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This meeting is open to those who are pastors or leaders in their Church and those who come from really far away. It was held in the sanctuary and almost every seat was filled. I was striken about how many more people were at this meeting than when I was there three monthes ago.
The worship was great, as usual. I noticed that very few people were shaking, laughing, etc under the power during worship, as compared to last time I was there. I could feel the Lord's presense very tangibly, and was lost in worship. It seemed as though the Lord is doing a new quieter (yet still deep and powerful) thing.
After worship, they had a time of teaching. They started by sharing some of the logistical problems that the renewal is causing for their Church, including their own members not being able to get into Church on Sunday mornings because the visitors lined up early and crowded them out. They also shared that the police had started ticketing cars that appeared to be legally parked as well as those blocking the fire lane. Every time there is a move of God, there will be some attack (such as harassesment) associated with it.
There was a lot of teaching, including historical data from previous revivals. They started by sharing a writing from around 400 AD where similar phenonomem were going on as the Holy Spirit moved on His Church. Then they went to some of the other revivals. It seemed that over and over again God started by cleaning up His Church; restoring their love and commitment to Him and restoring personal and corporate holiness and love for one another. Then the revivals turn to the outside and many are saved. It seems that similar phenomonum (people laughing, shaking, crying, falling, etc) occurred in each of the great revivals. They shared writings from the leaders, such as Jonathon Edwards and Charles Finney. They also shared writings from some of the leading critics of the various movements of God. They also shared where they thought God might be taking this from here -- i.e., to the unsaved and God backing up His word with more signs and wonders. Then they opened it up for questions and answers. Finally they invited the pastors and leaders to go into the other room for ministry time. They asked that people who were not pastors and leaders hold back and let the pastors get ministered to first, since this meeting is targeted specifially for them.
I stayed in my chair as people filed to the other room. I noticed that just about everyone went in there, including several people who I had previously talked to and knew they were not pastors or leaders. After everyone had gone into the other room, I went over there as well.
I found a spot way in the far back and stood there. Mark Dupont had already orgainzed them into rows, which space inbetween each row for people to fall. They had already began to worship the Lord and His presense was very tangible in the room. I stood there with my eyes closed, almost overwhelmed by how strongly I could sense the Lord's nearness. I had already began to shake; the Lord's presense seemed to be all around me and I was inhaling it deeply.
Then Mark spoke into the microphone something to the effect of "I believe that the Lord wants to release the prophetic in this room right now." Then he began to pray along those lines.
As he spoke, I could feel an incredible power hitting me. The intensity with which I shook increased drasitically in response to the manifest presense of the Lord on me. My attention was focused on the Lord, but I was mildly aware that someone had stepped behind me. The intensity of His power on me was overwhelming. My arms, from the elbows to the finger tips, began moving up and down in a series of synchronized rapid chopping motions. I was unable to continue standing and felt myself fall. The person behind me caught me and then walked away.
I felt like I was surrounded by the Lord. I remember praying intently that He would have His way with me and wanted to please Him with every fiber of my being. Then a release for intercession came on me. I knew that I was laying on my back on the carpet. But at the same time I was marching up to a large brick wall and started pounding on it with my fists. I did not understand it fully, but had a sense that this had something to do with breaking through in the spirit. Over and over I kept saying "In the name of Jesus, you will come down! In Jesus's name, you will come down!"
That went on for quite a while, and then the intensity for that left me. I was no longer standing infront of the wall beating on it. I became aware that I was laying on the carpet and also became aware of the people around me. I opened my eyes and glanced around, taking in several things at once. One pastor had laid face down very near me and was weeping loudly. Another pastor was standing just to my left and slightly infront of me. He was shaking violently under the power and laughing and weeping. Down he went, and the prayer team moved off to someone else. A black woman in a dressy pants suit was standing by my head looking at me. When we made eye contact she looked away, as though embarassed. The Lord spoke to me about her and told me that she was frightened. I closed my eyes again.
I was overcome with love for these people and began interceeding for them as I lay there. The intercession came from deep within my being and the intensity with which my spirit cried out for them startled me. First I prayed for the frigthened lady, asking the Lord what to pray for her. He gave me the verse "perfect love casts out all fear." He showed me that He wanted to love her perfectly and wipe away all of her fear of His touch, but she was not accept His deep healing love at this time. I found myself praying that she would be able to accept His love and binding the verse to her. "Perfect love casts all fear. May the Lord's perfect love be bound to her. May the power of fear be broken over her. May the Lord's perfect love cast out all fear in her life." I also found myself praying that the Lord would show her that this move of the spirit really was from Him.
I prayed for each person that the Lord had showed me and for others who He called to my attention. From time to time, it was as though I had been transplanted out of that room and was standing infront of the wall again, beating on it with my fists and claiming the Lordship of Jesus over it.
From time to time, I would become aware of the people around me again. The pastor to my left still lay on his back. He was clapping his hands and laughing, a look of glee on His face. The Lord's glory seemed to be all over Him. Something inside of me was released into sheer delight as I watched the Lord move on Him. I wanted very much to get up and go soak him in prayer. But the Lord told me not to; stay where I was and pray for him on my back.
I believe the Lord was showing me His delight and His heart for His children. I cared about and loved each person in the room and wanted each to be deeply touched and blessed by the Lord. I remained very aware of the Lord, but was also quite aware of the people around me. For instance, the man on my right had stopped crying and was sitting up now, laughing loudly. Nothing that they did distracted or bothered me. I was just aware of them and felt a deep caring for each one. Sometimes the Lord would tell me what He was doing with a specific individual and I'd pray quietly for them from where I was laying.
I could feel the fullness of the Lord increasing on me as I soaked in His presense. Sometimes I lay still and sometimes I shook violently and sometimes my body acted out what I was seeing (such as my fists pounding on the air as I, in the spirit, pounded on the brick wall).
From time to time my attention was drawn so much to the Lord that I became unaware of what was going on around me. The Lord spoke to me several times. At one point, I remembered how Mark Dupont had asked that we let pastors receive prayer first. God pointed out how He had touched me from the moment I came into the room, that I did not have to stand around waiting. He ministered directly to me and that no one had come to pray for me -- He took me down on His own. He was touching me deeply without taking any of the ministry team resources away from the pastors. I was off in the back in an unused corner, so I wasn't taking a space resouce away either. I was overcome by how absolutely perfect this was. I was receiving deeply, yet the Lord had done it in such a way that I did not have to feel even mildly guilty about taking any resources away from the pastors. God has an abundance and wants to bless all of His children. I began thanking Him and praising Him, rejoicing from deep within my spirit. God was, as the British say, "Brillant!".
The Lord also reminded me how I had desparately sought Him to put His love for the brothern into my heart. He told me that He was doing it. That was why the Lord was making me aware of others in the room. As He blessed them, I found myself getting blessed as well.
Eventually it seemed as though the Lord was through with me and I stood up. I found that His presense was still on me. I looked at my watch and was surprised to discover that over one and a half hours had gone by. I wandered around a little bit, having no idea of where I was trying to go. I stood there for a while, just soaking everything in.
Then I realized that I should move my car so that it would be legally parked for the evening meeting. As I was walking to the exit, I passed someone who was standing there swaying under the Lord's touch. I didn't get nearer than about 10 feet or so. But as I passed we made eye contact. I waved my arm and said "More Lord." The person reacted as though a termendious force had slammed into his chest. He hit the floor and started shaking. I continued walking towards my car. The Lord spoke to me and said, "Teresa, I want to touch and bless My children. I am looking for any excuse to bless them. That's why I touched that man so powerfully when you asked Me to give him more."
I moved the car and came back in. I stood near the front for a while, praising the Lord along with the worship music. Then I started desiring to be prayed for. I realized that I had not actually received any prayer yet -- God had touched me powerfully but no one had actually prayed for me. So I went up to a person wearing a ministry team badge and asked him if he could pray for me. He said that he'd be glad to after he prayed for the person who he was talking to. I offered to be a catcher for him.
The person he was praying for had Chronic Fatigue Syndrone. He prayed for him for a while and there was a lot of spiritual power released. I could hardly stand at some points as the overflow hit me. The ministry team person was very compassionate and also appeared to be prophetic. The man he was praying for was very blessed and eventually went down. After he went down, the ministry team member continued to pray for him for a while. I was impressed with the compassion and power that he ministered with.
After a while, he came over to me and asked me if there was something specific that I was seeking the Lord for. I told him that I'd like an anointing for power evangelism -- to speak God's word and have Him back it up with signs and wonders. So he started praying for me that the Lord would fill me with His love and give me a strong sense of His love for me, that I would be securely established in His love for me. This was not what I'd asked prayer for, but it was very appropriate.
As he prayed, the Lord brough to my mind a prophesy that Denny Cline had given me: that God wanted to make me secure in His love for me so that I could be released to impart my gifting to others. I was enveloped in the Lord's peace and felt much joy and love. I eventually went down and lay peacefully on the floor. Then the man grabbed my feet and started calling forth the gift of evangelism in me. It was as though I was hit with a 220 volt current. My body started shaking termendiously. He continued to call forth evangelism and everything within me began earnestly agreeing with his prayer. He also prayed that the Lord would anoint me for signs and wonders. At one point he tapped the palms of my hands and asked the Lord to bless and anoint them for healing. My hands grew warm and started to burn and tingle. That seemed like a confirmation that the Lord intends to answer this prayer. After a while he left me but the Lord continued to touch me strongly. I must have been down for atleast 45 minutes.
I got up. A man walked over to me. I recognized him as the one who I had waved at and said "More Lord" on my way to move my car. He was clearly excited.
"You wouldn't believe how strongly the Lord touched me when you prayed for me," he said. "It was so incredibly powerful." Then the Lord reminded me that He wanted to bless His children and was just looking for excuses. God took my simple "more Lord" prayer from across the room as an excuse to bless this man. Isn't the Lord neat!
A few moments later Donna came into the room and told us that we had to go outside now so that they could set up for the evening service. I tried to walk out, and was staggering around in the general direction of the exit. Donna looked at me and told me that I was drunk. She asked if I could make it out on my own or if I needed help. I eventually made it outside and started wandering towards my car, where I intended to sit and listen to music until the evening service. However, I never made it that far. (It was about 6:15 and people had started lining up to get into the evening service at about 4:30.)
I was walking along the line to get to my car. I passed the Catholic nun that John had me pray for the evening before. She was near the end of the line, and she started talking to me. I tried to hold a conversation with her, but was so drunk in the Spirit that it was difficult to keep my attention focused on what we were saying. I guess I was still a little woosy, and I leaned on the hood of a truck that was parked near where we were standing. The joy of the Lord hit me again. The next thing I realized, I was laying across the hood of the truck kicking my legs in the air and laughing uncontrollably. People were stepping out of line to gather around me and watch. Most of them were laughing too. I remember thinking that I should be embarassed, but simply had too much joy to muster up any embarassment. (Until the Lord began touching me in the renewal meetings, this type of thing would have been tremendously out of character for me and I would have felt too humiliated to ever show my face there again.)
After a while I ended up sitting on the front bumper of the truck, continuing to laugh. The people standing around me were laughing as well, but I think they were laughing at my antics, not because they were drunk in the spirit. The Lord whispered in my ear, "Teresa, my kids are bored from standing in line so much. So, I'm giving them some entertainment, and you are it." For some reason that was termendiously funny to me and I laughed so hard that I fell off of the bumper on to the ground. I never felt it, but I must have landed with quite a thump, because several people inquired if I was hurt. I tried to reassure them that I was fine, but only laughter would come out of my mouth.
Eventually the nun helped me up and I ended up standing in line with her -- I never made it to my car after all.
After I got my seat, I wandered into the room where the ministry team was holding pre-service prayer. To my dismay, neither Carol nor Ian were there. I stayed and prayed anyhow. The team captian, Joanne, passed out ministry team stickers to each person as they came in. After the prayer was over, I went up to her and told her about John letting me pray with the team. She said she'd have to ask one of the pastors and disappeared to talk to Mary Audry. Joanne came back and told me that I could have a green badge, but that I was only allowed to pray with someone with a pink badge. She said that if she caught me disobeying this, she'd take my badge away. I remember feeling mildly upset. I did not want to simply be dead-weight baggage. They were short staffed and needed the help. If they did not want me to help, then I'd rather be receiving prayer than simply tagging along behind someone with a pink badge. (I should probably explain that they give stick on badges to their ministry team members. The ones who have completed training get a pink badge that says "Ministry Team" and the ones who are still in training get a green badge (John calls it a yellow badge) that says "Ministry Team TRAINEE.")
I did not say anything and prayed that the Lord would help me have an attitude that pleased Him. I determined that I would obey any restrictions that they placed on me and also determined that I would have a good attitude about it. I turned the whole thing over to the Lord and the disappointment left me. I went back to my seat and was able to worship with my whole heart.
Mark Dupont spoke that night and preached one of the same sermons he'd preached when he was in San Francisco. Hearing it the second time was a little on the dry side. I started having difficulty paying attention to him. So I started praying for God to move during ministry time and asking that the Lord would anoint me for ministry as well. I really wanted to be used. As I prayed, it felt as though someone had placed their hand lightly on the crown of my head. I opened my eyes and looked around to see who was touching me. No one was, but the sensation remained. The Lord seemed to be whispering to me that this was His anointing resting on me. That was a real encouragement -- God would show up in power if I were released to pray. Since He put His anointing on me, I guess I could expect that He would also let me pray.
When ministry time started, I hunted up Joanne. I figured that if I stuck with her, she would not have to worry about whether or not I was obeying her instructions. She was in the overflow room. She was praying for someone. So I stood beside her, stretched my hand toward the woman Joanne was ministering to and silently prayed for the Lord to touch her powerfully. When she finished, I asked if I could tag along with her. After we'd prayed for one or two people, Joanne allowed me to lead prayer and she took a supporting role. I knew that she was observing me, but that did not distract me at all. Instead I was filled with the Lord's compassion for the woman I was praying for. There did not seem to be any more power than I was used to experiencing at the San Francisco Vineyard, but the Lord did come and meet her. After we'd prayed for a few people like that, Joanne released me to pray for others in the immediate area of where she was ministering and assigned a catcher for me. I prayed for people for about an hour, checking in with Joanne from time to time. The Lord was coming and meeting people, and that was good. But I was a bit puzzled as to why there wasn't more power here in Toronto than we were seeing in San Francisco. The Lord continued to show me how to pray for people and continued to touch them. At one point Joanne came up to me and said that she was very tired and was going home now. She said that I was released tonight to continue praying for people and that she'd like to have me pray with her again on Friday. I prayed a quick blessing on her and then she left.
I prayed for one or two more people in the overflow room. Then it seemed like most of the people who wanted prayer had been ministered to. So I decided to go into the main sanctuary. I guess it was about 11:30 PM. As I tried to leave the room, a young woman came to me and asked if I'd pray for healing for her mother who was experiencing a lot of pain. She led me to a woman sitting in a chair, nearly doubled over in obvious pain. She said that her ulser was acting up -- it hadn't done so in quite a while but was so bad she could not stand up. I asked her if this were her first meeting, thinking that perhaps it might be a demonic manisfestation. She said that she came several times and usually the Lord comes on her quite heavily. I remember thinking "Why are you doing this to me Lord? I don't want to pray for physical healing." Then my silent prayer changed to something like this, "This is the moment of truth Lord. Either John 14:12 is true or it is not. If You don't heal this lady, I will never again pray for physical healing. I hope You're not mad, but this is the way I feel. Please forgive me if I've go a bad attitude."
Then I started praying for her. I kept it short and simple, asking the Lord to increase His healing anointing and to heal her stomach. I also felt led to pray for a release from any bitterness, so I threw that into the prayer as well. A few moments later, I asked her how she felt. She said that the pain is gone, but she was not sure whether or not it would come back later. So we prayed again and then she moved around, trying to make it hurt. It appeared that the Lord really did heal her. Then she stood up and I prayed for the Lord to fill and bless her. She went down almost instantly and started shaking under the power. Her daughter had tears in her eyes and was very excited. I was a little surprised that the Lord had healed her - some faith on my part, huh? But I was very greatful to Him.
Then I went into the main sanctuary. I could feel a surge of His power as I walked in. There seemed to be so much more anointing in this room. The light pressure on top of my head returned and my hands started tingling. I started praying for people and the Lord seemed to touch them almost instantly. I was impressed with the wonderful ways that the Lord was touching the people I prayed for and was greatful that He was allowing me to pray for them. I had a very clear sense that He was the one doing the touching and that I had virtually nothing to do with it. But it was sure wonderful to tag along with the Holy Spirit and watch Him work. He also gave me many words of knowledge as I prayed for people.
Eventually I worked my way to the back of the room. People kept crowding around me to be prayed for. They were so eagar for a touch from the Lord that they wanted anyone (even someone with a green TRAINEE badge) to pray for them. Some where around midnight, a lady asked me to pray for her friend who had not yet received prayer. The lady was sitting in a chair in the back and was clearly frightened. Apparently they had driven about 4 hours that afternoon to come to this meeting and were returning home that evening. The woman was willing to receive prayer, but appeared quite hesitant. I suggested that she remain sitting in her chair so that she did not have to worry about falling down. As I prayed for her, the Lord showed me what to pray. It was all very gentle stuff about being drawn to a closer relationship with Him, experiencing His love in a deeper way, having her devotions come alive and be exciting, having her first love restored, etc. He also had me pray that He would speak directly to her heart and let her know that it was Him. She began to cry. I continued to pray. The Lord wanted her to know that He loved and accepted her. We must have prayed for about 10 minutes.
Then I went into the cafe, intending to have a coffee. The woman who had asked me to pray for her friend followed me in and thanked me. She said that I had no idea how right on and appropriate my prayers were. As we spoke, the Lord started to move on me and I found myself praying for her in the middle of the cafe. She began to sway under His touch and I decided to move her back to the auditorium, which was carpeted. As in confirmation, they turned out the lights in the cafe, indicating that they were trying to close it.
We went outside and I continued praying for her. Someone came up to catch her for me. I prayed that the Lord would empower and anoint her and give her the ability to impart into others. She went down and started shaking powerfully. I stayed there a few minutes to soak her and then went on to pray with others. (She was still down shaking under the power until 3:00 AM when her friends picked her up and carried her out.)
People crowded around me wanted prayer. God continued to touch them powerfully. People started coming up to me and telling me how God had touched them powerfully as I prayed for them. I found myself explaining that it was the Lord and I had absolutely nothing to do with it. I knew it was terribly important that the Lord get all the credit for what He was doing.
At some point I got prayed for and when down laughing. I stayed laughing for a while then got up and started imparting it to others. A very young Brittish couple came up to me and asked me if I had the key to the nursery. I said no and directed them to someone who might. The woman was quite taken with my laughing, so I prayed for her to receive it as well. Almost instantly, she was drunk in the spirit. It came on her so easily that I figured that the Lord often touched her in this manner.) I told her to put her hand on her husband's stomach and ask God to touch him as well. Almost the instant she touched her husband's stomach, he collasped to the ground and started laughing uncontrollably. They had fun for a while, then she mentioned to me that she'd never laughed in the spirit before. "You've never done this before?" I asked. "No," she replied. However she indicated that she had wanted to experience the joy of the Lord. She was excited to be able to pass it on to her husband.
I ended up leaving about 20 minutes to three.
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