| Reflections on the WPA
By Brian Mills, IPC Senior Advisor and Interprayer, UK
The World Prayer Assembly in Indonesia in May was the most significant international pray gathering I have ever been part of. It was truly tri-generational (Abrahams, Isaacs and Jacobs), multi-ethnic and global. Between 9,000 and 10,000 participants from 86 nations attended the Assembly.
Each morning and evening, we had plenary sessions, and each afternoon, there were two two-hour Track sessions on various aspects of the global prayer and ministry spheres, including politics, business, media, health, poverty, etc.
On 17th May, we joined with 100,000 Indonesians at their national stadium for five hours of prayer, praise and worship. This was satellited to 386 locations across Indonesia, involving a conservative estimate of 3.7 million people, and was broadcast through God TV around the world. Much of this was spectacular!
We were based at the Sentul City International Convention & Prayer Centre with an auditorium for 15,000 people. Next door, there is a 12-storey tower, the top storey of which is designated for prayer. Twenty-four-hour prayer took place whilst we were there and continues throughout the year. Every time I looked in there, hundreds were praying. This is one of the many hundreds throughout Indonesia.
Sentul City is a city in transformation, having been already declared corruption-free through the prayers of God’s children.
Everything was twice as large as anticipated and planned for. The Indonesians were overwhelmed logistically, yet managed to provide for everyone – an amazing accomplishment. Even so, over 2,000 applicants had to be refused!
There was tangible evidence of the Presence of God in the gatherings with accompanying signs. The impact is already being experienced around the world with testimonies coming in of the way God has blessed and is blessing the participants.
Five-hundred children formed the Children’s Prayer Track, and nearly 20,000 children participated in the stadium event. A 15-year-old girl told her story of how the prayers of the children over a three-year period had brought about the change of her neighbourhood with brothels closing and the area being cleaned up. Children led the praying one evening, and at our final session, they came with a rose for the adults and to pray with them as well.
Over 2,000 were under the age of 35. Each lunchtime was spent with senior leaders (including me) – they questioned us about our lives and influences. And one evening they also led the whole Assembly in praying for issues on their hearts. They pleaded with us older ones to “run with us” – don’t pass the baton and then abandon us”. They asked me publically to lead in repentance prayer and then be involved with other leaders in washing the feet of some of the young people. You can imagine how moving this was.
Large delegations came from S. Korea and from China. The Koreans, who hosted the first International Prayer Assembly in Seoul in 1984, jointly hosted this one with the Indonesians. There was a wonderful blend of honour, respect and appreciation. For most of the Chinese, this was the first international gathering they had ever been at. Those from China that I prayed with (maybe 100 in all) were deeply touched by God’s Spirit. The same was happening through the other leaders, too.
A wave of prayer is undoubtedly building. China is establishing 6,000 houses of prayer – they call them “Walls of Prayer”. One ministry alone has seen a 726% increase in the numbers of people coming to Christ in the past 7 years compared to the previous 7 years – ever since they started to emphasise prayer with their “prayer walls” (I am talking about 51 million people). Together with towers of prayer (in Indonesia) and 24/7 houses of prayer around the world, there is an exponential acceleration of the kingdom of God taking place in those nations pursuing this vision.
There is an amazing spiritual harvest being reaped in many parts of the world. Through the Internet alone, over 75,000 people per day are praying to receive Christ. Last year, 150 million people read the Gospel on the web, and over 19 million prayed to receive Christ. That is only one part of the story – the real picture is bigger still!
One well-known leader described this as the most pivotal week of his entire ministry. There were some fantastic worship times, led by international musicians, and plenty of praying in different ways. We had an excellent media team producing videos to stimulate prayer and recording everything that took place. We praise God for the many blessings flowing from this Assembly all over the world. Most of the plenary sessions and the whole of the stadium prayer rally are already available and can be viewed on the website www.wpa2012.org.
It was an awesome time, the fruit of which will be echoing around the world in the coming years.
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