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The worship was even more awesome than the night before. The team started the set with "We Will Dance" in English. I simply had to dance for that one. So, instead of being up on the stage, I went down to the front left corner of the stage, where there was a little room to dance. It was incredible dancing and worshiping there. The Lord's presence was so intense in the room. Then they started doing songs in Russian. I danced a bit more and then went to lean against the wall.
I closed my eyes as I stood there and started singing along quietly in English, since I did not know the Russian words for the songs. I soon became lost in worship. After a little while, I noticed that I had somehow switched from English to Russian. I was singing along and the words coming out of my mouth matched what I was hearing from the worship team over the PA and also matched what I was hearing coming from the Russians all around me. But as soon as my attention focused to the fact that I was singing in Russian instead of in English, I could not do it any longer. I stood there for a few minutes, amazed at the fact that I'd been singing in Russian. Then I dropped back into worship -- singing quietly in English. After a while it seemed like I was transported to the throne room. His presence was so real; so tangible. Then I noticed that I was singing in Russian again. This time I allowed my spirit to rejoice in it, but kept my attention focused on the Lord and on His majesty and His splendor. It was an awesome experience -- as I flowed with His spirit in worship He gave me the Russian words to the worship songs. I felt so in unity with my Russian brothers and sisters as we joined together in worship.
Randy opened it up for some testimonies. A few from the team testified and then the Russians started to testify. It was incredible to see and hear what God was doing. There were lots of stories of miraculous healings and of God doing other deep things in people. This was truly a celebration of His victory!
Then Randy called for all the catchers and interpreters to come up to the center aisle for prayer. Since they would be busy during the ministry time, he decided they should get prayed for before the teaching. So they came up and then the ministry team and worship team people were invited to go pray for them. God came in power and really touched many of them. I noticed that several people sneaked in for prayer who were not interpreters or catches -- especially a group of very elderly men and women. But the Lord did not seem to mind - He blessed them just as much as he blessed the people we were supposed to be praying for.
I finished praying for people and started back towards the stage. I walked past a group of three of the interpreters who I was getting to know pretty well -- Luba and Marsha and Leana. I could see the Lord all over them as they were laying quietly on the floor. So I stopped and bent over them and started praying for them. I prayed for Luba first and she exploded into laughter. About then, Marsha was trying to get up, so I leaned over her and told her that I did not think God was done with her yet. I touched her lightly on the forehead and down she went -- and she became a laughing heap as she went down. Then I put my hand lightly on Leana's abdomen and asked the Lord to fill her with rivers of life from His throne. Pretty soon she was laughing too.
I stayed there with the for a while, just blessing what the Lord was doing. It was fun to watch the Lord fill these girls with His power and His joy. At one point, the Lord told me to join Leana's and Luba's hands together. So I joined their hands and held their joined hands in mine and prayed a simple one word prayer "More!" It was like electricity hit them. Both started kicking and shaking and shrieking with joy. Now, realize that they had never seen this before and did not have any model for it. But it was happening to them just like it happens to people in Toronto or in other renewal meetings around the world. Then I felt impressed to take Marsha's hand and join it to Leana's. I did not even say a word. But the Lord came all over Marsha and pretty soon she was shaking and kicking along with the other two. God seemed to be doing something corporately on all three girls -- all of which were in their late teens or early twenties. I sort of stayed with the group and from time to time would put my hand on one of them and pray some simple prayer like "Fill them Lord" or "more of Your power in their lives, Lord" or "Overflow their banks, Lord". And He kept moving on them and empowering them. By now Randy was praying for another group up front -- I later heard it was the Pentecostal pastors (sort of equivalent to our Southern Baptists) and many of these folks had a great deal of difficulty receiving from the Lord in a renewal setting. Some people were joining in praying for these Pentecostal pastors/leaders. But a group was also interested in what the Lord was doing in these three interpreters. A group of people had gathered around us and were watching. The Lord continued to move on the girls and fill this with more joy and more power for quite a while. They seemed to be having the time of their lives. It was also a lot of fun praying for them. Eventually I went back to my seat.
Randy was preaching a sermon called "God can use little 'ole me." It was about the fact that God often uses ordinary people instead of superstars. Yea, we're not super stars, but if we make ourselves available to God, He will use us. It was predominately a teaching on healing prayer. Randy explained about faith -- that we often did not have vast amounts of faith, but if we had enough faith to pray, we had enough faith. But when we stopped praying, then we stopped having faith. (I may be mixing the afternoon and evening teachings together in this writeup, but I think this was the general theme of the teaching.)
At the end of the sermon, Randy called those on the ministry team who wanted to pray for healing to come up. I really did not want to go up there and pray for physical healing -- after all, I was not seeing the types of results I expected to see when I prayed for healing. But after that sermon, I felt that I had to go up. My faith was not as great as it was at the beginning of the conference, but I still had enough faith to pray and I was not about to give that up.
So I went up there to pray. I listened to the words of knowledge that were called out. As I started to pray for people, an interpreter who I did not know named Lena came up to assist me. There was a whole group of people on stage who were supposed to have the conditions called out in the words of knowledge. But none of the people who I prayed for had any of the conditions described in the words of knowledge. And nothing seemed to happen as I prayed for them. I felt a bit disappointed. I could also tell that my interpreter was not at all impressed with me and seemed to be thinking "How did I get stuck with this American? She does not have any anointing." I figured I'd give her an easy out by praying for her and then getting Luda, my regular interpreter, and she could go find someone else she'd rather pray with. So I offered to pray for her for an impartation of a healing anointing. She looked at me like I had to be kidding -- in her estimate I had no healing anointing, so how on earth could I possibly impart one into her? She wrestled with it for a few minutes and then decided that she'd let me pray for her.
So I started to pray for her and I could feel the Lord soaking her in His sweetness. The disdain left her face and was replaced with a gentle peace. Pretty soon the Lord was all over her and she sort of melted into a heap on the floor. I bent down over her and prayed that the Lord would empower her and give her a healing anointing. She started twitching from the midsection. Then I took her hands in mine and asked God to impart into her any anointing He had given me and even more. Then I told her to soak in His presence as long as she wanted to and went to look for Luda. I could not find Luda and someone else grabbed me to pray. A tall man came up to act simultaneously as catcher and translator. By the time I'd finished praying for him, Lena was back at my side. Her expression towards me had totally changed. Instead of disdain, she seemed to genuinely like me. So she said she'd stay with me and help me interpret. We prayed for a few more healings.
The Lord seemed to show up and do something mild, but there were no dramatic and instantaneous healings. But something interesting began to happen. Lena began to report the same sensations I was feeling as I prayed for people -- warmth, tingling in her hands, etc. So I asked her to pray along with me as well as to interpret. God began to pour out His anointing on her and I think she ended up being more anointed than I was. She stayed with me and watched me and mimicked some of what I did. I remember at one point I was doing an authority prayer where I was breaking bondages off of a person. I snapped my fingers as I did this. Now I'd never snapped my fingers in prayer before. But the next time we were praying for someone who needed bondages broken off of them, Lena took the lead in the prayer. More precisely, she stopped interpreting what I was praying and launched into a prayer of her own. When at one point she started snapping her fingers. The bondage broke over that person and Lena was delighted. I realized that there was going to be a lot of finger snapping during subsequent bondage breaking prayers -- I was not sure whether to laugh or cry. I was so delighted at what God was doing through her, but hoped I'd not inadvertently introduced any "forms" or "formulas" to her.
Lena prayed with me as well as translating. From time to time I had to remind to her to translate for me because she was so caught up in praying. I got the impression that the Lord was empowering her more than He was empowering me. In fact, this evening did not have the power and anointing of the morning session. It seemed like a typical renewal meeting -- there was anointing but it was not as strong as earlier today. God continued to do awesome things and to meet people, but there were a few people who we prayed for where it did not seem like all that much was happening. I found myself more interested in training Lena than in the ministry itself.
At one point this lady came to us holding a small child that was about one and a half years old. She explained he'd been born with a birth defect in his arm and it required a surgery. She was trusting God to heal this baby. So both Lena and I laid hands on the child's arm and asked God to come. Lena had as much leading/direction for the prayer time as I did. I could not tell what was happening with the baby, but knew that the Lord was all over the mother -- who was still holding him. Lena reported that she felt heat in her hands as she prayed for the baby and I did not. I guess the Lord used Lena to do the healing. She was already starting to operate in a greater healing anointing than I was.
After we finished praying for the baby, I asked the mother if we could pray for her. She put the toddler down and we started to pray. The power of God came on her so fast and so intensely that it almost knocked us down as well. She was laying on the floor and God was doing an empowering type of thing on her. We followed her down and the Lord gave me a prophesy for her -- it was basically something about her being called and chosen and one through whom God would demonstrate His power and His glory. The Lord also gave me some personal word-of-knowledge types of details for her so that she would know this was really from Him. Later, after she got up, that mother came over and talked to us again. She was amazed at the accuracy of the words of knowledge and was very encouraged by the Lord's word to her.
One young lady that we prayed for began pogoing up and down. After a while, she stopped pogoing and stood calmly. We continued to soak her in prayer, sensing that the Lord was still doing something in her. After a while she opened her eyes and asked what it meant that she had been jumping up and down like that -- she'd never seen or heard of it before. She said, "I hope you are not upset with me for doing that strange behavior. I don't know what it was. I felt the power of God come on me and then I felt like I just had to jump. I did not know if it is ok to jump in Church, so I tried not to -- but the more I felt God the more I had to jump. Then I was jumping. The more I jumped, the more I felt His power in me -- not just on me but in me. I think God is making me strong in Him -- but what did that jumping mean?"
I told her not to worry about the jumping, that it was OK. I told her that I did it before too when people prayed for me in Toronto. I remembered the Vineyard guidelines on not assigning a meaning to a given manifestation and decided to follow them, even though I was pretty sure the pogoing was simply her response to God's empowering her. So I told her that it was just a sign that the Holy Spirit was doing something in her and that she should just look to God and not concentrate on the manifestation.
Actually, I saw an awful lot of the same types of manifestations in Moscow that I've seen in Toronto -- and no one here was talking about manifestations (other than Randy's teaching where he'd talked about falling out under the power when Rodney Howard-Brown prayed for him). I thought it was really interesting that most of these people had no reference or framework for the manifestations. A few had been to Toronto, and they told Randy that "this was much better than what we experienced at Toronto."
But the vast majority had never seen or even heard of the specific manifestations. Yet they were doing them as the Holy Spirit came on them. And the people at this conference were mostly the senior leadership in the Russian Churches -- not baby Christians but mature believers.
I saw falling, I saw laughing, I saw drunken staggering, I saw crying, I saw deep groanings, I saw people crying out, I saw prophesy, I saw pogoing (or rapid jumping up and down), I saw stomach crunches, I saw eyelids fluttering, I saw shaking -- of it mild and some fairly violent. Some people I prayed for even started doing what sounded like roaring -- though it may have been a form of deep groaning in their spirit. And I know that no one here taught on the manifestations or suggested any of these manifestations to them. In fact, 99% of these people never heard of the manifestations they were doing before. It just seemed to happen when the Holy Spirit fell on them.
However, I must also point out that some received from the Lord very deeply without any type of physical manifestation at all. I am not suggesting that manifestations are an indicator of how deeply a person receives from the Lord -- I am just saying that they seem to sometimes accompany what the Lord is doing in someone when He touches them deeply.
The people do not have to be suggested or taught about manifestations -- they just happen.
They let us stay there until 10:30 and then they closed up the building. The ministry time was over before we wanted it to be over. It was not nearly as spectacular as the morning session, but it was still a good night.
We had a lot of fun at the debriefing session that evening. Many of the team members had very moving stories to tell. God continued to do awesome things in our midst.
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