On 11-11-11, Veterans Day, God is summoning His prayer warriors to battle at Ford Field in Detroit to war spiritually for the next generation. The occasion: TheCall Detroit, a gathering that is not about us, not about those who will assemble there—but about a great healing God wants to do in Detroit and in America.
Detroit, in so many ways, is a microcosm of America's dilemma, and God's desire is to bring healing to Detroit and turn America around. This city, rich with the history of black and white working together in the 1860s on the last stop to freedom of 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 brakes on its economic progress. Today, when Wall Street is being 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 last three years was as high as 29 percent in Detroit.
While protestors "occupy" Wall Street, can a united church gather together and be preoccupied with God's agenda? God has a protest of His own against our divisiveness, immorality and greed, which amount to idolatry in the church. As others protest the bailouts, God is protesting 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 and white, and all races and generations, to cry out to Him for awakening in America? I believe He does. Whether the issue is racial injustice or abortion, God is calling for a united offense in the house of prayer.
Related to this, God gave me a dream about the dreamer, 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, Ala., where the civil rights movement began. I was there to speak at the request of my dear friend Lou Engle, co-founder of TheCall solemn assemblies.
In the dream, Lou and I were driving in an 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 carrying a white duffle bag with black handles. He went to the curb and dumped out everything in the duffle bag. When it was empty, 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."
Then 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 represented ministries or movements. Next, the 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 to be involved with Dr. King's organization in the '60s. 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 breakthroughs 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 Genesis 32:22, we see this when Jacob was running from his brother Esau: "Now he arose that same night and took his two wives and his two maids and his 11 children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok."
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'll 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—transitioned into safety instead of destruction.
Also, Jacob himself wrestled with God and transitioned from a trickster to a nation-changer. Even his name changed, to "Israel." This happened because Jacob and Esau were willing to get rid of their baggage by the ford at Jabbok. Isn't it 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 other's families and destroying the future nation, they saved Israel!
TheCall 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 Friday 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 to God for mercy that can change America. The storms of this age demand that a lighthouse of prayer be raised up, to turn America in the right direction.
When we gather in Detroit, we are giving up our right to share or speak for the sake of having a right heart before a holy God. Also, no books or tapes will be sold. This is a nameless, faceless gathering for which we are gathering around one name: Jesus.
Unite with us for breakthrough on 11-11-11 during TheCall Detroit, and may the light of His glory awaken our nation.
To read this prophetic word in its entirety, click here.
Will Ford is co-founder of Hilkiah Ministries and a prayer intercessor in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. He is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta and Emmaus Road Ministry School in Euless, Texas.