"Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again"
The Story of the Birth of Global Prayer Center!
"Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord unto me!"
The story of the Global Prayer Center begins with the faithfulness of God over John and Hema and a small group of people to whom God entrusted a sacred vision in 2001 prior to the devastation of the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001. It is also the story of the faithfulness of a few people adhering to the vision and praying through to the fruition of it now in January, 2014.
The Inception of the Vision!
After following God's command to bring churches together for unity and prayer in Volusia and Flagler counties close to a decade since 1990 and taking the "Citywide Call To Prayer" to a few other places (DeLand, Florida, State College, PA, LaFayette, Cartersville & Douglasville, GA), I was quickened by the Spirit of God in June of 2001 to build a House of Prayer (A Healing Center, A Prayer Center, A Center for the Restoration of Lives) in the heart of Daytona Beach. At the same time, God burdened my soul to pray for America with the awareness that there was something dreadful about to happen within the borders of the US in a matter of weeks. We were made aware of an attack that would come soon on the soil within our borders during a powerful prayer meeting with a group of prayer partners in our home on Sunday, August 19, 2001!
Let me first elaborate on the Prayer Center. Once I heard from the Spirit of God, I also felt that I should not reveal what God commanded me to do but seek confirmation from my prayer partners. I went before my small prayer group and told them, "God has just now commanded me to do something for Him but I do not have the liberty to share with you what He said. I know you are joined with me in prayer. If so, God Himself will tell you what He has just now told me. You must hear from God directly what I myself have heard."
Within 21 days, seven among the prayer team members came to me individually and confirmed word by word what God had laid on my heart. You must understand that I have worked out of my home with a 10x10 size room that I have dedicated for my office work since the beginning of our ministry in 1990. We had rented stadiums, church auditoriums and halls for our large meetings. It was our sincere desire that we would build this facility debt-free with the help of God's command leading us and His provisions sustaining us. It will be an endowment for God and for the healing of the communities! Then the process of waiting began!
A Spiritual Transformation
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).
I have found that God alone spiritually equips and prepares the person and the group of people with the vision in times of their waiting for the fulfillment of the vision. The beginning of a life-changing experience happened to me on Friday, October 17, 2003. I was invited to share a message at the Feast of Tabernacles by a Pastor and his wife in a tent meeting in their property designated for their future sanctuary in DeLand, Florida. I was seated in the third row on the left hand side of the aisle behind the Pastors. As I was worshipping the Lord with the worshippers leading the singing, I began to notice something strange happening to my body, particularly in my mouth. I began to feel a different taste that I had not felt before. I was perplexed with why that was happening because I did not have food in my stomach all day in preparation to that meeting. I heard the whisper of the Holy Spirit, "Get up and call the people up front who are experiencing the very thing you are experiencing. There are 40 of them!"
I hesitated a bit but then leaned forward to ask permission from the Senior Pastor. These were my words to him: "Brother Mike, I am sorry to bother you and the worshippers that are leading the worship but would you kindly let me give an altar call? I must simply obey the Lord." I could not forget what he said to me: "Brother John, I trust you completely. You have the floor! Whatever the Holy Spirit has asked you to do, please do it." The Pastor and his precious wife are gifts from God to me and I have never exploited the special place of trust they had placed on me.
I got up and made this announcement: "God wants to change your life tonight including my own. Those of you who have a strange taste in your mouth for the last few minutes, please come forward." I held the number count (40) as a secret to myself. Immediately, people rushed to the altars and when I counted them, there were 40! I told them, "The (funny) taste you and I feel in our mouths is the indication that God Almighty is going to change our taste, desires and our very lives this day!" I prayed with all of them, finished the meeting and left the tent late that night!
I did not understand the nature of this experience and I was wondering what would happen to me! The answer came three days later on Monday, October 20, 2003 when I was awakened by the Holy Spirit at 3:00 AM. I came to the living room of our house and sat on the floor. I had a very special experience with God that day in my time of prayer that lasted for four hours. I was awestruck! I was joyful and crying at the same time! I had never experienced anything like it before! It was life-changing! I could hardly explain my experience in words! Simply put, my experience was similar to a little boy sitting at the feet of his father for hours and listening to his heartbeat with an undivided attention! I am forever grateful for the privilege of God waking me up in the early hours that day.
I also thought that it might be a one-time experience! I was wrong! It happened the next day and the next! It has not stopped since until today no matter where I am in my travels - Africa, Hungary, India, California, Australia, etc. and in different time zones. It is always around the same time in the early morning hours. God has also showed me in my prayer times a large group of people around the world that He is awakening to come before Him in worship, praise and adoration and for an intimate fellowship with Him! I am just one of many that are called at this hour for this sacred experience of the "Fourth Watch (3:00 - 6:00 AM)" with my Lord! I know now that it is not only my job to build a House of Prayer but to be there myself in the early morning hours to pray along with those who themselves have been awakened by the Holy Spirit!
Notable Other Developments
"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:10-11).
As we committed out steps in the Lord and trusted Him fully, God prospered us along the way with many milestones in the ministry since the beginning of this sacred vision from God! Here are some of them:
1) God opened the door for the first "Peace for Israel Festival" with Christians and Jews in the summer of 2002 at the Seabreeze High School Auditorium. I am forever grateful to Mrs. Susanne Wiggins and Mrs. Maggie Jacobs, two powerful intercessors here in Volusia County who had the burden from the Lord to comfort God's Chosen People, the Jews: "'Comfort, yes, comfort My people!' says your God" (Isaiah 40:1). I was given the honor of emceeing the meeting at the High School Auditorium which brought in 400 Jews through the help of the Jewish Federation and 500 Christians form six different churches. Something powerful happened in that meeting when we obeyed the Holy Spirit and departed from our outline. I requested all the Christian leaders and the Jewish Rabbis (and leaders) come up on the stage and all the Christians to stand up in the auditorium. I was told later that the Jewish people were very perplexed fearing what would happen next. I said to the Jewish people in the audience: "We (Christians) want to humble ourselves before you and ask for your forgiveness for all the atrocities committed against you (even) in the name of Christianity. Please forgive us and all those who had wronged you." I could hardly speak those words without weeping and all of a sudden I had in my arms a precious Jewish leader weeping uncontrollably! People were weeping all over the auditorium! God Almighty brought a healing among our communities that day that has changed the spiritual atmosphere over this region since that day! At the end of the service, a cloud of God's glory descended upon the auditorium as we sang together with lighted candles.
Since that meeting, God has brought Christians and Jews together in large gatherings of 3,000 and more in the subsequent years at Daytona Beach Ocean Center, Peabody Auditorium and other places to worship God together. We also traveled to Israel together. History was in the making when 104 of us traveled together (40 Jews, 44 Christians and 20 Messianic Jews) to Israel! There were Rabbis and Jewish leaders witnessing the baptismal services at the Jordan River and at our services at the Garden Tomb! In this special journey together, there were some notable miracles, one which was the healing of Ray Max, husband of Mrs. Gloria Max, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Volusia and Flagler Counties. The testimony written by this special family will be posted on the walls of the Global Prayer Center at the Grand Opening for the glory of God! Blessed by the love and the prayer by the Christian communities, the Jewish community here has donated thousands of dollars for the building of the Prayer Center as we continue to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: 'May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces'” (Psalm 122:6).
2) The first miracle offering for the Prayer Center came from a dear brother, one of the original seven members of the vision, who had heard from the Lord in 2001. It is his story to tell at the Prayer Center but here is a short version - With his enormous desire to build the House of Prayer, he pledged all the proceeds from cashing in on transferring a "Letter of Intent" to two other businessmen in the area to start a business. When he asked for a small settlement fee from them for the "Letter of Intent," to his surprise, the two businessmen offered him $350,000 (in 35 installments)! All the proceeds from that transaction were $350,000 and all of it was donated by this dear brother in the Lord. That was the first miracle offering to the Prayer Center!
3) Hema and I believed for a notable offering from a believer in the Body of Christ (that came as we described in the previous section) and another from someone moved by the Sovereign Hand of God from the City of Daytona Beach giving us the confirmation that Daytona wants this move! Such a special offering came from the man who sold us the land for the Prayer Center. Here's how it happened! For long I had ministered in a local business place that invited local church pastors to speak to the group of their salesmen every Friday morning. I was one of those messengers bringing God's word to the workers once a week for several years. After my morning prayer one day, I was directed by the Holy Spirit to go and see a dear friend from that business and to ask for the telephone number of the owner of the land. He readily gave it to me. When I was about to make the phone call, I heard the still small voice of the Holy Spirit within me: "It is not your call to make. Ask (He mentioned the name of a dear brother of our Prayer team, one of the seven) to make that call." I prayed for a month with that telephone number on my desk. After a month, I had dinner with that brother I had in mind. I proposed to him that the Holy Spirit had led me to contact (the owner) through him. My dear friend resisted initially by saying that we could not expect any favor from him. He further said: "Besides, I do not even have his phone number!" I told him, "I have his phone number!" His reply: "Then why don't you call?" My reply to him: "It is not my call to make. You are the man to make the call!" His reply: "All right. I will call him but don't expect anything out of this phone call."
The next day, he made the call and explained to that businessman what we were planning to do in Daytona Beach and in his property if he would sell it to us. To my friend's pleasant surprise, he was very cordial and kind on the phone! He also told him that he would get back to him the following day. My brother called me after the phone call with his surprise for the kind and cordial treatment he had just received but also said, "I still don't expect anything." I pleaded with him, "Can we please reserve our comments and not say anything until we hear from him?" 24 hours later my brother heard from this businessman. These were his words: "Here's what I am going to do for you. I have the investment of $550,000 of my own money in the land. That is the sale price of the land but I will donate $350,000 of that sale price as my contribution to your ministry. You owe me $200,000. You have to come up with that money. I will not finance that for you." The offering from this businessman of $350,000 was the same amount of the first offering that came from the brother who believed in the vision! God is amazing! I have not yet met this businessman except to call him and thank him for his generosity. We will invite him to the Grand Opening of the Prayer Center.
4) With the above two offerings, we bought the land on May 22, 2004 and scheduled a dedication service in August 2004 on a day at 4:00 PM. Jewish and Christian leaders were invited for the dedication in addition to our prayer partners of Bethel. There was one problem on the Day of the Dedication - Hurricane Bonnie was going through the area and there was 100 % chance of rain with thunderstorm and with forecasts of tornado all over the Central Florida region. It began to rain in the morning of the day and it did not stop through the day. I was informed that Rabbi Gary Perras of Temple Israel (Daytona Beach) had told his friends invited for the dedication, "I will not be surprised if all the rain stops at 3:55 PM and the sun will shine through!" It happened exactly as he predicted it. The sky opened up at 3:55 PM and the glory of God came down as we sang and praised God together! Here are some pictures from that remarkable new beginning!
A precious child of God offered $50,000 on the day of the dedication!
5) There was another notable miracle offering from a couple who had the enormous burden to give an offering of $100,000. The only way they could fulfill that desire was by applying for a "first mortgage" loan from their local bank from the equity of their home (Please don't try this at home). The loan was approved but before they took out the loan money from the bank, God performed a miracle in their situation! Without knowing what was going on, another precious couple whom they had not seen or heard from for years contacted them over the phone to fulfill their own personal pledge they had made to this couple from years ago. Their payments came in three installments of $25,000, $25000 and $50,000 within just six months since the time the first couple made their pledge to God. Without having to transact the bank loan, the couple fulfilled their pledge to God! You may access their testimony at the Prayer Center.
6) There is the testimony of a special couple who had donated their down payment of $25,000 they had saved up to purchase a home that they desperately needed. They gave their offering to the Prayer Center with this statement: "We want to build God's house and He will build ours!" God blessed them not only fulfilling their desire by giving them a house they very much needed but also a business through which they are glorifying God even today! You may access their miracle testimony at the Prayer Center when it will be made available.
7) There is also the testimony of a dear couple who has a miracle testimony of how God led them to their marriage as a result of a home prayer meeting. I broke into tears when they had emptied their 401 (k) and donated $8,000 to the Prayer Center building.
8) Another young couple (now with children) sold their home on the beach and committed $15,000 to the Prayer Center!
9) The design of the beautiful landscape for the Prayer Center was done by Brian Patenaude who himself was healed miraculously from a Stage IV Melanoma cancer. You may read his testimony that will be posted at the Prayer Center and have an opportunity to pray with him at the altars during the meetings. We are also blessed to have Brian's wife, Jackie, who stood in the gap for Brian during the time of his severe ordeal to fight for his life. Hema and I have been blessed to know Brian and Jackie since 1984. Jackie is a gifted worship leader who will be leading the worship in the Prayer Center at times.
10) We broke grounds in 2009 to build a shell structure with the limited funds we had in our hands but then we had to wait for over a year for the balance of the funds to come in. In 2012, our contractor retired after 34 years in the business and the burden of finding subcontractors and finishing the project fell upon me. My contractor graciously agreed to oversee the project and to signoff at the end. We had since May 2012 saved several thousands of dollars by building it ourselves with suggestions and helpful tips from another contractor friend Larry, who is also a personal prayer partner of John and Hema. I would not have completed the outside of the building without the help of another dear friend, Joe Rivera who donated several hours and days of his time supervising the site work. Hema and I have known Joe and his precious wife, Liliane, for 30 years. Their testimony will also be shared at the Prayer Center! They will also be up front worshipping God and participating with the worship teams at times!
11) Last summer, a dear brother in the Lord committed to building the kitchen cabinets for the Prayer Center. All of a sudden, he had come down with a severe problem in him right arm. He had lost all his strength and could not hold any objects together. Without giving up hope, he and his family ordered for wood cabinets and assembled them in the Prayer Center last summer. He is not only healed of that ailment but has also been blessed by God with a startup business that is about to explode and bless thousands of households in many nations. We are privileged to have this special couple as also one of several worship teams that will be leading the worship at the Prayer Center.
12) We have received an overwhelming support from several churches! Believer's Joy Worship Center of Jacksonville has partnered with Bethel Ministries with their monthly offerings for over 27 years. Several years ago, they had sent us an offering of $4,000 designated especially for Bethel's Prayer Center in Israel which we were in negotiations with the Israeli leaders for. When I knew it would take a few more years for that to come into fruition, we did not want to hold that designated offering any longer but returned the funds back to Believer's Joy. A couple of years after we had returned the funds, they once again sent us the same amount of $4,000 as their contribution to the Global Prayer Center. In addition to Believer's Joy, Bethel has also received missions support from several area churches here and abroad. The outside painting of the building was done by voluntary workers from Oasis Christ Fellowship of Ormond Beach. The inside painting was done by volunteers from Family Worship Center of Port Orange. The entire tiling was done under the leadership of my dear brother and friend, Rock Hartley from Calvary Christian Center. We thank God for the participation of the churches whose very hands we will strengthen through prayer at the Prayer Center. To God be the glory!
13) We have also received tremendous overseas support. Since we broke grounds in 2009, we have received up to $100,000 support to Bethel and to the Global Prayer Center from families from several countries believing in the vision and the mandate God has graciously entrusted to us!
14) In addition to these testimonies of giving, there are offerings of $1,000 each from young people from 18-25 years of age! In my moments of my waiting on God, at the dawn of 2011, a young lady, 23 years old, brought me an offering of $1,000 and a promise from God's word with a proclamation from Caleb who himself faithfully followed God in the wilderness for 45 years to inherit the land promised to him: "Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day" (Joshua 14:10-12). There are also offerings from a small "Gideon's Army" of believers and prayers from countless numbers of people from across the globe praying for the completion of the Prayer Center. We are blessed to have this army of supporters contributing, praying and holding up our hands night and day!
15) We have numerous testimonies of those workers who were jobless for months (and some for a few years) when volunteered to work in the building found jobs within days after they started helping us. Some had worked just for a day before they became busy in their regular jobs with their contracts lasting for months!
A Final Test
During the summer of 2012, Hema was severely attacked with a debilitating sickness that had the potential to damage the quality of her life permanently but we believed otherwise! We did not accept what we saw but believed only the report of the Lord. On September 10, 2012, our first grandson, Elijah David Gorter was born at the Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach. On Friday, September 14, 2012, I was invited by a businessman into his office. After pleasantries, this man made me three big gifts with a demand. This is what he said: "John, I know that you need $150,000 - $200,000 to finish your building. I CAN WRITE THAT CHECK RIGHT NOW! I also know that your wife needs an expensive medicine every month (that will cost you $1,000 monthly) and I can provide you with a lifetime supply of that medicine free of charge. I can also provide you with a home (completely paid for) on the Halifax River!" He said he would give me all those gifts if I would agree to use my godly influence to change the mind of someone (known to me) by saying to them, "This is God's will for you to do (what this man wanted)." I refused to do what he asked me to do and got up to leave his office. He laughed at me and said, "You are a poor businessman, John. You have all these to gain, including your wife's healing and you are turning them down? You are not breaking any law here. Besides, no one will ever know we had this conversation." These were my words before leaving his office: "You (fool), don't you know that there is a God who is witnessing this entire conversation?" He was laughing uncontrollably as I was walking out. I was a bit shaken! In all my travels and amidst all that I had witnessed, I had never faced such a test!
Here's the good news! One week after this conversation, Hema began to experience the miracle healing we were praying for! She is all right today to the amazement of doctors who have treated her. And, the Prayer Center is competed (though two years later) debt-free! We do not owe any man anything but owe it all to our God who has never failed us nor forsaken us!
Inscriptions on the Walls of the Prayer Center!
• "Lord, I Believe!" - On the Left Wall at the entrance. It simply means, "Lord, I believe every Word of Your Scriptures is true!"
• "Lord, I Receive!" - On the Right Wall at the Entrance. It simply means, "Lord, I receive everything You offer to me from Your Word!"
• My Father's House - Hema desired to place this inscription atop the Wall of the Sanctuary Entrance. It is the sanctuary of our Heavenly Father and His awesome presence! No strife, no divisions, no politics and no denominational or theological disputes! No one will be worshipped and glorified except our God and Heavenly Father Who alone will receive all of our honor, glory and praise!
A Holy Consecration to God!
• It is not just for prayer in the future but it has been through prayer that this Prayer Center has been built! This Center itself is a miracle answer to prayer!
• It is not just for the future transformation of lives but it is through the transformed lives that this sacred project has been completed!
• It is a gift from the Father to a community of people who had heard the command from God, believed in Him for supplying their needs and received from Him strength, grace, provision and protection to complete the Center!
• We consecrate our lives and dedicate ourselves with grateful hearts to an awesome and awe-inspiring God who never ever fails to fulfill a promise He gives to His children!
God has changed lives of Jews, Christians, Businessmen, Leaders and Commoners including our own since the beginning of this sacred project. These are just a few of the many testimonies that are singing the praise of our God at the Prayer Center! It is also true that we, John and Hema, are just the instruments God has used at this time. Even after we are gone, the Center will continue singing the praises of our God and changing the lives here and those who will be visiting this place from around the world! To God be all the glory, honor and praise! Amen! Amen!!
My Appeal to You!
You have just read the miracle story of the birth of the Prayer Center.
We need you to come alongside of us to serve with us at the Prayer Center and undergird us with your prayers and participation. Hema and I ask you to prayerfully consider your part in one of the following areas:
• Finances: With God's help and your prayers and support, we have completed this Center debt-free! We thank all of those who have come alongside of us and supported us with your finances. We now need the Operating Capital and Monthly Financial Support for the functioning of the Center. If God speaks to your heart, please stand with us financially.
• Activities: We thank the many volunteers from many area churches to help us achieve this milestone. We need volunteers now to participate in the activities of the Prayer Center, such as preparing the place and receiving the people for prayer. If you are one of those, please contact us.
• Worship Teams: Several churches will be sending their worship teams to lead worship and praise. You may be called to join one of the many worship teams that will be leading the worship and praise in the sanctuary. Please join us with your talents and instruments to praise and glorify the Name of the Lord! If you would like to donate musical instruments for the sanctuary, please bring them in.
• Prayer: You may be one of the people God is quickening for prayer in the early morning hours and throughout the day. Please join us in prayer in the sanctuary from morning and through the hours of the day.
• Altar Workers: You may want to be trained to pray with people at the altars with the love of God. We will have training sessions in place to teach, train and pray with you so as to equip you to serve alongside of us.
If would like to participate in any of the above, please contact us. Here is our contact information:
Global Prayer Center
P.O. Box 150
Daytona Beach, FL 32115-0150
Phone: (386)672-0250 (Now) & (386)274-0033 (After Opening)
Global Prayer Center | 701 Bill France Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32114