WORLD PRAYER ASSEMBLY
Sentul International Conference Centre
Jakarta, Indonesia, May 14-18, 2012
The WPA was a wonderful experience in many ways and impressive by all the numbers. 9,000 plus delegates from 86 nations gathered together for 5 days had to be significant. To sit in the large auditorium surrounded by thousands worshipping Jesus was inspiring. It would be easy but tedious to do a full linear report on 5 days of meeting and seminars. There are perhaps other reports that could do justice to this large, well organised and peaceful Assembly. The Indonesians and South Koreans were remarkable hosts and the leadership had high integrity. We were encouraged to make new friends from other nations and this networking was a joy but also a necessity for the next stage of the global prayer movement.
The Stadium meeting on the Thursday night – ‘Global Momentum’ – with 100,000 people including 20,000 young people was impressive but the PA was difficult to hear and we were asked to leave early by 8 am to catch the bus back to the hotels. The real triumph of that evening was that in more than 370 other Indonesian cities there were large prayer meetings to coordinate with the Stadium prayers. Possibly 4 million people all across Indonesia were praying in unity!
Two profound things from the last day. Global Media Outreach with 140 evangelistic web sites reported that in the previous 4 days about 360,000 people around the world had prayed to receive Christ on their sites. The internet was given by God for evangelism! The session on the suffering in North Korea was revealing. We learnt of many initiatives into that closed country but the sad news was that about half the people in the prison camps are Christians, and hundreds die daily from starvation and abuse.
The WPA was opened by John Robb who welcomed the Holy Spirit and said ‘This belongs to you’. He said the Lord was the CEO of the Assembly. The huge gathering was postured as a new paradigm in the spirit of Acts 13:1-4 where 5 men waited on God and a missions movement was launched that changed world history. There was a table in the foyer to collect written prophetic words for the listening team. There were some awesome moments when Zamar, from South Africa, were leading worship where we could have lingered longer for the Spirit to speak, but remarkably the meetings and the speakers were all on time. Acts 13 needs a different approach, they had lots of time with no agenda.
WPA had encouraged 600 YP from many countries to be in attendance, they were the ‘David Generation’, ‘The Giant Slayers’. In one session Brian Mills made an emotional repentance to the YP asking forgiveness for how the older generation had failed and abused them. A youth then accepted his apology and forgave them. I have pondered the exact reality of the need for that act. The true ‘Giant Slayers’ still need to kill their own lions and bears before they are ready for Goliath, we cannot do that for them in constructed situations. It is good to walk with them as Fathers and Mothers but we should be careful not to promise them too much when we are still in leadership at 65 plus!
At the time of the WPA the world situation was, and still is, precarious. This was acknowledged in the Foreword of the Handbook where the Chairman, Dr. Bambang Widjaja, wrote, ‘Firstly, there is no doubt that our current world (situation) requires a divine intervention’. With the Middle East on the edge of war, nuclear disaster in Japan 10x worse than Chernobyl and Europe about to collapse financially, I was not aware of a session where the Assembly was called to pray and repent. The name of Israel was not mentioned to my knowledge after the flag ceremony, even though it is the second most prayed for nation after intercessors’ own nations. This may have been a deliberate caution as Indonesia is a largely Muslim nation, although it is actually a republic with a presidential system.
There was no sharing of a perspective that the nations are ripe for judgment or the anticipation of the soon return of Christ. The blood guilt on the nations demands justice for: the unborn, the missing children, human trafficking and the vast shedding of innocent blood. Will the grace of God give the USA another Awakening despite the church allowing 53 million abortions since Roe v Wade in 1973? These questions were not asked. The New Wave could be quite different from what the WPA expects. Why even in Habakkuk the prophetic vision is in the context of the Lord judging his people in a strict and surprising way.
One morning I was awake by 4:30 am in my hotel room and about 4:40 am I heard an unusual noise in the background. I went onto the balcony in the dark heat before dawn and realised that the countryside was alive with the Muslim call to early prayer coming from several mosques in the area. It seemed to be a strong pervading influence.
This influence was also expressed in the local media as Muslims protested against the proposed visit of Lady Gaga to Jakarta on June 3rd. The Police finally did not allow the concert to take place although 12,000 Australians had already bought tickets. They were concerned with her immoral behaviour, exposing her body and having a bad effect on society. In the West the church has lost the authority to be a moral safeguard for society. Our walls have been broken down and our gates have been destroyed by fire (Neh 2:13). But could things turn around?
The theme of the WPA was ‘A New Wave is Coming’ and linked to Habakkuk 2:14:
‘For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory
of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.’
The expressed understanding before the Assembly was that the WPA would be like another Pentecost, the epicenter for a global revival. During the Assembly one speaker declared a vision of a flood. It was not a physical flood or a flood of justice or retribution, but a flood of grace and love that would completely cover the Earth. There was significant expression for what started with the prayer movement in Korea in 1984 would now explode to an even greater level around the world. It was easy to feel victorious and even euphoric for the coming world revival and possible Dominion.