by William Ford III on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 6:16pm
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9
I had a sense that 2011 would be a very important year, in regards to what God is calling us to in America in united prayer and fasting. For me, this all started about 11 years ago, when an intercessor said to me in Williamsburg, Virginia:
Will, I am a “lighthouse intercessor.” God has led me to pray for people called to impact the nation with prayer and revival. He uses the symbolism of lighthouses in bringing them to my mind. I studied lighthouses and learned that lighthouses must have strong foundations, to withstand the waves and winds from storms. Also, lighthouse keepers wash the windows of the lighthouse often, so that nothing hinders or obscures the light going forth. And the room where the lighthouse light bulb is kept, they make sure that room stays empty, because the more empty a lighthouse is, the brighter it shines. This is how I pray for these people, and how I’ll be praying for you.
The Lord told me you’re my next one to pray for and that you’re like the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. This lighthouse has black and white spiraling stripes on it. I believe you’ll be used like this lighthouse to unite black, white and all races to be a bright light, turning America in the right direction. You’re my 1st African American lighthouse that I’ve prayed for, and you are my 11th lighthouse overall. I think the number 11, even 111, is going to mean something to you.”
I was polite to her, but at first I honestly didn’t take it to heart. One morning after another 1:11 a.m. wake-up call from the Lord I prayed, and sensed that God wanted me to get out a lighthouse book.
Called to Be a Lighthouse
Someone had just given me a new book on American lighthouses. After I peeled off the wrapping, it fell open to page 111 and an article about lighthouse keepers, titled “African-American Keepers!”1 I thought, “Lord, are you waking me up at 1:11 a.m. to direct my attention to page 111 in a book?” He was. Page 111 explained that although it was illegal for him to do so, an African-American slave secretly was the lighthouse keeper for the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the same black and white lighthouse that the lighthouse intercessor said I represented! I was a bit undone and, yes, I was again humbled. God was shining His light on those who had moved His heart in the past, and through them He was leading me down this unusual path.
But God wasn’t finished confirming this unique picture of my calling. A few weeks later, I went to a pre service prayer time at an African-American congregation. The elders gathered at the front, knelt down and began to sing very slowly, “Let the Light of the Lighthouse Shine on Me!” When they were finished, I asked about this song, and I was told that it’s an old Negro slave spiritual that was used by Harriet Tubman and others as a code song during slavery. When “Lighthouse” was sung, it alerted slaves working that day to a rescue that night by Tubman and others working on the Underground Railroad. In the dark of night, a flashing light, created by a mirror reflecting the light of the moon, would lead runaway slaves. Black and white Christians worked together on the Underground Railroad and set many captives free. They were the original unified, black and white lighthouse intercessors.
What happened to me is really about all of us. Like a lighthouse, God wants the church to unite by rooting and grounding ourselves together in His love, to withstand the storms of this age. He wants us to cleanse our souls of all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness, so His revelation isn’t distorted. And He wants us to walk in humility and empty ourselves of heart issues and fleshly motives, because the more empty we are, the brighter His glory can shine through us.
Like the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the Lord is calling blacks, whites and Christians of all races to unite in prayer to turn our nation in the right direction. A new lighthouse is being erected that will guide those bound by the enemy, moving them “out of darkness into His marvelous light” of freedom. And this year, November 11th, 2011, (11-11-11) is key to raising up the black and white lighthouse of prayer. Its God’s desire to make us one.
The Significance of 2011
Others have noted the math phenomenon regarding this year, where if you take the last two digits of the year you were born, along with the age you will be in 2011, it will equal 111. Try it for yourself, it works for everyone. Of course, we don’t want to turn this into numerology, or something weird, but we cannot overlook that this year, 2011, this mathematical fact, happens only every 800 years. With all the marriages on 11-11-11, and special events on this day, what is God saying in the midst of this once in a lifetime “111” year? I believe God is drawing our attention to the number “1” for a reason. I believe the Lord wants us to focus on the One Who is the answer for our nation, and He wants to make His church one in the place of prayer. Others and myself believe He is leading us to a night and day of prayer and fasting in Detroit, Michigan at Ford Field for the Call Detroit on 11-11-11.
The Road To Ford Field
About a year ago, in the middle of a fast, my wife Dehavilland had an uncanny God coincidence in a church in Michigan. She said, “I was drawn to approach and pray for a little baby boy and his grandmother. The grandmother explained fatherless issues regarding the child's upbringing, and that an evangelist had prophesied he would grow up to do great things for the Lord. When I asked for her grandson’s name before I prayed, she then told me that Will Ford III was the name of her grandson! When I heard this, I was stunned. When asked, they said they never had heard of you before!"
What are the odds that Dehavilland would meet, at random, an African American baby boy in Michigan, who shared my name? What are the chances of that?!
Two days later, another friend of mine, Darrien Summerville, was given a dream while he was attending his grandfather’s funeral in Detroit, Michigan. He said, “In the dream, I was looking for Will Ford in Detroit, but I was in tears because I couldn’t find him. I then went back to sleep, and then dreamt that I found Will Ford in Detroit, and we began to talk about renewed passion for his calling.” He knew nothing of Dehavilland’s encounter.
Another friend, Liz Kosorski, dreamt that she was on The Call prayer strike team in Detroit, and that Lou Engle was introducing me to speak before people in Detroit. She knew nothing of Dehavilland’s encounter or Darrien’s dream. We all shared what we were getting concerning Detroit with Lou Engle, who was considering doing The Call there, but was praying about the year and the timing.
When Lou began to pray about doing The Call Detroit, his first thought was to do it on 11-11-11 at Joe Louis arena. But then, God gave him a dream, and in the dream he said to Mike Bickle, “I feel we are to do the Call Detroit on November 11, 2011, but I feel we are to do it at Ford Field” and then Mike agrees with him in the dream. After the dream, when Lou checked the availability of Joe Louis arena, it wasn’t available on 11-11-11. The only place available was the stadium, Ford Field. When The Call began their negotiations for Ford Field, they learned that one of the descendants of the Ford Family, who is over Ford Field, is also named William Ford, (Jr.), auto pioneer and inventor Henry Ford’s great grandson, who is also 3rd in a succession of William Fords in his family. I feel that God is shouting to us, that this solemn assembly is His doing, and, "I and the children the Lord has given me, are for signs and symbols" to America! (Isaiah 8:18).
Why would the Lord use the name “Ford” as a sign? A “ford,” by definition, is a low place of crossing over in a river. Natural fords are considered a phenomenon, as they allow the river to flow underneath them, while creating a natural bridge just below the rivers surface, for people, horses, and even cars to “ford,” or cross over. It is for this reason in Bible history, that fords were warred over, because whoever controlled the fords, controlled access to the other side of the river and access to the enemy’s territory, (Judges 3:28). Even in modern American history, intense battles were fought to posses these river crossings. Also, when rivers are turbulent, you can’t cross over alone, you must link arms and ford through them together.
You see, the previous mentioned dreams were not about finding me, but about finding Ford Field, operated by another Will Ford. In other words, I believe Darrien wasn’t just looking for “a” Will Ford, rather, he was looking for someone “who” will ford! God is asking, “Who will ford thru the difficult and turbulent waters of recession, brokenness and pain, until they find their brother at the cross, and fight for breakthrough together?” In the midst of being out of work, emotionally broken, and the fractured relationships that come with the territory, the question before Christians in Detroit and the nation is this: Who will ford thru their own pain and despair, and gather with the saints to cry out to God for mercy in America? I believe out of the shared ache of Detroit, can come a collective cry of mercy to God, that can change our nation, which is at a crisis moment.
Biblically, the number eleven often represents transition, (Gen. 32:22, Acts 1:26). Everyone agrees that in America this year, 2011, with its flash mobs of racial unrest, and protests like Occupy Wall Street crying out for justice and equity, much like the civil unrest in the 60’s, these indeed are turbulent times. We are at a spiritual ford in America’s history, and the enemy will either crossover, transitioning us into further rebellion, or the praying church will cross over, transitioning America into revival! 11-11-11, which is Veterans Day, God is summoning His prayer warriors to battle in Ford Field at The Call Detroit, to war spiritually for the next generation.
Listen, this is not about us, but about a great healing God wants to do in Detroit and America. This in no way is about me personally, but its about a multigenerational God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who hasn’t forgotten about a fatherless baby boy in the inner city named Will Ford III and others like him, and He wants to share His inheritance with them! Neither has He forgotten about Detroit’s economic plight and its battle to recover as a city. Who knows, maybe as we empty ourselves, God wil release the light of His glory, for the more empty we are, the brighter He shines through us. The storms of this age demand that a united lighthouse of prayer be raised up, to turn America in the right direction.
Detroit: Wall Street Affects Main Street
Detroit, in so many ways, is a microcosm of America’s dilemma, and God’s desire is to bring healing to Detroit, and turn American around. This city, rich with the history of black and white working together on the last stop to freedom on the Underground Railroad, is also the same city where riots broke out over racial tensions in 1967. Much of it had to do with the dividing wall built on the street called 8 Mile, which separated the races and the poor. This pioneering city, which was the catalyst for the auto industry, now has breaks placed on its economic progress. Today, while Wall Street was bailed out, Detroit represents Main Street America, that is still longing for recovery, still reeling from double-digit unemployment, which at its peak over the past 3 years was as high as 29% in Detroit.
While others occupy Wall Street, can a united church gather together, and be preoccupied with God’s agenda? God has a protest himself against our own divisiveness, immorality and greed, which amounts to idolatry in the church. While others are protesting the bailouts, God has a protest against the church, because we haven’t gotten Baal out! Could it be, that God wants to turn Ford Field into His field of dreams, by uniting black, white and all the races and the generations to cry out to Him for awakening in America? I believe He does.
Whether the issue is abortion or racial injustice, God is calling for a united offense in the house of prayer. Related to this, God gave me a dream about the dreamer, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in October 2003. Ironically, it was the night before I was to speak at Dr. King's historic church, Dexter Avenue Missionary Baptist Church, in Montgomery Alabama, where the Civil Rights Movement began. I was there to speak at the request of my dear friend Lou Engle.
Ford Field: God’s Field of Dreams for a United House of Prayer
In the dream, Lou and I were driving in a SUV to the church, but we couldn't get there without picking up Dr. King. As we pulled up to his house, Dr. King came out with a white duffle bag with black handles. He went to the curb and dumped out everything in the duffle bag. Once it was empty, surprisingly, he threw away the bag as well. Dr. King then walked over to our vehicle, and opened the door to ride with us. In the dream, I thought his bag would make a nice souvenir, but when I went to retrieve it, Dr. King grabbed me and abruptly turned me around. Staring intently into my eyes with his hands on my shoulders, he said: "No! Do not go back and pick that up." The dream ended. When I awoke, I knew this dream was important. While praying for the interpretation, the Lord had me focus on the vehicle, which represents ministries or movements. Next, emphasis was placed on the white duffle bag with black handles. The black handles represented my race, African American, and the white duffle bag represented my "white baggage." The dream revealed how God wanted me, an African American, to "handle" any unresolved white issues.
This was consistent with anyone who desired involvement with Dr. King's organization in the 60's. No one could be a part of the movement if they had racial hatred or bitterness in their heart. The Lord was saying to me, "Empty yourself of any residue of unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment. Get rid of your white baggage', and ride in the new movement that will bring revival and justice to everyone in America." God is speaking to us through this dream. He is saying that none of us who are crying out for justice in this hour can get where we're going without picking up the justice mantle He gave Dr. King, and we cannot get breakthrough on abortion, poverty, educational disparity, and other injustices without riding together! The question is, “What color is your baggage?” Whatever it is, get rid of it, so we can all ride together in this new justice movement. We need each other!
In Gen 32.22, we see this when Jacob is running from his brother Esau. “Now he arose that same night and took his two wives and his two maids and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.” (Underline added). As you probably remember, Jacob was afraid his brother would kill him, and his
entire family. When you read the story in its entirety, you see that this ford is where Jacob found his brother and reconciled with him. As a result of their reconciliation, his 11 children, the next generation, transitions into safety, instead of destruction. Also, Jacob Himself wrestles with God, and transitions from being a trickster, and becomes a nation changer, Israel. This happened because Jacob and Esau were willing to get rid of their baggage by the ford at Jabbokk. Isn’t interesting, that “Jabbok” means “to empty!” Because Jacob and Esau emptied themselves of bitterness, resentment and manipulation at the ford, instead of killing off each others families and destroying the nation of Israel, they saved it!
The Call Detroit is about us looking for each other, finding the ford or the low place of humility, so we can cross over our dividing walls of racism, classism and elitism. On 11-11-11, we are coming to empty ourselves at a ford, so a generation can transition into freedom. We are meeting each other at the foot of the cross, and seeking Christ together for revival in America. Out of the shared ache of Detroit, can come a collective cry for mercy to God, that can change America. The storms of this age demand a lighthouse of prayer be raised up, to turn America in the right direction.
This is why, unlike any other Call event, instead of a 12 hr solemn assembly, it will be a night and day, 24 hour solemn assembly, where we will offer to God the incense of our prayers night and day. Its Malachi 1:11, which says, “For from the rising of the sun, even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations,” says the LORD of hosts. It will be a 24 hour shut in, where Black, White and all the races will cry out to God, erecting a lighthouse of prayer to turn this nation. In Detroit, where black and white worked together on the Underground Railroad to set others free, God wants to use it once again to bring freedom in America.
Its Not a Festival, It’s a Fast!
Just as a ford is a low place of crossing over in a river, we are seeking the low place, at the cross, and everyone participating on the platform is laying down their personal agendas, selfish ambition or promotion. As in other calls, everybody is getting low, and none of the worship leaders, intercessors or speakers will be named before hand. As a matter of fact, all of them will be donating their time, no one is being paid. If God changes the agenda, we may not say anything in our allotted time, if the Holy Spirit changes the direction. That goes for me or anyone else. If God wills, I may not even touch a microphone. We are giving up our right to share, pray or speak, for the sake of having a right heart before a holy God in our prayer meeting. Also, no books or tapes will be sold. This is a nameless, faceless gathering, where we gather around 1 name: Jesus. At Ford Field, we’re coming there seeking the low place of humility, through prayer and fasting, that we all may cross over into everything God has promised us in America. Psalm 133 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!”
Already, intercessors for the past 40 days, have been praying at the 8 Mile wall of division in Detroit. Isn’t it interesting, that before others started occupying Wall Street desiring change, The Call sent Christians of all races who were part of the Call Strike teams, to pray at this wailing wall at 8 Mile in Detroit?. Let’s gather 70,000 believers of all races on 11-11-11, so that the cry for “Change,” is answered by God, through our united cries for “Mercy!” Let's root and ground ourselves in covenant love. Let's wash the window of our souls. And lets empty ourselves at this ford, for the emptier we are, the brighter He shines through us. John 11:11 says, "...Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep: but I go that I may awaken him out of sleep." Unite with us for breakthrough on 11-11-11 at The Call Detroit, and may the light of His glory, awaken our nation.