A Night to Remember
Setting the Scene
Last Saturday night, the Filipino ladies and I got together to pray all night (just as Jesus did when He was on earth). There were 10 of us - most were in pyjamas or "onesies", and we were all excited for what might happen; especially for the presence of God. We started at around 10:00 pm with an opening prayer and worship.
We then proceeded with a short Bible study on Jesus doing His night prayers (Matthew 14:22-24, Mark 6:45-50, Luke 6:12-19), and how things often happen in the last watch of the night (shortly before dawn, usually between 3:00 am and 6:00 am). One example is when Jesus walked on water near the disciples' boat (Mark 6:45-50), another is how God supernaturally helped the Israelites when they were being pursued by the Egyptians (Exodus 14:23-25), and of course not forgetting to mention Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane before He was arrested near dawn (Mark 14:32-42). It was clear from these scriptures that not only supernatural things tend to happen in the last watch of the night, but that the spiritual battle would be at its fiercest at that time, too - and such was my warning to the ladies...
Sisters in Unity
Being united evokes powerful blessings (Psalm 133), which also calls for the presence of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4, Acts 4:23-31). So, I asked the ladies if they were all united, to which all replied, "Yes!" But I questioned them further, "Really???", and more YES-es came back at me. So, we looked at the following scriptures:
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Some jaws dropped, some faces looked worried as they read the scriptures, and even more so as I beckoned all the ladies to go to one another to put any wrongs between them right.
And so, the sounds of conversations (all in Tagalog) began, with tears, red noses, and hugs following not long after. Sad faces turned into happy ones! It was amazing to see - this was what God wanted... this is what He loves - to see people forgiving one another, and loving one another!
Just then one lady came to me and said,
"There is so much healing going on..."
and I couldn't be happier to hear such a statement! Before long, we were all having tea and coffee together, chatting, truly as sisters united.
And so, I asked again,
"Are you all united???"
This time everyone replied with voices louder and surer than before,
I knew in my heart then that they were ready to start the night prayer :)
Prayers with The Holy Spirit
Once the teas and coffees were done, we all sat on the sofa waiting on what to do next. One lady suddenly exclaimed that she could smell something fragrant and beautiful. Then after her, another lady said the same, then another, and another... all in the order of where they were sitting. And finally, the scent got to me at the end of the line. It was that wonderful scent of the Holy Spirit that I knew so well... like sweet Jasmine (Cassia flower), just so wonderful! (Psalm 45:8) I smiled wide in the knowledge that the Holy Spirit was with us - this was the power of being united in body, and in spirit! The Holy Spirit was pleased with all of us, and was ready to hear our prayers.
We started with all that important prayers of repentance, and for the forgiveness of our sins; also to forgive those who have hurt us, and to bless them. Then we gathered in a circle, holding each other's hands to give praise, and thanks to the Lord for all that He has done in our lives. We extended our prayers for the world, then for the nations (countries), churches, and life groups. Oh, what prayers!
Then after a short worship, it was time for individuals to be prayed over for whatever they needed. Again, the ladies gathered in a circle, this time sat on the floor, and whoever wanted to be prayed for sat in the middle. I looked at my watch as the first lady placed herself in the middle - it was exactly 3:00 am... we were into the last watch of the night! And truly, amazing things started to happen, as follows:
Each and every person prayed for received a prophesy from God. God was using one of the ladies who had this special gift to communicate His thoughts to every person. God was loving, and was encouraging every one of His daughters! Tears flowed, coupled with big smiles.
Pictures (visions) also came and were described; and their meanings interpreted. Again, encouragements flowed into people's beings; each one felt the blessing of God.
For some of the ladies, the scent of the Holy Spirit would return and could be smelt in the circle... sometimes like sweet Jasmine, other times like Myrrh, and yet other times like a mixture of the two. The Holy Spirit was collaborating with us, and touching us with His presence.
We were truly having a supernatural encounter with God!
Then as we approached dawn, as we prayed for one lady, some evil spirits inside her began to manifest. With screams and shouts, she held her hands up to her ears as if the prayers were hurting her. I had to take control of the situation, it was not the time or place to be doing deliverance, so I bound the powers of the evil spirits and told them to calm down. After some minutes, the lady began to be calm as she came back to herself. This particular lady was scheduled for a healing and deliverance session the following weekend anyway, so that would be a more appropriate time to deal with her demonic issues.
A different lady began to manifest as we started praying for her. This time, the evil spirits would not let up, so we had no choice but to cast them out. Two of them came out, and although there were more, we managed to bind them. This lady was scheduled to be baptised the following morning, and I knew that any evil spirits that were left in her body would be compelled to leave as she arose anew in Christ from the water of baptism, so I was not so worried for her.
We had anticipated at the beginning of the night that not only would we encounter God, but that the spiritual battle would also be fierce, and so it proved to be.
A Beautiful Morning
It was well into the morning when we finished praying - around 8:00 am - so it had been a long night! Husbands turned up with breakfast, and after eating together, we headed for the beach for the baptisms of mother and daughter.
The month of May can often be cold - however that morning, it was warm and windless, and so the waters of the bay were still and clear. It was a magical morning, just perfect for baptisms. And so the baptism of the mother began, which went according to plan: prayers were said in the water, calmly and peacefully. She returned to the beach to be greeted by the rest of the ladies with a towel for her.
Just then I decided to pray for her, and within a few seconds of praying, the evil spirits in her that we had bound during the Night Prayer began to manifest. The lady screamed in anger; her fists buried in the sand. After some fierce battling, we managed to cast them out in the Name of Jesus, and the lady was freed. She looked happy, the heaviness she felt during the Night Prayer was now gone. Hallelujah! Praise God for her freedom!
Her daughter was baptised shortly after - a beautiful ending to the morning, before we all parted to catch up on our sleep. Praise be to God who never sleeps, who is always with us both night and day!
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
© Elma Larsen. All rights reserved.