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We've recently reorganized the renewal prayer teams at our Church. A few of us had been acting as a sort of informal captian for a while. The roles were formalized, there are six prayer team captians and we will rotate who leads the prayer teams (i.e,. we will all lead it once every six weeks.)
Anyhow, last night was my first night as "captian." I had to been told to expect an extra anointing when acting as captian, but did not really believe it.
We have ministry team pre-pray at 6:45 and the renewal meeting starts at 7:30. I decided to show up a little early since I was leading. But traffic was exceptionally light, so I ended up being quite early. I used the extra time to tell the Lord that I did not feel anointed at all and it had been a tough week and maybe He should get someone else to lead the prayer team this week.
Gary was the first prayer team person to arrive. He asked me if I felt any extra anointing as captian and I said that I did not feel any anointing at all. I had to be at work really early that morning and had not even had time to do my normal devotions. I felt about as unspiritual as they come at that moment.
Then Debbie arrived. We were talking by the water cooler, so she joined us. Debbie commented that she could feel the anointing as soon as she came and stood by me. That sort of surprised me since neither Gary nor myself felt anointed at the moment.
But as soon as we started praying (general intercession for the meeting), the Lord's presense really descended. It was like someone threw a switch. I went from feeling totally unspiritual to being consumed in the Lord's presense. He just sweep over me with waves of refreshment. God was not interested in bawling me out for skipping devotions that morning or chiding me for feeling unspiritual. Instead, He just wrapped His arms around me and filled me to overflowing. I felt loved and accepted and eagar to do whatever He was doing that night with Him. God is sort of like that -- He doesn't kick you when you're down, He picks you up, brushes you off and enables/empowers you to go on. That was what He was doing inside of me as we interceeded for the renewal meeting.
During the intercession, I felt strongly impressed to pray that the Lord would impart to us the "ability to impart". I.e., not just that the Lord would gift us and use us to minister to others, but that we could impart that same anointing to others and that they in turn would be able to impart it others.
After about 15 minutes of intercession, we started to pray for each other. We started by praying for Debbie and then the group decided to pray for me. As they prayed for me, I could literally feel the Lord pouring in His anointing. I could feel my faith mounting up with wings as eagles. As soon as they stopped praying for me, I went into spontaneous intercession that the Lord would release His healing anointing, especially on those with AIDS. I found myself praying that He would capture the heart of the gay community and turn them to Him, that they would become the mighty millitant army of God. Debbie, who is also an intercessor, was standing next to me. She started praying along and pretty soon the Lord was all over her. Debbie has an interesting manifestion when the Lord falls on her -- her right hand raises to shoulder level and starts shaking violently, but her left hand remains perfectly still. Well, Debbie's right hand started doing her thing, and then she started making really big circles her right arm. It was like the Lord was using her arm to say "AMEN!!"
Our ministry team prayer times have been pretty wild lately. We generally don't use catchers as we pray for each other, but there are a couple of sofas and easy chairs in the room we pray in. (If someone goes down, they usually land on the nice soft sofa or chair -- sometimes not -- sometimes they hit the floor. That is why no one goes down during ministry team pre-service prayer unles it's really the Lord -- no catchers. No one has even been hurt when they gone down without a catcher during pre-prayer.)
We start by gathering around and praying specifically for one or two people. As we pray, the Lord seems to fall on those praying as well as those being prayed for. Pretty soon someone will start praying for someone who is currently praying for someone else. We get "chains" (for lack of a better word) of people praying for each other. For instance, I was praying for Donna and Joyce came over and started praying for me while I was still praying for Donna. Pretty soon I'm jerking from the midsection as I continue trying to pray for Donna (and God is continuing to touch and minister to Donna and continuing to equip/empower Donna). Then Gary comes over and starts praying for Joyce, who is praying for me while I'm praying for Donna. The Lord ends up all over Donna, myself, Joyce and Gary. We're all laughing, shaking, jerking, etc. Pretty soon everone is praying for everyone and we're all getting more full and more empowered. We really were like little kids splashing in a wading pool of His anointing.
I'm sure it would not have looked "deacent and in order" to a casual observer, but the Lord was in our midst playing with us. (He's been doing that a lot lately. He seems to be taking extra care to really fill up the ministry team so that we minister out of His abundance and fullness.)
Bill, the Pastor who leads the renewal meetings came in and joined us for prayer. We gathered around Bill and prayed for him. Pretty soon he could not remain standing. He half sat, half fell on the sofa behind him and started laughing. And He kept laughing for about 15 or 20 minutes. The Lord continued to empower and fill Bill even after we stopped praying for him. Later that night, Bill shared with me what he saw while he sat there laughing. He said that he had a vision of a giant Hand breaking through the roof. Beams were shattered and there was plaster everywhere. God was breaking through the "barriors that hold us back" and reaching down to touch His children.
Somewhere in the midst of our chaotic playful praying for each other, the Lord spoke to me to anoint each person with oil. I happened to have a small vial of oil in my pocket, so it was easy to do. I went around the room and anointed each person (there were about 8 or 9 of us in the room at that moment). Pretty much each person in the room was being powerfully touched and most were manifesting physically in some manner or another. Some people seemed to exhibit greater manifestations when I anointed them with oil. I felt a strong witness in my spirit that the Lord really was anointing us for ministry in a new a more powerful way.
After I anointed everyone, I put the oil on a chair and asked if anyone wanted to anoint me. Joyce (she is on staff at our church as a pastoral assistant and is the leader over all of the captians), picked up the vile and anointed me. As she started praying for me, my right hand got so hot that it hurt. I was shaking it violently, trying to cool it down. Then the Lord's power was all over me and I began pogoing up and down. I could tangibly feel God's power and anointing flowing through me. It was almost too much to bear, but it was absolutely wonderful at the same time. Pretty soon my senses were so overwhelmed that I began crying out. I am not sure exactly what all I said, but I did mention that my hand was burning hot. Joyce said that was an anointing to impart the healing anointing. It was so hot I could hardly stand it. Joyce told me to go lay my hand on somebody -- anybody.
I opened my eyes and the first person I saw was Gary, so I went over to Him. I put my right hand on his chest and my left hand behind his back. Gary is easy to receive, but his reaction surprised me. He started pogoing up and down like I had been doing and also started crying out. Then he collasped on the floor and lay there shaking violently. Donna was standing next to me. She looked at me and said "Me next." So I put my hands on her and the same thing happened.
Joyce kept saying that God was imparting an increased healing anointing to us. Next I went to pray for Larry. The Lord touched him too, but not as dramaticly.
By then it was 7:30 and we had to go downstairs for the meeting. I was still so much under the power that I forgot to pass out badges until someone asked me for one.
The Lord's presense came tangibly in the meeting. We started ministy time about 9:00 PM. It was pretty quiet and peaceful at first, but there was a very strong sense of His presense in the room. As the evening progressed, the Lord seemed to turn up the intensity. There was so much power and anointing as the Lord ministered to His people. From time to time, members of the prayer team would stop by to pray for each other. We could all fell the anointing increasing as the evening progressed. Gary was in a teasing mood and would wave at us and bless us from across the room. He did that while I was praying for someone and I started shaking. (Usually we try not to shake on people or manifest as we're praying for them. When we are ministering, the intent is to help them connect with the Lord, to focus their attention on Jesus, to walk alongside of them as the Lord ministers to them. It's really about them and the Lord at that point, not about us. So we try not to do anything to distract them from what God is wanting to do with them.) But as I looked around the room this evening, I saw alot of the prayer team people "manifesting" as they prayed for people. These are people who pray on a regular basis and it's not normal behavior for most of them.
I remember apologizing to the lady who I was praying for because I'd started shaking "on her". She said that it was fine with her. As a matter of fact, she kind of liked it because she'd never had any type of manifestation and was glad to be close to one. We stopped praying and sat down and started talking. She goes to a Catholic church. She likes God's manifest presense in this place. She had a lot of questions about what it is like to be under the anointing -- "does it hurt?" "do you get tired" "what is going on in your mind when this is going on?", etc. I got a chance to really share with her, drawing her attention from the manifestions to the ONE who sends His Spirit. Then Gary and Sarah (his wife) came up to where we were. We had a little spiritual splash fight, during which the Lord fell strongly on us. I suddenly felt impressed to take hands and ask God to fall on us corporately. Our little circle included the Catholic lady, myself, Gary and Sarah. As we prayed, we simply worshipped the Lord and invited His presense. He fell powerfully on all four of us, even the Catholic lady who had been having such difficulty receiving. God just sort of filled us and blessed us and had fun with us. We were all laughing and drunk in the spirit. A lady on the floor not far from us was laughing so hard that she was fairly shreaking. She was both drunk in the Spirit and also watching us -- and we really did look pretty humorous at that moment. Then Gary said, "let's all go lay hands on her." The catholic lady tagged along and stretched out her hand to start praying for the lady on the floor. Her hand started shaking. She looked both surprised and pleased. This was a lady who had never had a manifestation. She had just put her eyes on the Lord instead of on the manifestations. Then, after she stopped looking for them, she ended up with a couple in the same evening. Doesn't God have a sense of humor!
As the evening was drawing to a close, the Lord spoke to me. He said, "Teresa, I just want you to be yourself and enjoy yourself in Me. I'm taking you where I want you to go and as you walk along with Me, you'll end up bringing others with you without even trying to. It will be effortless because I am the One Who will be doing the work to make it happen."
It was a wonderful evening. The Lord is so good! I can hardly wait to see what He does next week!
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