John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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My first prayer meeting

1965, the year that changed my life
I encourage Audrey to serve the Lord

"The Full Gospel Church, Lowther Road, Fleetwood"
 1. Prayer meetings at the Full Gospel Church, Lowther Road, Fleetwood, were on Thursdays at 7.30pm, and were held in the minor hall. The minor hall spanned the width of the building but was not very deep, so the chairs were set out so that one sat facing the left. The meeting was led from that end by Pastor, and Mrs. Smith played an upright piano to the left of him.


"…and Mrs. Smith"
 2. I was already attending “Breaking of Bread” (Sundays, 11am), the “Gospel Service” (Sundays, 6.30pm), and the “Bible Study” (Tuesdays, 7.30pm). And some time afterwards, I went to my first Prayer Meeting. In such meetings, there might be some preliminary hymn- and chorus-singing, before we got down to the business of praying for various things such as personal needs and the needs of the church. Anybody who wished to could pray out loud; and there would usually be murmurs of assent, or outright hallelujahs or Praise the Lords from those sat around, when the one praying said something particularly uplifting; and there would be amens to matters being prayed about, with which they agreed. Pastor would punctuate the pauses between prayers with the occasional, calmly spoken, “Praise the Lord!”, “Hallelujah!”, “Glory to God!”, or something in tongues (I recall /ˈmɪfrɪnˌdagaˈbʊndaˌstɪgaˈbʊndɪa/); and Mrs. Smith would strike up a chorus from time to time on the piano.

 3. At one point in my first prayer meeting, I was sitting and bowed down; then I sat back. Suddenly, the feeling that I had had that first time, when someone had placed his hands on my shoulders,
[more] came again and filled my whole body, and I also shook. How glorious it was! I spoke out loudly in tongues for fifteen seconds or more, till the inspiration seemed to subside. In the silence that followed, I thought that someone might give an interpretation, but after a considerable pause it became clear that this was not going to happen.

 4. Afterwards, Mrs. Wood, Audrey’s Mum, asked me, “Was that a message in tongues that you gave?” She was referring to the “spiritual gift” of “divers kinds of tongues” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:10, which is normally accompanied by “the interpretation of tongues”.
 “I don’t know,” I replied to her, for I didn’t know what giving a message in tongues was supposed to feel or be like.

"Mrs. Wood" — photo ca.1967
Speech Day

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