This weekend we are celebrating the life and ministry of the late Mother Marie Burks, one of the apostolic pioneers of Prayer Everywhere and spiritual matriarchs to the Friendship Central Church (FCC) and a host of young pastors and emerging ministries. Her home going was Spirit-filled and powerful. The anointing and attendance filled the sanctuary to capacity.
There are few people who truly possess a passion and commitment to prayer as did Mother Burks. The Lord set her apart for prayer and holiness. Her prayer ministry provided a pillar in the house of God. Mother Burks was the Lead Intercessor at Friendship Central. She was the first named and ordained at FCC to this honorable office by the Bishop and Elders. She worked directly with the Bishop and Elders in the most important matters of prayer and spiritual protocol.
Prior to each worship experience Mother Burks would be on the stairs at the altar crying out to God on behalf of the house of God, the man of God and the people of God. She “set the atmosphere”. So many of us would enter the sanctuary to find Mother already in prayer. All we could do was to join her and press on in.
So much of what we have been able to accomplish, including becoming and being a house of prayer has everything to do with Mother Burks and her spiritual maturity. She lived holy and preached holiness. She prayed and taught prayer. Her experience with the Holy Spirit was so authentic it was attractive. The baptism in the Holy Spirit was her prized possession. She was “saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost and that with a mighty burning fire”.
Mother Burks was raised in a brand of Pentecostalism that provoked right living and daily consecration. She knew the power of holiness. Her prayers were packed with power because of her power with God. Only heaven will be able to reveal how effective her prayers have been for her family and her ministry. I suspect for years to come we will be witnessing the fruit of her prayers.
She was more than my member, she was my mother. She imparted into my life with such impact that her memory will always hold me accountable to the disciplines of prayer and holiness. The foundation she laid by the prayers she prayed will help us to construct a world-changing prayer ministry. But more than that, she has bequeathed to us the gift of intimacy with God.