This is from the former pastor of a church I was a member of for a few years in Boston, Massachusetts. I thought I’d pass it on. But first some background – I’ve been on 12 short term missions trips to Russia and Ukraine sine 1991. Several times in the 1990s, I would tell Pastor Craig that every evangelical Christian in the former USSR knew his famous worship song. I would tell him that he’d have open invitations in every church. He finally travelled to Russia a few years ago to adopt four children in addition to the four grown children he already has. Since then he’s found open doors to preach and minister in Russia and Ukraine. – Jay Rogers
By Craig Terndrup
Around the world believers gather in prayer meetings, standing on God’s Word, asking God to change the world. But what happens when we pray? How does God connect our prayers with the invisible Kingdom of Heaven? How does He use us to make His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven?
When I was a student in college I attended the University of Kentucky in the early eighties. I was saved on that campus and attended a church full of UK students. On one Friday night a group of about fourteen of us were engaged in a prayer meeting. We sang in worship and we prayed. We waited for the Holy Spirit to direct us and we prayed some more.
About an hour into the prayer time, a friend of mine felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to share an impression, a prophetic word if you will, to the assembled group of students.
“I believe, He said, “That God is going to give us a song that will follow revival around the world.”
We listened and we prayed and we asked God for that song.
The next day I was sitting in my dorm room playing my guitar on my bed and singing to the Lord. I turned to the book of Joel and found the passage in Joel chapter two where God promised to pour out His Spirit once again. This was the passage the Peter used to describe the day of Pentecost, the great outpouring of the Spirit from Heaven that birthed the church and clothed 120 disciples in God’s power.
I began to sing a song: “Blow the trumpet in Zion! Sound an alarm in My holy mountain. Blow the trumpet in Zion! Sound the alarm.”
As a worship leader in my church I introduced the song in worship and we began to sing it with a Hebrew melody. I didn’t connect that song with the prophetic word that we had heard the night before, but circumstances began to reveal God’s fingerprints on the song.
After a few months, different churches and conferences picked up the song and began to sing it as well. Soon the song was used as the theme of a number of church events and then it took off. Like a helium balloon on a windy day, the song soared and flew away out of my hands and it was a song that God was blessing.
A few years later, after I graduated from the University of Kentucky, I was a young pastor in Boston, busy with the task of planting a new church. The song, titled “Blow the Trumpet in Zion,” was appearing on various recordings across the Body of Christ. I would hear reports of people singing it in different countries and I clearly connected the song with the prophecy about revival.
One day my father called me as I was in Boston from his home in Illinois. He was alerting me to the fact that he had a serious brain tumor and only a couple of doctors in the country could operate on it. In fact he was planning to fly to a Stanford University medical facility to have an operation the following week.
I prayed with him on the phone and promised him that I would fly out to California to be with him. As I hung up the phone, I wasn’t sure of where the money would come from for the flight. I had about $70 in my checking account so I put it in the offering that Sunday and prayed for a financial miracle.
The next day on Monday, I received a check for $1,470. It was the first royalty check from the song and it was exactly what I needed for the trip. I tried to put my faith around a God Who had the check in the mail before I even knew to ask and I was thankful!
Over the years the song served as a catalyst of praise in a number of ministries. Many people told me about singing the song over and over again as a praise favorite in different seasons of ministry during the eighties. A couple of years after my father’s successful operation, God spoke another promise to me related to the same song. In prayer one day I felt His proverbial tap on my shoulder. The Holy Spirit had something else to say to me. The spiritual conversation that I had that day went something like this:
“Craig, remember the promise that I gave you that I’d give you a song that would follow revival around the world?”
“Yes, Lord. And You did it.”
“Now I have a second promise for you. Just as your song followed revival around the world, now you will follow revival around the world!”
Over the years, I held the second promise as a secret in my heart. While I pastored different churches around the States and had a chance to travel some, I was still waiting for the fulfillment of the second promise.
What is the role of prophetic words in the lives of God’s people? I see prophecy along with dreams and visions and certain promises in the Bible, as something of a prophetic reference library designed by God to help explain the seasons and events of our lives. They also build our faith and help us to fight the spiritual battle the can rage around us. When we forget God promises or we neglect a prophetic word, it is like losing a volume of a reference library. What value would a set of Encylopedias be if certain volumes were missing? Even so, through neglect or through ignorance, we often fail to hear God speaking through prophetic words to explain the circumstances of our lives.
Paul told Timothy in First Timothy 1:18 to “wage the good warfare.” How was he supposed to do that? “According to the prophecies previously made concerning you.” A prophetic word is not only information in a reference library of faith. It also serves as a weapon in our arsenal to fight the good fight of faith.
In May of 2007, I was teaching on worship in a conference in Kiev, Ukraine. About a thousand worship leaders and pastors were there mostly from Ukraine and Belarus. The sessions were in Russian and alternated between a Ukrainian leader and an American and the underlying theme was worship. Pastor Phillip from Salvation Church in Kiev stood up on a Friday night and preached a word on worship as it impacted each generation.
Pastor Phillip shared about his grandfather who had been thrown into a prison in Siberia for preaching the Gospel during the Soviet days. He told the story of his grandfather’s faith as he secretly wrote worship songs in his prison cell and sang them to God. Then he contrasted that suffering saint’s circumstances with the freedom and liberty we had that night as a thousand of us gathered in a glorious time of worship. “But which setting was ‘more anointed’?” Philip asked us.
Then Phillip talked about being a youth leader who was denied a place in the University by the communists because he was a Christian. At that time, he said, the winds of change began to blow in the former Soviet states. “And what was the song that we were singing?”
Rhetorically he asked the question and then answered it. “Blow the Trumpet in Zion!” He began to talk about singing the song that I wrote as a rallying cry for the church in the Soviet republics. My song had been one of the rallying cries of the emerging church as the walls of Communism were falling! And I was sitting on the front row without Phillip’s knowledge that I was the author!
I was amazed at his story and thrilled that I had had a part to play. To think that thirty years ago as college student in Lexington, Kentucky, I wrote a song. Then God took that song all the way around the world. He used it in the Soviet Union and Phillip and his college aged believers were singing it as the walls of communism began to fall!
At that moment, As Pastor Phillip was concluding his message, the Holy Spirit spoke to me as I was sitting in my seat. “Craig, remember the second promise that I gave you. Now you are following revival around the world just like your song once did!”
I got up in front of the crowd of worshippers, and stood with Phillip and shared the story of “Blow the Trumpet in Zion.” We embraced and I was happy to announce that revival was there that day. It seemed like the power of God and the pleasure of God both filled the room. We sang our song and we danced. We hugged and we cried. And all of us could see the glory of our God.