Isaiah 62:1-7 For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not keep quiet, until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, and her salvation like a torch that is burning. The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; and you will be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD will designate. You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
It will no longer be said to you, "Forsaken," nor to your land will it any longer be said, "Desolate"; but you will be called, "My delight is in her," and your land, "Married"; for the LORD delights in you, and to Him your land will be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so your sons will marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you. On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves; and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth."
She Had An Esther Anointing, Incredible Favor and God Was Wooing Her into Intimacy
On November 22, 2002 I left DFW airport on my first trip ever to the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City, Missouri. Little did I know that God had more in store for me on this plane ride. When I sat down in my seat, a young lady sat next to me. We were cordial to each other, nothing unusual – initially – when suddenly the atmosphere around us changed. The spirit of prophecy came over me, over us, on this plane ride in a most unusual way.
I turned to her and said, "So, you're from Southern California, right?" The young African American lady replied, "Yes." Then I said, "Not LA, but somewhere close to LA," to which she replied, "Well, I'm from San Diego, but now I live in Long Beach." I then said, "So, you go to Long Beach State University, right?" and she said, "Yes." "And you are a sophomore there, right?" and she said, "Uh, yeah."
I then said, "And you are a psychology major, right?" Starting to get a bit weirded out, she then said, "Yes, but how did you know that?" I then asked, "Do you have a friend named Tiffany?" She said, "Ok, I have two friends named Tiffany, what is going on?" I said to her, "I don't know, I usually don't do this, unless I have music playing in the background, nor am I accustomed to doing this on planes. All I know is that God really loves you, and Jesus has an incredible plan for your life."
As she wiped away tears, I began to prophesy about an Esther anointing coming over her life, that incredible favor was coming to her at her school, and how God was wooing her into a new place of purity and intimacy with Him. I had Alice Smith's book on prayer with me, called "Beyond the Veil," and I gave it to her, in preparation to live a life beyond the veil of this world and in intimacy with the Lord.
I Met "Zion" on an Airplane
I could feel the Holy Spirit lifting off me, and I heard the Lord say to me, "Ask her to tell you her name, but first, tell her there is something very precious about her name." I thought, "Ok God, this has been so good, why don't You tell me her name?" I then heard, "No, ask her, but tell her that there is something precious about her name." I said, "The Lord is telling me there is something precious about your name. What is your name?" and she said, "My name is Zion." I said, "Zion!" I was awestruck!
I then turned to Isaiah 62, and read to her, "For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake, I will not be quiet, until her name becomes a praise in the earth." I continued reading, and got to the verse which says, "...your land shall be called Married." And Zion said, "This is crazy, because I'm actually traveling from California to Kansas City to be in my cousin's wedding."
Dumbfounded at the similarities going on, I leaned back in my chair, and then said, "Ok, the Holy Spirit is saying there is something precious about your last name. What is your last name?" And I heard her say, "Ready." I said, "Pardon me, but did you say, 'Ready' or 'Redding,' like Otis Redding?" and she spelled," R-e-d-i-e," and told me it was pronounced like "Ready."
I really didn't know if I had sat down next to an angel or not. I made her say and spell her name probably four times! I was stunned by the whole plane ride itself and was in awe of God's presence. Zion Redie had been walking with the Lord for about a year, and up to this point, never had received a prophetic word from anyone before. As my friend John Hamill picked me up to drive to the double-wides where people were praying night and day, which was IHOP Kansas City during its humble beginnings, I couldn't get over meeting this young lady named Zion Redie, who had traveled from California to Kansas City to be in a wedding.
"I Am Marrying Different Movements Together...and this Unity Will Break the Power of the Death Culture in America"
When I arrived at IHOP, I shared this with Mike Bickle and John Hamill, and then eventually Dutch Sheets and Lou Engle. After a time of prayer and meditation, the Lord began to show me that more than just an exciting plane ride, He was using this experience as a sign of what He was doing. Remembering how the Lord had me prophesy about an Esther anointing coming into Zion's life, her major being psychology, and recalling she was traveling from California to be in a wedding in Kansas City, after meditation and prayer, I sensed the Lord was saying the following:
"I have betrothed Myself to a fatherless Esther generation. And just as Zion's major is Psychology, which is the study of the soul, I am majoring in souls, for there is a major battle going on for the heart of America; and I'm getting Zion Ready for a wedding, and I'm marrying different races, I'm marrying different movements together, and the synergy of this unity will break the power of the death culture in America, which came in on this day."
The day I met Zion Redie, November 22nd, was key, because it's the day that John Kennedy died, and many believe his death was catalytic to the emergence of hopelessness that spawned the death culture.
What came from this was amazing. Lou Engle, Dutch Sheets and I flew to Kansas City at the request of Mike Bickle and IHOP staff on December 5, 2002. We discussed the "Zion Ready" encounter that happened on November 22, and an Isaiah 22:22 encounter Shawn Bolz had the same day. The outcome of the meeting was that these leaders sensed God wanted them to join their anointings and prayer mantles together: Dutch Sheets, representing Governmental authority; Lou Engle, representing the Nazirite consecration of holiness; Mike Bickle, representing the Shulamites of Song of Solomon bridal intimacy in intercession; and Che Ahn, representing Power Evangelism.
That year, December 31st, 2002 at TheCall Kansas City, they made covenant with God and each other to run together for awakening in America. Some time later, Lou Engle, sensing that TheCall School, which was in California, was to join the 24-hour prayer furnace at IHOP KC, eventually moved his entire family and TheCall School to IHOP in Kansas City – and they joined forces together. The synergy of this unity has been exponentially incredible. Souls have been saved, lives have been changed, crisis pregnancy centers and adoption agencies have been birthed, combating abortion, and the prayer movement has been thrust into the middle of the culture war.
Putting and End to the Death Decree Over a Generation
In 2002, I tried to find Zion, or find someone who knew her, but to no avail. Nevertheless, I continued praying for her, knowing that she represented, for me, the next generation. I felt her being African American was key as well, so I've prayed for her over the years, knowing she was for me, personally, a sign and symbol of God's heart for Israel, African Americans and, like Esther, putting an end to the death decree over a generation.
Though Zion isn't fatherless (she comes from a great family), most of her generation is. Therefore, I used Isaiah 62 to pray for a generation who, like Esther, is fatherless (see Esther 2:7). Just like Isaiah 62:6 states, I knew I was a watchman on the wall, called to intercede and remind the Lord and give Him no rest, crying out for His blessing to be released to "Zion," who represented so much to me in prayer. I studied statistics and everything I could over the following years, and became a student of culture as I prayed for the next generation in America. The two books I've written, "History Makers" and "Created for Influence," and the DVD "The Truth Behind Abortion," are research-birthed from the fruit of this intercession.
In 2004, I found articles about Zion Redie, and was excited about what God had done in her life. An Esther-like favor had come over her, for just as Esther won a beauty pageant, Zion won a beauty pageant at Long Beach State. She also had become a student government leader. She was involved in the African American alliance and Bible study groups as well. She had so much favor with the school, she was hired by Long Beach State to be Student Life Coordinator. I believe God is using her position as a Student Life Coordinator as a sign that He is raising up students who will stand for life like Esther.
I didn't reach out to Zion until 2007; not wanting to look like some weirdo, I just prayed for her from afar, knowing that for me she represented the next generation. I then shared the experience I had regarding God getting Zion ready for a wedding on GOD TV in May, 2007, and an intercessor in Long Beach, California, Doug Davis, was gripped by the word. Checking out the validity of what I shared, Doug, through a mutual acquaintance, met Zion, who told him that we did meet on a plane ride, and it was the first time she ever received a prophetic word, and it had a powerful impact on her life.
Now, I'm not so presumptuous to think my prayers alone had anything to do with her hard work and success. Zion has great parents and the support of a loving family. What God did for me is teach me the power of releasing or receiving a prophetic word, whether on an airplane, in a church service, or anywhere, and the impact of being obedient to His prayer assignments.
The Importance of Zion's Wedding
September 4th, 2010 I went to Sacramento, California to join Lou Engle in praying at TheCall Sacramento, and thought I'd reach out to Zion Redie again. I learned she was engaged to be married. Zion told me that she is getting married to an awesome man of God who is also African American, and the Youth Minister at a spirit-filled church. The wedding was September 25th, 2010. She said she has accepted her call in ministry to walk alongside her husband and be a standard-bearer for the next generation, and also a mentor for young women. Sounds like Esther to me, doesn't it?
Interestingly enough, September 25th, the day of her wedding, was during the Feast of Tabernacles. Zion probably didn't know this, nor did I, until I shared this with a Messianic Pastor I met after we talked. This Feast lasts for eight days, and is considered the feast of feasts. "Tabernacles speak of the day when the Son of God will tabernacle among men, wipe away every tear, and bring in the 'golden age' which men have dreamed of..." (click here to read more about the Feast).
Zechariah 14:16 says that all the nations of the earth will observe this feast and will make pilgrimages from around the world to be a part of it. It commemorates the temporary booths that were pitched by Jewish families leaving Egypt during the exodus, and how God was a cloud by day, a fire by night and tabernacles over His people in covenant, providing shelter, safety, comfort and provision. These tabernacles or booths, called Sukkoths, resemble the wedding canopy called the Huppah, under which God weds His people in Jewish weddings. The Feast of Tabernacles, therefore, is to be full of joy like a Jewish wedding, and also celebrates marriage and family. In a sense, it's Isaiah 62:4-5, which says:
"For the LORD delights in you, and to Him your land will be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so your sons will marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you."
Messianic Jewish leaders teach that this feast is a forerunner of the wedding feast to be celebrated when our Heavenly Bridegroom returns for His Bride! Amazingly, Zion got married during this time. Wow!
Zion's Wedding Represents a Bridal Revelation and Paradigm Coming to Young People in the Church
The number 8 has Biblically represented new beginnings, and it's interesting that it's been about eight years since we met on our plane ride; God had been getting Zion ready for a wedding ever since, and her marriage during this eight-day festival was also a sign of a new beginning. As a matter of fact, Isaiah 62:2 says, "And you will be called by a new name..." (NASB). Think of it: God not only got Zion ready for a wedding, but because of her marriage Zion will be given a new name (a great picture of Isaiah 62:2), and as a minster's wife she's stepping into a new calling to prepare the Bride of Christ for our Bridegroom King's return!
Prophetically, I feel that Zion's wedding represents a bridal revelation and paradigm coming to young people in the Church. Also, it symbolizes Messianic Jewish, African American and African people globally will unite, as a new generation of African people receive God's heart for Israel. I also feel it's a sign the Lord will be raising up more houses of prayer in the inner city to tabernacle among His people and unite the Body of Christ. Just as important, this shows how our lives of purity and consecration unto the Lord are the sign of His impending return. As Dehaviland Brown says, "My life must BE a sign of the coming Bridegroom. If we cease to live for that day when we see Him face to face, then we cease to truly live at all!"
We Can't Give Up Praying for the Next Generation – Pray Until Salvation Comes "Like a Torch that is Burning"
This entire experience has meant so much for me. Isaiah 62:6-7 says: "On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves; and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth."
Remember, I've been praying for Zion as a watchman, knowing that she represented for me the next generation, and you have no idea how encouraging it is to see the fruit of laboring with God in prayer. I had no idea what God was doing behind the scenes with her, let alone with her generation, and neither do you. Has God assigned you to pray for someone else's son, daughter or the next generation? When it comes to praying for the next generation, we can't give up, in spite of what stats say and society says. What I've learned in praying for "Zion" is that, though we may get overwhelmed with statistics and bad reports, we must look beyond them to the living hope we have in God who hears and is responding to our prayers. Whether we see it or not, something is happening in the unseen realm.
As for me, I will not keep silent. I will continue to remind the Lord, for "Zion's" sake, of all the trappings of this age confronting the next generation, and will keep crying out to Him for their deliverance until salvation comes to this generation "...like a torch that is burning" (Isaiah 62:1).
Are you a worn out school teacher, social worker, coach, youth worker, or pastor or have given up on whatever assigned place you have on the societal wall for the next generation? I pray that Zion's testimony strengthens you and helps you know that your labor has not been in vain! And for those who've stopped interceding for the next generation, get healed, if necessary, and get back on the wall. We need you! We can't stop until that for which we are crying out for becomes a praise in the earth.
Now is the time for us, as friends of the Bridegroom, to contend for souls to be saved and lives to be changed and prepare a generation to meet Christ Jesus. Of that day, Revelation 19:7 says, "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His Bride has made herself ready."
William Ford III