Prayer and Fasting
I strive to begin each year with a time of prayer and fasting. I feel like it’s a good time to reset, re-evaluate, and re-focus. It’s a good way to take extra time to ask God, “Am I following you as I should?”
I’ve asked God that question often. “Am I going in the right direction?” And I ask myself, “why am I doing the things I am doing? Am I doing it because it’s what I want to do or am I doing it because it’s what God would have me to do.” It’s vitally important for us always to pray, “not my will, but yours be done.”
In January, the University was mostly out of session. Very few students were on campus. I took the month to focus on prayer. The more I’m out on the street, the more I realize the importance of God’s power in evangelism. That power comes through prayer. God’s word alone doesn’t do the trick. If the power of the Holy Spirit doesn’t work in the heart of the person who hears the word, ministry is in vain. It’s worse than vain, actually! The word of God spoken without the Spirit of God does more harm than good! An extreme example of this would be preachers who speak the word with hatred in their hearts. Westboro Baptist Church is an example of this. Their website is littered with Bible verses, but Satan is in their hearts.
Remember that Jesus, in the book of Revelation, called the Jews who opposed Him a ‘synagogue of Satan’ (Rev 2:9). I can assure you that these Jews used lots of Bible verses in their opposition to the Church, but the Holy Spirit was nowhere near them.
This is also true in a less extreme way among many preachers in the world today. There are many preachers who don’t have the love of God burning in their hearts. They are nothing more than a sounding brass and a clanging cymbal (1 Cor 13). And let me tell you something about sound brass and clanging cymbals—they are really annoying. There’s a lot of preachers out there that are doing zero good. They don’t have the power of the Holy Spirit. I’ve heard them from time to time. I’m a street preacher, and I think they’re annoying. I pray, “God, Am I like them? Please tell me I am not!”
And this is why I pray! I know that the power of the Holy Spirit is just as important as the Word. No fancy sermons are going to bring conviction. No well-thought-out reasoning will change a hardened heart. It’s only the power of the Word and the power of the Spirit together will change lives. It will change lives in the churches. It’ll change lives on the streets. Paul knew this and it was the key to his effectiveness in evangelism:
“my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
– 1 Corinthians 2:4-5
Please pray with me that God’s power would be at work in the streets. Your fervent prayers make a difference.
As part of my calling, I have sensed the need to be online. Lately, that has been in the form of YouTube videos. I’ve made several videos and plan to make many more. Recently, a few of my videos have taken off! One of my videos, which I posted three months ago, already has over 17,000 views! Who knows the impact that these videos can make. I pray that they bear fruit for many years to come.
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