Early Renewal Experiences: 18 July, 1994

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

John Arnott At SF (18 July, 1994)

Even before the service started, I knew it was going to be a good evening. There wasn't an official pre-service prayer time scheduled for the prayer team, but we got together and decided to go upstairs and pray anyhow. There were about ten of us in the room and none of the official leaders were there. Micheal Laird offered to lead prayer since he was on the Church payrole (to care for the children during renewal meetings), which was the closest thing we had to a staff member. We all thought that was a good idea. As Micheal started praying, the Lord's presense increased in the room to the point where we were all tangibly aware of it. Robert (the Large Ministry Prayer Team leader) came in while Micheal was praying. He seemed content to allow Micheal to continue leading the prayer time. After a few minutes, Micheal started going around to each person in the room and laying hands on each of us. He asked the Lord to fill and anoint us for ministry. There was much of the joy of the Lord and many of us started laughing and shaking as the Lord's presense came upon us. We had a real sense of the Lord's delight.

More prayer team members filetered in during the prayer, as did Jeff (who is one of the Staff ministers). This is pretty significant since there was no scheduled pre-prayer meeting, yet people kept showing up. Robert and Jeff started going around the room and laying hands on us.

It was a very powerful time. I was standing at the time that they started praying for me (and we were not using catchers). As I was prayed for, I felt as thought I was being strengthened. I did not have to fight to "not fall". I knew that the Lord was working in me because I could sense His presense very strongly and was also filled with a great joy and expectency, knowing deep within my spirit that the Lord wanted to do something powerful that night. My body was shaking alot, but that did not cause me to lose balance or fall. I knew that I was shaking, but it did not seem particularly important to me. I could feel the power of the Holy Spirit surging through me and was keenly aware of the Lord. As I sensed His presense, it became important to assure that I was right with Him in all areas of my life and to once again invite Him to be totally in change and to do whatever He wanted to. I invited Him to use me however He wanted to, or to minister to me if that was what He wanted to do (instead of using me to pray for others).

After a while, I became a little less aware of the Lord's presense and a little more aware of what was going on around me. A small group of people were praying for Jeff (the minister). I felt like the Lord wanted me to go join them, so I did. As I prayed, my hands started tingling and I could sense the virtue and power of the Lord flowing through me. (It's always wonderful to get some kind of verification of the Lord's anointing on you as you minister for Him). I prayed for Cathy and then the Lord's presense became so strong that I had to lay down on the floor and invite Him to give me "more, Lord." The joy of the Lord was overwhelming and I started laughing and shaking as I lay there. After a while I became aware of Micheal Laird sitting beside me. I sat up and prayed for him for a while. I had a real sense of being filled and ministering out of the fullness of the Lord. The Lord came over Micheal and he started shaking and laughing as well. By this time most of the people in the room were laughing and experienceing the Lord's joy -- everyone's face was positively beaming.

I don't know how to explain it, but as I was aware of the Lord's presense, I was also very aware of the other prayer team members at the same time. I felt a strong sense of love for them and unity with them. It's almost as though the Lord's anointing was drawing us closer together in unity. I guess it's impossible to get closer to the Lord without Him increasing our love for each other. After all, its our love for each other that is supposed to be what distinguishes us as Christ's.

After a while Micheal Bordeur (our head pastor) and John Arnott stuck their heads in the room and Micheal motioned us to go downstairs and join the service. The worship was already in progress. (Again the room was very crowded -- a lot of people were there.)

The sermon was very good. John taught on the types of things that keep Christians from being able to receive from the Lord and how to overcome them. I felt the Lord's presense very strongly as he taught. It was a different type of presense -- a deep peace mixed with a quiet joy. I didn't shake or anything like that, but I did become so aware of God's closeness and goodness that I stopped paying attention to the sermon because I was so enraptured in His presense. I just sat there with my hands slightly raised and my eyes closed, just soaking in Him. He was so real and so tangible that all else seemed unimportant and I lost sense of time passing; I can't tell you how long I was in His presense: three minutes or 30. It was so good just to be close to Him.

After John finished the service, he gave an altar call for those who have been experiencing difficulty receiving from the Lord (i.e., the people who we call Hard-To-Receive (HTR) ). It is usually much harder to pray for the HTRs. I sat the on my seat and was not going to minister. However, Robert came up to me and took me with him to the front of the far left side of the altar. There were lots and lots of people up there, and most of the ones I started praying for were very HTR. Or maybe there just was not much on an anointing on me. It took a lot longer to pray for each person than I was used to. Many of them did not "go down" or show any of the manisfestations that the Holy Spirit is touching them (shaking, swaying, eyelids fluttering, hand movements, etc). I'd say that about half of the people I prayed for did not "go down" and of those who stayed up, only about half of them showed evidence that the Holy Spirit was ministering to them.

Sometimes the person who was catching for me would suggest that we next pray for a specific person. Often he would chose someone who was not in a receptive posture (i.e., standing here with their eyes open and looking around, or talking, etc). I finally told him that I'd rather be selective and only pray for people who appeared to be in a receptive posture. Even when he chose people who appeared ready to be prayed for, I did not really feel led to pray for that specific person. Instead of going with the leading that I felt, I tried to pray for the people who my catcher/prayer partner selected. It became very frustrating for me because the Lord was not showing me what to pray for those people.

I did not get nearly as many "words" from the Lord to pray over them as I had the night before. I started to wonder what was wrong with me and where the anointing was. After all, it had been so strong during pre-service prayer. But not much seemed to be happening with over a quarter of the people that I prayed for. A quick glance around the room showed me that most of the rest of the ministry team were experiencing much more of an anointing than I was. I started wondering if I should stop praying for people. Then I noticed that many of the people who had not appeared to show evidence that the Holy Spirit was touching them were crying.

In those instances, I changed my prayer style. I started praying silently for them and occasionally using some of the standard phrases such as "come Lord, fill them up", or "let them drink deeply" or "send refreshment from Your throne." Of course, when God showed me something specific, I prayed it. I found that there was more power when I worshipped along with the music instead of praying a bunch of words unless God gave me something specific to pray. All the same, I started feeling discouraged because I was not seeing the same type of anointing I had the night before.

Around 10:00 PM enough of the people who wanted prayer had been prayed for, that I felt free to stop praying for people. My catcher went on to pray with someone else. About then the Lord pointed out a few specific people, like Jan, who He wanted me to pray for. I found that there was a much stronger anointing when I prayed for those people who the Lord pointed out. I also spent some time soaking in prayer some of the people who were already down.

At one point I went to stand near where John Arnott was praying, but he was surrounded by quite a mob. So I moved off and prayed some more soaking prayer for those who were already on the ground and under the Lord's power. Jan was up aready, so I talked to her for a little. She had been distracted by a very loud manisfestation near her. So I suggested we move to a quieter location and I prayed for her again. She went down easily and the Lord empowered her. He showed me to pray for a release for Jan into her ministry. (I remember being very greatful that the Lord moved quickly and powerfully on her and also that He gave me a word to pray over her. I had been beginning to wonder if maybe I should stop praying for people because the anointing did not seem to be there like I was used to. But the anointing seemed to be there as I prayed for Jan.)

Then I went and stood by John again. He was in fine form, praying for three or four people at a time. He'd soak one or two for a few seconds, then reach out to another one or two and sort of alternate among that group. After a bit of that they'd go down. Catchers were scurrying to be behind the right person and God was moving powerfully. A few times I stood in as a catcher (even though I had a surgical cast on my left hand) because no one was there to catch. Usually a man would see me standing there and move in to catch. Dianne Bordeur, the head pastor's wife, came up to John while he was praying and suggested that he leave because he had commitments for the Anahiem conference the next day. John said that he'd rather stay and pray for people longer. (I think that was about 10:30 PM.)

After a little while, John placed his hand on top of my head and started to pray for me. I felt the Lord's presense immediately and started to sway a little, but nothing really dramatic happened. After a few seconds John removed his hand and asked me, "Isn't the Lord wonderful?" I opened my eyes, looked at him, and nodded my agreement. John stepped back a few steps and spread his arms, his face radient and his eyes half closed. It was almost as though he was seeing a vision. "Can't you feel his presense here?" I agreed, and at that moment I became more aware of God's presense over the room. John continued, "It's like a beautiful cloud all over this place." Then he stepped back up to me and placed his hand on my head. I went down instantly, before he even got a chance to pray.

I lay there for a few minutes. I could sense the Lord's presense but it was not particularly overpowering, so I started praying silently and asking the Lord to please come fill me and touch me deeply. At first it was real crowded and I was touching the people on both sides of me. Then the person on my left sort of scooted over and there was a little more room. As I prayed, I started thinking of the short conversation I had with John. I asked the Lord why I was not able to see His glory like a cloud over the room, the way John had seen it. I asked the Lord to please make me more aware of what He was doing so that I could work with Him. I asked Him to open my eyes to be able to see what He was doing like John seemed to be able to see.

The lady on my right ws filled with the joy of the Lord and kept laughing. For some reason, I found that extremely pleasant. As I lay there, I started jerking from my gut and also my arms also started shaking, but not violently. I could feel the Lord working in me, but it was not as deep of a touch as I was hoping for. So I started asking the Lord to send someone to pray some more for me, maybe even to send John back to pray for me again. The Lord gave me a gentle rebuke that I should seek Him and not seek for people to pray for me. So I appologized and asked Him to please touch me more deeply. I wanted more from the Lord. I asked that even if He did not send someone to pray for me, would He please touch me anyhow?

Then I became aware of John praying near me for other people. I asked the Lord if He would not mind blessing me with any overflow from when He touched the people John was praying for. I also found myself praying silently that God would bless these people and minister deeply to them. But while He was ministering to them, would He mind slopping some over on me as well. I really wanted a life-changing touch from the Lord and something deep inside of me seemed to feel that this was the night. The Lord's presense on me seemed to increase and I stopped caring if anyone prayed for me or not. Then I became confident that the Lord was working powerfully in me and trusted Him to complete what He started.

Then John was praying for me again. He knelt down by my side and prayed for the Lord to empower me. I started shaking and jerking fairly violently. I was momentarily distracted by the manisfestation, so I gave the Holy Spirit permission to do whatever He wanted to do in me and stopped worrying about it. I think John left and came back again, but I'm not really sure. I felt God's power all over me and what John was or was not doing suddenly became unimportant to me.

At one point I remember hearing John pray a simple prayer that I found very powerful. It was something along the lines of "Fill! Fill! Fill! Anoint! Anoint! Anoint! More! More! More!" He also prayed and blessed the prophesy that the Lord was placing in me and called it forth. I found myself agreeing silently with those prayers with my whole being. As John prayed that, the Holy Spirit seemed to whisper in my ear -- "How much more confirmation do you want, Teresa? You prayed and asked me to let you become My prophet and move in My power. I've so anointed you."

As the Lord spoke those words to me, every part of my body started shaking so violently that my skirt started creeping up my legs. I remember noticing that and briefly being concerned about it. So I asked the Lord what should I do. I had an option -- I could continue allowing the Holy Spirit to work on me or I could break it off and adjust my skirt. I chose to let God work in me and trust Him to take care of the skirt problem before it became a major embarassment. When John finished praying, I expected that someone would adjust my skirt so that my legs were properly covered. Instead, I heard John telling someone to get something and cover me. I know it sounds strange, but I was aware of that going on around me even though I was overwhelmingly aware of God's presense and His power on me. After a few seconds, I felt something being laid over me. I threw up a quick prayer of thanks. Once I knew that I was properly covered, it gave me a release from the concern. Then I was able to turn my attention 100% to the Lord.

I invited the Holy Spirit to do whatever He wanted to do in me. I had a sense that my flesh was strugging against Him and found myself ferverently praying that He not give up on me. I also prayed that the power of my flesh over me be broken and that His spirit might live in me more powerfully. "Don't give up on me Lord! Please complete Your work in me." It was like I was choosing to die to self and to live for Him. It was a little scary to make that type of deep commitment to Him, but it was also wonderful. Even as this was going on inside my spirit, I knew that someday I would look back to this time as a major monument or turning point in my life.

Then the Lord reminded me of a vision that I had when I was a teenager: In the vision, Jesus physically appeared to me. At that time, I had a list of questions that I wanted to ask Him. But as I came before Him, I became so aware of His holiness that I became like blubber and was unable to function. His holiness was so overwhelming that I became increadible aware of my own sin and uncleanness. My mind went blank and I could not even remember my questions -- to this day I still cannot remember what they were. Instead, I found myself begging Him to cover me with His blood and make me holy. But the Lord did not address that issue. Instead He told me that He was going to empower me and use me for His glory to do mighty works in His name.

As I lay on the floor shaking, God reminded me of that vision and then spoke to me about it. He said, "The time has come. Now it is time for this vision to be fulfilled. Teresa, your time is now."

I remember being amazed and excited and greatful all at the same time. The Lord when on to tell me how important obedience was if I wanted to be used powerfully. He told me that I must be careful to give Him the glory rather than seeking it for myself. So, I started praying about what He said to me; I asked the Lord to change my nature and make me more obedient and careful to give Him the glory. I discussed my sinful nature with Him and pleaded with Him to change me so that I could better serve Him.

It was a very deep time of commitment and anointing. I could feel His power surging through me. From time to time I was aware that my body was still shaking. But those physical manisfestations were not particularly important to me, because my attention was focused primarily on what the Lord was doing in my spirit and what He was saying to me. Part of the time, I did not even realize that physical manisfestations were occuring, nor did I realize how intense those physical manisfestations were until people told me about them later. I was informed that my feet were pounding on the ground, that my body was convulsing and that my hands were hitting the ground forcefully. I had recently had hand surgury and my left hand was still in a surgical cast. Normally it was very sensitive to any type of pressure or tapping. It should have been very painful to pound it on the ground like that. But because I was under the Holy Spirit's touch it did not hurt at all.

From time to time, the intensity of the Lord's presense would diminish and I became aware of things happening near me. One time, a lady came and prayed over me that the Lord would anoint me and empower me for evangelism. I remember being impressed that an almost identical prayer had been prayed over me when I was in Toronto. The Lord reminded me that earlier in the evening the soles of my feet had burned, and they started burning again as she prayed. Then God told me that He was blessing my feet for evangelism. Almost as a confirmation, the lady grabbed my feet and prayed that the Lord would fit my feet with the readiness of the gospel of peace.

Another time two ladies sat in chairs near where I was laying. They started talking about the physical manisfestations that they had experinced under the touch of the Lord. One lady started talking about how her shoulders had moved alot and compared them to what mine were doing at the moment. They continued talking and I found it pretty distracting. So I asked the Lord to please move their conversation somewhere else or else make me unaware of them. I knew that the Lord was still doing things, and that it was not time to get up yet. But the conversation was distracting me and reducing my ability to receive from the Lord. After a while they either left or I became unaware of them. The Lord started ministering deeply to me again.

After a while, I felt a light touch on both sides of my head and opened my eyes. Dave, one of our pastors, was kneeling over me and smiling down at me. He said, "Time to wake up, Honey." I looked around the room and was surprised to see that the lights and music had already been turned off, and almost everyone was gone. Dave went on to tell me that it was after 12:30 AM and that they had to close up the church now.

I knew that I'd been down for a while and estimated that it was about half an hour. I was surprised to find that I'd been strongly under the Lord's power for about two hours. I know that God touched me deeply in my spirit and I can hardly wait to see evidences of it in my life!

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

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