Pastor Carter Conlon has seen the power of heartfelt prayer, and he wants to share the secret with everyone. Conlon—pastor of Times Square Church in New York City and author of It's Time to Pray—was featured in October on the cover of Charisma, where he opened up about the new prayer movement God is stirring up through his church. Even as our culture gets more and more wicked, Conlon says the darkness we see is no match for a man or woman of prayer. (If you don't already subscribe to Charisma, click here to buy the October issue.)
In It's Time to Pray, which released earlier this month, Conlon shares practical and spiritual insights into the kind of prayer that changes lives and nations. He says his original intention was to write an autobiography that would inspire younger Christians and pastors to recognize that God can use them despite their weaknesses. He teaches that experiencing God will do infinitely more to reach this culture for Christ than arguing about Him.
"I fear that we have become an argument in our generation and no longer a testimony," Conlon says. "The true coming back to Christ through prayer brings us almost to an Acts 2 moment again where you can't theologically argue with the presence of God in a person's life. Leonard Ravenhill once told me that a man with an experience with God is not at the mercy of a man with an argument about God. And that's true."
I recently visited New York City to tour for my latest book, Trump Aftershock, which released last week. (You can order your own copy at trumpaftershock.com). While I was there, I had the privilege of speaking with Pastor Conlon. I asked him about his new book as well as about the incredible things God is doing in his church.
Times Square Church is a fascinating congregation. David Wilkerson—founder of Teen Challenge and author of The Cross and the Switchblade—founded that church and pastored it for many years before he passed leadership over to Conlon. The church now has around 10,000 people who attend and hosts numerous services in many locations.
One of their most powerful services takes place every Tuesday night, when they host a worldwide prayer meeting. The idea for this came to Conlon while he was praying in his office one day. He was asking God where He wanted Times Square Church to plant satellite churches.
"The answer that came was different than I was expecting," Conlon told me when I interviewed him. "The Lord told me, 'The satellite churches are already here in the city, but they will never have Times Square Church's name on the door. ... I want you to seek out 100 churches in the city, and I want you to underwrite them to feed the poor in their communities. And the only requirement with that is that they have to have a prayer meeting.'"
This decision fostered unity with the churches in New York City, and soon they decided to all pray together on Tuesday nights. The first time they did it, they invited the whole city, and they were shocked to find prayer requests were coming in from all over the world. Through these meetings, Conlon and his church continue to see phenomenal answers to prayer.
In Charisma's article about Conlon, he shares something Wilkerson told him before passing away: Times Square Church would be a lighthouse in a very, very dark time.
That's exactly what Conlon is seeing happen—and what he hopes will happen for Christians all over the world.
"I believe with all my heart that revival can return to our nation again, if only we commit wholeheartedly to prayer as a lifestyle, not a temporary project," he says. "People are tired of the incivility, the lack of statesmanship and the general devaluing of society and the church. But we know from Psalm 107 that when people become so hungry and thirsty because of their rebellion, they will cry out to God and He will answer them."
Reading Conlon's book—and talking with him in New York City—has rekindled in my heart a fresh passion to pray. You can experience the same kind of personal revival! Buy the book or learn more information at itstimetopraybook.com or itstimetopray.org.
Listen to my podcast below to hear Conlon's and my powerful conversation!
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