The vision for the movement comes from a pivotal moment in the history of Israel, after the Ark of God’s presence had been abandoned for more than 100 years, left to sit in the country side after being returned by the Philistines. The Most Holy Place was empty and yet no one seemed to notice. The religious leaders carried on with their worship rituals, and the people went through the motions in their faith, but with a growing frustration. It wasn’t only the Holy Place that was empty. Their souls were empty. Does it not describe what most believers are feeling today, especially in the west? Where is His presence? Many have just stopped attending church, having given up hope.
But there was one man named David who went beyond the frustration. He yearned for God’s presence to return and then did something about it. A plan was birthed in his heart to bring back the presence of God. First David began with the leadership. Only if the leaders were united in agreement would the plan become a reality. Then together with the leaders David went to the people and they too were in wholehearted agreement (1 Chronicles 13:1,2). The momentum then began to build as all were in agreement to do whatever it would take to bring back the Ark of the presence of God.
It was exciting to be able to visit the very route of the return of the Ark of God’s presence beginning at Beth Shemesh described in 1 Samuel 6:13 (seen in the photo). Yet David was to learn a key lesson. Amidst the joyful praise and worship, David had the Ark put on a new cart that was used for delivering merchandise or agricultural products, just like the Philistines had delivered it to them. God overlooked the Philistine error for their ignorance, but not the Israelite error. And God’s wrath struck quickly, destroying the levite who touched the Ark to steady it when the oxen stumbled 1 Chronicles 13:9,10). If we are hoping for God’s presence to return by imitating successful business and corporate models in our structures, through programs and promotions we are terribly mistaken. David realized that as he went to the Scriptures and discovered that the Ark of God’s presence was to be carried on the shoulders of the Levites, carried and honored as a King was carried at that time, close to their hearts, not merely thrown onto a cart used for merchandise (1 Chronicles 15:13).
God’s presence will be brought back through prayer and repentance not through slick programs. “If my people who are know by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Yet it does not end there. David then took the Ark and rather than return it to the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle, he placed it in a tent where prayer and worship were to be continuous before God with open access to the Ark of God’s presence. There was no veil separating them from God’s presence. And it is this tent or tabernacle to which the prophet Amos (Amos 9:11-12) and the Apostle James (Acts 15:16-18) refer to as the condition for a world spiritual revival. “After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seeks the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name.says the Lord, who does these things that have been known for ages.”
We believe that the prophecy is as applicable today as it was in the early church. If God’s presence and power is to be restored to the church, it will not be through programs and the latest business marketing plans. The house of continuous prayer and worship must be restored. And as with David’s plan, the plan must begin with uniting the leaders in agreement and commitment, and then the rest of the body of Christ.
In Cuba, the plan of seeking the return of God’s presence through building the house of prayer, began with seeking first the agreement of pastors and leaders from all denominations. This took place through prayer conferences and retreats. The pastors and leaders are, in turn, going to their congregations in each community with the vision. And the Lord has honored our desire as he did David’s. It is a plan that has divine approval. Prayer unites. Prayer brings revival. Prayer restores God presence to his people. It happened with David. It happened with the early church at Pentecost. It has been repeated through the centuries. And it is beginning to happen in Cuba. If we are to bring back God’s presence in fullness, we must follow his design. All we need is a heart like David’s – a heart after God’s heart, to do everything He desires of us.