Early Renewal Experiences: Thurs in Toronto

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-- © GodSpeak International 1998 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <ts@godspeak.org> --

Thursday in Toronto (Sep 1, 1994)

I woke up in the morning feeling somehow far away from the Lord. I put on some Christian music and had devotions. Then I tried to pray, but was not particularly successful. I asked the Lord what happened to the intimacy with Him? I asked Him to help me because I was feeling pretty distant and had no clue as to why. So I decided to go get some breakfast.

At breakfast, I ran into the pastor who had been laying face down weeping yesterday afternoon. He shared how the Lord had dealt deeply with him. God brought up past hurts one at a time and healed them. He said that the Lord had delivered him from something (he didn't say what) and then started filling him with His joy. Here it was almost 24 hours later and he was still filled with incredible joy and felt truely free in the Lord for the first time in his life.

(I should explain that the Airport Vineyard recommends that out-of-country visiters stay at the Monte Carlo. It is an economy hotel that gives a special rate for renewal meeting visiters. They have what they call a "breakfast bar" from 6:00 AM to 11:00 AM. In reality, it is just a very sparse contentental breakfast consisting of cold cereral, toast and some cheap muffins, coffee and juice. But the thing that makes it special is the fellowship that occurs over breakfast. People sit together and talk and fellowship. They share stories of what the Lord has done for them in the renewal meetings, build relationships, etc. It's amazing how rapidly you can build close friendships in this environment.)

I had about half of what I intended to eat for breakfast and then went back to my room to wash my hair. I decided to seek the Lord a little more before my shower. So I put the music back on and lay diagonally across the bed. I started praying and could start to feel the Lord's presense. I remember thinking that this was more like it. I asked Him to show me if there was anything I needed to repent of or get right with Him, but He did not show me anything. I closed my eyes just enjoying His presense.

Suddenly a scene appeared before my eyes:

Some sort of very large conference was going on. The main speaker had just finished and they were breaking into smaller workshops. Apparently several worshops were going on simultaneously in different rooms. I looked around at the titles of the workshops and realized this was a New Age seminar. I noticed the marquis infront of one of the workshop rooms. The title of this workshop was "Is There Any Power In Christianity?" That perked my interest and I went in. It was a typical conference room with those long narrow tables with chairs on one side all facing poduim. Every seat was filled. I looked up at the speaker and found, to my surprise, that it was me.

The speaker began to talk. (I was watching the sceen as though it was on TV). I saw myself giving a presentation. I do not remember the exact words, but it went something like this:

"You are very hungry for God and have been egarly seeking Him. God has seen your spiritual hunger and wants to reveal Himself to you. There is infact only one God, not many. He is a personality, not an impersonal force. He is interested in each one of you and would like to form a relationship with each of you. He wants you to experience His goodness and He wants you to turn your allegience to Him. He has a personality and He is a jealous God. He wants to be the only one who you worship and there is only one way to approach Him, which is through Jesus Christ.

"God is willing to prove Himself to you, but He wants you to turn completely and solely to Him once He does. In a minute, I'm going to pray and ask Him to come in power and reveal Himself to you. If, infact He does show up and reveal Himself, then you will be obligated to turn your allegience solely to Him and worship Him in the manner that He has perscribed. On the other hand, if He does not show up and prove Himself, you will have absolutely no obligation to Him or to Jesus Christ. If there is anyone here who does not want to take this challenge, then please leave now."

Everyone remained in their seats, leaning forward, eyes eagar.

"Lord Jesus Christ, I ask you to come in Your power and prove Yourself to these hungry people."

Suddenly God's power fell on the room, similar to how it falls in the renewal meetings. Some people started shaking as the power of God came on them. Others fell out of their chairs onto the ground and were unable to get up. A few jumped up yelling "I'm healed!" Others were sobbing uncontrollably. God had, infact, shown up in incredible power at the New Age fair and proved that He was real.

Suddenly the image faded and I was back on my bed, with the Christian music going in the background. I got up and tried to recall the exact words fo the sermon, but was unable to. I was amazed that the Lord would send out evangelists to partisipate in New Age Conferences and Psychic Fairs and the like to demonstrate His power. I was strongly impressed that the Lord wants to reach the spiritually hungry who are looking in all of the wrong places. He wants to come in power and prove Himself. I pondered over this while I took my shower and got dressed.

I went back to the breakfast room to finish my meal and to meet some new people. A woman came running in to the room and said to me, "Come quick and help. There's a man half passed out on the floor." I had a mental flash of someone laying on the ground laughing under the power of the Holy Spirit, so I was not worried. I had a sip of coffee and then followed her out.

The pastor I'd talked to earlier and another man were trying to support Raymond (another pastor who has spent most of his time in Toronto either drunk in the spirit or shaking under His power). They were about 1/2 way up the stairs to the 2nd floor. One of them asked me to come and pray with them. So I followed then into a room, thinking that we were going to pray for Raymond. However, it turned out that the woman was the one to receive prayer. She was emotionally distrought and had been crying alot. That was very out of character for her. I guess she had a tough childhood and had put a tight rein on her emotions. She hadn't experienced any emotions, including feeling or being able to give love for atleast 30 years. We did some inner healing style prayer on her. The three men in the room were all pastors so I felt somewhat outclassed. However, I was the only other woman in the room, so they wanted me to minister to her.

The woman was more interested in dialoging than in receiving prayer. She seemed to want very much to be the center of attention much more than she wanted to receive any type of touch from the Lord. We spent a very long time with her and I ended up missing the rest of my meal. Then we decided to give her some time alone with the Lord. I had to exchange some money and so did the lady's husband, so he went with me to the bank.

Just shortly after we got back, the woman came out of the room and started another long dialog. We were sitting in a small lobby near the stairs on the 2nd floor. The woman came out and started dominating the conversation. Somehow it seemed "wrong" to me; this was not a ministry type of environment. She did pretty much all of the talking; often expressing inappropriate views or describing inappropriate actions. The group would respond by reassuring her. I was beginning to become troubled in my spirit about this and wanted very much to get away from the situation. I did not feel that it would be acceptable for me to say much of anything because I did not want to be in a position of correcting three pastors. But I did not want to partisipate in this any more either. It was now about 1:45 and I decided to get some lunch at a local restraurant. The woman decided that she wanted to eat too so and would go with me. It ended up that the whole group of us went to lunch together. We ended up getting joined by a couple of others and became a group of eight.

After lunch, they decided to go to the shopping mall because the lady wanted to purchase a skateboard for her son. I bowed out of that and walked back to the hotel. I visited with the 17 year old girl who had joined us during lunch for a while; she was quite delightful and very on fire for the Lord. Then she went to work on an art project.

Finally I was alone. The afternoon had been very frustrating for me. I told the Lord that I needed a vacation from people right now; that I had nothing left to give out and that if I saw another severely emotionally needy woman, I'd probably go nuts. I told the Lord that I did not want a vacation from Him, but did want one from everything else associated with Toronto. So I turned the TV on. It was on the HBO station and a movie named "Samantha" was starting.

The Lord used a simple comedy to speak deeply to me. The plot was about a girl who finds out that she is adopted on her 21st birthday. She rejects the parents who raised her and sets out on a series of antics to try and find her birth parents. The Lord used that to show me how I was breaking His heart by coming to Toronto to seek a gift (a power evangelism anointing) instead of seeking Him. It was as though I was saying to Him, "I only love You for what You can give to me. I don't really want You, I just want Your gifts." My heart just broke before the Lord and I found myself crying through the whole commedy. I found myself crying out to the Lord to restore the relationship and to give me more of Himself. I wanted to be closer to Him and to seek Him because of who He is. The Lord flooded me with a sense of His goodness. I apologized to Him for getting so wrapped up in the gifting instead of in the giver. The movie ended about 5:00. I spent about 15 minutes in prayer and then went to line up for service.

While I was in line, some of the people I had prayed for the night before came up to me and shared their testamonies with me. I was amazed at all the powerful things that the Lord did for people when I prayed for them. God is so good. They did not open the doors until about 7:10. I put my things down on a chair and when immediately to the ministry team prayer meeting. I arrived late and the prayer had already started. They were meeting in the cafe instead of in the little prayer room. Carol Arnott was there for prayer that evening, as were the guest speaker and his wife. They were pastors from another Church and had brought their own prayer team, so there were about twice as many ministry team members that evening.

Carol's prayer really impressed me. It was something to the effect of: "Lord please increase your anointing on this place. Please come and meet your people. There are so many of them Lord, and we can't possibly minister to each one of them. Please come and divinely minister to each of them. Prepare their hearts and touch them deeply. Meet each person's needs and draw them closer to you. Lord, they are tired and weary from standing in line so long. Please refresh them and protect them from any critical attitudes that might steal their blessing. Oh Lord, come in Your glory this evening and minister to Your people. Lord I ask that even right now you begin to touch them and to bless them. Please use us however You want to minister to them. But Lord, all of the ministry comes from You and all of the glory goes to You. We have nothing in and of ourselves to give to them. So please impart to them of Yourself."

We also prayed for wisdom for those (including John Arnott) who were meeting in Anahiem to make decisions concerning the renewal meetings. A very strong intensity came over us as we prayed about this. Then a prophesy came forth. One lady started giving it and she collasped in the middle. It was picked up by a second lady. The interesting thing is that the tone, wording, phrasiology, etc remained consistent, as though the whole thing was given by a single person. The Holy Spirit gave me a very strong witness in my spirit that this was from Him as I heard it spoken. I can't say that I was particularly pleased with the content of the Lord's word, but I do believe that this was from Him. I don't remember the exact words of the prophesy, and it was much longer than what I am reporting here. But this is the general idea:

Do not be frigthened, for this is My doing. I am coming with a sword. There will be division in My church, for I will build My church on the rock, which is My son Jesus Christ. I will divide away all who are not established on the rock and push them into the sand. I will come with the sword and remove all the blocks of the mind, the will and the intellect. My Church will be established on the rock of my Son and nothing will prevail against it. Those who are built on the rock will fall on the rock and will be brused and cut. Impurities will be removed -- I will no longer tollerate sin in My Church. I will purify My church as they fall on the Rock of my Son.

But those who will not come to the rock will be crushed by the rock. There will be those who call themselves by My name and who try to stand against My work. They will most surely fall and be pushed into the sand. My work will be accomplished. I will build my church on the rock with is My Son, Jesus Christ.

The presense of the Lord was so strong in the room that it visibly effected everyone there. When the prayer meeting was over, they passed out ministry team stickers and we returned to our seats. I could feel a light pressure resting on the top of my head, which I now recoginzed as the Lord's anointing. My hands were tingling and I was still overwhelmed with the Lord's tangible presense. I had a keen sense of His holiness and began to search my heart and assure that everything was right with Him.

(Even as I'm writing this, a week later, the Lord's presense is coming on me and I can hardly sit up and continue typing on my computer. We the Church had better recommit ourselves to the Lord and clean up our act! It's time for personal holiness to become a main standard in the Church once again.)

It was crowded, very crowded. But we managed to worship the Lord. There was a very large group (about 60 people) from a black church in Virgina. They were concentrated in two primary areas: on the left wing near the front and in the back of the center section. There were also a few of them scattered here and there. They started taking over the worship by all standing and making motions like they were throwing something, shouting "More! More! MORE! MORE! MORE! MORE!" First the people on the side would do it, facing the people in the back, then the people in the back would return it towards the people in the front. This went on and on and on. It was very loud, so loud that I could not hear the worship team. (I was sitting in the center section, sort of inbetween the two groups.) I remember feeling a little resentful that they were taking over the meeting like that and disrupting it. But they seemed to be having a lot of fun.

The leadership did not do anything to encourage or discourage it. This went on for about 15 minutes and finally died down. I remember thinking that it was a cultural thing; this was their style of worshipping the Lord. It certainly did not work for me. Infact, I found myself having to repent to the Lord for being irritated with them for disrupting my ability to worship. I did not want to have any type of attitude sins blocking my ability to pray for people.

When the speaker was giving the sermon, they provided alot of vocal agreement such as "Come on Sir!" and "Alright now!". That appeared to be the same as a hearty (though noisier) AMEN!. The speaker seemed to really enjoy the enthusiastic response. Every now and then they would all stand up and start throwing an invisible something at the speaker, shouting "More! More! MORE! MORE! MORE! MORE! MORE!" for up to five minutes solid.

I was between them and the speaker. At first I thought it was just a cultural thing. But I could feel some sort of spiritual energy (gosh, I hope that does not sound like a new age thing, cuz I don't mean it that way). The speaker seemed to be getting energized by this as well. I decided not to write this off as some sort of pentacostal expression and decided that perhaps there might be some spiritual principle they are employing that I do not understand yet.

It finally came time to minister. There was just a solid mass of people and I somehow ended up on the far right side of the room. A very hansome looking black man volunteered to catch for me. He was absolutely excellent as a catcher. He knew exactly where the space was and was able to put people down gently without any unnecessary bumps on the floor. He occasionally moved people who were standing or sitting in the way and took care of all the logistical issues so that I only had to concentrate on praying. He was loving and gentle and I was so greatful that the Lord provided him to help me pray.

The prayer time was very powerful. We started praying about 10:00 PM. God came in incredible power. He gave me just the right thing to pray for each person and touched them very quickly. I found myself asking some of them if there was something specific that they were seeking from the Lord. Many of them had specific things and I prayed for those. Some were seeking the Lord for physical healings and most were seeking that the Lord would give them some of this anointing to take home to their churches.

One lady was healthy everywhere except for her feet; she had almost cripling arthritus in her feet. As she briefly described the problem to me, the Lord reminded me of the verse "How blessed on the Mountians are the feet of them who bring good news." I asked her if she was involved in evangelism and she said that she was heavily involved. The Lord showed me that the foot problem was an attack of the enemy against her evangelistic gift. I started breaking curses on her feet and blessing them. She started shaking violently in response to this and was also pogoing up and down as I prayed. I blessed the gift of evangelism in her and asked the Lord to increase it and to give her more opportunities. She went wild and eventually fell over. I passed her about 45 minutes later and she was still down on the ground shaking. (I wish I had to opportunity to talk to her afterwards and see how her feet felt.)

I asked one lady what she wanted from the Lord. She replied that she had been raped as a little girl and that any time she was prayed for, she would go down rapidly; but almost immediately she would be overcome with fear and would start screaming. She wanted to experience the Lord's touch without any of the fear or shouting. The Lord impressed me to pray that she would be surrounded by His APPROPRIATE love, that he would show her what real love was all about and remove any body memories of abusive love. I ended up praying for the Lord's peace and her ability to experience appropriate love at His hand over and over again. The prayer was far more repetitive than I like to pray, but seemed to be what the Lord wanted. She went down quietly and lay there peacefully. I stayed with her for several minutes incase she should start screaming. But she lay there peacefully, breathing deeply, with a blissful smile on her face. After about 5 minutes I left her but stayed in that immediate vicinity and kept an eye on her. She remained enveloped in the Lord's peace for atleast the half hour that I was keeping an eye on her.

One father came up around midnight and asked if I'd pray for his two children. It was getting late and they had to go home. I said I'd pray for them and the little boy was first. I asked him what he wanted and he replied "To do well in school." I said I'd pray for wisdom and the father explained that his son was being taken out of a private Christian school and put into a secular school. He wanted protection and to be a good witness. My heart almost broke as I heard the story. I prayed for him and he stood there quitely. It was hard to tell whether or not he was receiving anything from the Lord. I prayed for a while and then ran out of things to pray for him, so I stopped. Then I prayed for his sister. As I prayed for her, the power of God came visibly on her and she started shaking. She had a very surprised look on her face. Then she went down. I continued to pray for her a while longer, asking the Lord to empower her and make her a strong witness for Him. The Lord seemed to be doing something powerful in her. She stayed down for a while (Kids often get right back up) and continued to shake under His power. When she got up, she did not want to go home, but just stood there worshipping for anther 15 minutes or so.

There was one lady I prayed for who when down and someone stepped on her almost right away. She sat up looking dismayed. I went back over to her and had her lay back down and prayed for her some more. I knew that the Lord wanted to bless her. She relaxed into His presense and it appeared that the Lord was touching her. Then someone's catcher dropped a rather large person smack dab on top of her. She sat up dismayed and tried to get up. It looked like she was going to leave. But I knew that the Lord had something more for her. So I took her by the hand and moved her to another area and prayed for her again. I asked that the Lord would double the blessings since the enemy was trying to steal them from her. She went down again and shook lightly under the Lord's touch. I moved on to pray for someone else.

Two people came to stand near her, one on each side and started a rather loud converstation that had absolutely nothing to do with what the Lord was doing here. I was miffed by this and kept glancing over at her as I prayed for someone else. I noticed that one of them kicked her right in the head. She sat up again and looked very upset. I left the person I was praying for and walked over to her and told her that I'd be right back, that she should not leave. Then I went back and finished praying for the person I'd left. The Lord touched him powerfully. I stayed with him a little after he was down.

I asked my catcher to stay and soak him and went back to the poor lady. She was sitting up. I placed my hand lightly on her chest. I was about to pray one thing, but different words came out of my mouth. I'm sure that they were from the Lord. "God has commanded a blessing and it cannot be stopped. God has commanded a blessing and it cannot be turned away. Lord, let Your blessing fall on her right now. Do not allow anything to steal it, for You have commanded the blessing and nothing can reverse it." The power of God hit her. She had been sitting and collasped to the ground -- I barely caught the back of her head in time to lay it gently on the carpet. She was about 50ish and rather heavy set. But she lay there and shook under the Lord's power for about an hour. And she laughted most of the time as well. It seemed as though the enemy was doing everything he could to keep her from being touched, but the Lord made sure that she was blessed. He seemed to be empowering her. I'll bet it was a night that she'd never forget!

About 12:30 I started to notice that it was getting much harder to pray for people. I'd have to pray for much longer and see less noticable results. I decided that the anointing must be lifting and that it was time for me to go and get prayer. But there were so many people crowded around me waiting for prayer. It took another 15 minutes to pray for them before I got to a place where I could stop and go get prayer myself. Person after person kept asking me. I finally had to tell them that I was out of anointing and just could not pray any more.

I went and stood by where the speaker was praying. There was a large group crowded around him, and one of the men from the ministry team was helping him pray. I stood there for a long time, maybe 15 minutes. I watched him pray for a bit. He appeared quite prophetic and sometimes he would spend a long time with a person. Then I started worshipping the Lord and didn't pay attention to what he was doing. All of the sudden I felt a light pressure on my head and felt an incredible surge of power through my body. It seemed like the Lord was surrounding me with His goodness. I opened my eyes briefly and saw that the speaker was praying for me. He only prayed with me for about 30 seconds. But he blessed and called for the gifts of prophesy and intercession in me. I started shaking so violently that I went down. The speaker moved on to pray for someone else, but the ministry team person stayed with me and prayed for me for quite a while. His prayers were wonderful and powerful. He called forth and blessed the gifts that the Lord has put in me (intercession, prophesy, evangelism). He also prayed for a gift of the kind of faith that works signs and wonders. He also prayed that the Lord would free me from anything that would hold me back. Then he asked the Lord to come and empower me. I really appreciated his prayers. As he prayed, I began to be filled with the joy of the Lord. I ended up spending time on the floor just laughing in delight at the Lord's goodness.

When I tried to get up, I was a little bit woosy. Three British guys came over and told me to stay down, that the Lord was not finished with me yet. I asked them to pray for me. One of them sort of led the prayer and the others supported. As they prayed, I felt very loved; both by them and by the Lord. I was greatful to the Lord for surrounding me with such love. I could feel His anointing returning to me. After a while, I started praying for guys who had prayed for me. They ended up on the ground shaking and laughing and the Lord blessed them richly.

Finally I got up and wondered off. A little Chinese lady came to me and asked me to pray for her. It turned into a rather deep inner healing prayer. The Lord showed me that she was controlled by shame and that He wanted to heal her of that. I must have spent about 15 minutes praying with her. The Lord slowly envoloped her into His peace and love. He pealed the shame off of her and became the glory and the lifter of her head. At first she cried deeply, but then she began to smile and show evidences of peace (deep breathing, relaxing her muscles, etc). This type of inner healing prayer is very draining, but it is SO good to see the Lord set His daughter free and bless her.

When I finished praying for her, another lady came up to me and asked for prayer. She was a petite brunette, in her early thirties. She said that she was having great difficulty receiving from the Lord and thought that it probably had to do with pride problems. She wanted prayer along those lines. (I remember thinking, 'Oh no, not another deep inner healing one! Lord, I don't want all of my anointing to wear off, I want to have something for me when I go home.) But the Lord showed me what to pray and it was not so difficult or draining to pray for her. He had me pray that He would make her secure in His love so that she did not feel any need to compare to others or perform. I prayed that the Lord would surround her with His deep deep love and that He would make it real to her just how loved she was. She just relaxed under the Lord's presense. She eventually went down and I could see evidences of the Holy Spirit on her. Her eyelids were fluttering and she was breathing very deeply. She had a faint smile on her face and there was a glow about her face. I bent down over her and continued to bind the Lord's love to her. I prayed that He would show her His great abundance and that she would know that He had enough for her as well as for everyone else.

After a while, I got up. Another lady came over to me and thanked me for praying for her pastor's wife. She explained that they went to a Messianic synagogue and that this woman was the Rabbi's wife. She was so greatful that the Lord had touched her. I felt led to pray for this woman, so I reached out and touched her stomach. I asked the Lord to fill her up and bless her. She went down almost instantly. I wasn't excpecting that and almost missed catching her. Fortunately I was able to guide her softly to the ground. She started laughing softly. I placed my hand on her stomach and prayed that rivers of living water would flow out of her belly. Then she broke into uncontrolled laughter that lasted for a long time. Her face was absolutely radient with the joy of the Lord.

By then the Rabbi's wife had gotten up and came over to me. She thanked me for my prayer saying that God touched her very deeply when I prayed for her. I replied that I had nothing to do with it, that it was all the Lord wanting to love and bless her. She said that the prayer had been absolutely perfect. It was not what she had been was a new concept for her to be so secure in His love that she does not need to perform. She liked that new concept and felt very loved by the Lord.

I ended up leaving about 2:00 AM. I could feel the Lord's presense and anointing all over me as I drove to the hotel. What a blessing it is when He uses me to minister to others! PLEASE DO IT MORE LORD!

-- © GodSpeak International 1998 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <ts@godspeak.org> --

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