by Don Sehulster
When my wife told me that an Ignite Conference was being held in a few months and asked me if I wanted to attend, I reluctantly said, “Sure.”
As a former pastor, who was once charismatically inclined, I had attended my fair share of similar Holy Spirit conferences through the years and occasionally witnessed God’s supernatural ministry.
Yet after experiencing some deep ministry wounds, I quarantined myself to the Father’s love and regrettably attempted to take control of my own destiny.
This was the main reason for my reluctance as I rightly assumed the Spirit might actually show up and woo me back to the Father. As it turned out, my assumptions were true.
Over lunch, they listened to our story and encouraged us both to come forward at the end of the day to be prayed for specifically by them.
When we finally did have an opportunity to go forward – the last people to be prayed for- the Spirit had already begun to soften my heart. As I willingly approached the Kemps, I prayed silently, “OK, Lord. You got me. I surrender.”
I remember prophetic words and lots of tears, and then in the midst of all of that Debbie grabbed at my heart and appeared to pull “something” out. (We later learned they were several curses that had been discerned.)
After that occurred, I didn’t necessarily “feel” anything, but almost immediately my left arm involuntarily went up, and I began to experience what I later learned to be holy laughter. I never experienced a work of the Spirit like this before but it was an obvious and tangible sign that the Father recaptured my heart. Reflecting back, it was one of my most memorable encounters with God.
After Ignite, I spiritually stumbled around like Lazarus coming out of the grave. For over a month, the Spirit was slowly replacing my filthy grave clothes (bad habits, sins, fear, etc.) and began to teach me to walk in freedom with Him again. Then on an evening in early May, my wife and I hosted an Ignite follow-up small group in our living room. After a period of worship and just before we entered into a time of ministry, my pastor was directing us to those for whom we were to pray for in the group. While he was doing that, out of nowhere I suddenly received a word to pray for a particular member of the group.
I had not had a word from the Father in a very long time but I immediately recognized what it was. As I did not want to be disrespectful to my pastor, however, I did not respond to the word. The problem I found was that the word would not leave me. So stepping out in faith, I politely interrupted my pastor, stating, “I believe the Spirit is telling me to pray for M–. I need to pray for M–!” After his permission, I laid hands on her and began to pray for healing. At first, nothing happened, so she instructed me to “do it again.” With some members of the group joining me, I laid hands on her a second time, and again I prayed for healing. She then almost immediately said “I’m healed.” Suddenly, her nose started to run; in fact, it was running so much that I had to go get tissues. I was totally unaware that she had a sinus infection, and God had just delivered her from the infection.
Ministering to other group members that evening, I personally experienced more “signs and wonders,” but this particular healing was the beginning of God resurrecting spiritual gifts that had laid dormant for over 6 years. (I use the term “resurrection” and not “restoration” because this time the divine power and presence are far more present and powerful than I recollect from past events and experiences.)
Since that evening, I continue regularly to experience words of knowledge (sometimes words and sometimes pictures); I continue to experience healings after I pray for others; I have a new prayer language with interpretation; I have experienced instances of “bold” faith (i.e. NO MORE FEAR, risk-taking for God); and I have experienced instances of very deep and true repentance.
Most importantly, I once again am free to pursue the Father’s presence as He pursues me and see moments when His joy, peace and patience, radiates from my life to others and from others back to me. This is all an incredibly awesome work of the Holy Spirit in my life, and I praise God for this “resurrection” that resulted from the ministry of PRMI.
Ignite provides opportunities for congregations to catch the Holy Spirit’s flame and grow in faithfulness to Jesus Christ. Taught from a Reformed perspective, Ignite conveys a Biblical message that will enrich and empower the people of your church, enabling them to serve with joy.
The content and length of each Ignite event is tailored to suit the local church. It includes worship, teaching, testimonies, practical application of the teaching, prayer and community building. Events may last for a day or for a full weekend. The teaching is based on selected material from the Dunamis Project. Churches may choose from three different Ignite events.