The Asbury Outpouring Continues

PRAYER OF CONSECRATION

Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body as a holy and living sacrifice to you. 

Jesus, We belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Luke 9:28–33 (NIV)

About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)

CONSIDER THIS

I have been in Wilmore, Kentucky, all week and unsure of when I will leave. The team from Seedbed has been on site supporting the university leadership, standing in the gaps, serving, praying, ministering, being present in the war room as shepherds and stewards. Thank you for praying for us. And thank you for sowing with us for these past ten years. So many hands have been and continue to be to the plow in this work from so many places and churches and different ministries and for decades. People want to know—is this real? It’s a complex question and many point out this will not be settled until well into the future. I can only bear witness to what I have seen and heard and touched and personally experienced. I can say unequivocally that what is happening is as real as real gets. What it will become is only known to Jesus. But what is unfolding right here and right now is real. 

Here is the most compelling evidence of the uncontrived, unforced, unplanned and unexpected authenticity for me:

This was the chapel after chapel service ended last Wednesday, February 8, 2023. Just another day. Only a handful of students stayed behind to pray for one another. Then it began to happen. Students, for no reason other than the beckoning of the Spirit, began to come back to the chapel. They asked their professors if they could return—uncharacteristic to say the least—and going on nine days later it is like this: 

It hasn’t stopped since then—24/7. People are coming here from all over the country and world. We have opened up four overflow buildings and all stay filled. Student groups from many campuses across the country have come here. This is beginning to kindle and burn on multiple other campuses.

We are reticent to call it anything. It is clearly an outpouring and an encounter with the Lord of the church, Jesus Messiah. History can define it as it will. It is extraordinary and yet nothing new. Many of you have seen and experienced the kind of things that are happening here. And yet none of us really have been in this kind of concentrated and sustaining move. The hunger of people coming from everywhere is enormous. It is characterized by exuberant worship, empowered by the Spirit, led by students, no production whatsoever, no screens or words projected, seemingly no song lists—they sing until the Spirit seems to give another song. There is a lot of prayer being led all over the house, there are testimonies given throughout the day. It is the holy love of God rising like a tide and rolling like waves. Herrnhut like.

Jesus is the only celebrity here. David Thomas, from the Farm Team at Seedbed and New Room has been providing strong shepherding leadership among a number of other leaders from the University. No one even remotely considers the names of anyone in leadership here. They are not unseasoned, just unknown . . . and they will to stay that way. Incredible humility characterizes this whole move. The leadership at Asbury University has been an extraordinary servant to Jesus in this. Kevin Brown, the president, is its chief champion. And while this has been enormously disruptive to the life of the school, no one seems to care. There is a vigilance of love from the school for these students, though it has been challenging for them, as they have at times felt displaced by all the outside crowds coming. and yet they are so hospitable.

The night before last a student from Brazil came to stage offer a testimony. He had recently graduated. In his sharing he mentioned how much Jesus had been moving in his life. He remarked how lost he felt as a graduate, alone—no family and now out from college, and he had been unable to get a job. He spoke of how discouraged he had been and then this happened and how he had been drawn to return to the campus—and how Jesus was meeting him here. It was a precious sharing—as riveting as it was unspectacular and humble. He then led a prayer for Brazil in Portuguese—as heartfelt as I have ever heard a prayer and yet couldn’t understand a word.

As he was finishing someone from the balcony shouted his name and tossed something on the stage. It was money. Suddenly people began to run from the crowd toward the stage all bringing money and putting it on the stage—some tossed stacks of money into the air around the stage like confetti as it fell. I have never witnessed the kind of spontaneous generosity; true fruit of the Spirit—instantaneously. It was overwhelming. It also happened the same way in the multiple sites across town where the meeting was being simulcast. We have no idea of the amount of money but it had to be a lot. I had the sense of Peter and James and John hauling in those boatloads of fish tearing the nets and almost sinking the boats!

Students line up to share and bear witness to what Jesus is doing in their lives and it keeps on happening (more on that tomorrow). This is a very significant event and will mark history. The beautiful thing is the simplicity of it, as well as its transferability.

I joined a zoom call yesterday with about two hundred prayer leaders from across forty countries in Europe convened by our dear friend Pete Greig in England. The faith and hunger was as palpable there as here in Wilmore. Europe is one of only two continents in the world in which the church is shrinking. They are so desperate for an awakening to Jesus to stem the tide of decline and bring forth the kingdom of God and a renewed church.

The greatest response you could make is not to come here but to sow there—to meet up with whoever will join you and welcome this move of God to your heart, your home, your church, and your city.

Friends, this is what we are sowing for. We are in awe to see these first fruits unfold. And this is only the beginning.

Pray for us as we pray for you.

I love you all.

THE PRAYER

Thank you Jesus. Thank you. Amen. 

THE QUESTION

Will you consecrate yourself—make your heart pliable and ready to receive what Jesus is bringing? 

THE HYMN

In one of the late night sessions one of the students began to lead the house in singing the simple chorus, “Sanctuary.” We will sing it together again today: “Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.”

For the Awakening,
J. D. Walt

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

7 Responses

  1. Jesus once said: “I have come to bring fire upon the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” I believe that was first accomplished on the day of Pentecost and will continue to happen at various times and places until Jesus returns for his Church. Perhaps this outpouring of the Spirit of God is indeed another one of these occasions.

  2. “The greatest response you could make is not to come here but to sow there—to meet up with whoever will join you and welcome this move of God to your heart, your home, your church, and your city.”

    Just now, before I got out of bed, this poem appeared and developed in my mind:

    Be aware
    Of Jesus
    Right there
    Now where
    You are.
    Then connect
    With Him
    Thru prayer
    And share
    His presence
    With others.

  3. This is so exciting and thrilling! I was not aware of what happened 50 yrs ago but in the late 80’s early 90’s I was drawn into the fire!

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