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Pastor: Connecticut Prayer Event is Catalyst to Revival in 'Graveyard for Preachers and Churches'

09-21-2018
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CBN News spoke with one of the pastors who led "Ten Days of Prayer Bridgeport" about the miracles that took place and the unity of the Church in that city. Watch above.

"Ten Days" is an international event, a season of prayer and worship with the goal of having Jesus Christ as the "focus of every heart" in one city for ten entire days.

Bridgeport, Connecticut, is one of the locations where it was held this year, and God moved mightily.

Dexter Upshaw, Jr. is the pastor of New Vision International Ministries in Bridgeport, the site of "Ten Days of Prayer" in that city from September 9-19.

"The goal of the event is prayer," Upshaw told CBN News. "The whole premise is what happens when a city, an entire city stops to pray."

"And so literally our vision is that Bridgeport would take 10 days – it's between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur," Upshaw explained. "These are the Days of Awe, according to the Jewish calendar and the Jewish New Year."

"And we're just gonna stop and pray – pray for transformation, pray for breakthrough, not just for individuals but for the city as a whole," he continued.

Why is the event held during these Jewish holy days?

"It's significant because Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and the beginning of the calendar," Upshaw told CBN News. "And literally the belief is that the heavens are open, and we believe that during these 10 days through the unity that we see, that God literally opens up the heavens in Bridgeport."

"He gives revelation through the many intercessors and pastors who come together," he continued. "And we genuinely see breakthrough and transformation. We see healing; we see deliverance."

"We see lives come back to the Father; we see people who were straying away from the faith coming back," Upshaw shared. "We see all of that, and so combined with the Jewish calendar as Believers, New Testament Believers, we just believe that God is moving during that time."

Upshaw said hundreds attended "Ten Days of Prayer Bridgeport" each night, and prayer and worship happened 24 hours a day.

"So literally you could come to the church, and at 3:00 in the morning, there was someone doing a worship set," he explained. "Four am, 6 am, 12 noon, 3 pm, and then at 7 pm every night we had a unity worship service that ranged from 400 to 700 people on a nightly basis."

"And it was just so powerful to see the Body of Christ become one," Upshaw said.

Forty churches came together for the "Ten Days of Prayer Bridgeport".

"So literally, not only did we worship together, but we worked together; we prayed together," he said.

Upshaw told CBN News that a man got out of his wheelchair and walked after a group of pastors and intercessors prayed over him.

"And he's been wheelchair-bound; he did something that he hasn't done – he stood up," Upshaw shared. "Not only did he stand up, he walked about 15 feet, and he was moving his legs on his own."

"And he was regaining feeling in his right side of the body," he continued.

Upshaw said the man also had not been speaking.

"But he could say, 'Hallelujah,'" the pastor shared. "And so the entire church just erupted because we're not doing this for shape, form or fashion. We want to see genuine transformation."

"That was a sign that God had been moving and is continuing to move in our city," Upshaw said.

The event also included a testimony wall, where people could write how God is moving in their lives.

"On the wall there was a statement that someone who was a Muslim came and came to the Faith after spending time in prayer and worship in the services," Upshaw said.

"There are a variety of testimonies – people being healed from diabetes, being healed from anxiety and depression, overcoming sexual immorality," he continued. "People who prayed for their family to get saved; they got saved, and then their husband got saved."

Upshaw said this year they introduced 24-hour evangelism.

"We had evangelistic teams that would be out during the service, but also in the wee hours of the morning – 3:00, 4:00 in the morning – going to different parks and different main streets, and just witnessing to people – sharing the love of Jesus," Upshaw elaborated.

He said 43 salvations through faith in Jesus Christ and baptisms took place during the 10 days.

Upshaw told CBN News that the event was livestreamed around the world. Nearly 20,000 people reacted, commented or shared one of the videos between September 9 and 20.

In addition, viewers played 220,000 minutes of video during the 10 days.

Upshaw said he earnestly believes that the "Ten Days of Prayer Bridgeport" is a catalyst of Christian revival spreading throughout New England as a whole.

"So much started here in New England; so much revival occurred back 200, 300 years ago," he said. "And to a certain extent New England has kind of strayed away from its original purpose, but we believe that revival is happening."

"And we believe it's gonna start in the urban center," he continued.

Upshaw called Bridgeport "a mosaic of cultures," and he said the gathering during the Ten Days was very diverse.

"We believe that it's starting in Bridgeport, but it's not gonna end in Bridgeport," he said. "It's gonna go all up and down I-95, north and south. It's gonna go to the North, to Maine and to Massachusetts."

"It's gonna continue into New York, and we just believe that God wants to demonstrate his glory in New England 'cause everybody says, 'This is the graveyard for preachers and churches,' and we want to see a different report concerning our city and our region," Upshaw continued.

"So we're excited," he said.

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