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Highlights from the Charismatic Anglican 2014 Prayer Conference

 

ACNA has grown steadily. It now has over nine hundred congregations in the United States and Canada, with about 119,000 persons attending Sunday services. The Churches and clergy of ACNA are three streamed. That is, they worship liturgically, based on the Book of Common Prayer (several variations, 1928, 1979, etc.), preach the Gospel evangelically, and practice the gifts of the Spirit. There is a wide variety of how the streams are manifest in individual churches. Some churches are more traditional and liturgical, with few charismatic manifestations such as tongues or prophecy. Some churches are highly charismatic. All practice some form of healing ministry, as in weekly healing services, or having trained healing intercessors pray for supplicants at the Sunday services.

I came into the Episcopal Church in 1981, to a congregation that was highly charismatic, but in a diocese led by a liberal Bishop, and with a majority of churches in the liberal camp. The spiritual warfare involved was time consuming, distressing, and exhausting. I recall the tensions of an Episcopal diocesan meeting I attended in the 1980s. One had to guard each word spoken, as one did not know if the person you were conversing with was liberal or orthodox. The agenda was all about liberal topics, such as condemning American foreign policy. I grieve over the many Methodists and Presbyterian brothers undergo the same unpleasantness in their meetings. It has been a relief and joy to be part of a wholly orthodox, if smaller denomination.

Holy Cross Anglican Church in Loganville, Georgia

So now I can discuss the intercessor’s conference, and share how spiritually refreshing and exciting it was. This was a conference to teach laymen and clergy further insights on intercessory prayer. No de-mythologizing cited, and no cessationism accepted. We all understood that prayer was a real force, and that it could move mountains and stop storms. In fact, one of my talks was on Mrs. Agnes Sanford’s pioneer “nature ministry,” where she outlined the Christian’s authority and stewardship over nature, as in stopping storms.[2] No one at the conference dis-believed this could be done by Christians, as promised in John 14:12 (I have blogged on this topic earlier).[3] In fact several persons shared incidents in their lives where they commanded weather changes. I would not have been invited to an Episcopal conference to talk about such a thing, and had I done so I would have been met with silence or derisive laughter.

The conference was organized into five plenary sessions and five workshops, plus Morning Prayer, a Eucharist, and several sessions of joint intercessory prayer. This was the first prayer intercessor’s conference of the diocese. And there were only about fifty participants (we expect triple that number next year). Archbishop Beach not only gave the first session, but led the prayer services (morning and noon prayer, and a Eucharist). He could have delegated most of his appearances to others, and we would have understood that he was a very busy man. He did not. It was his statement that he was not only the Archbishop of ACNA, but still our diocesan Bishop. He wears, so to speak, two bishop’s hats—one as Archbishop and another as Bishop of ADOTS. Mostly it was a statement of how much he believed in prayer, and wanted to encourage others in that ministry.

 

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Category: Ministry, Summer 2014

About the Author: William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include, Quenching the Spirit (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), and Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He and his wife Carolyn continue in their healing, teaching and writing ministries. He is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations. Facebook AnglicalPentecostal.blogspot.com

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