Testimonies as a result of praying for the Holy Spirit
„This is the word of the Lord …: Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit“ Zechariah 4:6 NKJV
„This is the word of the Lord …: Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit“ Zechariah 4:6 NKJV
13. That which moves me – It all started with the seminar “Steps to Personal Revival”. At that time, the longing to experience God in every-day life grew within me. Then I heard about “40-days of Prayer-and Worship”. Immediately it was clear to me – I wanted to experience this adventure. I really did not know what I was getting myself into! It was not difficult to find a suitable prayer partner. But it was a challenge for me to find a suitable time for each other for 40 days. As a nurse, I am working indeed irregular hours. I hadn’t even thought about that. Nonetheless, God blessed my decision from the very start. Longingly I waited for these precious minutes of the day, where we exchanged our thoughts about the topic and fervently asked for the Holy Spirit. We found that the prayers changed something in our lives. And that we couldn’t keep it to ourselves. At every opportunity we felt compelled to talk about it. It was important to me, to motivate others to have the same experience. The effect did not fail to appear. Many a church member was infected by our enthusiasm. Quickly new pairs formed. Every week, we looked forward to sharing what we had experienced. This “virus” was also caught by many of our young people. Much too quickly the 40 days ended. We had gotten so used to this prayer time. We didn’t want to and simply couldn’t stop. With the book “Maranatha: The Lord is coming” by Ellen White we continued our devotion time. And God did not make us wait for long. Still during the 40 days He gave us many wonderful answers to prayer. Someone whom we had prayed for especially during these days, made contact again with the church. The joy was great. The people around me became more important to me. My desire to bring other people closer to God’s love became stronger. Life in my church community changed. Many of us got to know and understand each other better. Many take part in the life of the other and are there for each other. Fellowship has a whole new meaning. The book “40 Days Prayers and Devotions” by Dennis Smith has been a great help to me. It is easier than it first seems to find a prayer partner and to experience God. The people dear to us will thank us for it. H.W. Nurse on surgery ward.
14. Prayer brings Peace – A girl for whom I was praying, had to participate in a week-long training, sleeping in a hostel with other participants. The thought of all the strangers gave her abdominal pain and led to sickness with vomiting. One day before the young woman’s departure, I encouraged her to pray and told her also that I had been praying for her for some time. We knelt down and asked God for his peace. During the training, she called me and told me excited about what God had done for her. He had given her not only perfect peace, but also gave her power not to participate in the evening entertainments such as nightclub, alcohol etc. I pray even after the 40 days for this person, because I see great things and hear how God answers constant prayer. A.M
15. God-guided questions – In January this year my church began with the study of the “40-days Book”. With the help of “Skype” I communicated every day with my girlfriend and we prayed for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for five people. I asked God also to show me the people who needed the intercession urgently. During this time I prepared with two other students for an exam – both are Christians and attend a church. They were close to my heart and I had planned, to give both of them the book “From Shadow to Light” after the exam. One afternoon we were just studying as one of the girls suddenly asked out of nowhere: “How do you know whether you are in the correct church? I’m not sure if I’m in the right church. And why are there ever so many different churches?” These questions surprised me totally. We chatted a bit about it and I told her about a book that explains exactly how Christianity has developed and why we live in this present state. Immediately she asked me if I could lend her the book, because she was very much interested in it. So I gave both of the girls a copy of the book. I saw in this conversation an answer to my prayer and put both the girls on my prayer list. A few weeks later, just before the end of the 40 days, I received an email from one of the girls: “I want to thank you again for the book. I read it every night now and believe I have thus already learned and understood a lot. Anyway, I find it so exciting that I always read for too long (and go to sleep late). At the moment I read the chapter dealing with the Reformation in the various countries. I did not realize how many people had to die for their faith until we were allowed to live it as freely as is the case today. Many, many Thanks you gave me the book”.- God be praised for the way He works in people’s lives! M. H
16. Preacher’s son’s attitude changed – My niece told me excitedly about the “40-days Program” and read to me from the mission letter the many enthusiastic reports about it. She also told me her personal experiences with this booklet. Her youngest son had many difficulties with the congregation and so she prayed during the “40-days prayer time” with a prayer partner especially for him. The result was that her son changed his life and prepared for baptism. Her enthusiasm infected me and now I also pray for a prayer partner and have begun to read the booklets. (Excerpt from a longer email from I.G.)
17. Intercession saves marriage – A man who would not forgive became mentally ill, lost his job, developed suicidal thoughts. His marriage broke up. This condition lasted more than a year. Prayerfully, he could be convinced to accept competent Adventist Chaplaincy and counselling. Two “40-days prayer partners” prayed daily for him. After two months, the turning point came. He was able to forgive, is back home with his wife and children, regained his vitality and can work full time again. The prayer partners study and pray every morning from 4:30 to 6:00 together (by phone). “It’s the best time of the day.” M.S.
18. Effective Intercession – In the last five years, I had completely lost contact with a person who was dear to me. He seemed to ignore my messages. I had heard that he had not attended church for about three years (SDA-child) and that he had a relationship with a non-Adventist lady. I put this young man on my prayer list, even though I did not think it possible to get in contact with him, since he lives 600 km away from me and never answered me. Nevertheless, I prayed for a “sign of life”. Soon after I learned that his brother was going to be baptised at a place very close to me and that was “coincidentally” moved to these “40-days” (it was originally planned for another date). I decided to go – and met him! We had a very deep conversation and he told me that for some time he had an ever greater need to come back to God, but that he lacked the power to change his lifestyle. I told him that I prayed for about 20 days intensely for him and had had him already on my prayer list some time before. He was very surprised that he had felt God working on him especially at this time. During the very spiritual baptismal service he was very stirred, and when the preacher made a call, I felt the struggle within him. Finally after a long struggle with himself, he fell to his knees and wept. He had re-submitted himself to God! At the end of the evening he told me that he had decided to attend church again regularly and to let his life be changed. He had never expected this result from this weekend. A few weeks later in March 2013 I met him again during the YIMC (Youth in Mission Congress), which greatly strengthened him again. I thank God for the turn-around in this person. (Name withheld)
19. Full 40-days Program in Cologne (studies in groups of two – Intercession each one for five people – Evangelism) Pastor João Lotze is German-Brazilian and has worked 38 years in Brazil in church and hospital service and in the South American Division. In March 2012, he retired and he and his wife agreed to work in Cologne as “His Hands Missionaries” in the Portuguese / Spanish congregation.
We began our work in Cologne by establishing small home groups. That should encourage the church members and make it easier for them to invite guests. Due to our positive experiences in Brazil, we introduced the 40-days prayer time in Cologne, too. Our congregation with its Portuguese- / Spanish- and German-speaking members started full of expectation in the 40 days of prayer. We prayed every day for 100 friends. The names of these persons were written on a blackboard in the church. Between the 30th and the 35th day, we informed them that we were praying for them and invited them at the same time to a visitors Sabbath. 120 persons attended that special service. Christian Badorrek, the HM-Head of North Rhine-Westphalia, delivered the sermon. And many a guest wept for joy when they saw their name on the blackboard. Thereafter, Antonio Goncalves, an evangelist from Brazil, conducted a 15-day-Evangelisation. He spoke every night with German translation on the topic: “Let yourself be surprised by the Bible.” It was about the Second Coming and Daniel and Revelation. Small choirs and nice music accompanied the evenings, and each one closed with an altar call. We are grateful for the good response. During this time the congregation prayed intensely, especially for the people from the 40-day prayer time. Our hall is designed for 80 people, but on the weekends there were more than 100, and on weekdays about 60 people. Of these, 32 people came regularly. This resulted in eight baptisms and 14 additional applications for the baptismal classes. By the end of the year 13 people were baptized. Many surprising things happened. So it was a bit difficult to find a translator. A Catholic teacher was willing, but she had little knowledge of the Bible. Then we prayed for a Protestant translator, and in a restaurant, we met a woman who told us that she happily translated Portuguese into German in the Pentecostal church. Not only did she translate during the evangelization, but was also baptized. Maria, the translator, asked if she could invite her friend Elisabeth. She was the leader of a small Colombian community in Cologne with 13 members. Elisabeth came and even brought members of her community. Two of them were also baptized. Elisabeth and her family are now receiving Bible studies.
There has also been an experience relating to the Hope Channel. A German woman found it by chance and was impressed by what she heard, e.g. about the Sabbath. She invited her husband to listen also. He, too, was impressed by the messages. One day when she was going to visit her mother, she had the impression that they should walk a different path. Then she saw the sign of the Adventist Church. She remembered the Adventists from the Hope Channel and attended the worship service the next Sabbath. Then she invited her husband along, and then her mother. Meanwhile, all three have been baptized. Another experience relates to a Russian-German sister. She had participated in the 40-days devotional time and began to pray for her Russian-speaking neighbours. When she told a neighbour that she was praying for her, this lady was very surprised and told her that she was looking for a church that keeps the Sabbath according to the Bible. She and other neighbours came to the evangelistic meetings. Two of them were baptized.
Another experience relates to Jeanne. She was a member of a Baptist church in Brazil and looking for a Portuguese speaking congregation in Cologne. She contacted us, had Bible studies and was baptized. After her conversion she phoned her relatives in Brazil and told her uncle, who is Adventist, that she is now also Adventist. That was a big surprise for her mother, her siblings and her Baptist home congregation in Brazil. Her relatives in Brazil then visited the Adventist Church, to learn about the Sabbath. As a result, five persons were baptized in Brazil. Jeanne is now praying for the conversion of another sister who lives in Argentina. Under God’s leadership we have had even more experiences. During the first baptism eight people were baptized. One each from Italy, Germany, Peru, Brazil, Ukraine, Venezuela, Colombia and Russia. In the fall we had in connection with the 40-days devotional time another crusade, conducted by Jimmy Cardoso and his wife, Brazilians, who live in the US. Although this Evangelisation only went for a week, we had at the end a baptism of four lovely people, three Germans and an Italian who had previously received Bible studies. The congregation, a number of whom are German, previously counted 17 members. That number has increased to 41. We thank our God that He has given us so great a surprise. I am confident that he has even greater experiences in store for us. Please pray for us. João Lotze, Pastor
Addendum:. Br Lotze led the 40-days concept with subsequent evangelism 5 or 6 times over 4 years. The small church of 17 is grown to 65 members.
20. Change in lifestyle – I have accepted the Health Message through living daily in the Holy Spirit. Previously, no health seminar had ever had any impact on me. I loved meat and did not worry about what kind of meat I ate, drank coffee and black tea. I did not think this was a problem. Occasionally I also had a beer. Since 2009, I pray daily for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. He convinced me to give up meat, coffee, black tea and beer. I became a vegetarian. I realized that life in the Holy Spirit is the foundation for victory in all things, even in the matter of temperance and lifestyle. (Emails from a businessman dated 7.3. and 21.3.2013, shortened and edited)
21. Found “First Love” – My girlfriend and I are studying the “40-days” book for the third time now, alternating with the book “Steps to Personal Revival”. Until we found this material, our faith and our prayer life were no longer what they used to be. We longed to find this “first love” again. And we found it! For that, we thank God wholeheartedly. It is wonderful how our loving God hears prayers and shows us how his Spirit is at work – on us and on the people for whom we are praying. M.S.
22. Jesus has arrived – Firstly I want to tell you how grateful I am to God that the booklet “Steps to personal Revival” was written. Together with the instructions from the “40-days” by Dennis Smith they became a great and long-awaited blessing for me. Many church members as well as myself were always missing something in our spiritual lives -but we were able to experience how Jesus entered our lives and has begun to change us. He does so still and gradually draws us closer to him. S. K.
23. Waiting for 30 years – The booklet “Steps to Personal Revival” really appealed to me. After I read it the first time, I said to my husband: “I’ve been waiting for this for 30 years!” I learned about the “40 days” book through the sermon of a guest preacher. God would have it, that a church member who lives far away asked me to study the book with her. We are amazed every day about just how God blesses us and the people for whom we pray. We are very excited and looking forward to what God has “in store” for us. So much in the book speaks to my heart, a lot startles me and shows me where I have failed my church community. The honesty and openness expressed in this book have helped me think through many things, and to accept God’s help. (Name withheld)