was more than likely the first “Gospel” recorded.
  • This may explain why more than 90 percent of the Gospel of Mark is found elsewhere in Matthew and Luke.
  • The Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the “Gospels”.
  • The Gospel of Mark was written to a Roman audience. Peter was his primary source as an up close eyewitness to the life of Christ.
  • The Gospel of Mark does not mention the genealogy or the accounts of his birth and childhood because it would not interest his audience. Romans were all about action. They would want to know of his exploits more than his teachings
  • Mark uses the term “immediately” or some form of it over 40 times.
  • His primary interest was evangelistic.  He presents Jesus as the Christ and Son of God (1:1). He wants to convince Roman readers that Jesus was divine.
  • His mutual priority is to reveal the power of Jesus through servanthood (10:45).  Mark pictures Jesus as the perfect example of a Spirit-filled servant. Jesus used his power to serve God and people.
  • Mark covers the Passion of Christ and his last week before the Cross in more detail than any other Gospel writer.

The 12:12 Revelation

The following insights were inspired by the Holy Spirit. I preached an extemporaneous message from Revelation 12:12 on New Year’s Eve night. There was a powerful anointing on the Word preached. Please take the time to meditate on these revelations.

1) “Therefore” signifies a transition that is the result of something that has occurred previously. In verse 11 the battle has been fought and the believers have overcome. The overcoming in verse 11 gives rise to the experience in verse 12. The opposition in verse 11 has become a celebration in verse 12. Things have shifted and changed for the better. Expect there to be positive transitions to happen for you in 2012.

2) “Rejoice” is the watchword for 2012. To rejoice is to ‘joy all over again’. There is about to be a restoration of rejoicing in the Body of Christ. You will not just have reasons to rejoice, you will have a resource for rejoicing. You will be able to overcome anything and enjoy your victory, not just plan for the next battle.

3) “Ye heavens” refers to the spiritual atmosphere. One of the most crucial tasks of every believer is to set  a heavenly atmosphere. When we praise God and rejoice over Him, we are apprehending the atmosphere. Nothing overcomes the negative like rejoicing. This year, do not give up control over your atmosphere. Jesus stayed in charge of his atmosphere.  Keep your surroundings heavenly.

4) “And ye that dwell in them” describes the position of the believer. We are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3). Our citizenship is in heaven and our authority comes from above. Exercise your spiritual authority. Refuse to be bullied by earth-bound burdens. Live on earth as it is in heaven. God’s government is superior to any government in this world.

5) “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and sea!” is a warning of monumental implications. “Woe” means a judgment or a curse given. It is announcing the ruin of people living “of the earth and of the sea”. The earth represents man’s dominion. The sea represents man’s influence. Those persons who are depending on the rule and reign of men and their systems will find themselves living in a curse. The only way to avoid “woe” is to live heavenly. We are told to, “set your affections on things above”, not on the things of this earth” (Colossians 3:2).  We are in this world, not of it.

6) “For the devil is come down unto you” announces the personal evil we must face as we live in this world. The good news is that our enemy must be downgraded before he can come against us. The devil is “come down”. This is what we must remember. The devil is come down. He is not exalted. He is not in the place of power. He is demoted. He was demoted from the heavenlies. His trajectory for eternity is downward. His destiny is the bottomless pit and the lake of fire.

7) “Having great wrath” is the temperament of evil. The devil wants to destroy all that he can while he can. The devil is consumed by his hate of God.  His intense anger is directed at those on earth. There is no protection or salvation from the wrath of the devil without the blood of the Lamb. The wrath of the devil is his greatest joy. The devil wants to undermine the plan of salvation. This year you must win souls to Christ. The wrath of the devil is one of the greatest reasons for urgency in evangelism. There are people dying every minute.  So many, too many, will die without Jesus. That is the devil’s greatest joy.

8) “Because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” reveals the motivation for this end-time assault against all that God wills to do in the world. The devil knows that his evil is temporary. What he does today, he cannot do always. The devil is on a schedule set by the Sovereign God. This epoch of end-time evil must come to an end. God has decided how things will end. His decision is to deathly defeat the devil. That is your victory!

The 12:12 Revelation ultimately proposes that God wants us to overpower, overcome and be overjoyed. Commit this year to overpowering, overcoming and over-joying everything that seeks to hinder your 2012 God-goals.