What’s Up With the Lime Green Shirts?

By Doug Newton

A woman prays at the altar during Saturday night's worship service. The General Conference prayer team worked to foster an environment of prayer throughout the week.

We all dressed in bright lime green T-shirts. But it wasn’t about being in the limelight at GC11. It was about displaying a prophetic word of encouragement to the church: Saturate everything with prayer.

Our 24-member team from the Greenville (Ill.) FMC and Mary’s Place Ministries had two other goals. We wanted to “lubricate” this historic general conference with grace, wisdom and unity that comes from the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. So we staged daily prayer walks into every venue of GC11.

Picture 40 to 50 people moving about randomly from seat to seat, on the platform, down the aisles, praying aloud, praising boldly and calling down God’s blessing on each delegate and the whole place. Picture them lifting their hands as they walked, as if coating the atmosphere with God’s peace and blessing.

The third goal was to bring prayer out of the closet onto the streets. Since our bishops wanted GC11 to point the denomination toward a “whole gospel” outreach, we wanted to be among the first to say “yes” and reach out with healing, deliverance and provision. That’s the whole gospel. So we set up three tents and invited people to come for prayer. And come they did.

For four days, our team prayed from 7 a.m. until the evening service at 7 p.m. We saw miraculous healings. God spoke words of guidance and affirmation through insights and knowledge team members could not have perceived intellectually. In other words, words of knowledge came and functioned like keys that unlocked bound-up people.

As the week went on, many conferees testified to the remarkable spirit of unity, passion and creativity of this unusual general conference. They began putting two and two together and rightly attributed the results to prayer.

Of course the powerful prayers for GC11 were not coming only from people wearing lime green. Hundreds of people had been praying for months in response to the bishops’ call to prayer and fasting and using the online prayer guides during the “180 Days of Prayer” just before GC11, but an onsite presence of prayer is always a vital part of breakthrough prayer. God’s divine work usually requires some bold, aggressive human effort at the very point of a desired outpouring. Four people had to tear through a roof to lower a paralyzed friend into Jesus’ presence for healing.

We take that principle literally and, therefore, seriously. Prayer must go, whenever possible, where we would have the kingdom come. Holy feet must tread upon the very territory to be claimed. Prayer is the work of the harbinger who arrives in a city in advance of the king. Prayer is to Pentecost as John the Baptist is to Jesus. It is the voice of one calling out, “Prepare the way of the Lord.” And so we went to pray.

There is no doubt the Lord answered all our prayers for GC11. In fact, He did more than we asked or imagined. That’s His nature. To Him be the limelight forever and ever. Amen.

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