God Prepared Us for This Time!
Prayer has Been the History and Legacy of Times Square Church Throughout Its History and the Lord has Revealed Things to Come
April 20, 2020
NEW YORK—As the COVID-19 pandemic redefines church for millions of Christians around the world, the overwhelming response from believers everywhere has been to seek the Lord in prayer and reach out to neighbors, friends and family to encourage, pray and support.
For Times Square Church in New York City, church was redefined on Jan. 28, 2015, when its Worldwide Prayer Meeting launched online, drawing prayer requests from thousands of people in countries throughout the world via website submission form and text message. The weekly live prayer meetings at this church in the crossroads of the world take place each Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET at tsc.nyc/webcasts/tuesday-7pm, and on the Times Square Church Facebook page and YouTube channel.
This unique virtual prayer gathering has challenged believers everywhere to cry out to God, and the prayer requests and answers to prayer have flooded in. In the past five years, over 340,000 prayers have been received from 207 self-reported countries and dependencies, with the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia and India being the top submitters.
For Senior Pastor Carter Conlon, the worldwide response to the prayer meeting is no surprise. Pastor Conlon and Times Square Church congregants believe the Worldwide Prayer Meeting is God-ordained. In 2015, shortly after the launch of the prayer meeting online, Pastor Conlon warned Times Square Church that God was preparing them for a time of suffering.
“There’s coming a day when sinners are going to come into this house and others like it in droves looking for the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus, saying tell us the reason for the hope that you still have,” Conlon said. “The hope is in Christ, and the hope has come because we took this time to prepare. We heard the warning of God. We knew that dark days were coming, but by God’s grace, we got oil and put it in our lamps, and we can point to this generation and say, ‘Behold the Bridegroom comes, go out to meet Him!’”
Times Square Church has a long history of prayer.
“Prayer is not only our history, it is our legacy,” explains Conlon.
Founding Pastor David Wilkerson’s heart broke over what he saw walking down 42nd Street at midnight in 1986. At that time, Times Square was populated mainly by prostitutes and pimps, runaways, drug addicts and hustlers, along with live peep shows and X-rated movie houses. Wilkerson, author of the best-selling book “The Cross and the Switchblade,” cried out for God to do something—anything—to help the physically destitute and spiritually dead people he saw.
“God, you’ve got to raise up a testimony in this hellish place,” Wilkerson had said. “The answer was not what I wanted to hear: ‘Well, you know the city. You’ve been here. You do it.’”
He obeyed God and the doors of Times Square Church opened in October of 1989 to standing room only at the landmark Mark Hellinger Theater.
Since its inception, prayer has not only been foundational for Times Square Church, it has been directional.
“Pastor David Wilkerson told me before he died that we were going to face unprecedented darkness in our generation, but we have the power of the one who created the universe resident in us and willing to touch us and give us strength to get through this journey and see many, many more brought in to freedom through Jesus Christ,” Conlon said. “Glorious days are ahead of us. We are going to pray, we are going to fast, we are going to believe God. We are going to see God do wonders in this generation.”
Prayer is leading the charge once again at this landmark church in the heart of the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Oct. 6, 2020, Times Square Church will be livestreaming its Worldwide Prayer Meeting from Plymouth, Massachusetts, and inviting people and churches across the country to gather online to rededicate our nation to God and pray for its future from the place where it began 400 years ago.
“In 1620 the early pilgrims prayed,” Conlon said. “They had little strength, no plan and were surrounded by enemies. All they had was a promise from Jesus that they were being given a land where every person could worship God freely and according to conscience. God was faithful to His promise.
“Today, our freedom to serve God according to conscience is once again surrounded by enemies,” he continued. “That’s why we are being led to re-discover our roots and re-claim the promise of God that made America. We will be encouraging people from all over the country to gather in churches and homes to pray with us. I believe that with God, all things are still possible, IF we are willing to humble ourselves and pray.”
In 2018 in an urgent message titled, “It’s Time to Pray, Again,” Conlon urged Times Square Church congregants with this message:
“We have a very short window of mercy before us,” he said. “God is calling the whole Church across the country to pray now. If we do not take advantage of this moment, a fearful darkness awaits us on the other side of this open window.”
It’s time, again, to pray.
Times Square Church is an inter-denominational, multinational congregation, located in the heart of New York City, at 51st Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, founded by Rev. David Wilkerson, author of the best-selling book “The Cross and the Switchblade.” Over 10,000 people, representing more than 100 different nationalities, gather to pray together each week, finding true unity is possible through Jesus Christ.
To interview Carter Conlon, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.