Cloverdale Hosts Prayer Concert
Randy Maxwell, Kuna Church pastor and Idaho Conference prayer ministries coordinator, led a concert of prayer at the Cloverdale Church in Boise on Sept. 23, the eve of Pope Francis’ historic address to Congress. The focus of the evening wasn’t about the pope’s visit, but on our need to be in communication with our Father in heaven.
Maxwell shared that "thunder in the heavenlies" comes from our united cries to God for revival taking on the sound of thunder in heaven as they grow in urgency and number. It was inspired by a quotation from James Burns: "The heart of man begins to cry out for God, for spiritual certainties, for fresh visions. From a faith desire this multiplies, until it becomes a vast human need, until in its urgency it seems to beat with violence at the very gates of heaven."
Music, Scripture, and lots of solo and group prayer were carefully planned. Prayer time began with a group sharing of praise, open to anyone who wanted to pray. Troy Haagenson, Cloverdale Church pastor, and Chris Evenson, Nampa Church pastor, assisted Maxwell and led the group of more than 80 in Scripture and prayer based on Matthew, chapters 24 and 25. Six-year-old Sierra Haagenson and 8-year-old Nathan Haagenson participated in the prayers led from the front with their father.
The lesson of the fig tree reminded the group that it is easy to become desensitized by the noise around them and miss the signs of Jesus’ coming. They prayed they would stay in tune with God’s voice and recognize the signs. We do not know the day and the hour of Christ's coming, and the group asked for God to help them be in a constant state of readiness. Scripture tells us to be kind to each other while we await our Master’s coming.
As the prayers continued, attendees were reminded, per Matthew 25, to be prepared, have the oil of the Holy Spirit, and use and not bury the gifts God has given to them. The last part of the chapter tells us we are here on Earth to be Jesus’ hands and feet, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and imprisoned. The group's prayers focused on others instead of themselves for this part of the concert.
The greatest impact seemed to be a testimony from Steve Echelmeier, Cloverdale Church member. His wife, Kim, has been suffering from a debilitating disease, and there was not much hope of recovery. After soul-searching and much prayer, the couple requested an anointing. Three possible outcomes were shared during the anointing — that she would experience immediate healing, that she would be healed over time or that healing would come when Jesus returned.
During the prayer concert, Steve shared, “We accepted the possibility of all three outcomes. When we got our focus off of us and onto Him, that’s when the healing began.” The day after the anointing, Kim felt better. Her doctor saw evidence of healing.
There is great power in prayer because there is great power in our God.