Faytene Grasseschi (Kryskow) is a renowned spokesperson for Christian values and principles in Canada. Right from the first time I got to meet her, it was evident that she carries a revival fire.
She is an influential leader in organizing several solemn assemblies to fast and pray that the Lord would have dominion over every aspect of their nation. These prayer gatherings have brought about amazing results, including influencing change in government decision-making and making positive impacts on social issues.
GTH recently interviewed Faytene on how the Lord has mobilized the Body of Christ in Canada to be the salt and light through effective prayer and action. We pray that Part One of this two-part series will give you a little glimpse of how prayer can change nations! – Shyju
1. Tell us about the vision that the Lord has birthed in your heart for The Cry Canada. How did the idea to hold fasting and prayer fasting rallies right at the front doorsteps of the Parliament in Canada become a reality?
For the past few years, God has been speaking to me about His heart for a generation to rise up and take its rightful place. Both through prayers, and with the privilege I had of walking with senior fathers and mothers of faith in Canada, I began to really sense God’s heart for Canada.
There was one vision that I can say probably was foundational visions in launching The Cry in Canada. While I was in a time of prayer, I heard the Lord say that He was listening and longing for the fullness of the cry of a generation in Canada. He said to me, “Faytene, a thirty-year generation is already calling out day and night, saying: How long, Oh Lord; how long until You avenge our unjust bloodshed?”
The Lord was referring to those in my generation (– Gen X and Gen Y) who were born since the mid-seventies. He spoke to me about those who were not born and had not made it past their mother’s womb because they had been aborted or had come under the onslaught of premature death.
Then He said: “I am listening and I am longing for the voice of the living to become louder than the voice of the unjust bloodshed. Where is the voice of the living? Those of you who love Me in this generation; who want to see Me glorified, I’m longing to hear your voice; I’m longing to hear your prayers; I’m longing to hear your cry. And if you will bring your voice and your prayers to Me, I will listen.”
I knew that God was saying that it was time to mobilize the generation specifically in Canada. My first mass published book is Stand on Guard, which is all about the righteous foundations of Canada. During that time, He spoke to us about a generation that would carry a similar anointing to that of King Josiah in the Bible, who out of an understanding of covenant and promise to his nation, rose up and led a charge to turn his nation back to God. Out of that season of prayer and revelation, The Cry was launched.
We took The Cry in 2006 straight to Parliament. We believed God for favour to do this at the heart of our nation governmentally – where decisions are made – and prayed there that God would move in Canada. Thankfully in Canada, freedom of assembly is one of our core rights as Canadians. That is how it became a reality in front of Parliament.
The whole heart of it was to raise a cry and a voice, believing that God’s Word is true and that when we pray, He will answer. And it is exciting to look even to movements before and beyond The Cry to see how God has really answered the prayers for our nation.
2. What is 4MyCanada and how has it helped the generations to arise?
When we launched The Cry, I felt strongly that it was important that we didn’t just pray, but that also that our prayers were made flesh.
Jesus was the Word made flesh, and He didn’t just pray. He got up from the place of prayer and He acted on it as well. A good example of this is the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus did something powerful in prayer and said, “Not my will, Father, but Yours be done.” We don’t know everything that happened in the spirit realm during that time of prayer; but Jesus moved powers and principalities on His knees, and then got up from that place of prayer and went to the place of doing what the Father had called Him to do: To die on the cross.
We felt as a movement that it was important that we not only prayed, but act as well just as Jesus did. The greatest act of intercession on the earth was not actually a prayer; it was an action. It was a man hanging on the cross with real nails going through real hands and real feet.
The Lord spoke to us: Powerful intercession isn’t just prayer, but it is action, and that action is intercession.
We do massive prayer rallies in front of the Peace Tower (at Parliament), but also at other places across the nation. We also raise up these teams of young people that go right up into the heart of Parliament in Canada and speak to our government leaders regarding the issues of our nation. We go in a spirit of honour even if we disagree with them. We say: “The Bible says that we are to honour our fathers and our mothers, and we are here to honour you and thank you for your service.”
It is amazing when you go in that spirit of honour that their hearts are open to hear what you have to say on the issues that you are passionate about. We are upfront about issues like abortion, euthanasia, human trafficking, poverty, justice for the First Nations people, and international matters surrounding Israel. Since we began doing that from the summer of 2004, we were also doing smaller-scale prayers across Canada called Josiah Rallies.
Since then, we have had the privilege of having over 700 to 800 sit-down meetings with Members of Parliament, Senators, the Prime Minister, and key decision-makers. As far as we know, there has been no other organization in the nation that has had that many meetings within such a time period. These are all young adults who love God. There is no major financial backing. They are just stepping out in faith doing what they believe God has called them to do and God is showing up.
So that’s 4MyCanada: It is the action arm of The Cry prayer movement.
3. How have you been able to mobilize the Church in Canada to raise a cry before God for the nation, and maintain momentum for this prayer movement to be so much more than an annual gathering?
I remember saying this to our team a few years ago: We will only go where grace and where favour takes us. One thing we have learned from our spiritual fathers and mothers is the importance of hearing God’s voice. We only do the Cries where the Lord says and when the Lord says.
God anoints what is in alignment with His heart and His timing. Someone once told me: An immature believer will say, “God here’s my dream will you bless it?” But a mature child of God will say, “Father, what are you doing,” and then gives his time, talent and skill to be a part of serving God’s purposes in a generation.
One of the reasons for amazing favour on the Cries is because of the Kiss of Heaven. Definitely, they could have been bigger at times. But the bottom line is when God is in something and when it is His idea and vision, then He will give the provision that gives and creates momentum.
4. Over the past 5 years since The Cry Canada was launched, how has the Lord used this prayer movement to influence change in the Body of Christ in Canada and the nation? Are there any examples that you can share with us?
The biggest shift that we have seen in our nation is the mindset towards our government leaders. There has been a really bad habit in North American culture of dishonour of authority. I don’t think it is something that we should be proud of. It has been very destructive. The Lord mentioned to us at the beginning of our movement that we were to walk in a spirit of honour.
There is life and death in the power of our tongue. I know in my nation of Canada, we have the incredible privilege of being a democracy which I realize isn’t necessarily the situation with every nation obviously in the earth. But we have the power to be a voice – an incredible opportunity and responsibility – but the Lord said: I want you to be a voice but in the spirit of honour.
We have seen a tangible shift in the nation of Canada, specifically in the sphere of churches where instead of cursing and criticizing our leaders, we are seeing people that understand that there is power in what we speak. If we want our government to be amazing, then we need to pray and speak words of life over them.
Another shift in the church in the nation of Canada is the realization of the power of prayer. We have had 9 different Cries to date, and with two Cries in particular, the political graphs in the nation that showed the different ray beams of support for the political parties shifted 15 to 20 percent within a 24 hour period while the church was praying. This has been absolutely dramatic, yet undeniable.
In those two instances, nothing else was happening in the nation in the natural realm that would have caused such a graph-shift. No major policy announcement or news of a scandal would have shifted voter popularity among the political parties. All that was happening on those days was that the church was fasting and praying.
It has been amazing to see the church come into a heightened level of awareness that the Word of God is true; that the Bible says where two more gather and agree concerning anything that God will give it to us if it’s in His name, for His glory, and in that spirit of unity.
Those are the two significant impacts. We have seen the church shift from a culture of criticism of authority to a culture of honour and blessing, and we have seen people awaken to the power of prayer to change a nation.
5. Have you encountered any major challenges in organizing these prayer rallies on Parliament Hill and how has God helped you to overcome these obstacles over the years?
The answer is yes and no, because no challenge is major to God, though it may seem major to us. But we definitely faced a few situations where we had to work extra hard to get permits and permissions because not every prayer gathering actually happens at the parliament.
I remember there was one Cry where literally we were down to the wire with getting our permits. The bottom line is every time you come up against an obstacle, the answer is God and the answer is prayer and so we would just hit it. Every time we hit some sort of obstacle – and when I mean hit it, I mean prayers – we would get our leaders on conference calls, and we would pray and fast believing in God. We would not let go until we saw the answer of what we were contending for. So the answer has always been prayer every single time we came up against any obstacle.
Like with any major mandate, there are core things that you’re contending against. It might be different for every nation, but one of the things that we really contend against in Canadian society is the spirit of apathy. Some people would say, “why do we need to gather to pray?” or “why do we need to do this?” How did we overcome that? By not letting go of God in prayer and in doing our part.
Jesus used a little boy’s couple of loaves and couple of fish to feed an entire nation. That little boy brought Jesus what he had. Jesus took it, blessed it, offered it to the Father, and multiplied it to feed a nation.
That is how you overcome challenges. You bring what you’ve got to Jesus what you got and lay hold of the supernatural. Don’t stop praying. The prayer of agreement is powerful so as a team, lock in and just watch God bless it through the Gates. Don’t give up!
6. Was there a specific season in your life or issue that is close to your heart that began to stir you to take such an extraordinary stand for the nation of Canada?
Yes, I was on the mission field in Liberia and God began to speak to me about Canada. I would get this strong impression that our nation was under siege by the powers of darkness. It was interesting, because within a short period of time right after that, some major things started coming down the pipe legislatively where the traditional definition of marriage was being challenged and some really in-your-face type issues that went directly against Biblical principles..
It was during this time that God began to convict me and say, “Who will be a voice? Who will contend for this nation? I appreciate your efforts to go overseas and contend for other nations and other people, but I’m calling a generation in your nation that will begin to arise and be missionaries to their own nation because Canada needs it.”
As believers we have a responsibility to be the salt and light and when issues start to challenge the nature of God and the ways of God at the core of our society. We need to rise up and be a bold voice of His truth, operating in the spirit of love.
For me, it was the spiritual conviction that I got in prayer and also certain issues that were shaking down in our nation that definitely catalyzed a lot of what we walked into.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this interview to be posted on 4th December 2011. Faytene on handing critics, criticsm, marriage, young leaders & church. Subscribe here to receive the next post right in your inbox!
Meanwhile share your thoughts and comments on your heart for your city/nation. What do you see is your role for your nation’s awakening?