Dr Robert McQuillan wrote as editor of The Australian Evangel, the national monthly magazine of the Assemblies of God.
a powerful fresh move of God
sweeping through many churches
“When Princess Diana died, and particularly the weekend of her funeral (September 6, 1997), this nation found its soul,” Wynne Lewis, general superintendent Elim Pentecostal Churches (UK), told me when I was in England recently. “There came a realisation of the stark reality that a heroine had gone – tragically – and life and materialism are very uncertain. It has become easier to preach salvation and the need to trust God.”
Indeed there has been a powerful fresh move of God sweeping through many churches, including mainline and the various pentecostal streams as well as the historic AOG and Elim movements.
A Significant Sign
Many Christians and leaders spoke of the so-termed ‘Diana prophecy’ received in two parts by a Sheffield lady as being highly significant to the nation. In case you missed it, the following is an extract:
(16/5/97) “I am at work in the heart and the spirit of the people of this nation. I am doing a work which, at the moment, is unseen. Things are happening much more quickly than you think. And as a sign there will be a day very soon when the whole nation will mourn and put flowers in the cities.”
(31/8/97) “When that day happens the sign is this: the speed at which the heart and the spirit of the people of this nation can be affected, that is the speed at which I will work among this nation. Do not think that what you see and hear of are small, insignificant happenings. Do not despise the day of small things. For I tell you, when you see this sign¼ I am on the move in the cities of this nation and where flowers are laid, my Spirit will be moving faster than those flowers are removed.
“For I am bringing the power of my Spirit to bear on the cities. As fast as that mourning went through the nation, joy will go through this nation. And I tell you that you will know the miraculous entering your lives. You will see changes in areas where you never expected to see, changes. You will see relatives you never expected to see coming into the kingdom of God. You will know areas in your life where you’ve battled and battled and never overcome – you will overcome in a day, says the Lord. For I am at work in this nation and I will bring (it) to its knees before me and they will know the joy of their salvation in the mighty risen Lord Jesus.
“Therefore, rejoice. And do not let that spirit of mourning pervade your own spirit. Do not let that spirit of mourning grasp at your heart. For you have joy inexpressible in your hearts. Therefore, let the rivers of living water flow from within you and know that you will have many opportunities from this point to speak of my grace, to speak of my love, to see in action my Spirit at work. Know that I will be with you in that and you will see the miraculous, says the Lord.”
God is Moving
There are several major spiritual initiatives and thrusts occurring in the UK. In particular concentrated prayer, as in other European nations and the States, has become a top priority with many leaders and churches and is bringing amazing results. London especially has become a main target for prayer. Powerful prayer meetings and conferences are calling for the nation and Christians to repent before a holy God. Church services see people repenting at the altar and even where they’re sitting.
Ken and Lois Gott’s Revival Now Ministries’ great October prophetic conference was no exception when God’s Spirit ‘blew in’ a wind of repentance and forgiveness regarding snobbish attitudes between people ‘representing’ the north and the south of England. Then individuals from Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Jamaica, Germany and South Africa also came to the altar to similarly apologise for their countries’ wrong attitudes towards the British. Tears flowed openly and prayer for the nation as a whole was powerful. Humbly recognising afresh that Jesus is the answer to all humankind’s needs, other nations were also prayed for.
Pioneer People’s Gerald Coates unadvertised Sowing the Seeds of Revival meetings in the rotunda Emmanuel Centre, Mawson Street (close to Westminster Abbey) five nights a week attracted over 40,000 people in a matter of months. Around 150 full of faith Chinese Christians purchased the former Christian Science building for only £2.6 million instead of the asking price £6m. Allowing the Pioneer Team to use the church has resulted in hundreds saved, many on their knees and in tears, and lives changed. Personalities from Parliament and Buckingham Palace have visited and been touched by God. Dustbin loads of surrendered pornography, illegal drugs and weapons, masonic jewellery and clothing and personal effects have had to be dumped.
London’s Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) and Queens Road Baptist continue to hold significant revival meetings with hundreds of attenders hungry for God. Many AOG and Elim churches are moving in revival and planting more churches. There is a greater openness to networking to gain more meaningful results, and many noteworthy conferences are held across the nation. More and more churches are taking HTB’s Alpha program on board and seeing converts and stronger disciples of Christ. Over half a million people have embraced the course.
The AOG of Great Britain and Ireland has increased by 250 churches in the past four years. General Superintendent Paul Weaver sees the need for strong churches effectively communicating the gospel locally. With 650 fully accredited churches and several probationary, the AOG in the UK is determined to play its role in impacting the nation, and reaching thousands for Christ. Their general conference this year – Impact 21, affecting change in the power of the Spirit – should prove historic in inspiring and releasing leaders.
Christian Channel Europe, headed up by Rory and Wendy Alec, was finding good response from the UK and Europe when based in Crown House. Miraculously God arranged for the Alecs to be given top class TV studios nearby. Despite a presently limited time slot, 3am to 7am, CCE has been reaching as far away as the Baltics. Now, with the greater facilities, the channel will ‘hit Europe and the UK in a bigger and more effective way.’
Kensington Temple, England’s largest pentecostal church, has tapped into the incredible potential of satellite TV for its churches and teaching courses. These programs reach Europe as well as the UK. Praying and open-air preaching by KT youth at Leicester Square has seen thousands saved. Over 2000 people now attend KT’s Sunday night services in the new ex-BBC warehouse auditorium in North Acton. A whole month of ‘unprogrammed’ meetings Wednesday through Saturday saw hundreds of lives dramatically changed, healings and signs and wonders. On the Saturday nights the church took to the streets and saw hundreds saved.
Sense of God’s Time
Many believe strongly that God is at work in the nation and exerting his influence as Sovereign Lord over churches and Christians. Leaders are becoming more challenged and sensitive to allowing the Holy Spirit to have his way.
Ken Gott virtually echoed Wynne Lewis’ words when he stated, ‘Britain found its soul when people prayed along with the Archbishop of Canterbury, “Our Father, your kingdom come.” Princess Diana’s death deeply touched the nation spiritually. There is a searching going on!’
He then told of a man in a London pub who went over to two other men who were sitting quietly having a meal. He was searching, desperate for answers, and ‘somehow knew’ they were Christians.
‘Sir,’ he said to one, ‘I perceive you are a man of integrity. Do you have something to say to me?’
‘Yes, Jesus loves you.’
‘Do you have anything else to say?’
‘Yes, you’re dying.’
It was a sure word of knowledge. The man was dying – from AIDS. He had been walking all day around London praying to the God he did not know personally and saying, ‘If you’re real, God, reveal yourself.’ God did and the man got saved!
There is a definite awareness of God’s time for the UK. Prophet Paul Cain has declared that God has targeted Great Britain for harvest. I sensed it deeply in my own spirit and encouraged many to believe for God to raise their nation on a powerful ‘next wave’ that will exalt the Lordship of Jesus, see thousands come into the kingdom, the nation turned around and, as in years gone by, again touching other nations especially the Continent.
A deepening hunger to know God more intimately and to redeem the time is also prevalent. As Fulton Sheen put it: ‘Every moment comes to you pregnant with a divine purpose; time being so precious that God deals it out only second by second. Once it leaves your hands and your power to do with it as you please, it plunges into eternity, to remain forever as you made it.’
Hope and Expectation
The flowers have been laid and lifted and God is moving! Prime Minister Tony Blair declared that Britain would be a compassionate nation, a giving one and one on the cutting edge. I personally believe that will also happen spiritually and we’ll be receiving wonderful exciting reports of the power, grace and favour of God at work in Great Britain, with an emphasis on the ‘Great.’
Hope and expectation would aptly describe the present state of many Spirit-filled believers there. Australia may not have been as deeply affected by Princess Di’s death as the UK and even Eire, but great expectation and strong hope in Christ, accompanied by serious prayer, laying aside personal priorities and even church programs, and getting right with God, lead to amazing accomplishments in taking Jesus to any nation.
May it be so in Australia as the Holy Spirit seeks to, and is allowed to, dig new wells in places not yet familiar with the sounds of the river of God’s refreshing and his saving grace.
Reproduced with permission from The Australian Evangel, February 1998, pages 47-48.
(c) 2011, 2nd edition. Reproduction allowed with copyright included in text.
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