I think I need to write down what’s been happening recently at our church, mainly for my own catharsis and thinking. If it inspires you too … all good!
On the 16th September 2011 we began a weekend conference that has been like no other. It came just 6 days into a 40 day period of Prayer & Fasting with our church.
The presence of God seems to have invaded our church in a way I’ve not known before. I have known similar moves, but this is of another order.
Evangelist Nathan Morris, a personable, sweet, humble, yet passionate young man, joined us from the Bay of the Holy Spirit Revival USA. I had only watched small snippets of the move of God there, and simply knew there had been some incredible miracles reported. Scans of brain tumours that have disappeared. Empty wheelchairs. Deaf ears opening and many saved. I have to be honest though, I hadn’t watched lots, as I feel such moves of God don’t always portray very easily on TV. (Typical Brit! Sorry Lord!)
But I really invited Nathan because I had known him before all this, and I like his humble, real nature. There is not an ounce of “Celebrity Christianity” in him. I’ve had many a well known preacher to speak at our church, but here was a nice guy who was “High mileage and low maintenance”!
Now due to the move of God in the US, when people heard Nathan was with us they travelled from all over the UK, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Nigeria and even Australia.
From the first service it was clear something extraordinary was being birthed. The sense of God’s presence was brooding quite powerfully. Now we’re quite used to miracles and being blown away by God’s presence every now and then in our church…but this was different. And as the weekend went on here’s some of the things we’ve seen:
- 6-7 deaf ears open
- Lame walking & various other releases from pain and injury
- a growing incredible sense of God’s presence
- God breathing into services in a way that people simply do not want to leave as free worship moves on for hours
- Children touched deeply by God’s presence
- Leaders simply unable to know what to do! Just reduced to novices in God’s glory.
- Remarkably it wasn’t just Nathan praying for the sick that brought healing… others prayed and saw deaf ears open, injuries healed and a steward pulled someone out of a wheelchair!
- I’m not saying for a moment that every sick person was healed, but it was on a level we had not experienced outside of Africa before.
After Sunday we simply did not have a clue what would happen. But as the first few days roll on, here’s what we’re hearing & seeing:
- I came in Monday morning to find various staff in tears, overwhelmed by God’s presence, laying around in various rooms! No one could do anything! (They really have become quite useless bless em! ha!)
- Reports of more deaf people healed
- People leading others to the Lord on the journey home from the conference
- Our own church cannot stop meeting…we’ve enjoyed prolonged times of worship and outpouring these first few nights.
- A miraculous release of unity among people.
- Some could not make it back to work Monday, the sense of God’s glory was so strongly on them (And these are not flaky people, but responsible business people!)
- Many have said, regarding the lingering sense of glory; “It’s like being in love…I can’t eat, I struggle to sleep” Others have said “I thought I was saved until this weekend” (These are staff members!)
- There is an unusual sense of the fear of the Lord among the congregation.
- People are sharing the Gospel at work who have never spoken publically of their faith before
- The staff prayer meeting, that usually lasts 15 minutes, turned into a 90 minute outpouring. Everyone that came into the office was simply overwhelmed by God!
- We started nightly prayer meetings a little earlier so our children could join us, and the children have been so touched by God. Some unable to walk they are so struck by God’s power, so their mums and dads have carried them home!
- In our Christian School, housed next to our church hall, the presence of God has moved upon teachers and they’ve struggled to teach at times…. the school is fasting too, every Tuesday (Fasting “playtime” I think..so lovely.).
I don’t really know, nor care, what you or I might call such a thing. Terminology and tags can so easily be a hinderance to the childish & defensive and halt engagement in God’s work. Call it a move of God, outpouring, refreshing, visitation. I really don’t know. BUT I LOVE IT!
Neither do I know whether God will move among us like this for a few days, weeks or beyond. All I know is my heart’s desire for 21 years has been to be a leader who is graced to host God’s glory. No matter how excellent a church I am blessed to lead, when God turns up like Pentecost, I bend! And out of any outpouring, there must be a release into the Great commission, with signs following, in powerful ways.
And maybe, just maybe, God is beginning to fulfil this prophetic word he gave me in 1996: http://zachsdad.wpcomstaging.com/2010/06/11/prophetic-word-days-of-wonder/
Days of Wonder indeed.