Why John Burton Says the Church Needs to Bring Back the Holy Spirit

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Marti Pieper

Apostolic minister John Burton envisions what he says is a much-needed radical reformation for the church. And it begins, he says, in the place of prayer.

“We need to create an environment where Spirit-driven, Holy Spirit prayer is the main thing,” he tells Dr. Steve Greene on a popular episode of the Greenelines podcast on Charisma News.

And here’s what that could look like, Burton explains. “You walk in on a Sunday morning, and instead of just a greeter shaking your hand and saying hi to a friend and sitting down, the worship team starts playing, now you’re walking in, and people are weeping at the altar, or they’re pacing around the room, or they’re crying out for revival, or they’re releasing declarations and decrees on the microphone and rapid-fire prayer like they do at IHOP or these types of things … You walk into this environment where the Holy Spirit is legitimately allowed to do anything that He wants.”

But Burton cautions that this radical reformation is not a “circus atmosphere” of the flesh. “Flesh and emotion will be involved; we can’t shut that down,” he says. “We can’t shut everything down and hope to have this nice, little perfectly pure Holy Spirit moment. But we don’t want to have that natural circus happening. We want a supernatural move of God, where the people are encouraged to go for it from that place where they’re just burning in intercession, and they’re trained in intercession. They know how to hear God’s voice; they understand what it is to live in the Spirit and walk in the Spirit.”

Burton says when churches walk in the Spirit like this and intercede in powerful ways, we will see everything change, including the wave of ministers who have experienced moral failure. Instead, the church will be a “furnace of intercession” that moves everyone who experiences it to a genuine Spirit-filled walk with God.

To hear more from John Burton about how the Holy Spirit can radically transform us as a church and as individuals, listen to the entire episode of Greenelines here, and subscribe to the Greenelines podcast on your favorite platform for more inspiring episodes. {eoa}

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