Interceding for ONE generation

By Jim "Umf" Lo

Wesleyans across the globe believe prayer is our greatest resource.

Months before Follow 2023, The Wesleyan Church's (TWC's) International Youth Conference, took place, Next Gen Director Reverend Santes Beatty gathered his team and shared his hopes for the conference. Rev. Beatty desired that:

  • God would be glorified,
  • young people would make spiritual commitments,
  • chains of bondage would shatter by God’s power, and
  • there would be a growing passion among young people to be witnesses for Jesus Christ.

As I listened to Rev. Beatty’s heart, I remembered what Dr. Wesley Duewel shared with my students many years ago. I invited Dr. Duewel, author of “Touch the World Through Prayer,” to come talk about prayer and fasting in my evangelism class. As he spoke, I journaled the following truth nugget which has stuck with me for over 27 years.

Dr. Duewel told my students that he didn’t think the greatest kingdom lack was people or funds. He explained, “Without increasing the number of Christian workers or even financial support, we could see multiplied results if we would only multiply prayer. Prayer truly is the greatest resource among Christians.”

I also recall another pastor’s words from earlier in my ministry: “You can have revival without singing. You can have revival without preaching. But you can never have revival without prayer.”

Those planning for Follow 2023 recognized that we needed God to “energize” our efforts. If Follow was going to be a spiritual success, God must permeate every aspect of it.


In response to these great needs, a group gathered every Tuesday night for 15 weeks via Zoom to pray. We were standing on the words of Scripture from Proverbs 16:3 (NLT), “Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.”

A month before the opening rally, we implemented 21 days of praying and fasting. Invitations were sent to pastors, asking them to join us in praying. Approximately 230 individuals from all over the globe participated in interceding for Follow and this ONE generation … desiring that they will become a transforming presence of Christ in our world.

A few days before the start of Follow, a small group gathered at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, to pray over the 5,000 seats that were soon to be filled. We asked God to speak to the hearts of those who would be seated there. During the rallies, prayer team members stationed themselves around the large hall, praying as the worship team led us in praise and while God’s Word was shared.

  • Over 100 gave their lives to Jesus Christ for the first time.
  • In one of the breakout sessions, 95+ prayed for the Holy Spirit to fill them.
  • Many who were filled with bitterness testified about being able to finally forgive those who had wounded them.
  • Others reported spiritual and emotional healing.
  • Approximately 475 responded to the call to ministry.

YES, God answered prayers!

I was moved to tears many times during Follow as I saw the young people’s passion for God. One such time especially comes to mind.

Each morning, a 7 a.m. prayer walk around the Duke Energy Center took place. Over 193 awoke early to participate. As we walked around the building, some noticed those who were currently homeless sleeping in “hidden corners.” This broke their hearts, and they asked me if there was something we could do. When we gathered to end our prayer walk, I shared with the others that prayer walking should help us see the needs of hurting people. Without pushing, I told them a container would be available in the prayer room for those wanting to give to help the homeless.

Through this giving opportunity, 15 blankets were donated and over $550 was collected!

One student shared, “Follow has taught me that outreach is not just about spiritual salvation. It is also about helping meet the ‘physical’ and ‘emotional’ needs of hurting and needy people. I want to be used by God to help those in need!”

Weeks after Follow 2023 ended, reports pour in of how God touched hearts. At churches where I’ve spoken, young people have shared what God did for them at Follow. Each testimony causes my heart to soar heavenward, giving thanks to God. He answered our prayers!

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.