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ALTAR CALL – Call to change the nation with prayer

Cheryl Harewood

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HUNDREDS came from churches across the island and abroad to be part of the Seventh Annual Eagle Eye Conference, hosted by Senator Reverend Dr David Durant and Pastor Joy Durant of Restoration Ministries.For three glorious nights, intercession, praise and worship took centre stage at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.Women, men and children danced, bowed in reverence to God, and rejoiced. It was not church as usual!Worship dancers – children and adults attired in bright, festive colours – seemingly heralded the very presence of Almighty God. Worship emanated from everywhere.The conference was held under the theme The Role Of Intercession In National Transformation.On the night that Altar Call provided coverage, Reverend Ferdinand Nicholls ministered in song, and the Restoration Dancers in dance, while budding saxophonist Kieshelle Rawlins of CEF Miracle Centre, thrilled all  through her ministry. Worship lasted more than two hours, before the effervescent Trinidad and Tobago born Apostle Anne-Marie Allman, a resident of the United States, took to the podium.In a fiery message, punctuated with shouts from the congregation of “Hallelujah”, “Amen” and “Preach sister,” she delivered much food for thought.Taking her main text from Jonah, Chapter 3:6-10, she spoke of God’s decision to spare Nineveh, after its inhabitants turned from their evil ways and sought Him through prayer and fasting.Her message was about the intercessor’s role; the need to be militant in prayer, and for all Christians to be intercessors.As she looked at the role of intercessors in bringing about change, Allman noted: “When God saw how these people (of Nineveh) turned from their evil ways, He had compassion on them. We must realise wherever there is injustice, oppression, wickedness, exploitation, greed, inequality and violence, there is need for  transformation. “Wherever you find religious systems that present God as jealous and wrathful, there is need for transformation. Whenever we find systems that say God hates sinners, systems of suppression and racism, there is need for transformation. “Wherever you find political systems which control and destroy life, where there is manipulation or systems that imply superiority and inferiority, we need transformation. When things, people or systems begin to function contrary to God’s will – whether it’s  church people, an apostle, bishop, prime minister or institution – there is need for transformation. “Whenever we find people or systems running contrary to God’s system and purpose we need transformation,” she said.Allman stated that over the years “there has been much degradation – children against children, neighbour against neighbour, and the church has become a religious place for people to come in and go without experiencing change”. “Nothing will change until we see the need for change,” she noted. “We must engage in intercession to see the real results, for wherever there is a need for transformation, there is a need for real intercession.”She said the church must rise up and intercede whenever there was injustice, and unfairness.“This calls for more than weeping beside your bed and offering praise to God. It is more than saying ‘touch Lord’, ‘move Lord’, ‘change Lord’.“Intercession must be the kind that brings transformation. We must defy, fight, oppose and confront. “Intercession is defiance of what is not in the name of Jesus. If God has promised prosperity, we must defy poverty. If God has promised healing we must defy sickness and disease. You need to intercede when you look at God’s promises  and yourself, and see the discrepancies,” she stressed.The Apostle called on each believer to study God’s Word; seek Him for themselves, and desist from constantly requesting the prayers of others.“The kind of intercession we need is the kind where the entire nation intercedes,  including leaders.“Nineveh was spared God’s wrath because the entire nation prayed. “Intercession is about getting God to do what He won’t ordinarily do. We can cause change by interceding,” she added.To have your church or organisation featured in Altar Call, please contact Cheryl Harewood at 430-5494 or Email: [email protected]