I didn’t really know what to expect as I flew to Indonesia for the World Prayer Assembly recently. I’m not a huge fan of conferences generally – my usual response is to think that I need to just get on with doing the stuff of the kingdom!
On this occassion though I was certainly happy to have made the journey. It was amazing to be able to take a step back and see the big picture of what God is doing in the nations. Sometimes the spiritual doldrums of Europe can make it hard to remember that God is indeed at work! I was powerfully reminded that the Holy Spirit is on the move bringing life to many.
The unity expressed across denominations and generations was a joy to see, and one of my favourite moments was loudly and enthusiastically praying into global issues with several thousand other committed followers of Jesus. Including people from some nations that are very ‘closed’ to the Gospel.
On the last day of the conference we had the privilege of journeying to the national stadium for a prayer gathering for the nations attended by over 100 thousand people. That not being enough, the Indonesians had arranged for video link ups to other stadiums around the country – the estimate was that 3 million people were involved in that prayer meeting!
From Jakarta we flew northeast to Medan. Pete Greig, Carla (our International Prayer Team Leader) and Mike Andrea (from Revival Run/GloGen Church) were all speaking at churches we had linked up with through Alpha International. This section of the trip had to be my favourite. The church we connected with had seen explosive growth; from 119 in the 90’s to 40,000 today. Much of this growth has been fuelled by continuous prayer (night and day since the late 90’s), and radical service of the poor through food programs and clinics. Amazing. As our team entered the prayer room, we asked our hosts if we could stop to pray. It was a real Holy moment. Standing in the prayer room where thousands of prayers had been brought to the Father, all we could do is spend some time with Him in awe, the room thick with the presence of the Spirit.
On my return I find I have more questions than answers. How do we see God move in this way in our land? Are we not desperate enough? Is some of the passion that the Indonesians have God given annointing, granted by Him for their land at this time? Whatever the answers are to these questions and so many more, we certainly have a lot to learn from the passionate prayer lives of the Indonesians.