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We had been chased out of the building about 10:00 p.m. -- very early to end a meeting in renewal circles, but incredibly late for a meeting as far as most Russians were concerned. The Hotel staff (who rented us the meeting hall) could not figure out why on earth we would want the building this late, much less later. So Randy called for a debriefing meeting that evening at 11:00 p.m. in the conference room on the 26th floor of the hotel -- the floor most of us were staying on. I guess we fell right into Russian culture as a team, in that the meeting actually started about 40 minutes later than announced. During the waiting period, it came out that Jamie had been moving in incredible power all night -- he was a base player in the worship team but felt so anointed that he left the stage and went and prayed for people. The Lord really moved through him that night and he shared some incredible experiences -- like seeing a very hard and elderly woman simply melt as he prayed and the Lord came -- the hard features went away and she broke into a big toothless smile and raised her work-worn hands in worship as she simply received the Lord's love. He shared many other incredible stories. I asked Jamie if after the debriefing was over, would he pray some of that anointing on to me. (I was only teasing at the time, but he ended up praying for me at the end of the debriefing meeting.)
When Jamie prayed for me, I could feel the Lord's presence come on me and I really found myself crying out to the Lord that I wanted to move in His presence and power and be used to bless and empower His people. I could feel His presence all around me -- it was more of a peace thing than anything else. The Lord began speaking to me about the Russian Jews -- my ethnic heritage. He told me of His love for these people and of His burning desire for them to know Him. There started being this passion between wanting disparately to walk in His power/anointing and wanting to reach people (especially Russian Jews) for Jesus.
I am not sure how long I was down for, but when I got up everyone except for Randy and Steve (who were deep in some conversation in the hallway) had gone to bed. I felt like the Lord was not through with me, but I wanted to get to my room. When I got into bed, I could still sense the Lord's presence all around me. I found myself crying out to Him to be equipped and empowered to reach people (especially the Russians) with the gospel. There seemed to be a strong tie between empowerment and evangelism/outreach. The two seemed inseparable. I found myself desperate for that empowerment to reach people and remember telling the Lord that I'd be willing to "pay any price" to walk in that type of power/anointing and see folks coming to Jesus. I also found myself crying out for signs and wonders with an intensity I'd not seen before. In fact, I kept seeing that malformed lady that I'd sent to Randy. I begged the Lord to heal her body -- somehow the evangelism and signs/wonders became all entangled in my prayers. I was up almost all night crying out to God. By the end of the prayer time, I had this quiet confidence that the Lord would be doing lots of miraculous healings at this conference. The only part I did not have a confidence in was whether or not He would allow me (personally) to participate in them.
I guess I finally fell asleep about 4:00 a.m. I woke up at 7:30 wide awake and refreshed. The Lord spoke to me as soon as I woke up that He was assigning me to intercede for the worship team for the rest of the conference. I took a quick shower and got dressed and when to the auditorium where they would be practicing. I got there about 8:30 a.m. Dave and Chris from the worship team were already in the room. Dave was pacing back and forth on the stage and praying/interceding for Russia and for the conference. Chris was playing the guitar as Dave prayed. I joined him in intercession and we prayed together for about 15 or 20 minutes until the other worship team members arrived.
I knew I was supposed to be interceding for them, so I went up on stage as they were setting up and shared with a few that I was to pray and intercede for the team. As I walked around on the stage, the Lord showed me that the enemy was preparing an attack against the equipment. I found myself going and praying over each piece of sound equipment and each speaker and each instrument and each microphone. I also when and laid hands some of the worship team members and prayed for them. The Lord's sweet presence would show up on them as I prayed. It sort of knit me together with the team to be interceding for them.
One of the bass guitarists had been working over his electronic equipment for a long time. He seemed a bit unhappy. I found myself walking around him and his equipment praying in tongues. After a while he turned to me and said that his equipment was not working. I prayed some more. Bob (the worship team leader) came over and they had some sort of technical discussion about the equipment. Then some others from the worship team came up. I kept praying and they kept trying things, but nothing seemed to work. Finally Bob told James to play his saxophone instead of the base guitar for this morning's worship. I finally gave up on praying for Jame's equipment and went and prayed around all the rest of the sound equipment and the PA system equipment. Then I went back to laying hands on the worship team members and praying for each one individually.
I guess the time sneaked up on me and it got to be 10:00 a.m. when the morning meeting started. I was just finishing praying with the last worship team member when Bob struck up the first worship song. I scurried to the side wings of the stage -- I hadn't realized the people had all come in and we were starting. I spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to get off stage without walking down the front stage stairs in front of everyone. There did not seem to be any easy way to do this and I did not want to go down in front of everyone. So I just stood there for a few minutes in the side wings, trying to figure out what to do.
As long as I was standing there, I started worshiping quietly along. Right then, Valorie, one of the guitar players, walked up to where I was standing -- sometimes the musicians walk around on the stage as they worship. She leaned over to me and told me to keep praying because the sound equipment was really acting up -- the pitch and volume kept changing, and it was very hard to worship effectively when all the sound equipment was going wrong. As long as I was up on the wings of the platform anyhow, I started praying.
At one point I remember telling the Lord, "You know, Lord, maybe You ought to call in bigger guns on this one. I don't seem to be able to handle it as an intercessor. You told me to pray for the equipment and yet Jame's equipment is broken and the whole system seems to be working wrong. It is like my prayers are not very effective. Maybe You should bring in someone who can pray more effectively."
"Teresa," the Lord responded, "Would you like to know what the problem is?"
"Yes, Lord." I replied.
"OK, walk around backstage and I will show you." I started to walk around the wing area. Then I noticed that there was a space of about three feet between the backdrop and the wall. There was all kinds of scaffolding equipment back there and while it might be possible to crawl around back there, it was NOT something I would want to do in a dress. It was also dark and forbidding back there. So I stood at the edge of the stage looking at all that scaffolding and darkness.
All of the sudden, I was face-to-face with a very powerful demon. I could sense it more than I could physically see it as it was mostly hidden in the shadows. I felt a wave of terror start to run through me -- this demon seemed much more powerful than any I'd ever encountered face-to-face before. Then all of the sudden the Lord fell on me and the fear was shattered. I felt His power and His boldness wash over me and I knew deep in my spirit that God had much more power and authority than this foul spirit. I also knew that this spirit was the cause of all the sound equipment problems and that it had no real authority to be here doing this. That made me feel angry at it. Suddenly an intensity for warfare came on me. I began to prayer forcefully in tongues and my hands began doing chopping motions. I glared at the demon -- which was mostly hidden in the shadows and looked into it's eyes. Really I could barely see it and part of me wondered if it was really there or if I was imagining things. But the intensity of a warfare anointing increased on me, and I knew this was a real encounter. I also knew that the Lord was empowering me because He had a heart for this conference and wanted to do so much for the Russian church leaders.
Suddenly, I understand the nature of this spirit's assignment. The enemy had assumed that the greatest danger was the ministry time and had put more of it's time/energy into fighting that and considered the worship inconsequential. But at last night's meeting it realized it's strategic mistake and saw the power of corporate worship. So this morning it had changed it's strategy and was trying to interfere with the worship and make it less effective. I don't know how I knew this, I just knew it. I found myself taking authority in English over this thing, mixed in with tongues. It glared angrily/defiantly at me as I commanded it to leave. I realized this was a battle and it was not going to meekly crawl away without a fight. So I asked the Lord what to do and He told me to pray whatever came to mind, that He would direct my prayers.
Then I found myself praying that the Lord would fill this dark area (dark both in the natural and in the spirit) behind the stage with His light. I asked that His light and His presence would dispel any darkness and that it would go forth from behind the stage and radiate all of His people. I asked Him to post His angels at every entrance way and to keep out any spirits that did not bow their knees willingly to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, the worship team continued praying and the people at the conference continued to worship -- all unaware of this encounter.
Then I was back into tongues again, and the chopping motions turned into a very distinct pointing of my finger at this spirit. Was it my imagination, or was this thing starting to cower? It seemed nervous and less confident. But the Lord seemed so powerful and that made me feel much more confident in Him. I found myself switching back to English and once again addressing the spirit -- "I come clothed in the power and authority of Jesus Christ, not in my own power. He has already defeated you and you are powerless here. Now in His authority I cancel your assignment here and command you to take your spirits or infirmities or whatever it is off of the sound equipment and leave. I forbid you to do any more damage to the equipment on your way out and I forbid you to harm any of the worship team. I also forbid you to come back into this place until the conference is over and we have left the building for the last time. I proclaim the presence and Lordship of Jesus Christ over this place. I proclaim that His will is to be accomplished here and that He has more authority than you do. Now take your garbage with you and be gone!"
Suddenly, the spirit seemed to turn and flee and I could not see it or sense it any more. I stood there for a few minutes not sure what to do. The battle intensity was still on me but it looked like the fight was over. So I asked the Lord to show me what to do next. Suddenly I knew the spirit was still there, hiding in the shadows. The Lord directed my eyes to the exact location where it was. In the physical I could not see anything because the area was pitch dark. But I could sense it in the spirit. I remember pointing my finger at the spot the Lord had showed me and saying firmly, "You are not allowed to hide here. Leave now!"
Suddenly it was gone, and the Lord's presence seemed to flood the place. Physically it was still dark back there but the Lord's sweetness seemed to radiate out of there. The warfare intensity left me and I could feel His presence all around me. I had a sense of angels moving all around the area behind the stage, but could not see anything. Then it seemed like the Lord focused His attention on me and said, "Well done."
I just stood there for a few moments, soaking in His presence. A few minutes the area behind the stage had seemed so dark and forbidding. Now it seemed warm and inviting. He seemed to be there so tangibly and it was awesome to be around Him.
"Teresa," He said, "Wait until you see what I am going to do this morning. My glory is going to fall on this place like you have never seen it fall before."
After a while, I decided to walk around the wings area and see if there was anything else to pray over. So I walked around, quietly praying in tongues. But the Lord did not show me anything, so I went back to where I could watch the worship team from the wings and started to worship along. Valorie looked at me just as a song was ending, so I motioned her over and told her that there had been a demon behind the backdrop causing the equipment problems, but that it was gone now. I also told her I was going to stay back here and intercede until the worship was over. She nodded and went back to her microphone.
The joy of the Lord fell on me and I found myself dancing back stage. His presence was just so wonderful back there.
The worship ended and when the team took their seats, I went down with them. On the way down, I mentioned to Dave that there had been a demon behind the stage causing the problems with the equipment. He said that he through he sensed one back there and that he felt it leave during the middle of the worship set -- which was the same time I saw it leave.
Randy taught again that morning and the teaching was great. The people seemed to be soaking in every word. Then Randy called the worship team back up and invited the Lord to fall on the people. Randy asked the people who felt the Lord's presence strongly on them to stand up. About 100 or so people stood up in front of their seats. A lady only a few rows behind me stood up. I could see the Lord's presence all over her. I felt led to stand up and lean over to lay hands gently on her. Randy invited those near anyone who'd stood up to lay hands gently on them. Then Randy prayed some sort of corporate ministry prayer inviting the Lord to come and fill His people. The place just came alive with the Lord's presence. He was all over His people. Randy had the worship team come back up and he asked the ministry team to move around the room and bless what the Holy Spirit was doing.
I started moving around the room, looking for His presence on people. He was really all over the place, on so many at once. And He looked so lovely on His people. There was a sweetness and an anointing like I have never seen before. It was so effortless to pray for people. Mostly I would just reach out and touch someone who I saw the Lord on and He would increase on that person. Many were going down -- since there was no place to lay, they'd end up slumped in their chairs. Some kneeled and His glory was just written across their faces. Some cried. Some laughed. Some shook. Some entered deeper into worship than I've ever seen before. But He was all over His people. He was doing great things in them. One older man grabbed me as I was walking around praying for those who the Holy Spirit was already moving on. He asked me to pray for Him. I could not see any evidence of the Holy Spirit moving on this man, but he was SO hungry. So I recruited a catcher and prayed for him. The Lord came on him instantly and his eyes welded up with tears. I could see the sweet presence of the Lord all over him. The Lord did not show me anything specific to pray, so I just prayed quietly in tongues. This elderly man seemed to soak in the Lord's presence and sweetness until he could not take any more. Then he went down. The catcher laid him down very carefully because he was so elderly and frail. But the Lord's presence remained heavily on him. After a few minutes I walked off and went back to praying for people.
There was a group of three women all praying for each other and holding hands and crying gently under His touch. I laid hands on one of them and blessed what the Lord was doing. His sweetness was all over her and quickly spread to the other two. Within a few seconds, all three were slumped in their chairs with His radiance written all over their faces.
I remember seeing people three and four rows back from the main walkways who the Lord was all over. I found myself leaning forward and stretching out to reach them. At the lightest touch, His presence of them seemed to increase and He would overwhelm them. Most slumped into their seats. A few kneeled. Some ended up laying on the floor on top of other people's feet. Occasionally I'd climb up onto an empty seat to be able to reach someone further back. The Lord was moving everywhere. No one seemed distracted, they were in worship and lost in His presence.
At some point Randy dismissed the folks to go down to the ministry area for prayer. Many got up and filed out of the room, but about 1/4 of the people were slumped in their seats, out under His power. Mostly He was doing sweet gentle and loving things, but a few He was really empowering. I felt impressed to stay in the auditorium and pray over these people rather than going down to the ministry area. A few other team members also stayed in the auditorium praying for people.
Oh the sweetness and intensity of His presence in that place! I did not have an interpreter and I did not need one. He was moving so quickly and so thoroughly on just about everyone there. Randy had said to watch for those who the Holy Spirit was moving on and bless what He was doing. But by this point, He seemed to be moving on EVERYONE! It was so easy to minister under this anointing that even a blind child could have done it. The Lord was just all over His people. And the more I prayed for people, the fuller and more blessed I seemed to get as well.
At one point I stopped for a few minutes to pray. "Lord," I said, "I don't think it gets better than this. Thank You for coming like this. What a delight and privilege to pray for Your people when You move like this."
"Teresa," He said, "I told you I was going to do something beyond what you could imagine. This is it. Do you like it?"
"Oh, yes Lord!"
So He told me to have fun praying. And I did have fun -- incredible fun. At one point I noticed a young Russian man praying for a woman. He was doing well and the Holy Spirit was resting gently on her. I stopped to watch, delighted to see them praying for each other. He noticed me and motioned like he thought I wanted to take over the prayer. I motioned back that he was doing fine and continued to smile at him. So he kept praying. But I had accidentally become a distraction to the woman he was praying for. So I walked up and gently laid a hand on her shoulder as he prayed. I laid my other hand on his shoulder and silently asked the Lord to impart an anointing into him for renewal ministry. Eventually I wandered off. A few minutes later the woman he was soaking went down and he came over to me. I motioned that he had done a good job. In somewhat broken English he explained that he had been confused as to whether or not I wanted to pray for the lady he was praying for. I told him that I did not want to pray for her, but was simply delighted to watch him do so. I told him that the purpose of this conference was not so we could minister to people as much as it was so that we could impart the anointing into them to minister to each other. I think he understood most of what I was saying. Then I laid my arm on his shoulder and prayed briefly for him. I asked the Lord to give him an anointing to pray for people and an anointing to impart into people. I was not thinking of this as ministry prayer, but just a quickie intercession for him. But the young man went down instantly, despite the fact that there was not any catcher. But He seemed unhurt and lay there shaking under the Lord's power. I had a sense that the Lord was empowering him and equipping him to minister to others. What a blessing!
There was one exceptionally pretty girl of about 16 or 17 years old. She was standing way in the back, her eyes closed and her hands raised in worship. The Lord led me over to her and I stood in front of her for a few minutes waiting for Him to show me what to pray. I remember thinking how pretty she was. Then the Lord started showing me things about her. He showed me that she'd been violently raped a while ago and that had left scars and pain in her life that effected her ability to interact with others, especially with men. I was overcome with compassion for her and put my hand lightly on her cheek and prayed that He would come and break off the pain of any past hurts and keep them from having any power over her life. She started crying. I don't think she spoke English -- she did not look like she comprehended my words. But the Spirit started moving on her. I saw a release coming over her and found myself asking Jesus to hold her in his arms and to heal those hurts. She began bawling. I began bawling with her and could literally feel her pains as I prayed for her. Then the Lord's sweetness and healing begin to descend on her. I knew He was about to saturate her with His peace. I started blessing His peace on her and pretty soon it swept over both of us. As I stood there looking at her, I saw a picture of her face superimposed over her physical face. The face in this picture had all sorts of scars and open wounds over it. As we stood there soaking in the Lord's presence, the scars began to shrink and disappear. The open wounds scabbed over and healed. Pretty soon the superimposed picture of her face over her real face looked just as beautiful as her actual physical face. I realized that the Lord was showing me that He was healing her from the pain of what she had been through and breaking its power to hold any more harm over her. I could see the Lord's peace all over her. I marveled at how I felt her pain and felt the Lord's healing come over her. Then the Lord reminded me of a verse about weeping with those who weep and laughing with those who laugh. He had literally let me weep with her and then He had come and healed her pain. God is so awesome!
I could go on and on with neat stories of what the Lord did during this time of incredible anointing. At one point I ended up on the stage.
There was a young man sort of half slumped over one of the large speakers. The Lord focused my attention on him, so I went up to bless him. A very pleasant man walked up -- he was just glowing with the Lord's radiance. He spoke perfect English and explained that he was this young man's pastor. He wanted to join me in praying for the young man. Something in my heart did a flip flop as I realized what God was doing that morning. He was not just ministering to people -- He was imparting into them the anointing to minister to each other. I was delighted to have this pastor minister with me. The Lord showed up with incredible power and sweetness and was imparting so much into his people. The entire worship team from this pastor's church came up for the two of us to pray for them. Oh the intensity of the Lord's presence during that ministry time!!! It was incredible. Finally, I asked him if I could pray for him. He said, "yes, please!"
So I started to pray for him. The Lord came on him like fireworks. He went down and started shaking. God was really empowering him. All of the sudden, the Lord showed me clearly what He was doing and I found myself praying over him what God showed me. I cannot explain the intensity of the Lord's presence during this prayer. The Lord was empowering him and calling him to be a leader of leaders and increasing his authority. There was so much electricity on him that it was effecting me and I could barely minister under all that power. God was all over that pastor and I have no doubt that He will use him mightily.
I finished praying for him and noticed that the whole corner of the stage was filled with bodies -- mostly people from his church. I just knew in my spirit that God was going to do some mighty and awesome things through this church. What a blessing to be allowed to pray for them as a group!
A woman came up to me for prayer and mentioned that she was the pastors wife and wanted prayer. As I started to pray for her, I expected that same electricity and fireworks. But the Lord was doing something entirely different with her. He showed me that she was a very sensitive woman who He was going to use to bind up the broken hearted and she would be able to reach people with her love that no one else could reach. As I started praying over her what the Lord showed me, I could see her head nodding. The Lord informed me that He'd already spoken these things to her heart and was using my prayer as a confirmation. So I prayed that over her as well, "Lord, I sense that nothing that I'm praying over her is new to her but is things You've been speaking to her heart all along. I know that You love her dearly and You often speak to her. I bless her ability to hear You more and more clearly as You continue to speak to her."
Tears of joy welled up in her eyes. God was doing such a deep compassionate thing in her. I was so moved that I started crying too. It is so incredible how uniquely and appropriately He meets each of us.
After a while the pastor got up and came over to pray with me some more. Just then a young lady came up who seemed quite distressed. He acted as interpreter and she explained that she needed a healing in her lungs, that she had a nearly crippling shortness of breath and could not do even simple things like singing a song or walking very far without stopping to rest. So I asked this pastor if he moved in the gift of healing and if he'd like to pray for her. He was delighted. He started praying for the Lord to heal her and the Lord's presence came over her strongly. She went down. We followed her down and prayed for her a little longer. As soon as the pastor finished praying, the Lord showed me that there was a spirit of fear over her and that it had to go. So I started taking authority over this spirit. She immediately went into some type of asthmatic attack. I put my hand on her chest and forbid any attacks on her lungs. She started breathing normally again. It took maybe 6 or 8 minutes to get rid of this spirit and the we soaked her in prayer a little longer. The Lord started doing an empowering thing on her and I could literally seem Him strengthening her lungs. After a while we left her shaking under his power and singing worship songs as she shook. I bet she could not do that before! [She later gave a testimony of how she use to have severe lung/breathing problems but this evening she had been able to sing all the worship songs with no shortness of breath and no pain! My heart was doing flip flops when I heard her testify this!]
People kept crowding around us wanting prayer. The little corner of the stage was a mass of bodies by this point. There were so many who wanted prayer that the Russian pastor and I had to split up and both pray for people. I noticed that God was using him powerfully. What a delight to watch him minister!
Eventually a young missionary couple came up for prayer. She wanted prayer for healing and gave a story of one major sickness after another. As she talked, the Lord was speaking to me that there was a curse that needed to be broken. So I asked her if she'd grown up in a godly home, thinking that perhaps her parents had accidentally cursed her as a child. Turns out her parents were very godly people. Then the Lord showed me more about the nature of the curse and how it came from outside of her family as her family ministered to others. So I told her what I was sensing and asked her if it were ok to pray an authority prayer to break any curses that might have been placed on her. She said yes. So we prayed. The Lord came over her and she went down. Her husband acted as catcher. I felt a real compassion for her and kept soaking her for a while. I also got a chance to pray over the husband.
But then the worship team had stopped playing and it was about half an hour past when the session was supposed to end. The morning had just flown by -- there had been so much anointing! It was just an incredible experience being allowed to minister under this anointing. At lunch we compared notes and found that pretty much everyone on the team had the same type of experience -- the Lord's presence and anointing were so strong that is was so easy to minister. I remember commenting that I was not sure it was possible for the Lord to out-do Himself that evening.
I don't think any of us had ever seen seen such a strong anointing and presence of the Lord during ministry before. God was truly incredible.
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