More than 2,000 people from across the U.S. are gathering at World Revival Church in Kansas City, Mo., for prayer at 5 a.m. Led by popular preacher Juanita Bynum, the Tuesday morning services have caused traffic jams at 3:30 a.m. with lines of people who wait more than 10 hours to get into the meetings.
Bynum said she received a vision for the prayer services in June while she was preaching at World Revival Church. "I saw myself standing in the middle of the aisle wearing a white dress and white head wrap," said Bynum, noting that the attire symbolized her coming before God in sackcloth and ashes. "I knew God had called me to lead prayer at 5 a.m. in Kansas City."
Host pastors Steve and Kathy Gray were jubilant when Bynum announced that she would start leading prayer in the next few weeks. "This was the second biggest surprise in ministry," Steve Gray said. "The first surprise is when the power of God hit me in 1996, which led to the Smithton Outpouring. I was taken completely by surprise, but we grabbed it because we were ready for God to do anything."
"This is a different kind of revival, a prayer revival," Gray added. "We're pretty excited and grateful that God picked this place out of all the places in the world."
Bynum said the services, which began July 5, are in line with her passion to teach Christians about intercession and strategic spiritual warfare. For seven years she led a prayer meeting in New York City that grew from 25 people to more than 800 at its peak. Since those meetings, Bynum led prayer services briefly in Dallas.
"I felt lost after I finished leading prayer in New York City," she said. "God sent us to World Revival Church. It's multicultural and [reflects] people from different walks of life. There's something about this prayer meeting in Kansas City that's going to affect the world."
People stand in line for hours to get into the services. Evangelist Diane Lee of It Is Written Worship Center said she waited 11 hours to get into the service because she was hungry for an outpouring. "There's a great need for prayer in Kansas City," she said. "I'm thirsty for God and have a hunger for the Word."
"This prayer service was mandated by God," said Elder Mike Beasely of Place of Peace Family Worship Center. "The city has been focused on killings and violence. We can't do anything to pull down the strongholds of the enemy except call on the power of God."
Bynum said she's teaching principles on intercession that she has never taught anywhere else. "I've never taught on this level on strategic prayer," she said. "[My book] Matters of the Heart represented the levels of purification. My new book coming out in September, The Threshing Floor, is who I am. This book is Juanita Bynum."
She added that she wanted to be remembered as someone who provoked the nation to prayer. "In my last hour, my mantle is to provoke a people to prayer to take responsibility for the nation," she said. "We've been given the power to alter and change the course of history."
At press time, Bynum planned to continue the Kansas City prayer services indefinitely. "We're going to other cities all around the nation," Bynum said. "Next year, we may be going to Atlanta."
in Kansas City, Mo.