God is on the move in the 50 states of America. IFA West Virginia prayer leader Donna Rollyson shares her testimony.
My husband, Ed, and I were blessed to receive an invitation to this year’s kickoff of the West Virginia Legislative Prayer Caucus, led by Pastor Mitchell Bias, state director of the West Virginia Prayer Caucus Network. In past years, the Prayer Caucus was held just outside the governor’s office and had begun to get very crowded. This year, the event was moved to the lower rotunda of the Capitol, at the corner of the main building and the east wing. This allowed for a larger crowd and was most appropriate for a time of prayer and praise. As we know, our God likes to multiply. This year’s event was double in size from last year. Praise the Lord!
Sen. Mark Maynard led the meeting and introduced each speaker. Very quickly, one theme emerged in the words spoken by each one who came to the podium: UNITY! Unity was on the lips of everyone who spoke and prayed over our state as the legislative body was gathering to enter the 2024 session. I do not believe this was a humanly organized plan — it was the plan of the Almighty. God had placed on the hearts of those attending to speak and declare unity in the Body.
This spoken word of unity was for those in the fight for righteousness: unity for the various prayer groups that gathered that day to represent their perspective group; unity in seeking righteousness in the work being done in both chambers and throughout every office of our West Virginia government. One speaker declared clearly that God will not be left on the front steps of the Capitol, but that we welcome Him to provide wisdom and counsel for the decisions made during this next session of legislative activity. God is welcomed, much needed, and relied upon to guide and protect the workings of our great state’s governance. This attitude is reflective of the Preamble to the West Virginia Constitution: “Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia, in and through the provisions of this Constitution, reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God and seek diligently to promote, preserve and perpetuate good government in the state of West Virginia for the common welfare, freedom and security of ourselves and our posterity.”
Throughout the time of prayer, there were many moments in which the Holy Spirit bore witness to the words spoken through various means of confirmation. God was hearing the words of His people within the marbled walls of this beautiful building. I recall back just a few months previously, when IFA and our group of dedicated prayer warriors stood in the upper rotunda, just outside the Senate chamber, and declared God’s guidance and protection over our state. The word given that day was clear: Angels were dispatched to guard and protect that which was accomplished during that event. Those angels remain, and the word of God that was spoken still lingers in the halls and upon the walls where they were declared.
Kim DeVault, a longtime friend of mine, invited us to pray with her husband, Delegate Mike DeVault, as he entered this year’s session. My heart was led to pray for protection upon him and his family, as the Enemy goes after those who take a stand for godly values. Ed was led to pray for great godly wisdom for DeVault and that he might be bold in speaking righteousness in every avenue available to him in his position.
We were particularly pleased to see our own district’s delegate, Lori Dittman, present at the prayer meeting. Delegate Dittman recently helped me with a concern I had regarding our food pantry, and it was truly a joy to see her attend the Prayer Caucus. Although we did not pray with her that day, I was led to pray for her, and I sent her a message with what I felt the Lord was saying for her at this time entering the 2024 session.
I have repeatedly heard the testimony of our representatives indicating how they feel our prayers. They value and need the warring prayers of intercessors, reaching heaven and providing protection from the Enemy, who is around every corner seeking to cause harm. Our voices, as they reach heaven’s throne room, are without a doubt working and doing all they’ve been sent up to do. We are shaping the history of the state of West Virginia and of our nation through our dedicated prayers.
In the development of our role as IFA leaders and in continued connections with the leaders and representatives of our state, we are beginning to know more people by name and by face. I witnessed something I think is rather special: Delegate Jonathan Pinson spoke for us at our Policy and Prayer event in August. He also provided our opening prayer. He is without a doubt a godly man. I couldn’t help but notice something different about him, though, in the five months since I’d seen him last: There was a new level of confidence and power in his voice when he spoke and prayed. After the meeting, I made sure to go to him and wish him well for the start of the 2024 session. Without thought, the words flowed from my spirit and verbalized what I was witnessing: He was being elevated, transformed, and receiving a further anointing. Without hesitation, he said that he has set for himself a great deal of time in the Word. No matter how heavy the demands of life can be, he makes it his determination to spend much time in the Word of God. That was it! That was why the man had such a visible glow about him. He was saturated in the Word of God, he was receiving from God newness every day, through his dedication to remain in His Word.
Following the main prayer meeting, there was a luncheon at the New Wine Prayer Hub, organized by Jackie Smith. We gladly accepted this invitation to a further gathering of like-minded believers. This time provided additional fellowship and God’s divine appointments of those special connections intended just for us.
Again, the theme of unity continued from each speaker’s voice and time of prayer. I noticed this early on, and I know that God is clearly instructing His children to set aside differences and individual opinions. These do not matter. What matters is that we work together and that we arm up as warriors in this continuing fight against evil. When we link our armor together and lock our shields in place, we are strengthened into an impenetrable wall; we are anointed and empowered in the Word of God. This is what God is asking of His Ecclesia! This is what unity looks like in the eyes of our heavenly Father: His army with our eyes fixed on Him, as He directs and gives orders through the keen connections of intercessors and the prophetic voices speaking boldly to the Body what God declares. We do not fear! We do not waver! Instead, we stand stronger because of our UNITY in our King of kings and Lord of lords. May God be glorified in all we do for His kingdom.
Prayer groups that were present:
Aglow International: Cyndi Bernhart
Appalachia Prayer Center Ministries/WV Prayer Alliance: Jay Morgan
Intercessors for America: Ed and Donna Rollyson
National Day of Prayer: Harry Hanshaw
West Virginia Baptists for Biblical Values: Bo Burgess
Share your prayers for your own state’s legislature in the comments below.
(Ed and Donna Rollyson lead IFA’s West Virginia state prayer group. Photo Credit: Intercessors for America)