I was desperate!
Nothing that was working, I thought.
I had the right training, went to the best church planting teaching in the world, spent almost eight weeks there, I was full of theory but nothing was working.
I was low, I could not see beyond the wall of my office and I had enough! So I stumbled across a youtube video of the late John Wimber where he talked about his frustrations in ministry, I felt that he was talking to me, he knew how I was feeling!!
So one day I decided to book a room in Restoration Ministry, they had a prayer room. A small room and once a week for two hours I went there to complain and complain. The Psalms were a constant companion. I just poured out my life, frustrations and my heart to the Lord. I did not know if He was listening, I did not see, hear, feel one thing during those months.
Then, I heard that Carnmoney Presbyterian Church had opened a house for prayer, it was in North Belfast so I decided to spend time there. Again the same routine, worship, bible reading, complaining, praying, and more complaining and time to listen but I did hear, feel and see Him. I read the Scriptures to Him, I read almost all His promises back to Him.
One day as I was in that prayer room, I felt the need to worship and that was it, all I did that morning, for a couple of months was to worship. Then I remember John Wimber story when the Lord said to John “Can I do it my way?”
I came to the point where I had no more to say, meaning no more complaining. The Lord asked me “Will you be willing to follow my lead? That meant to do it his way, not mine. This was a great deal, I had studied so much about him, about church planting, about church growth and it was all good but I did not have Him. Don’t get me wrong, I am saved! Jesus is in my heart, what I mean is this: “the studies, the seminars, the conferences, the books, where ways to know how to do ministry and to know about church planting, it was all about the how not so much about HIM. Then it dawned on me that I was filling my life with good resources but the one who called me, the one who planted his church on earth was not at the centre of my life, the ministry was but not Him. I repented, no wonder things were difficult, I was tired and burning out fast.
I began to enjoy worship, it was not just me singing to him it was like He was singing to me. It was not just telling Him how amazing He is but He was telling me how much He loves me.
This went for months and I began to experience things that I never experienced in my life, things I read about in other people’s life where happening to me, things like crying in worship or just laughing out loud. When I read the Bible it became a conversation, like “Why did you write that for? What does it mean? The more I asked the more I experienced His goodness.
I became so hungry for the presence of the Lord that I was willing to pay any price, to go and hear people who have experienced the similar encounters with the Lord. I began to read books on revival, God’s presence, God’s power about the Gifts of the Spirit. I began to read and get more aquatinted with the Holy Spirit, meaning actually putting in practice 2 Corinthians 13:13
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”(NIV11)
The Holy Spirit became my teacher and I began to dream about the Lord, in my imagination I began to see miracles, healings, prophetic words, crowds of people being moved by the presence of God. I began to imagine churches full of people worshipping the Lord, where the Holy Spirit was honoured. People wanting more of Him.
During those months, I connected with my friend Azman! And at the Abby Centre over a Chinese lunch, the Holy Spirit came and we both felt His Presence. I could not believe what was happening! The same things that I was experiencing in the prayer room I began to experience out in the open!
A breakthrough came one Saturday afternoon on Healing on the Streets, Azman invited me to spend the afternoon with his friends, they were going to bless the city and praying for those who needed healing. I said yes and I went. I was really looking forward but also afraid that I could be seen by people who knew my background. It was a real blessing to be with Azman and the team. After ministering on the streets we gathered and prayed together that was when Peter prayed over me, he said that “the Lord is pleased with our secret place” and he went on to describe the prayer room! I felt down in awe, it was like the Lord was saying “I see you”, that “I know who you are”, “let’s do it my way!
Everything that I have experienced, the work of the Holy Spirit has come because I was hungry for his Presence – I am still very much hungry for His Presence!