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I flew into Toronto and picked up my rental car. I decided to stop at the Church on the way to the motel and pick up a local map. I hit the Church about a quarter to five. There was a small group of people standing outside the door talking. It never occurred to me that they were the start of a line to get into the evening service, which starts at 7:30 PM.
Donna told me that I should come line up at 5:30 and I thought that she was pulling my leg. But she let me know that she was serious. So I checked into the hotel, unpacked, and headed back to church to line up. I hit the Church parking lot at 5:30 and expected to be the first person in line by a longshot. But there were already atleast 30 people in line in front of me. I remember thinking "If I'd known about these lines, I probably wouldn't have come. Things have changed alot since I was here three months ago!" Back then, you'd come half an hour early if you wanted a very good seat. Other wise you'd show up at 7:30 and there was not such thing as not enough seats or an overflow room. I couldn't imagine lining up two hours early. (At that time I had no clue that we'd end up lineing up 3 1/2 hours early before the week was out. There were a lot more people there from out of town than there were seats in the sanctuary.)
The wait was not too bad, because we were all talking and fellowshipping with each other. Time went fairly rapidly. Somehow a lot more people ended up infront of me than were there when I first got in line. The group infront of me had more than doubled. When the let us in, I was very surprised to find that my favorite seat was still unoccupied. It was the end seat in the center section of the first row behind the reserved rows. It seemed as though the Lord had especially saved that seat for me.
I started talking to the lady sitting next to me. It turns out that she is not a Christian (Christians are too intollerant) and the person who brought her was a substantially backslidden Christian himself. We had a brief discussion about having a relationship with God, but I felt that I should not lay it on too heavily and put her on her guard.
The service was much tamer than I remebered. Worship was good, but the Holy Spirit was not falling on people with the same power that He had done last time I was here. There was none of the uncontrollable laughing or violent shaking or people falling out of their chairs during the sermon. I spent a large portion of the sermon silently interceeding for the unsaved lady beside me and her backslidden boyfriend. After the sermon they gave an altar call. Both of them went up and I spent the next several minutes praising the Lord about it.
Three monthes ago the put away the chairs in the wings but left the chairs in the center section in place. Now they stacked all of them away and used the entire room as a ministry area.
Somehow I ended up being one of the first people prayed for. I started shaking as she prayed. This shaking happens to me frequently and I assumed it had to do with the Lord empowering me. However, she started rebuking the enemy and praying against fear. I thought that was inappropriate because I was not feeling any fear. I was a little disturbed by the tone of her prayers; it sounded like she was about to start a deliverance on me. She rebuked the shaking and prayed for the Lord's peace. But I continued to shake and eventually went down. She continued to take authority over fear (I still wasn't experiencing any). I silently ask the Lord to do whatever He wants to and I stopped listening to what she was praying for me. She finally left me and I silently started asking the Lord to give me more of His touch and more of His power. I guess I continued to shake a bit. She came back from time to time and prayed peace over me.
One time I remember seeing her coming towards me and asking the Lord to please keep her away from me. But she bent over me again. I remember thinking, "Oh no, not again!" But this time she prayed for the Lord to fill me. I remember liking that prayer better. I turned my attention to the Lord and asked Him to give me whatever He wanted to. I stopped worrying about anything and started breathing in the Lord's goodness. From time to time she would come back again and ask the Lord to fill me again or as the Lord to give me more. I stopped being apprehensive about her praying over me.
When the Lord's presense over me was less tangible, I sat up and looked at my watch. It was 11:30. They had started praying for people around 10:00, so I must have been down about an hour and a half.
I got up and wandered to the back of the room, not sure exactly what to do now. I had a brief discussion with a girl who hadn't been prayed for yet and then decided to go watch John Arnott pray. Maybe I'd learn something or maybe some anointing would rub off on me. I know that it was very helpful last time I observed him pray. So I worked my way to where John was praying. He started to reach for me and I quickly asked him if I could observe him pray for a while. He says:
"You're the girl from San Francisco?"
"Yes," I reply.
"I never got a chance to call Peter." (He meant Peter Wagner.) "Have you talked to him lately?"
"Not lately." I was surprised that he was carrying on a converstation with me while he was praying for someone else. "They've been on vacation the whole month of August."
"The whole month! That must be nice." (Actually they weren't on vacation the whole month -- they were mixing some business along with their vacation. But that seemed too complicated to explain given the circumstances.)
John let me follow him around and observe. I was silently asking the Lord to please show me the same things He showed John so I could learn how to minister better. After a while, John laid his hand on top of my head. I started shaking, but I did not go down. John wandered off praying for people, but I was unable to move. I just stood there shaking for a while. When the shaking calmed down, I wandered back over to where John was praying.
John finished praying for an older lady and turned to me. "Do me a favor and soak her for me," he said. Befoure I could get over to where she was laying on the floor, his catcher bent down and started praying for her. "No," John said, "let Teresa do it." So I knelt down on the floor next to her. I started praying that the Lord would reveal His love to her. I contiued to soak her for what seemed like a very long time. I had a sense that the Lord was making her secure in His love. At one point she opened her eyes and told me that she knows that God loves her because He sent me to pray with her for so long. I was moved by that and told her that I'd be staying with her for a while longer. She closed her eyes again, and squeezed my hand. I continued to pray. However, now I found myself praying that God would fill her and bless her. After a while she started to laught under the power and I sort of nursed it along, praying that the Lord would delight her spirit in Him, etc. At one point she started coughing. I found myself praying for a complete release for her, that the Lord would drive out anything that was not of Him and fill her completely with Himself. The man laying on the ground beside her put his hand on her shoulder and joined in on this prayer. She started to laugh again.
I felt led to pray for him as well, since he had become involved with her. He had been laughing a little before he started praying for her. As I started to pray for him, the joy came on him and he laughed much more intensely. Soon they were both laughing and laughing. I sat there looking at them and got the impression that I should join their two hands together. Almost immediately after that, John said, "Teresa, do me a favor and put their hands together."
I looked up at John and said, "I was just thinking that, myself."
I put their hands together and John laid his hand on top of them and said "More!" They both roared with laugther and started kicking their feet. Then it was as though bolts of electricity went through their bodies. They were both laughing and shaking.
Some others ended up on the ground in that general vacinity and I started praying for them as well. They also started to laugh and shake. It seemed like it was highly contageous. I'd sort of alternate between who I was praying for. Each time I went back to either the lady or man who's hands I'd joined and touched either of their stomachs and said "More, Lord!" they'd both go into hysterics. I did not matter which one I touched, both were effected. They had their eyes closed, so I have no idea how one knew when the other was prayed for. Perhaps the power of the Lord was shooting through both of them. More people ended up down there and eventually I was praying for a soaking a group of six. Every person in that group was laughing hystericly.
John's catcher motioned me over to come and pray for another lady. I assumed that John had asked him to get me. This lady was a very dark skinned lady who looked like she was from India. I had talked to her earlier while in line, and knew that she was from Brittish Columbia. As I start to soak her in prayer, a dance anointing came over her. She sat up and started making alot of gestures with her arms. I blessed the anointing on her. Then she got up and started dancing. She danced in the same style that use when I dance under the anointing, but her moves were slower than mine. I prayed for a release into prophetic dance. She started moving around the room quite a bit as the anointing on her increased. She was making very graceful arm gestures and slowly traveling around the room. But she had her eyes closed, so she kept bumping into people. She also had a look of glee on her face.
After soaking her for a while, I returned to where John was ministering. He pointed at the lady I'd just prayed for and asked me what was going on with her. I told him, "That's a dance anointing. Surely you've seen a dance anointing before?" John appeared to be fascinated by what was happening to her. He tried to interview her, but she simply ignored his questions. It was almost as though she was hearing heavenly music that blocked out all other sounds. She seemd oblivious to everything going on around her.
John motions towards the first lady he'd asked me to pray for. She is still laughing hysterically. "Isn't that great!" he says. Then he proceeds to tell me that she is a Catholic nun. John appeared delighted that the Lord was blessing her so much. I went back and soaked the laughing group a little more, and soon the whole group was roaring with laughter again. It was a lot of fun to soak a group in the joy of the Lord.
I wandered back over to where John was praying. After a while, the Indian lady wanders up to me and blows softly on my forehead. Then she blows on Johns forehead. Then she wanders around, still dancing, and blows on other people. I got a strong impression that she was prophetically action out God's breathing on His people at the renewal meetings. John, however, says "That's right, dear. Blow the trumpet."
I wandered back over to the laughing group again to soak them some more. The Lord led me to pray a power anointing over one of the men in that group. He started shaking violently as the Lord's power came on Him.
I continued to alternate between soaking this group and hovering around John Arnott to observe him pray and (hopefully) learn from him. One of the things that I noticed that he was praying alot (and with great effect) was "Buble up, Holy Spirit." I was impressed with the Lord in which John ministered. In addition to that, he seeemd to be really enjoying himself as he prayed for people. From time to time, he seemed to be surprised and delighted with what the Lord was doing in some of the people that he prayed for.
At one point, John started showing signs of fatigue. I thought that he was going to drop from exhaustion, and started silently praying for the Lord to strengthen him and increase the anointing. John and Carol ended up praying for people rather near each other. So John started a conversation with His wife. He told her that usually he couldn't feel it, but tonight the anointing was so strong that he could hardly stand up under it. She said, "Good!"
At some point I wandered away from John again and someone came and prayed over me. I went down under the power and stayed there for a while. The Lord began speaking to me again that He wanted me to minister while I was here rather than just receiving. He showed me that He had set it up so that I could pray under John's supervison this evening. The Lord had come with incredible power as I prayed for people. I realized that this was John's only evening here this week. That meant that if I were to ask him about ministering, it would have to be tonight. I tried to get up so I could go talk to John, but the Lord would not let me. So I stayed down and continued receiving from the Lord.
As it happened, John and Carol were just leaving as I was getting up. We ended up passing each other. I told John that I'd heard they were very short staffed on their ministry team and offered to help pray if he wanted me to. I also said that I'd be happy to just receive if that was what he prefered. John said they were short staffed and that it would be a good idea for me to help pray. I told him to tell someone since he was not going to be there. He called over to Ian that I could have a "yellow badge" this week. Then he also mentioned it to Carol, who was standing beside him. She said to me, "you're the one from San Francisco who spent all of your time on the floor last time you were here, aren't you." (I nodded.)
I left about 2:45 AM, feeling greatful and excited about what the Lord had done that evening.
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