I was a student at the Youth With A Mission School of Ministry Development in Los Angeles in 1999. I was also part of a small group of intercessors and worshipers with fellow YWAMers Jeremy and Maria Lautt while attending this school. We had prayed and worshipped at numerous locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, seeing the Lord move through us. We had great fellowship as we were all very close friends, and we had worship music on almost all the time.
Being prophetic individuals, our fellowship was deep and our prayer and worship times were incredible. However, addiction to drugs plagued me as a teenager and our group was in prayer for me knowing my struggle. Even though I was clean and sober for the last 8 months, I couldn’t stop the cravings. Because of this I would throw myself into the presence of God wanting the desires to be taken away asking for lots of prayer.
As a small group we were adventurous, wanting to see new sites, but we also sensed that we were to pray over Las Vegas from the Stratosphere. Then, before our trip I was praying about the addictions I struggled with, having a vision of dragons. I didn’t know what it meant at that time, but I had faith that the Lord would show me the meaning.
In Las Vegas we saw many of the sights, shopping areas, and more. We would pray together a lot, and Jesus would fill us with joy. We’d even had several instances of evangelism while walking through the Strip being led by the Spirit on the first day. However, a heavy burden began overwhelming us throughout the second day of that weekend. Jeremy was the first to receive the burden for Las Vegas as he began the day with his quiet time. He had wept for the lost and wayward that we had seen on the streets and casinos.
We sensed the unseen spiritual realm surrounding us, beginning to feel demonic oppression while finding ourselves in front of the Brahma Shrine. Each of us had faced spiritual warfare together when we were on short term mission trips to India, with its numerous shrines and idols throughout the nation. But seeing this idol in the US grieved our spirits.
As evening approached, the streets got busier and dirtier. People were losing their inhibitions as they were partying all hours of the day. I think that there was a point where our little group had begun to feel hopeless and like our prayers were bouncing off a brass ceiling. We began weeping for the people, its visitors and workers. We knew that they were loved by God, but we saw no one witnessing. Instead of street preachers, we saw men giving out advertisements for call girls. For a time, I felt like my prayers were not going to be answered. Despair started overcoming me.
We started making plans to go up the Stratosphere to pray for the city, and our motel was near its base. Later, on that second night, which was May 15, 1999, we decided to pray to end the day, not knowing what God was about to do.
During prayer, I felt like I was to plead the blood of Jesus. And as I did, I fell into a trance. My friends started praying over me seeing that I was in a trance. I remember Maria telling Jeremy to play the guitar and lead worship over me and she said that she had a vision of several dragons. I was aware of what the small group was doing, but I was immersed in the power and presence of God. In the Holy Spirit, I found myself in a cloud, which I instinctively knew was the shekinah glory of God.
Then, I saw Jesus come to me. He was all glorious and holy and the presence of God was all consuming. Revelation 1:12-17 (MEV) says, “I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And when I turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks, and in the midst of the seven candlesticks was one like a Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and with a golden sash wrapped around the chest. The hair on His head was white like wool, as white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters. He had in His right hand seven stars, and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword. His appearance was like the sun shining brightly.”
Jesus’ face was the brightest light that I had ever seen, brighter than the sun. Looking in His eyes, I was feeling incredible amounts of love emanating from Him. Waves of power and love were going through me. Holiness permeated everything. Jesus’ arms were opened wide to me. In all honesty, words cannot describe the power and majesty I sensed.
As He neared me, I felt like I was about to die because He was so holy. Then a crown appeared in His right hand and He placed it on my head. I felt so undeserving seeing Him in His glory. While this was happening, I understood what the Apostle John meant when he said, “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though I were dead. Then He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last,” (Revelation 1:17). I also knew what Isaiah meant when he said, “Woe is me! For I am undone…For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts,” when he encountered the Lord in His glory (Isaiah 6:1-5).
In a prayer journal entry I recorded of this encounter, I wrote, “I cannot explain it, but I saw the glory of the Lord, His arms open to me, as He gave me a crown. The others were praying over me as this was taking place. We had all kinds of manifestations. It went on for a long time, and the group of us were filled up in many ways.”
After Jesus placed the crown on my head, I felt like dragon scales were falling off my body and I was being renewed. The small group continued to worship, praying over me. Then, while still in the trance, I found myself back in the shekinah glory cloud of God. I started singing in tongues. At that time I had only been baptized in the Spirit for seven months (Spirit Baptism) and I had been praying in tongues daily. But as I sang in tongues it became a new language. Power was erupting out of me, and the presence of God was all around us as I sang in the Spirit. I began weeping because I had seen the Lord in His glory, and I was overjoyed.
At this moment, I felt like a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) The desire and craving for drugs were gone. I realized that when I saw Jesus in His glory, He delivered me from this demonic oppression, setting me free, realizing that the dragons I had seen in a vision several nights before were demonic spirits that Jesus took away when I saw Him in His glory.
Further down in my journal entry, I said, “I experienced the glory of the Lord! I was given a new prayer language, as I saw the Lion of Judah.” After I saw the Lion of Judah roar in His majesty, silence overcame our group. A sense of awe and wonder surrounded us. I was no longer in the trance. We sat there in stillness focused on Jesus, still sensing the tangible presence of God.
Then Jeremy fell into a trance and we were praying over him for several hours. When Jeremy came out of his trance, we sang, “I will never be the same again,” which was a popular song at the time.
After all of this, we rested, and began the next day ready to go up the Stratosphere. The presence of God was overwhelming us as we were overjoyed, manifesting in the Spirit. We went to the top of the Stratosphere placing the small pieces of paper with scripture references and verses in various cracks at the top of the Stratosphere. At the very top of the Stratosphere, I read Psalm 107 and prayed it over Las Vegas as each of us knew that the city can be redeemed.
We left rejuvenated and refreshed, no longer seeing the city through the eyes of despair or hopelessness. And we remained in this move of the Spirit with numerous manifestations for the next 48 hours.
The burdens were lifted from us because we experienced the glory of the Lord in what some people call, “Sin City.” We had a revelation that God’s power for redemption is far greater than any of us can imagine, and Las Vegas is in His hands and will bring Him a “fruitful harvest,” (Psalm 107:37).
Jared Laskey is founder and senior pastor Destiny Church in Virginia Beach, VA. He lives to see Jesus awaken this generation to the power of the Holy Spirit. You can follow him on twitter @jaredalaskey or purchase his co-authored book Veronica’s Hero and check out Fireborn Ministries.
This article was published on November 14th, 2017 by the Message of the Open Bible Magazine
Then published on November 16th, 2017 by Hello Christian
And November 17th, 2017 by Charisma Magazine