Early Renewal Experiences: Friday In Toronto

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

Friday In Toronto (Sept 2, 1994)

A group of six of us went to lunch together. We walked to the 2 miles to a Chinese buffet in three groups of two. I ended up talking to a woman from Boston. She had been in an abusive situation in her Church and as a result her relationship with the Lord and with others was very damaged. She said that she has lost the ability to trust the Lord any more. I shared some of what had happened to me earlier this year, which was similar. I also shared how the Lord had taken me through a process of forgiveness and eventually asked me to bless those who had so deeply hurt me. I was able to share how the Lord had turned things around for me as well. Basically He had crushed me to pieces and then put me back together. She said that she was still in the crushed state and would like very much to be put back together. I told her that I believe that the Lord allowed just about everyone who He was raising up for ministry to go through this type of experience. She proceeded to share some of her deep hurts with me. It seemed that what was supposed to be recreation time turned into ministry time again.

So by the time I got back to the hotel, I was really exhausted. I had a few phone calls that I had to make and then decided to take a short nap. At first I was restless and could not get to sleep. So I asked the Lord to please put me to sleep and bless me with some muchly needed rest. As it turned out, I drifted off to sleep immediately afterwards and didn't wake up until 6:00 PM.

Since it was so late, (they were lining up by 4:30 now), I decided to skip the long line and take advantage of the special enterence for ministry team members. Pastor Mary Audry was at the door and at first was hesitant to let me pray with the ministry team. Then she asked me if I'd be willing to fill out an application and I said I would. Somehow that made her feel better, so she gave me an application and let me in. I filled out the application while waiting for prayer to start.

The ministry team met together to pray about 1/2 hour before service began. This particular night they did not open the doors until about 7:25 PM. So people were lined up outside the room we were praying in and were looking in at us as we prayed. Joanne stuck a green tag on my shirt but told me that I was still to stick with someone with a pink badge until I was released to do otherwise.

We prayed for the service and for the people who were standing in line for so long. We prayed that the Lord would put a special anointing on the overflow room and touch those who were unable to get into the main sanctuary. Then we noticed that the people outside the prayer room had turned the other direction and were walking into the overflow room. Someone pointed out that this was logisticaly wrong because those who had waited the longest would be among the last in and would not get a seat. We felt bad for them, but there was nothing that we could do. So we prayed for an extra blessing on them.

Service started before we got out of the prayer room. Fortunately, my bible was on a seat in the ministry team section. (It was the first night that I'd sat in that section, even though I'd prayed with the team for a couple of evenings already. Boy those were excellent seats! I was in the center of the 2nd row and had a great view. To make the blessing even better, some of the people who would be sitting near me hadn't made it to their seat yet, so there was lots of room to worship -- we weren't crowded together like sardines.

The Lord was richly blessing Rozanna (another ministry team member who was sitting on my left) and me. He filled us with joy. As I worshipped, I began to shake. Rozanna put her hand on my back and began praying for me. She asked the Lord to fill me and anoint me for ministry. I could feel His presense and His power surging through me. A little later I returned the favor and prayed for her.

The Lord was really blessing the two of us, but that was not the case for the majority of the people. Leadership was not letting them sit in the asiles because of fire code regulations. Every seat was taken and a huge mass of people were crowded together in the back of the room. The overflow room was totally full -- even the standing room only portions and people were also jammed in the cafe. People in general seemed to be in a very bad mood, and were resentful of all the inconvience.

Between the 2nd and 3rd songs, Mary Audry got up and took the microphone. She said that we were supposed to offer a sacrifice of praise to the Lord. Instead of grumbling because we had bad seats or no seats, let us worship the Lord. She apologized for the bad conditions and said that they were doing the best that they could do. Perhaps those who had no seats would like to see this as an opportunity to intercede for the Airport Vineyard to get better facilities. She basically refocused our attention from the inconveniences of the meeting to the Lord. Many felt ashamed and silently repented. Then an incredible spirit of praise and worship was released on the place. The Lord's presense really decended and there was an incredible sense of joy. Worship continued for a while.

Then the speaker got up. He mentioned that when people went wild at a football or soccer game that they were called "fans" but when Christians get excited about God, we are called "fanatics". He suggested that we become "fans" for the Lord that evening. He led us in some cheers where he would have the group in the overflow room shout "Praise the Lord" and have the group in the main sanctuary respond with "God is good!" and then have the group in the overflow room respond with "Bless His Name!". This went on for about 5 minutes and everyone was having a wonderful time. Then someone suggested that we have a wave. It started in the overflow room, went from the left to right side of the sanctuary and then into the cafe. I know it sounds crazy, but it really got all of us, regardless of the room we were in, all together in unity and feeling like one meeting instead of like three separate meetings.

The Lord's blessing fell over the place and there was so much joy that people kept breaking into laughter during the sermon. It was sort of like the last trip I made to Toronto. The speaker could barely talk over all of the noise. But somehow we were able to hear him and both enjoy the teaching and enjoy the Lord. It's amazing how the Lord was able to turn a terrible situation into a wonderful one. Apparently the people in the overflow room and cafe were as blessed as the ones in the main sanctuary.

They gave an alter call for Christians who had been hurt and as a result had turned away from God and wanted to come back to Him now. The lady who I'd talked to at lunch went up. As she passed me, I gave her a big hug. She told me that she was glad we had that discussion this afternoon and that was what enabled her to make the decision to recommit herself to the Lord and trust Him again. What a blessing to have played a role in that!

When ministry time started, I tried to hover hear Mary Audry. She looked at the masses of people waiting for prayer and told me to go start blessing people. I recruited the guy I'd driven to the bank (who is a pastor from Scottland) to catch for me. I tried to give him brief instructions about how to catch and he told me that he knew more about this type of thing than I did. I mentioned to him that the catcher is not supposed to touch the person during prayer and he seemed miffed by that. We prayed for several people, then I went back to check in with Mary Audry. She said to go ahead and continue praying for people. We prayed for several. From time to time the catcher would put his hands on the person's head or shoulder as I prayed. This seemed to distract the people. One time a person went down and the catcher put his hand on their stomach and pressed so hard that they were having trouble breathing. I gently removed his hand and he gave me a very dirty look.

A little later, we were praying for a very nice guy who I'd prayed for on other days. The catcher put his hand on the guy's shoulder and seemed to be pulling him back. I gently removed his hand. In a very loud voice he told me that he had to talk to me right now. I wanted to suggest waiting until we finished praying for this person, but something inside checked me. I excused myself and we walked a few feet away. He began yelling at me telling me that he'd been praying for people longer than I'd been alive and knew more about it than I did. How dare I remove his hand! I gently explained that I must follow the rules established by the Airport Vineyard. One of those rules was that the catchers were not supposed to touch or push the people who were being prayed for. I had to follow their rules because they were the authority. He told me that this arrangement simply could not work and stormed off.

He had caused quite a stir and disrupted just about everyone in the vacinity. I looked around for the Prayer Team Captian or Mary Audry, but could not see either of them in the dense crowd. I just stood there for a few seconds, trying to decide what to do. I did not feel mad at him, but I did feel very embarassed. Almost immediately the guy we'd been praying for (when this whole scene started) offered to catch for me. Within about 10 seconds, several other people also offered to catch. Since there were so many people, I decided to continue praying for people until I could find someone in charge to talk to.

My confidence was really shaken by that and I found it harder to pray than before. It was difficult for me to hear words from the Lord. He continued to touch people powerfully, but it took longer to pray for each one. I took a little time to discuss this with the Lord, asking Him to forgive me for anything I may have done wrong and assuring that I'd forgiven the Scottsman for his outburst. I made sure that my attitude was right with the Lord. But the anointing was not as strong as I was used to. So I decided that maybe I should stop praying and go get some prayer for myself.

I went into the overflow room and hunted up Joanne. She was just finishing up praying for someone and was in a brief discussion. They she turned to me and asked if I'd had a drink yet this evening. I said that I hadn't, so she prayed for me. I never got a chance to tell her what had happened. She prayed that the Lord would fill me back up so that I could minister out of His abundance. She also prayed that the Lord would break any distractions and worries off of me. Then she asked Him to turn up the power. It was like electricity hit me again. I could feel the Lord's power surging through my body. I guess I must have started shaking alot and I went down. I lay on the ground for a while. The Lord seemed to be speaking love and acceptance to me. I double checked with Him to see if I needed to do anything to get right with Him. I also asked Him if He wanted me to light pressure (which I'd come to recognize as His anointing) resting on the top of my head again.

When I got up, two men came immediately to me. One was the guy who we had been praying for when the "blowup" occurred. The other was his friend. They wanted to make sure that I was not upset or shaken up by what had happened. They said that the guy was unduly harsh. They said that I should not stop praying for people because the Lord has given me such a strong anointing. Then they asked if they could pray for me and bless me.

That seemed like a confirmation from the Lord to keep praying for people. I was blessed by the prayer that these guys prayed and had a little more "carpet time."

When I got back up, I went into the other room and started praying for people again. The Lord came with much power and touched people. The Lord showed me a prophetic anointing on one man I prayed for, so I blessed and released the prophetic gift in him. He started shaking violently and went down. When he got up, he hunted me up and wanted to know how I knew to pray that. He said that the Lord had just recently promised him that anointing and he hadn't told anyone yet. I told him that the Lord showed me to pray that because He wanted to bless him. I prayed for him again and blessed the gifting that the Lord had put in him. He went down again.

I had a chance to pray for my friend Judy. A very experienced catcher assisted me. However, he dropped her roughly to the ground and she let out a loud "ouch!" Then she opened her eyes and told me that she didn't know what it was, but she was getting hurt left and right that evening. She had been down under the power and someone fell on top of her, brusing her arm. She had gone and gotten prayer again. This time someone had stepped on her hand. Now when I was praying for her, the catcher dropped her on her rump. I said that the enemy was trying to steal her blessing and prayed that the Lord would give her a triple portion because of this. She relaxed and I continued to pray for her until it was evident that the Spirit was operating on her.

Several people came up to me for prayer. Others came up to give testamonies of what had happened when I'd prayed for them the other day and they wanted me to pray for them again. I was careful to point out that God was the One blessing them, and I was fairly incidential. I likened it to Robert's illustration of pumping gas. My prayers were similar to the gas station attendent putting the hose in the car and turning on the pump -- purely mechanical and anyone could do it. However, the touch came from the Lord, not from the prayer, in the same way that the pumpt supplied the gas, not the gas station attendant.

One father asked if I'd pray for his little girl. She must have been 7 or 8, and she was wearing a hat that seemed much too old for her. As I looked at her, the Lord reminded me of the prophesy in Joel about our son and daughters prophesying. He also reminded me of the verse from Timothy that says "Dont let anyone dispise you because of your youth." I prayed these verses over her and the Lord came on her with incredible power. She went to the ground and started shaking. I was impressed that she would be used in power evangelism, so I blessed the gift of evangelism in her and asked that the Lord would back her up as she speaks His word with signs and wonders. The intensity of the shaking increased to the point where she could not have possibly been doing it on her own. I could sense the Lord's power all over her. Wow, that girl is going to have quite a ministry. I would like to that that same anointing myself. As I finished praying, the Lord reminded me of Cindy Jacob's prophesy that He was raising up the youth to be the Joshua generation -- a part of His end time army. All of the sudden, I saw that sweet little girl as a general in His army. I decided to keep that revelation to myself and did not tell her father. The little girl was still on the ground shaking when I left her.

Sometime during the evening, I found Mary Audry and told her about the incident with my Scottish catcher. I indicated that I'd be willing to submit to any correction she deemed necessary. She said that she's familiar with problem catchers who want to help the Lord. She said that she'd passed the Scottsman and he'd not said anything to her about it. I told her it had caused quite a scene for several people and that I'd rather have her hear it directly from me than have it get back to her some other way. She said not to worry about it. So I continued praying for people.

After a while, the anointing seemed to start wearing down again. I was trying to stop praying for people. As soon as I was by myself, Glenda came up and got me and asked me to pray for a woman who was upset that she'd not had any prayer yet. It was about midnight now. She pointed the woman out to me and it turned out to be a Brittish lady that I had sort of made friends with at the hotel. She was sitting on the steps of the altar by her husband. I walked up to her and asked if she'd had prayer yet. She said no. I asked her if she'd like some. She said yes. So I offered her my hand and helped her up. We found a nice carpet space and I started praying for her. Not much seemed to be happening.

"Oh God," I prayed silently, "You've got to touch her. Please don't let her be passed by just because I seem to be running out of anointing. Please touch her powerfully."

The Lord seemed to answer that prayer. Down she went under His power. I turned to walk away and almost tripped over a woman who was standing there wanting me to pray for her. She shared a testamony of God doing something wonderful last night when I'd prayed for her. She asked me to pray for her again. I just blessed what the Lord was already in her. I had to pray for quite a while before the Lord touched her. While I was praying, the 1st lady's husband came up to me and sort of helped.

After we were done praying, I asked him if he'd had any prayer. He said that he had not. He had asked someone and had been rebuked because that person had to "be led by the spirit to the people he was supposed to pray for." The guy indicated that it was alright. Yea, I replied, but you did not come 6000 miles to just sit around and not receive any prayer. He agreed very heartily. I realized that I did not have enough anointing left to pray for him, so I recruited one of the men on the ministry team and asked him to pray. Then I wondered off to get some more prayer for myself.

The person who prayed for me prayed for joy. When that was done, someone else (not on the prayer team but who usually acted as a catcher) wanted to pray for me. His prayers are quite right on, so I was happy that he wanted to pray for me as well. I got so blessed. When I finally stood up, I staggered around like a drunk.

I ran into the Brittish guy who'd almost been skipped for prayer. He was up again. I touched his stomach and asked the Lord to bless him. He went down laughing and was full of the joy of the Lord. His wife came over and stood by him. She cocked her head and watched him. After a while she turned to me and said, "Isn't he cute when the Lord's anointing is all over him?"

I started praying for her again and she went down laughing as well. When she tried to get up, I prayed for her again. She stayed down a good long time. I was glad to see the Lord touching her so deeply because she had been hurt earlier thinking that perhaps the Lord was going to pass her by.

The anointing was so strong that I sort of hovered around the room, unable to motivate myself to go home. My husband was supposed to call me at 2:00 AM (11:00 California time), but I could not quite bring myself to leave by then. The Lord's presense was so tangible in the room and I just sort of hung around it and enjoyed him. I finally left about 2:15 AM.

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

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