This past Sunday was perhaps the most awesome day of ministry I’ve ever experienced. Like the old gospel song says, “Heaven came down and glory filled my soul.” It wasn’t great planning, great music, or great preaching that made the day great, it was our great God visiting us in a powerful way in response to a whole lot of concerted, passionate praying.
Last Wednesday, our prayer service, which normally consists of calling out some requests, a short pastoral prayer, and a long Bible study, turned into an extended session of a concert of praise. Multiple people were praying out loud for their lost friends and family and giving praise to God for His working in their lives. At the conclusion of our payer, I almost felt that teaching would be an interruption in what God was really doing, and perhaps it was.
Sunday began with an intense prayer circle, seven men gathered together a half hour before Sunday School. We prayed over our time and it was well worth it. Together we asked great things of God. Sunday School itself was right on target as we learned about “serving God with holiness.”
Then the worship hour came and we sang songs to honor the King with a particular emphasis on the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives. The message was all about the power of the Holy Spirit. I left out two illustrations that I later realized would have been detrimental to the point of the message. I felt an anointing more powerful than ever in my ministry. I had boldness to say things without regard to the approval of people.
The invitation came and God did an awesome work. The altar filled with people praying and weeping for the fullness of the Spirit, praying for lost loved ones and other needs. A young man and a young lady received Christ as Savior. The invitation went through three movements as things kept happening. Joy Ewalt, for whom we have been praying for healing from cancer came and testified that God had completely healed her from brain cancer. Tests show that her head is now clear and she gave all the glory to God and the credit to prayer.
We left later than ever before and people continued to attest to God’s working in their lives in a very powerful way. I left church feeling so small, so undeserving, and so grateful that God would allow me to experience such an event.
Sunday afternoon our Deacons gathered for a time of training and we exchanged testimonies of the godly men who have inspired us in the past. I recalled my grandfather’s strong convictions as a Deacon for over a half century of time and the other stalwart men who influenced me throughout my childhood. In the evening service I preached about “The Sanctity of the Womb” where God has performed some great miracles in the lives of John the Baptist, Jeremiah, Paul, and others.
We had prayer for young girls facing this difficult decision to choose life, for women who have had abortions to find the freeing forgiveness of God, and for America to turn a corner on the abortion issue and repent before God. We also had prayer for some couples currently struggling with infertility and for Loving Choices, a local pregnancy support center. We’re also currently praying for healing in the life of one of our Deacons, Nick Gann.
One thing I am continually remembering is that we cannot dwell on these now past events in the “remember that day…” sense. Instead we must look forward to the awesome things God can do every time we meet. There is no reason why each worship experience cannot grow in intensity so long as our hunger for God, our commitment to holiness, and the passion of our prayer grows as well.
May God continue to visit us in special ways in our individual lives and every time we meet together, and may He continue to raise up Spirit-filled, Bible-drilled, prayer-skilled warriors for Christ’s Kingdom!