The Tent Movement is Ramping Up

 

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An effective Prayer Tent at the Orange Blossom Festival in Lindsay, CA

By Melissa Nordell

A movement of prayer tents has been spreading throughout communities, big and small. Groups of believers interested in kingdom change and demonstrating the love of Jesus have been motivated to get outside the walls of the church and into the streets to promote the truth about Jesus Christ under prayer tents.

Here the love of Jesus is shared through pure fruits of the Spirit as in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

The tents break down barriers like nothing else can. There is no pretense, no preaching, no law, no Christian jargon nor lingo, no politics – just love and compassion. There are no hidden agendas or fees, no judgmentalism, no offerings taken, no arguments – just light. All prayer seekers are spoken to with honor and respect as Jesus would, without drama or embarrassment.

Barriers are broken. Hearts are lifted. Hope is restored.

One awesome example is a couple, Juan and Patty Tirado, of Porterville, CA who have erected prayer tents in many venues such as swap meets and concerts. At “The Blessing of the Bikes” they have encountered levels of desperation from “everyday folks” that has been alarming. People are looking for answers, as societal stress levels have risen.

    

patty and juan
Juan and Patty Tirado, celebrating lives changed after an event

Patty reports that God first put it on her heart to offer prayer on Facebook, as she felt an urgency to reach friends and family about Christ. This Facebook prayer page quickly evolved into a mini revival with people Patty didn’t even know watching how she prayed because they did not know how to communicate with God, much less petition Him. Many testimonies soon came back to Patty and Juan. Patty realized that she wanted to do more and reach more people.

 

At the same time, God was putting it on Juan’s heart to start a tent or canopy approach to offer prayer since he had been watching Todd White ‘let Jesus be Jesus’ in communities. This led to the Tirados offering prayer tents in parks and other local venues as God told them; “I need you out there praying for My people.”

Juan first told the Lord “no,” but God eventually changed his heart through a vision he received of a great revival, with God telling him to “fish” wherever he wanted. In the vision, Juan went to the depths of hell where he yearned for the resurrection of his body. God showed him revival and reformation, and how God had called him to set people free.

Now Juan and Patty offer prayer in many communities in the Central Valley of California under their tents.

Soon, testimonies began to pour in. One woman, whose granddaughter was held captive in an unknown location, asked for intercession. She came back to the Tirado’s to report that the very night she asked for prayer, the perpetrator was airlifted to a hospital and her granddaughter was able to somehow flee her captivity. Police found her and took her to safety that very night!

One beauty is that there is usually little or no cost involved to putting up the tents. Also, nothing is advertised. It is just the Holy Spirit drawing people to the tents, which are often picnic or “pop-up” tents that many people have in their garage. Sometimes free bottled water and bookmarks with scriptures are handed out with a business card for follow-up and testimonies.

A few tents have included a live worship group or single worshipper; but the main idea is just offering Jesus’ love, for it is the “Good News” of Jesus Christ that leads all to repentance. Most have handmade signs that read “Want Prayer?” “Free Prayer” or “Prayer Here” in both English and Spanish to passersby.

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Tulare County Prayer Request, after setting up their prayer tent and awaiting those needing intercession at an event

After setting up, the prayer tent is prayed over and anointed; then the Lord is exalted (Ps 100:4) and the Holy Spirit invited to flow. Next, the workers take communion. As people flow in and they begin to pray, the workers (working at least in “two’s”) take a little time to let God’s Presence rest on the person seeking prayer – then smiles come and they see a thousand pounds lifted off the prayer pursuer.

As the scripture says “”Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Matt 18:19).

Prayer seekers are encouraged to ask for forgiveness and restitution along with their requests. The praying volunteers seek the Lord’s knowledge, guidance and direction for each person’s needs and for the root of the problem. Many arrive desperate for help, asking for prayer in a place they perceive to be a safe non-intimidating environment. After the prayer, sources for a church or ministry are offered.

The volunteers report that all types of people from all walks of life come to the prayer tents without hesitation because there is no pretense nor expectations which the seeker would expect in a church, and because that seeker does not know the “prayor”.  Jesus indeed is the focus as He is the answer to the great needs of the people. It’s time that we go out and share His mercy and compassion without encumbrances.

The Tirados consider it all fun, interesting and life-changing in every circumstance, no matter what. However, they advise that this type of ministry is not for the “faint of heart” and not for the immature or religious. Maturity, the Word and much wisdom are necessary. Volunteers need to know how to spread God’s love and hope to a diverse cross-section of people.

Juan reports that the most opposition that they have felt was at a July 4th celebration. Beforehand, the Lord told him to just show love; and when he did, many people were saved, and lives were changed. Some people had been partying and drinking; however, people came up to the tent for prayer for such things as addictions and family problems. One family was facing eviction.

Some recognized that substance abuse was not changing their circumstances or relieving their pain. Juan says, “it was their day!” The Tirado’s did not argue with anyone, as some tried, but just shared Jesus’ love; and that was the key. Juan emphasizes that there are “hurting people out there and there is no time for politics, strife or religion.”

“All people are good,” he says. “Just some have gone wrong a little bit.”

Sindee, one of the “local missionaries” in her own organized prayer tents reports that people come in bound, broken, hungry and thirsty for answers and help. They leave with hope, smiling and laughing.

One woman came in hurriedly, fearing a stalker and asking for prayer that he would cease. She reports, “that woman left with peace, calm and the presence of Jesus upon her.”

Chris and Christine Callahan of C & C Callahan Ministries have obtained permits to use city parks in different cities and sponsor events they call RTC Block Parties (Revive Tulare County). The events include worship music, testimonies, face painting, free food, free haircuts, a bounce house, games and raffles.

At some events, fancy car groups or Christian motorcycle groups participate. Beforehand, Christians pray over the city and the park. At one recent event, each prayer tent had long lines of people asking for prayer. They estimated that 500 people attended the latest event with about 60 receiving prayer and intercession, with some accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and some receiving instant physical and emotional healing.

Many people stop by for prayer at prayer tents even if there is no event used as a draw. Sometimes it is not the homeless or disadvantaged but people of means who stop their cars and park, asking for prayer, needing hope and someone to agree with them in love. Many are believers who do not know where to turn, needing help, some even doubting their beliefs, and some with no church home.

Individuals have stopped for prayer and healing for such issues as cancer or other illnesses, depression, emotional issues and family problems. At times, police and first-responders have asked for intercession for healing of trauma, stress, family issues, and safety. Several nurses have stopped by asking for prayer for stress and the burden of their vocation.

The Tent Movement brings the Good News to the streets, highways and byways. The tents are never placed beside a church or on church property but on vacant lands, construction areas, downtown or uptown, parks, private homes in neighborhoods, booths in fairs or swap meets, outreaches, or on busy streets, farmlands and crossroads.

Tents can also be set up in disaster areas, homeless hangouts, drug-infested areas and in streetwalker territory. And, not surprisingly, police often welcome the tents in oppressed areas. It’s time that the Church ceases ignoring the great needs of the people who are outside the church.

Each time a person asks for prayer, more light is shed in the darkness of the cities.       As it says in Eph 5:8 &9: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth).” This is how we change a world full of darkness – by bringing light, healing and compassion.

How will they hear unless someone tells them? How will they see unless we go out? For as the Word says in Mark 4:21, “And he said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? No, that light is to go out into the darkness to help a dying world.”  As Christians, we are called to bring that light out into dark places; not just keep our light where other lights surround us all the time!

The tent movement is made up of nameless, faceless, grassroots Christians, foretold to bring the greatest Revival and Reformation ever seen. This movement must involve groups of prayer warriors whose only goal is to reach souls, lift burdens, and bring growth and change to the kingdom. These warriors do not want accolades or recognition – they just serve the Lord and want to see people saved and to know the love of Jesus Christ.

In Luke 10:2, Jesus told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field”. We may understand seed planting but don’t really understand how to operate in harvest. We must launch our nets into deeper waters, into areas we are not accustomed, to get the greatest catch, or harvest.

It is the organizers prayer that others catch the vision and erect these pop-up tents of prayer in every city and town to spread the love of Jesus, not in a way that people of the world expect from the church. Youth groups, home fellowships, recovery ministries, Bible study groups, men’s and women’s groups can each have their own tents organized. The Word says in Isaiah 49:6: “….I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” It is time that we, the Church, be that light and life to a hurting, fearful and distressed world.

Mark 16:15 is Jesus’ words: “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation’”. The words “Go into the world” is a command, a mandate, not an option. It does not say “just ask people into your church!” It says to go out into the world and bring Him to them. No one is beyond reach and no one is beyond God’s love. We need to take seriously words of Jesus and act like Him in this dark world. If every Bible-believing church and ministry in every city and town erected a prayer tent, think how much light would be shed, how many lives would be changed; and how your nation and the world would change for Jesus Christ!

 

                                   

 

 

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Types of Intercessors: what type are you?

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“There is a sphere of authority that you have that no one can touch like you can” (Cindy Jacobs)

King James Bible
And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
I searched for a man among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land so that I might not destroy it, but I found no one.

New International Version
“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land, so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. Ezek 22:30 (all emphasis mine)

So….Job, Samuel, David, Moses, Hannah, Paul, William Seymour, Rees Howells, Lou Engle,  others, and above all, JESUS, were examples of how just one stood in the gap through intercession to repair the walls that separated people and things from God –  and they helped so many – you can too as one person!

Definition of an Intercessor:  One who intercedes; one who goes between. An intercessor is a person who by calling or by nature chooses to be a mediator on behalf of those who need intervention through intercession and perhaps cannot intercede for themselves. This includes standing in the gap for not only a person, but people groups, a body of believers, the land, a business, a region. An intercessor builds on the concept of prayer but moves beyond personal conversation with God and petitions and follows Holy Spirit’s leading. An intercessor waits on Holy Spirit’s direction and does accordingly.

Through intercession, we get the tremendous honor of being a bridge between a person or place that still needs to fully experience God and all He has for them, transforming them in God’s kingdom aspects. This is often referred to as “standing in the gap.” When there is a person or circumstance still defined by things that do not represent God’s heart, such as brokenness, sin, poverty, lack of salvation or injustice, an intercessor recognizes a gap between the present reality and the truth and possibilities of God’s kingdom—a kingdom of wholeness, truth, love and justice. Through following Holy Spirit, that intercessor listens for God’s plan to make a change for the good, to transform; allowing His kingdom to come and His will to be done in the situation.

Types of Intercessor Specialties

Intercessors and especially leaders need to be well versed in all areas of intercession with experience in all. However, this list shows how some feel a specific “bent”, specialty, lean and concern for certain areas of expertise; or frequently find themselves interceding for one of these specific areas. By no means does an intercessor just intercede always in one area. A pitfall for all intercessors is to intercede for your particular “bent” in corporate intercession when the group is going a different direction, not following the leader’s or Holy Spirit’s direction, or not following the purpose for which that assembly has been organized.

Warfare Intercessors – These intercessors are typically involved in high-level spiritual warfare, binding and loosing. They follow the Lord and battle against His enemies and are familiar with demonic hierarchies and how things work in the spirit realm. Pitfalls: warring too much; having an angry spirit; having no mercy; always in war mode; getting in the flesh; binding but not replacing; binding in the wrong timing; not binding backlash; and getting ahead of Holy Spirit.

Transformational Intercessors – These intercessors intercede prophetically, asking the Lord what is needed for a city, a church, a business or a region to bring kingdom change, or “transformation”. Most often, this involves repentance most of all, but also includes warfare, prophetic acts and dance intercession. It involves finding what has defiled the land by inquiring of the Lord, often confirming through historical facts. Pitfalls: not correctly hearing from the Lord; not inquiring of the Lord properly and doing it without His direction; not having proper “alignment” or protection; going it alone; doing things out of His timing; binding principalities when He has not authorized it and/or He has not given the name of the spirit specifically (hence always binding Jezebel for instance).

Political Intercessors – These have a healthy burden for things in the political arena that need change. Pitfalls: thinking about politics too much; getting in the flesh; getting angry in an ungodly way; being in fear; arguing about politics with others.

Crisis Intercessors – These intercede for crises and immediate needs like 9/11, Japan’s 3/11 Tsunami, Amber Alerts. Example: Abraham in Gen 18 interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah. Pitfalls: stress and lack of sleep; taking on too many problems; taking on the burden physically.

Birthing or Midwife Intercessors – These intercessors love to “birth” souls, new ministries, schools and Godly businesses. This may involve travailing, which is a type of birthing intercession. Midwife intercessors sometimes help the travailing intercessor to birth what Holy Spirit is wanting to birth. Example: Elijah when he was praying for it to rain got down in the birthing position seven times before the rain cloud formed (1Kings 18). Pitfalls: doing it in the flesh; not following Holy Spirit. Be aware that there might be several birthing at the same time.

Prophetic Acts Intercessors – These are Ezekiel and Jeremiah type intercessors that act out what the Lord tells them to do with specific prophetic acts. Example: Jeremiah burying his underwear, eating the scroll etc. Pitfalls: they can be accused of being weird; need to be able to not succumb to rejection.

Compassion and Mercy Intercessors – These feel compassion for others, especially for the lost. They feel other’s needs and hurts. They intercede for certain age and people groups such as the elderly, children, schools and colleges, foster kids, babies, the sexually exploited; certain races, or the ill. Example: Hannah; Jeremiah the Weeping Prophet weeping for Judah/Israel; Epaphras in Col 4:12. Pitfalls – “unsanctified mercy”; taking on too many burdens and not giving the burden of it to the Lord; taking it on physically to the point of physical illness.

Dance Intercessors and Worship Warriors – These intercessors intercede through dance and worship. Sometimes this type of dance includes prophetic acts and gestures (“He teaches my hands to war” Ps 144:1), and sometimes a warring dance. This includes banners, flags, hoops, tambourines. Why does this and all prophetic acts work so well? – it is by faith and all the glory has to go to God and not yourself. Example: Anna in Luke 2:36-38; Miriam. Pitfalls: if this type of intercessor stays in the outer court and does not enter the Holy of Holies, not much will be accomplished. Some dance intercessors feel like they enter the Holy of Holies but in fact have not. Every intercessor needs to know how to get into Holy of Holies to intercede and to worship. Prophetic dance intercession is not always warring. Performance and man-pleasing is a pitfall as well.

Personal Intercessors – These intercessors are called and sometimes appointed to intercede for pastors and leaders as a specific assignment. Pitfalls: gossip about the leader, not keeping things confidential or trying to control that leader; pride in position; charismatic witchcraft.

Marketplace Intercessors – These intercessors are called and often appointed to intercede for certain businesses. Some may intercede for a certain industry or marketplace sector, as others may intercede for a specific business. Example: Joseph in Egypt. Pitfalls: wanting the glory or demanding money for successes; control.

Intercessors for Israel – All intercessors should intercede for Israel, but some have a specific burden for Israel and the Jewish people. (Ezek 33). Pitfalls: not knowing enough of the Word, the history of Israel or contemporary issues there.

Administrative Intercessors – These intercessors find it easy to gather people together, establish prayer chains, assemble people to intercede in a crisis, etc. These intercessors are sometimes the scribes for an intercession group. Example: Ezra, Mordecai. Pitfalls – not taking time to intercede but concentrating on the administration of it all too much.

Issues Intercessors – These intercessors see a need and seek to solve it. Example: Nehemiah, Ezra, Mordecai and Esther. Pitfalls: stopping too soon (which often happens), or interceding even after the Lord says it is enough; taking on the burden physically.

Issachar Intercessors – These intercessors feel a burden for times and seasons, or the future. They hear from the Lord about times and seasons, or are seers in this realm. Example: Anna, John the Revelator, Samuel, Daniel. Pitfalls: feeling the burden too much and not giving it to God after intercession; fear; misinterpretation.