There is a profound thirst for prayer and counseling among many of the men who attend the Karoo Mighty Men Conference (KMMC), according to Lance Walton, KMMC coordinator of the prayer tent.
He says that while the KMMC did not have a prayer tent in its first year the organisers immediately realised that many men who attended the conference had a deep-seated need for prayer and counseling, and that baptism in water and the Holy Spirit was also a requirement.
“Men’s needs vary from those that have just experienced salvation and have the yearning to be baptized, to the desperate desire for prayer for healing from illness, the release from bondage to drugs or alcohol, or the restoring of peace in a conflict-ridden family,” explains Walton.
“However, most people that come to the prayer tent are simply hungry for prayer and need someone to pray with them.
“One of the first men that came into the prayer tent needing prayer really tested us, as our prayers for him resulted in a demon manifestation, which we were not initially ready for, but the Lord guided us and the person was released from the demons.
“Now, we have personnel in the ministry who specifically deal with expelling demons.”
Walton says this year, the command from the Lord was to have a “Tent in White” that measures 14,5-metres by 46-metres, which is double the size of the 2014 KMMC prayer tent.
The Lord laid Joel 3:13-14 on Walton’s heart: “Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full; the vats overflow, for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision”.
“As we are expecting multitudes to fill that Great White Tent, both Friday and Saturday evenings, the ministry team is prepared and looking forward to assisting men with whatever prayer requests they may have.
“The baptism bath will again be available to those who wish to be baptized, and yes water has been supplied from the Jordan River in Israel,” says Walton.
He informs that on Sunday, after Angus has preached, all mothers and families are invited to come to the tent for a special blessing, before they leave.
Walton says the KMMC prayer, counseling and deliverance ministry and its members have grown in unity, experience and responsibility.
“Those who minister in the prayer tent have also grown in spiritual maturity since 2012 when the prayer tent was a much smaller shelter with five volunteers compared to the huge marquee that will have about 50 people ministering to the needs of men attending the 2015 conference.
“It has been a big learning curve since we stepped out in faith in 2012 with this KMMC prayer, baptism and deliverance ministry.
“The ministry team has done sterling work, labouring day and night during the conferences.
“It has been wonderful to see the Holy Spirit’s presence at work touching men’s lives and transforming them.”
Walton says what the Lord did in the prayer tent last year was just incredible: “We saw the power of the Holy Spirit at work, touching men’s lives – the anointing in the tent was tangible”.
“The Salvation call on the Friday night saw 1 500 men step forward and give their lives to the Lord, then come into the tent to receive what the Lord was offering: salvation; water baptism; and baptism in the Holy Spirit.
“The baptism bath was really special. Even though the Karoo can be extremely chilly at the end of April it did not deter the men who wanted to be baptised.
“Those that were baptised in water came back to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which was wonderful to experience. It was incredible to see how men received the anointing of the Holy Spirit almost instantaneously.
“In the evenings men who came forward for prayer were hungry for the Lord to touch them. So many men were blessed in a mighty and powerful way by the Lord.
“The tent was extremely busy the entire weekend during both the day and night as men from all walks of life made commitments or sought counseling.”
Jacques Whittle, who served in the prayer tent last year, confirms how demanding it was: “It was a very busy time, so much so that I missed two of the KMMC sessions”.
“Working in the tent was hard work, because people were coming into the tent at all hours, even while some of the presentations were on”.
Nevertheless, he says it was an amazing experience and a privilege to see the way God worked in people’s lives.
“What we experienced was just phenomenal, we realised that there were not enough of us counselors to spend much time with everyone, but we just prayed and the Holy Spirit did the work and touched the people,” says Whittle.
He says serving in the tent was such a profound experience that it almost seemed to be an event on its own, besides KMMC.
“It was really a very different experience for me than merely attending the KMMC. We hardly had time for anything else, but prayer and counseling, throughout the weekend and the interaction with people coming to the prayer tent for counseling was intense.
“I never expected anything like it; the experience blew me away. For example, witnessing a father and son’s relationship restored after they had been through much conflict.
Another ministry highlight was baptising his spiritual son, Geoffrey (Mbulelo Mbaza) who comments: “ My life has changed, I opened my heart for Jesus and want to follow Him more and more. My desire is to walk more and more in the Spirit. I feel happy and I pray for everything, every morning and during day. There is also a difference in my home, so I can testify of the work that Jesus is doing in my life. I will follow him for ever and ever, Amen”
“The whole weekend was one of healing,” says Whittle.
Walton agrees saying that his experience of ministering in the prayer tent has had a major influence on his own faith.
Guidance of the Holy Spirit
“Working under the guidance of the Holy Spirit is a humbling experience. The emptier we are of ego and self, the fuller the measure is that the Holy Spirit is able to use us.
“However, I also learned that each day is new. Yesterday’s anointing by the Holy Spirit does not apply today, just as the manna provided by the Lord to the Israelites was only good for a day, we need to seek guidance from the Holy Spirit each day and for each different circumstance.
“To experience how the Lord works in people’s lives to change them for their better makes one begin to understand how merciful He is and how dependent we are on His grace.
Walton says this year there will be an emphasis on men stepping out in faith to receive their baptisms by the grace of the Lord.
“As each person enters the tent they will be given a commitment form to complete, which will allow us to link them to a Church near to where they live for support.
“When people get back home they have been through an exhilarating mountain-top experience. We do not want them to fall back into a valley of desolation without brothers and sisters in Christ to whom they can turn to for fellowship, encouragement and assistance in their walk with the Lord,” says Walton.
Whittle has big expectations for KMMC 2015.
“My big hope is that the conference encourages people to start rising up in their identity in Christ, stepping out in faith, living bravely and in extreme generosity, for this country needs it.”
Walton says the Spirit of God is looking for those who will bare their hearts before Him, and serve His purpose in the foundation of a mighty ‘Revival’ movement of God.
“We are preparing something very special at KMMC for Friday and Saturday night, something we believe that has never been done at any local conference or Church before.
“So come to KMMC with expectations,” says Walton.