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
53. We cannot stop! – We started together with our neighbouring church on a Sabbath in 2013, studying the book “40 Days – Prayers and Devotions to prepare for the Second Coming” – that was a great blessing for my prayer partner and myself! The special experience about these devotions was praying together! We were privileged to experience how God changes hearts – our own, as well as our friends’! Thanks be to God. At the beginning of 2014, we again had a special time with God. So our two churches spent the first Sabbath with a lay evangelist. This day was very blessed and inspiring. As a church leader, I was given as assistant brother Thomas, to support me in church leadership. It was important to me that we would grow together spiritually and develop a friendship in order to carry out our responsible task of leading a church – with God’s help. So I asked him if he wanted to start with me the “40 Days” book (No.1). He accepted my offer, and we began the morning devotions on Sunday, January 26th. Since we both work during the day, we regularly phoned from 5am in the morning. These times were very blessed. We read the devotions in advance. When we were talking on the phone or on Skype, we exchanged briefly about what was on our minds, prayed for God’s blessing for our devotion, discussed what was read, then prayed for five special people. We had really special experiences. A youth for whom we prayed began to be interested in faith and to ask about God. My prayer partner’s could experience the blessing of God when a problem suddenly got solved. I was able to talk with a colleague about faith, although I thought it was impossible. God has given us so many gifts. Thanks be to Him! Sometimes getting up early was not easy. But my prayer partner Thomas is a very steady and reliable guy! We encouraged each other to keep going and did not let our devotions fail one single day. We were sad when the time was up – so Thomas suggested to continue. We started with the book “Steps to Christ”. We had read the twelve chapters in no time and were very blessed. Now we could not and would not stop. We followed on with “Desire of Ages” and studied the last chapters on Jesus’ death and continued to pray.In the meantime, we have finished it and have begun to read together the book “Christ Object Lessons”. In the summer months, it will be hard for us to talk in the morning since my friend Thomas is a helicopter pilot and his working days are very long. That is why we make the call when there is an opportunity. God is great! If we open our hearts to him and work with him, we will be blessed and will be able to experience wonderful things. Are you willing to engage with your church or with a prayer partner in this venture? 40 days of having devotions together and to pray together? Try it out, get the books, experience the blessing, and share your experiences. God is wonderful! M.B.
54. Like Day and Night! – First, I want to thank God that he has been so patient with me and has spoken to me again and again until I realized that I am lost without a real relationship with Jesus! In a very difficult family situation, due to the illness of one of my children, I became aware of the following: Loaded with sins, I cannot expect God to hear my plea! As best I could, I confessed to him all my sins, and he heard me. He gave me the book “Steps to Personal Revival” through my sick child. I’ve read it and heard it many times on MP3 while driving. God is more powerful than any sin. Since I surrendered to him, he has freed me from a sin, which I, just like an addict, could not let go of on my own, despite repeated attempts. Since that time I am experiencing the working of the Holy Spirit so powerfully in my life – it is like the proverbial difference between day and night. It is very obvious to me, but not to those around me, since I was a “good carnal Christian/Adventist”! It is wonderful how the Holy Spirit shows me and teaches me how Jesus loves and how he cares for the lost. I can now speak freely about Jesus, quite naturally, so that almost everyone listens. The Holy Spirit often prepares such meetings down to the smallest detail so that I can only be astonished. Now I wish that everyone around me may experience what I experience, but sometimes one hears only when hardship comes crushing down. “Thank you Father for your patience and the miracles I am allowed to experience!” K.K.
55. Liberation from Chocolate Addiction – For many years I have been suffering from chocolate addiction. I did not just snack and then finish, but it was really intense! Of course I had often tried to stop – also through prayer. It worked for a short time, and then I relapsed. That’s why I was often desperate, made another attempt , and the whole thing started again. Although I had almost resigned, I remained in contact with God. As a child of God, what did I do wrong? By God’ providence, I came to read the books “40-Days Prayers …” by D. Smith and “Steps to Personal Revival” by H. Haubeil. Gradually I realized what was “missing”. I began to pray for a daily conversion and infilling with the Holy Spirit. I also understood better that he would prepare me and give me the will and the accomplishment in his time. (Phil 2:12, 13) So I prayed and waited. In July 2014 in our study group, we talked about dietary questions after watching health DVDs. That brought this topic to the surface again. During the drive home the Holy Spirit worked on me and my desire to be free at last became very strong. This desire then turned into certainty that HE had spoken to me “today”. (Ps 95,7). At home, I knelt down, asking God for final liberation, and the fulfilment of the promise “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). A marvellous peace entered my heart. I removed all the chocolate supplies and I had no withdrawal symptoms – like before. Not until today! Thanks to our wonderful Saviour and God. (1Timothy1:16-17). He stands by his promises and to his word. In great gratitude I give this testimony. M.R.
56. How God Changed my Heart – There once was a serious problem in my life. God solved it! My experience shows what a wonderful, loving, and omnipotent God we have!I grew up in a Christian family and had a lovely childhood. My parents made every effort to give us children a nice home. But then my parents divorced. My world fell apart. As a twelve-year-old boy I was totally confused and tried to take my life several times. It was sheer hell for me and the family. I wrote to my father that I could not have contact with him because I could not stand it mentally or emotionally. Then it became rather quiet in my life. I completely broke off the contact with my father. In the same year, I also started searching for the meaning of life, for God, for the true religion and church. I began to study my Bible. I looked beyond my parents’ faith. In doing so, I experienced that God became more and more my “father substitute”. Deep inside me, hatred and aggression against my father grew. Only that I did not realize it at the time. At sixteen, I began to pray for my father, when I realized what I was thinking. In response to my prayers, I had contact with him again for the first time in four years. That’s when the healing of our relationship began, but it was not yet complete. At the age of 18, after six years of searching, I decided to get baptized. Nevertheless, I found myself often in a state that shocked me. I hated my father so much that I figured out what I would do if I had to go back to him. On the other hand, my conscience reminded me: “You call yourself a Christian and consider doing this to your Dad? What did Jesus do when he was unjustly treated in the most brutal way? He prayed for his enemies: ‘Father, forgive them’. And you want to follow Jesus? “I did not want to carry such feelings of hatred in my heart. During this time I had the privilege of getting to know Jesus better and so I decided to follow his example. But the feelings were so strong that I had to admit to myself: “I cannot get rid of these feelings by myself”. During my first 40-days of prayer, I began to pray for my father, myself and the whole situation. My father was one of the five people, for whom I particularly prayed during the 40 days. I had not had any contact with him for 15 years. I prayed that we would get back in touch. It was a miracle for me to get a letter from my father soon thereafter. God had heard my prayer. And God helped me further. He not only took away the hatred, but exchanged it for love. Last year I visited my father at home after more than 15 years. I spent several days with him – it was a very blessed time, which I would not want to miss! Since then, we met every now and then and enjoyed our time together. God can heal hearts if we allow him. He can give us the strength to forgive each other when we are ready to move towards each other. This reminds me of the saying, “He shall convert the heart of the fathers unto the sons, and the heart of the sons to the fathers.” Author known to the editor
57. Total Surrender Changed my Life – At the beginning of 2014, I asked myself: “Will Jesus ever say to me, ‘I do not know you?’ Do I belong to the five foolish virgins?” This idea made my life unbearable, because I wanted to be given eternal life by God, but I had always a bad conscience because of certain things that had happened in my life. Fortunately, the two books “Steps to Personal Revival” and “Abide in Jesus” fell into my hands. After the first reading, I realized that something had to change in my life. I then read the books a few times to understand everything properly. In addition, I had the living testimony of a deeply religious sister, who had only become a spiritual Christian a few months earlier. Now I know with certainty that I was “carnal” at the beginning of this year, and if I had died, Jesus would have had to say, “I do not know you”. Thanks be to God for these books, which showed me how to become a “spiritual” Christian. Through my total surrender to Jesus, God completely changed my life in just one month. I get up at 4:30 am and study God’s Word. This was unthinkable in my own strength, my sleep was more important to me. I pray differently – spirit-filled. I ask the Lord daily what he wants me to do that day. And God answers. I invite the Holy Spirit daily to live and work in my heart. I think clearer, dress more “feminine”. Besides, I do not eat continually any more. I could not have done this on my own. I can deal with the many daily tasks peacefully and stress does no longer affect my stomach. Even my husband noticed some changes in me after three weeks. He said, “You do not bite anymore!”When studying the Word of God, I all of a sudden have many questions that never occurred to me before. I want to go deeper. Previously, the Holy Spirit led me only sporadically to give my testimony. Now it happens every day. I do not need to “prepare a speech”, God puts the right words in my mouth, because only he knows the heart of the person next to me. Even if I happen to sin, God gives me a clear awareness of this. I can regret and repent. I have realized that without Jesus I can do nothing, that I need the presence of Christ every step of the way. The opposite of arrogance (how good I am, how good I can do things) is the humility that shows us clearly that without Jesus we can do nothing (good) at all. God also gave me the strength to give up coffee. This was unthinkable before, because when I stopped drinking coffee, I had terrible headaches for five days – strong withdrawal symptoms. This time, I did not even think about the consequences it would have for me. I just knew I did not want that anymore. Today I have no more desire for it. It was the same with meat. My family and I never wanted to do without it. Today it is easy for me – I have no more desire for it. The clear turning point in my life brought the great desire for eternal life, and that nothing can be as important to me as our Saviour Jesus Christ. No matter what kind of consequences this would have for me. It was confirmed what is written in Ezekiel 36: 26-27: Jesus wants to give us a new heart and a new spirit. Jesus wants to make us into people who keep his commandments.I had been struggling with various problems for decades, but in vain. I could not do it by myself. Jesus wanted to do it in me, he just needed me to be ready.E.G. White says, “He who tries to reach heaven through his own works by keeping the law tries an impossibility”. This is exactly what I experienced for 35 years. I could agree with the law, but I could not keep it. Only Jesus can accomplish good things within us, he gives us the desire for good and healthy things, and he takes away our desires for harmful things. Today I can confirm what is written in Romans 8:14, “Those who are guided by the Holy Spirit are the children of God!” and therefore I must always, hourly, ask the Holy Spirit to dwell and work in me – because the devil does not sleep. Jesus says in Matthew 10:37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me, is not worthy of Me; And he who loves son or daughter more than Me, is not worthy of Me. “I always thought:” That cannot be right!” Today I know, when Jesus lives in my heart, the great God of this entire universe works in me and through me, and He can care much better for my children and my loved ones than I ever could. Only God is omnipotent and omniscient and in His hands I will confidently trust my life every new day, He will do everything right, according to His wisdom and His plan. M.M.
58. God Sent Me! – My daily plea for the infilling of the Holy Spirit was granted! As early as the first week, I felt very clearly how God encouraged me to take the book “From Shadow to Light” to a nice woman, from whom I had bought a cap the week before. So I visited her and told her that I had not come to buy anything, but to bring something. She was very surprised, took the book and read, “The History of Hope.” Tears came to her eyes and she asked “Why me?” I told her openly that it was God who sent me to her. Then she said, “So I have a place up there.” She told me a lot about herself and I was allowed to give her courage. Now I pray regularly for her. Glory and thanks be to God. G. S. (abridged)
59. Father and Son – I have studied the book “40 Days – Prayers and Devotions to Prepare for the second Coming” together with my father. Even though to my knowledge nothing spectacular has happened so far, I noticed that the time has strengthened my faith. I particularly liked the following points:
• Reflecting on the specific topics, especially the Holy Spirit; The symbol of “Oil” in the Bible; The Latter Rain; Prayer; A solution for the Laodicean church (a connection with Jesus is the prerequisite for sanctification/ obedience; Victory over sin – Christ in us (Colossians 1: 25-27, especially verse 27), A spirit-filled community. • • • Praying for others- that way our thoughts do not only revolve around ourselves but also around other persons whom God had laid upon our hearts.
• Even though the book addresses certain points, possibly even “deficiencies” in practical religious life in a very targeted way and calls for change, prayer was always placed in the center as the solution to the challenge. If anyone can grant us “to will and to do for HIS good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13), it is God the Father in heaven and His Son Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit in us (John 16: 8,13-15; Romans 8: 9-10, 12-13, Galatians 2:19- 20, 5:16-26, Titus 3: 4-8).
I believe that every (persistent) prayer has its effect and is answered, but often differently and better than we expect (see Luke 11: 5-13, 18: 1-8). I was also encouraged during prayer, to read the “40 Days – Prayers and Devotions for Health in the End Times – Book 3”, to receive through prayer, recovery, and strength to bear the physical and spiritual suffering.
Although I believe that Ellen G. White is a messenger of God, and her statements (except for the knowledge gained through the visions, which I believe explain the Bible) can also be derived from the Bible, every Adventist (and every Christian) should believe what God has revealed to him personally. If, therefore, he cannot go along with one or the other statement by Dennis Smith and / or Ellen G. White, then he does not necessarily have to believe it (see Ellen G. White, “Intellect, Character and Personality, chapter 45: “Individuality”). He should, however, present his, and those of Dennis Smith and / or Ellen G. White in prayer to God /Jesus and ask him to clarify or confirm the respective statements. Then he should gladly believe what God reveals to him at the right time. God will confirm or correct him (see Hebrews 12: 2 – Jesus as the author and perfecter of our faith). “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17). D.R.
60. An Experience from Australia – On September 5, 2011, I received an email. In it a brother from Australia reported: “For the last two years I have been praying daily for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. My request is for Jesus to live in me more and more every day. My walk with God was [at this time] quite amazing. The fruit of the spirit of Gal. 5 has become more obvious in my life since I asked Jesus to live in me, to carry out his will in me, and to fill me with His Spirit every day. I have more pleasure in reading the Bible and witnessing to others about Christ, a stronger desire to pray for others; In addition, major lifestyle changes occured.I see it all as a confirmation of my daily search for God and my daily request for the Holy Spirit. I recommend to you to pray daily for six weeks for the infilling of the Holy Spirit and to see what happens.”
61. 40-Days of Prayer in Serbia – Report from the South-East European Union Conference in Belgrade
In September 2010, we translated and published the book “40 Days: Prayers and Devotions to Prepare for the Second Coming” by Dennis Smith. We made it available to all members of our conference. Then we organized weekly prayer meetings for the next 40 days; We fasted and prayed for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This resulted in a completely new atmosphere in the local churches. Passive church members became active and had an interest in serving others.