It's been a week since Anthem, and I'm finally sitting down to reflect on all that God did.
Going in, there were two scriptures that I felt God was pressing in...
2 Chronicles 16:9, "the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." This is a cool verse lodged in a frightening context (Asa, a king who lost faith toward the end of his life). Going in we prayed fervently that the gaze of Christ would stop on the corner of Interstate 35 and Highway 30 as over a thousand young people gathered for worship and prayer.
The second verse, which is sort of a running theme, is from 1 Corinthians 14:25, where the unbeliever sees the body of Christ in action and “will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!’”
Here's a recap...
We started at 8 p.m. and finished at 11:30. Three and a half hours of worship and prayer with over 1,000 teenagers and college students... the atmosphere was electric. For the first hour and a half, we did the usual non-stop worship set with the full band. Then, we did a musical intermission where we let people take a break, or leave if they were ready to go. Then we came back for an hour and a half of prayer as some of the team led an acoustic set. There were three movements of this prayer time: Adoration, Communion, and Intercession.
It was beautiful to see the auditorium turned into a house of prayer as 300-400 students were spread out around the auditorium, some praying in groups, others as individuals kneeling, sitting, or standing with arms outstretched. It was a house of prayer for the nations.
Then the Anthem Warriors- those who stayed to the very end (about 300)- rushed down to the front as the band kicked in "He reigns" at about 11:10. That bled into "Glory" and then our set was done. At that point I said, "Whatever you start singing, we'll sing with you."
The crowd spontaneously broke into the intro of "One Life." They were even in the right key! The place erupted and got rowdy with the worship of Jesus and "one life, one love that saved us, we trust in the promise of salvation..."
Here's how God answered prayer...
As to the first prayer (2 Chron. 16:9)- as one couple left halfway through the prayer time, they were turning north onto I-35 when they saw a display that looked like heavenly fireworks. Falling from the sky over Cornerstone was a bright green shooting star. As it got closer, the thing just exploded in the sky right over the building. They looked at each other stunned and silent. Oh the pleasure of God in the prayers of his people. I think there's a special place in his heart for children who are praising him!
Regarding our second prayer from (1 Corinthians 14:25), there were three direct answered prayers that we know of.
One high school student came in as a skeptical atheist. But as a musician and songwriter, he was interested in hearing original worship music. He was talking to one of the high school leaders during the intermission and said he wanted to become a Christian. Asked why, he said, "As a song writer, I know that music comes from the heart. To hear these songs written as an overflow of love for God and to see people worshiping from their hearts, I cannot deny the truth of this."
One girl came with a friend and was a meth addict. She turned to her friend during the first set and whispered (or maybe yelled over the music...), "I want to become a Christian." During the intermission, she prayed with her friend and Todd Wallace in his office.
A Chinese guy came with his Chinese and American friends In the middle of worship he asked Brian Cheney, "Why does everyone lift up their hands?" Later in the worship, there he was with outstretched hands in worship. During the intermission, he also prayed to receive Christ in the office.
It was fun to see friends visiting from Kansas, Nebraska, and other parts of Iowa. Here is a picture of our drummer Clint Robinson with Giri Nam, from South Korea. She's a gifted song writer that we met when we were leading worship for a conference in Kansas. She has an amazing heart of worship, and a gift to put it to music.
I'm a little hesitant to post these, since it's raw footage and bad audio, but it will give you an idea of the first set.
For every person that came, there is another story of how God spoke and acted on their behalf.