On Fire for God
Pentecost Among Our Youth
by Georges Farhat
past August the European Region of the Sword of the Spirit organized a
PTI Youth program in Germany. The program was lead by Georges Farhat along
with 6 other staff workers. Some 50 youth from Sword of the Spirit communities
in Europe took part in the weeklong program. There were a variety of activities
for the young people, including worship, discussion groups, fun games,
arts and crafts, drama and the deadly cinnamon challenge. The older youth
(16-17 years old, "Minions") played a very significant role in the program.
They were very positive and engaging, wholeheartedly serving their younger
brothers and sisters.
of Heaven prayer room
During one morning session all the youth were
busy preparing the prayer stations in what we called our Citizens of
Heaven prayer room. We set up prayer stations in the room for a variety
of special prayer intentions, such as prayer for repentance, worship, and
intercession. The youth could choose which stations they wanted to join
in for prayer. When evening came we decided to return to our "Citizens
of Heaven" room, to continue our time of prayer for the evening. We sang
some worship songs and then I shared for few minutes about our identity
in Christ, and that he is alive and his Kingdom is amongst us. His Spirit
wants to equip us and awaken in us a new desire to love God and to make
him loved. As I was speaking I saw stars in their eyes, the Spirit was
already leading us to go deeper in the river of God’s mercy and grace.
Then we took time to go around the prayer stations. This time was one of
repentance and coming back to the Lord, I saw many of our youth in tears
presenting their lives, hopes and dreams before God.
One of the guys wrote his sin on a piece of paper
and as soon as he put it in the “sin bin,” it tore by itself! In amazement
and fear he wrote another sin of his and it did the same. He felt God’s
powerful presence surrounding him and he heard Him say: “Don’t be afraid!
I have conquered and destroyed the bondage of sin in your life…” This young
man went on, encouraging all the lads to do the same, as God wanted to
deal with their sins.
The Spirit took
us by surprise
We kept on, having an amazing prayer time. God
spoke with our young people and they made serious decisions for His kingdom.
When I looked up at the clock it was 10.20 pm, and so we thought it would
be a good idea to close our time by asking all those who had felt God’s
presence or made a decision to come to the middle of the room so that we
could pray with them. To our surprise, everyone joined in and then Joe
Turner, from the Antioch community in London, played a song and by the
end of this song the place where we were meeting was shaken and we were
filled with the Holy Spirit! We started shouting out words of praise and
exaltation to God. Some were kneeling, some crying, some lifting their
hands up high, some praising in tongues, some shouting out loud words of
exaltation to God, some prophesying. One our German youth told us that
she didn’t know any of the English songs, but somehow she was singing along
and that was amazing for her.
The place where
we were meeting trembled and shook
Rather than ending our prayer time at 10.30 pm,
we sensed that the Holy Spirit was leading us to continue in prayer which
lased until 1:30 am. Nobody wanted to leave the room during the whole time
of prayer! Around midnight I decided to find some bottled water for the
youth. As I walked down the hallway I met Bruce Yocum (one of the main
speakers at the Pastoral Training Institute). I told Bruce that a new Pentecost
was happening with the youth in the prayer room, so he decided to join
us in our prayer session.
The youth felt that Christ was very much alive
and at work amongst them. They were prophesying and they saw images and
visions.I recalled from the Book of Acts what the Holy Spirit did on the
Feast of Pentecost amongst the early church:
“While they were praying, the place where
they were meeting trembled and shook. They were all filled with the Holy
Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence. The
whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind!
They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said,
“That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles
gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace
was on all of them.” Acts 4:31-33
Here are three responses we are making to what
God has done with our youth.
1. First, we are filled with gratitude and we
continue to give thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who conquered
death and sin on the Cross and gave us the fullness of life in his resurrection
through the power of the Holy Spirit.
2. We are doing some follow up in the communities
and households with the youth who attended the PTI. We want to encourage
the youth to tell their community about their own experience of the Holy
Spirit's work in their lives and the decisions they have made for Christ
3. We are very encouraged! God is powerfully at
work amongst our youth. We expect the Holy Spirit to continue his work
of transforming the hearts and minds of our teenagers. God wants to use
them in boldly speaking to their friends and others about Christ, even
in the face of a secular atheistic culture that pervades many schools and
places here in Europe. The Holy Spirit is equipping our young people to
be light and salt of the earth, to witness his love and presence. We want
to continue to encourage and support them in witnessing boldly to others.