It happened about three years ago. No, it happened about 9 years ago. Our church hosted a Saturday night prayer meeting and kind of expected all good praying, spiritual Pentecostals to be in attendance. Problem was, it seemed like a good idea and displayed well on the calendar, but the vast majority of times that I was there, there were very few others who shared the same Saturday night vision. We all believed that we needed to pray and a good old fashioned Saturday night prayer meeting was just what the doctor ordered, but the order failed to arrive, almost every week. My kids were about 10, 8, and 6 and it was like pulling teeth to get them there as well. I guess they shared the same sentiment as the vast majority of the rest of the congregation. Sooooooo, after many painful Saturday night “prayer meetings”….very, very, obligatory prayer meetings on my part, being the supersonic prayer warrior pastor that I was I decided that I’d had enough. Enough of these fruitless, boring, ho-hum, illlllll attended Saturday night prayer meetings. Yep, I said “that’s it. Don’t show up on Saturday night because there’s no more prayer meeting going on around here.” Saturday night became one of my prime sermon study nights for quite a while, and very often I would walk the floor and was usually the only one in the building. Not that our people were not praying; many of our people have walked with God for years and have been faithfully communicating with him for years – and still do! Just that we couldn’t seem to create prayer meetings that mattered; prayer meetings that moved us; prayer meetings that would cause one to shut off the mower, leave the family gathering, or get up off the couch and shut of the computer and say, “ok, gotta get over to Joe’s for prayer.” Good services at church? yep, very exciting. Baptisms? yep. People praying through? yep. Healings? yep, here and there. But we just couldn’t seem to gel very well as a body of people actually praying and interceding together.
And then something happened about three years ago. Our capable youth pastor and family relocated to pastor a good church in North Bay, Ontario, and suddenly we were left without a youth pastor. For a while we steered the youth with a committee and it worked ok for awhile but we knew that a man with a burden was really what we needed. We were attending an anniversary service in Upper Blackville, NB, and as I was walking toward the church, I saw my cousin, Clifton Arbeau and his family getting out of their vehicle. I said to Clif, “I want you to come to Kingston to serve as our youth pastor.” He just smiled. I replied, “No, I’m serious, will you consider it?” I forget what he said, but something along the line, “we’ll pray about it.” Within a few weeks Clif and Jill and Leah were on sight and appointed or voted in as our youth pastor family.
And here’s where the prayer revolution began. Clif informed me that the first order of business that he had planned for the youth group was a weekly prayer meeting. The first few weeks I believe they had around 3 to 6 people in attendance. In the matter of a few months, this youth prayer meeting grew into a force to be reckoned with. Sometimes, crammed in the living-room, kitchen and hallway of a two bedroom apartment, between 18 and 32 people were showing up for prayer. And it was prayer – I mean, down-to-business, hell-shaking, power-from-heaven, PRAYER MEETING. I attended many of those prayer meetings, and I was so thrilled at what was happening in the spirit-realm.
God, by his mercy, through the youth pastor, sparked a power-house prayer revolution that has not stopped, to this day. It started with one person and continued to burn like a raging fire in the hearts of “young people.” Young people can pray. Young people will pray if somebody will step up and lead. Prayer has changed everything happening at new life church. The Sunday gatherings are obviously “Spirit led.” I mean, “Spirit led.” This is not a cliche, but here it goes: We really go to church now-a-days downright thrilled at what God is going to do. Since the prayer revolution began, we have had services that kicked off at 6 pm and concluded right around 11 pm. I’m talking about an old time downpour of Holy Ghost power. During one service where Kingston and Gananoque joined together for a Sunday night, we experienced prophesies, water baptisms, spirit drunkenness and laughing in the Spirit; FOR HOURS. Even when we hit McDonalds at around 11:30, people were still heavily under the influence! I shall never forget these times of refreshing in the presence of the Lord. During this past year, this same scenario actually happened 3 times. I’ve never been drunk as a result of liquor but I have been drunk in the Spirit and it’s an experience that’s out of this world.
Saturday night prayer meeting has become an integral part of new life church. Every Saturday night there are between 15 and 30 people who gather in somebody’s living room for prayer. Nobody feels pressured or forced to be there; we just want to get together for prayer because we love God, we love the church, we love our families, we love our city, and we love our world – the and love of Christ calls us to prayer.
I’ll write more about this later. I plan to be up early for PRAYER. Planning to write at least one more blog on what the prayer revolution is doing at new life church. I do hope that you find this beneficial in some way.