I had another amazing day at the Brooklyn Tabernacle Pastors’ Conference today. The highlight was unquestionably the prayer meeting, which was every bit as full (in a sanctuary that seats something like 2500) as any Sunday worship service.
There were two focuses for prayer this evening: the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the pastors’ conference participants. The approach is very definitely not pulpit centered. After a short but wrenching video about the conditions in the Congo, those in attendance were invited to find another person, join hands and pray for that tortured country. I joined hands with a young black man with a West Indian accent who put a genuine passion into his prayer. I did likewise, and truth be told I’m not sure I’ve ever prayed for anything with more fervency. There was simply an atmosphere that encouraged one to pour out his heart to the Lord.
The congregation then prayed for the pastors and others from the conference, and that was just as powerful. As folks came to the front of the sanctuary, church deacons came around to pray specifically with each of us, as well as anointing us with oil as a sign of God’s anointing on our ministries.
Oh, and before the service (which started filling up at 5 pm for a 7 pm meeting!), members of the church’s prayer band–which I was told numbers over 400 people at this point–were available at the front of the church to pray with anyone who had a specific need. I came forward, and me and my church were prayed over by another West Indian, a woman named Lorna who spoke to the Lord in an incredibly personal way about me and my congregation after just a couple of minutes of conversation about our needs. It was a humbling and inspiring evening.
I will be heading back to Northern Virginia tomorrow morning, and I feel ready to take on the serious work of ministry again. More on that to come. Praise the Lord!