Charisma News sat down with Jeff Marks, founder and director of New England Concerts of Prayer, to talk about his experience joining in prayer with more than 100,000 Indonesians in May at the World Prayer Assembly, held at the Jakarta National Stadium, Indonesia’s largest sporting arena. Sensing a call from the Holy Spirit, Marks, who lives in the U.S., traveled to Indonesia to have, as he puts it, “a front row seat to the world revival.”
Marks, author of the book When New England Prays, shares his insights about what lessons American Christians can learn from the move of God in Southeast Asia. As a prayer leader, he also looks ahead to America for Jesus in September.
Charisma News: What do you think the American church—the body of all true believers in the U.S.—can learn from what God is doing in Indonesia?
Marks: It’s always a heart cry that starts a revival. As it says in Exodus, God heard their groans and cries and He stepped forth to do something for Moses. In Indonesia, it’s a heart cry that started it all and it’s touched so many people. The Asian church is so vibrant. As Americans, we should be mindful to align with our brothers and sisters in Christ that a new wave is coming. As believers, we are at a crest of this wave initiated by the Holy Spirit. As a result, we have hope.
Charisma News: Why do you think they are so spiritually hungry in Indonesia?
Marks: There is tremendous hunger for God in Indonesia, and hunger begets hunger. And it says blessed are the spiritually hungry in the Beatitudes. The Indonesian Christians are so excited, so friendly and so filled with the love of Christ. They cannot get enough of God. The hunger leads to willingness to sacrifice to be part of prayer chains. Some people are up in the middle of the night praying or early morning hours. It’s not a piece of cake. It’s the real thing.
Charisma News: How were you affected by the trip to Indonesia personally?
Marks: My trip to Indonesia was life-transforming because there was such an atmosphere of prayer. There were prayer towers where as many as 60 people were praying. I was really moved. You could feel the Spirit. Ten-thousand people gathered in a conference center daily, and the Holy Spirit just came down. There were 2,000 children who prayed and danced on stage. Eighty-one nations were represented. It gave me a front row seat to the world revival.
Charisma News: Southeast Asia has been hit with devastating tsunamis and other natural disasters in recent years. What have you seen as the response to those things?
Marks: Devastation had hit Indonesia, such as the tsunami, and I think it brought forth a heart for prayer. It’s often at the darkest point that God does His greatest work. When the church has its back against the wall, I think we’re in the best place. Morally, we are surrounded by a very hostile culture, which could lead to persecution. Instead of getting down, as the church responds with renewed efforts of prayer—24/7 prayer—I hope to contribute to more of that. Prayer will make a big difference.
Charisma News: What should Christians be praying for?
Marks: Christians should be praying that God raise up people as leaders in the political realm who fear Him—even that Christians would come into office. Our national prayer committee President Dave Butts issued a call for America for Jesus where we are expecting a million people or so that the 40 days before the 2012 presidential election should be 24/7 prayer.