When Kirk Franklin stopped in Jacksonville, Florida, for the second leg of his tour Sunday, the concert was halted for a moment of intercession that made the veteran minister of music terrified to pray.
On his “Twenty Years In One Night” tour, Franklin taps singers in the audience to help him with the song “Intercession” from his Losing My Religion album. On June 5, one of that singer was 31-year-old gospel singer Josiah Martin who emotionally began to share his testimony and battle with kidney disease during the concert.
After the concert ended Franklin took to Facebook to reveal his emotional response to Martin’s testimony.
“Many in the music industry know him as JO JO, a prolific artist whose voice has been featured on many gospel and mainstream albums. Jo jo is 31 and has been waiting for a kidney match for over 3 years now,” Franklin explained. “Tonight while I was performing a song called INTERCESSION I passed him the mic in the audience and that’s when the air was sucked out of the room and the entrance of God’s presence was the only thing we remembered.. As he began to sing, he sung from one of the most honest and broken places I’ve ever heard a voice communicate from. As he sang about the fatigue of dialysis and the discouragement of waiting for a match, I wanted to pray for him, but was terrified to.”
After the emotional experience, Franklin analyzed his method for publicly praying for Martin.
“The moment was so pure and the entire building was in tears before the Lord. I did not want to abuse my platform at the expense of trying to pray one of these impressive prayers that makes people shout and the organ and drummer cause the people’s feet to run,” the gospel music legend admitted. “Though there’s nothing wrong with those moments, they are often too much of the goal, and we often think that God didn’t move if we didn’t run around a building. I did not want to say things I cannot promise, nor did I want to rebuke a devil that has NOTHING to do with this!”
Instead, Franklin said he wanted to just keep his focus on God during the difficult time for Martin.
“I wanted to be like Habakkuk in the Bible who when facing his enemies and problems too big for his own strength, prayed one of the most intimate and honest prayers that has become my favorite love letter to God. In the face of his giants he prayed “God, I don’t know what to do, but God my eyes are on you,” Franklin wrote. “That’s what I needed to say. To be weak before Him, humble before Him, because that’s what my brother needed… Not Kirk, but the KING.”
The moment had a large impact on the gospel musician who insisted he would never forget it.
“And my King, I ask of you to do what no one else can do…a miracle for our brother. Amen,” Franklin wrote in prayer. “I’ll never forget tonight. Thank you JO JO. #wewontstopaskingthefatherforyou.”
Martin, who has signed a record deal with Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton, took to his Instagram account to thank Franklin for the prayers. They later ended up in a recording studio.
“I still can’t believe this moment that God allowed us all to see!! @kirkfranklin thank u sooooo much for praying with and for me,” Martin tweeted. “#Soontheworldwillsee #Heintercedes #Jacksonville @mortonrecords #ThanksGod Jojo~”