Awakened by the Holy Spirit

by | Jul 13, 2022

I am excited to tell you about a wonderful outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the Community of the Cross. This is just one of many outpourings that we have been witnessing in multiple locations, and often these have involved healing. Together, these are signs pointing towards a coming revival, one which may lead to the next Great Awakening. This particular instance took place at the Community of the Cross during our “Equipping for the Next Great Awakening” event.

Surprised by the Holy Spirit

It was Thursday afternoon, and the topic was “the work of prayer,” including the role of prayer cohorts. Martin Boardman was leading this section. Small gatherings of people earnestly praying for revival have always been the key to revivals My role was to introduce strategic intercession and spiritual warfare, which is often the vanguard of outpourings of the Spirit. It is also God’s given means of dealing with Satan’s counterattacks, which historically have derailed or destroyed the good kingdom fruit of past revivals.

God’s “Coincidences”

We never got to teach these crucial topics. God had other, much better plans. He led us into the work of prayer, intercession, and spiritual warfare by arranging a divine interruption. A couple at the event received word that friends were, through a series of “coincidences,” just a few minutes away from the Community of the Cross.

The wife had just received a diagnosis of a potentially terminal illness. The prognosis was not good. First, she would lose the ability to speak and then the ability to breathe. The couple were reeling from this terrible news. These highly effective missionary leaders were in a denominational stream that, while evangelical and committed to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is very closed to the present-day manifestations and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Let me tell the story as best I can,

Subject to the Leading of the Holy Spirit

As he was leading on Thursday morning, Martin was notified of this situation and a request was made:

”Would there be any possibility for this couple to so we could pray for them?”

Learning of the situation and this couple’s strategic role in global missions, Martin struggled with what to do.

He said, “This seems to be from the Lord; let’s take the risk and shift what we were going to do; after all, we state that our events are subject to change at the leading of the Holy Spirit.”

When they arrived, I[Brad] was struck by this lovely but tormented couple; they were in their fifties. They appeared to be in the prime of life and ministry yet were now struck down by this death sentence diagnosis. While not apparent to us, she was already experiencing the disquieting symptoms of this disease. There was a shroud of despair upon them which pervaded the back room of the Log House, which seemed to quench the joyful praise we had just moved out of.

Direction from the Lord

I was on point for this assignment, and I really struggled with what to do and what God would do. To me, it seemed like we were facing a wall of total impossibility. At that moment, the Lord, in a powerful way, reminded me of what had happened the week before. The Holy Spirit had fallen powerfully upon me to work through the prayer I had been praying based on Acts 4. 

“And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant Your servants to speak Your word with utmost courage— while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy Servant Yeshua.” Act 4:29-30 

Stepping into Guidance

I heard the Lord say,

“Now this is the time! Step into the work I have called and anointed you for!”

My first and desperate prayer was,

“Ok, Lord, please give me the gift of mountain-moving faith to open the door for you to manifest your healing, loving presence.”

The next urgent prayer was,

“Lord! What do I do now?”  

I received the guidance that the Lord wanted the entire group to participate in this and that he would speak through them to bless this couple. It was an the opportunity for everyone there to step out in faith and obedience. So, we gathered around the seated couple. I explained the guidance I had received.

Then the Lord said,

“Hold on, I am anointing each of them for this ministry of signs and wonders and to proclaim my Word with boldness.”

I was led to lay hands on each person there. As I did, I could see manifestations of the Holy Spirit. We prayed for the couple to know the love of Jesus, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and to receive all the Lord wanted to do.  

We began to get clear guidance through words of knowledge. At the same time, there was a true manifestation of the love of Jesus Christ as the group laid hands on them. There were also many tears. The words of knowledge let me know that this would get deep and personal and that we needed to shift into two small groups. So a group of men went off with the husband. At the same time, a group of women went out with the wife who had received the diagnosis. 

The Work of Prayer 

The rest of us continued to pray and began debriefing the corporate session. The couple rejoined the group just before dinner, and we debriefed and shared a prayer of blessing. The shroud of death and despair had lifted, and both had been transformed. They had experienced deep inner healing and some manifestations of physical healing. She was able to do some things that she had not been able to do before the prayer.   Please join us in praying for a complete healing miracle. They left rejoicing, and so did we.  

A Foretaste of Revival

I believe this entire experience was a foretaste of God fulfilling our prayers. In this great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we will be empowered to speak the Gospel with boldness in the power of the Holy Spirit. God will truly stretch out His hand and work signs and wonders, especially those of inner and physical healing and deliverance from evil spirits, as evidence of His Kingdom.

Later, we moved through two prayer events in which we prayed for awakening, revival, and outpourings of the Holy Spirit. During the closing session of the prayer on Friday, Mary Sterenberg led as we prayed for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit to bring empowerment and saw the Lord move powerfully in people.

Holy Spirit Outpouring

This is Mary Sterenberg’s account of that outpouring:

I was comforted by Brad’s presence, walking around the back perimeter of the Prayer House, interceding for me. Martin and Lonnie stood on either side of me like Aaron and Hur. I also knew my intercessors (and others) were praying for me, and I felt covered.

It was significant that Brad came and whispered in my ear at the beginning,

“Step out in your authority Mary.”

Brad also anointed me with the laying on of hands, and two others came up and prayed for me before I began. 

Motivated by Love

I began talking about Love being the motivation for prayers for revival. We must focus on God’s love for us and our love for God. Lonnie led us in songs confirming this, “Jesus Loves Me,” “I Love you, Lord,” and “My Jesus, I Love Thee.”  

I transitioned out of the song “My Jesus, I Love Thee” as the song I asked the congregation to sing at my Profession of Faith (POF) at age 16. I made Profession of Faith two years earlier than my peers in my catechism class because I wanted the whole church to know how much I really loved Jesus.

He was very real and personal to me, yet I thirsted for more.  

I had not heard much about the Holy Spirit in my Christian Reformed Church upbringing, and I didn’t even know He is the missing piece that I longed for that would begin to quench the thirst and longing in my soul for intimacy with God. The first step in seeking the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is to Thirst for God.

The second step is to Expect that God will come and He will show up and do signs, wonders, and miracles today.

Repentance

Next, I talked about the need for repentance, and even though we do not need to be “perfectly holy,” we do need to keep a short record of wrongs and forgive as soon as possible those who offend us. I opened the floor for prayers of repentance, both silent and corporate. What followed was a beautiful, sincere crying out to God in repentance of many sins in us personally and in our world.  

I noticed some in the group were lying prostrate on the floor or kneeling in humility before God, and I could sense His presence moving among us powerfully. One attendee described to me afterward that he “saw in the spirit” a burning fire all around the floor of the prayer house that got higher and higher with each step we prayed.  

Ask in Faith 

Then the next step is to ask in faith for the Spirit to come and to be poured out upon us.

Luke 11:9-13, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

I prayed for the Spirit to come upon us, leaving plenty of time for silence, waiting, and receiving.  

The participant who saw the vision of the fire in the room described seeing the dove representing the Holy Spirit descend upon us. Finally, he described a huge pillar of fire that fell upon the group gathered in the prayer house.  

Anointing and the Laying on of Hands 

I felt led to invite those who desired the anointing of oil and the laying on of hands to come forward to Martin or me, and quickly two lines formed. I noticed several people in Martin’s group falling under the anointing of the Spirit. I did not ask anyone what they wanted prayers for, but the Spirit gave me prophetic words for everyone who came forward.  

There were manifestations of the Spirit in tears and smiles and the shaking of my hands. When the final person came to me, I anointed her forehead with oil and then touched my hand upon her head to pray, and we both were bowled over unexpectedly and with a great spiritual force that knocked us down on the floor.

After I got up, I suggested to Lonnie that we sing a song praising Jesus, and we sang in glorious harmony the doxology,

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. AMEN!

Join the Prayer Work

Jesus Christ calls us to participate with Him in preparing for the Next Great Awakening in the Power of the Holy Spirit. Please join us in praying this into reality and join us in being equipped to take part.

This will depend upon all of us saying Yes to Jesus Christ!

Expect that God will come and He will show up and do signs, wonders, and miracles today.

I had not heard much about the Holy Spirit in my Christian Reformed Church upbringing, and I didn’t even know He is the missing piece that I longed for that would begin to quench the thirst and longing in my soul for intimacy with God. The first step in seeking the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is to Thirst for God.

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