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Wow, the Lord came in such power tonight!
About 350 people showed up, which is more than twice what the turn-out had been for quite a while. Many of them had been to at least one of the special John Arnott meetings and there was a high degree of expectancy and eagerness -- people came expecting to receive from the Lord.
The worship was wonderful and most everyone seemed to be lost in His presense. I was not paying a lot of attention to the others because I personally was "lost in worship". I could sense the Lord's goodness and majesty all around me. At one point His presense became so tangible that I could not help falling to my knees. It felt so good to be before Him. As we continued to sing, I became increasingly aware of His holiness. Soon I had a desire to lay prostrate at His feet and worship that way. I did not respond immediately to that desire and continued to kneel. I became so aware of His presense and His holiness that I was unable to continue singing. I didn't really analyze it at the time because my attention was focused on the Lord. The desire to worship prostrate on the ground became much stronger, but I resisted it. I am not usually given to laying face down during worship and may have been concerned about what other people might think. But the desire to honor the Lord became so strong that I stopped caring about anything except pleasing Him. I felt myself slip to the ground and lay on my face before Him. It seemed to only reasonable response to His greatness and holiness.
Apparently others were so effected. After finishing that song, the worship leader suggested that we all wait in silence "on our faces" before the Lord. I glanced up and noticed that some others were already laying face down on the ground. There was a slight russeling as many people slipped to the floor and prostrated themselves before the Lord. (I should explain that we normally do not do this type of thing at the renewal meetings. But the Lord's presense was so strong that is was impossible not to respond to Him.) There was also an overwhelming sense of His holiness. It seemed to effect everyone in the room.
We were silent before the Lord for what seemed like a long time. At first I was a little uncomfortable with this, but I focused my attention on Him. As I waited before Him, I could feel an increase of His presense. I responded by inviting Him to be Lord of every part of my being. I found myself renewing my commitment to Him and desiring that His majesty consume every part of my being. God felt so close that I wanted to reach out and touch Him. At one point someone touched the top of my head, as though blessing me. This surprised me so much that I looked up -- and no one was there. Everyone around me was laying face down on the ground and a couple of people across the room where kneeling. I put my face back down again and started to ask the Lord about this. I knew I felt someone touch me and clearly no one was there. Had the Lord done this? If so, why? and how would He like me to respond to Him? I sort of sensed Him smiling at me, but He really didn't speak to me about it. So I put it out of my mind and continued to meditate on His holiness and greatness.
After a while, the leader said that the Lord was very pleased with our worship and suggested we continue silently worshipping before Him. There was another period of silence. I don't know how long it lasted, because at this point I became so consumed in the Lord's presense that I lost all sense of time. There was no more distraction and no discomfort. It was wonderful to honor the Lord and to be before His face. I don't really remember doing it because my attention was focused on the Lord, but at some point I changed from a prone position to a kneeling position. Then I began to feel the Lord's power coming on me. It was a very quiet type of empowering, but it was very real. My hands and arms began to tremble, but they did not make any noise. I only wanted to submit to His will and desired that He would fill me and use me to His glory.
At some point, the worship leader led a prayer of adoration. Then he invited everyone to stand for the last song. But I was unable to stand. The Lord's power was still all over me. So I stayed kneeling with my eyes closed as most of the rest got to their feet and entered into very joyful praise. I could sense that something had broken in people's spirits and there was much more liberty in Christ. Being directly in God's presense is an awesome thing and we could not help being changed as a result.
After the last song, Peter got up and invited that we take our seats. I was unable to move for a couple of minutes, since the Lord's power was still all over me. Then there was a release and I went to my seat. Peter did the usual anouncements and then opened it up for testamonites. Don was the first volunteer and he shared for a little while. When he finished, Peter asked for prayer team members to come up and pray for Don. I sensed that the Lord wanted to use men to minister to Don, so I did not go up to pray. As it turned out, all of the other women on the prayer team had the same leading and only men went up to pray for Don. The Lord touched him almost immediately. He went down and began to laugh softly, an expression of rapture on his face.
The next person to volunteer to share a testamony was Dorothy. (Dorothy goes to my old church and is the captian of the alter prayer team that I used to be on.) She gave a long narritive but the point was that her sister had been deeply touched at last Monday's meeting and as a result her vision had been healed. When the team (still all men) gathered around Dorothy, I felt like I should go up and pray for her. But since she used to be my leader at my old Church, I felt a little shy to do so and remained in my seat. Then David pointed at me and motioned me to come up and pray for her. He had been standing directly infront of Dorothy and as I came up he motioned me to take that spot. I reached my hands out near her ears and asked the Lord to come. A big smile lit across Dorothy's face and she was down before I could pray anything else. God touched her so powerfully and so fast. I stayed with her for a while and soaked her in prayer. Meanwhile, they invited everyone who wanted prayer to come up to the altar area. Many responded. By the time I stopped praying for Dorothy, the prayer area was very crowded.
One of the men who had prayed for Don told me that he would "catch for me" (which means that he would help me pray and stand behind the person to catch them should the Lord decide to slay them in the spirit). We started praying for people as soon as Peter finished a general prayer asking the Lord to come.
The Lord heard Peter's prayer -- which reflected the prayer of all of our hearts -- and He came with incredible power. Often I would just start to reach out to put my hand over their head or near their ears and they would give a short surprised gasp and down they would go, with a look of delight on their faces. Often the only words that I had time to get out were something like "Lord Jesus, come..." or "Let Your presense increase..." Most of the time I didn't even get to finish my sentence before they were down. I remember marveling at how quickly and how powerfully God was touching His people.
I glanced around the room and noticed that the other prayer team members were having the same results -- God wanted to touch and bless His people and He did not care who He used as a vessel to do so. Often after a person had gone down, the Lord would show me something to pray for them. But sometimes He did not. In those cases I just silently soaked them in prayer for a few minutes before moving on to the next person. Even most of the people who have been labeled as "hard to receive" (or HTR), were being rapidly and powerfully touched by the Lord. I remember being amazed at what God was doing and had a strong feeling that it was a priviledge to be doing it with Him. I was deeply aware that this was all the Lord and had absolutely nothing to do with me.
As I prayed, I could feel a light pressure on the top of my head, as though someone were lightly resting their hand there. It was similar to what I felt when I was face down before the Lord earlier that night and though that someone had touched me. I briefly asked the Lord about this and He said that it was His anointing resting on me. As a result I felt more confidence and authority to minister along with the Lord. Ocasionally I would pray for someone who was struggling or striving instead of receiving from the Lord. In these cases, I stopped the prayer and gave them brief instructions -- something I previously did not have the courage to do. The Holy Spirit gave me the right words and afterwards the person was able to receive from the Lord.
Everyone that I prayed for except for one person was deeply touched by the Lord and all but three people went down under God's power. It was truely awesome watching God work so mightily. I remember shooting off a brief prayer to tell the Lord that I wished that there could always be this strong of an anointing when I prayed for people. He responded that His anointing and power were so strong because of the waiting on Him that occurred during worship. While He didn't say it, it seemed obvious that if we want to continue to see this stong of an anointing and touch, then we need to continue waiting on Him and really worshipping Him.
After I had been praying for an hour and a half, I started soaking prayer, (i.e., praying for those who were already on the ground and already receiving from the Lord). I noticed that many of the people who I had prayed for near the beginning of the ministry time were still down, and some of them were ones who usually get up quickly. Again I was impressed by how deeply and sovereignly God was touching His people. This was clearly His work and was amazing to watch.
David passed me and commented that it was an "easy evening", meaning that it was very easy to pray for people under this anointing. Desta walked up about that time and agreed with David. The Lord impressed on me that His anointing was not on the people who prayed, but on the people who were prayed for; that it was an anointing to receive rather than one to impart. This was God's gift to His people because they took the time to humble themselves and wait on Him and worship Him from the depths of their being.
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