Recently, I read of an evangelist’s account of ministry that took place in northwestern Romania in 1980 in spite of intense government persecution. Revival was breaking out in churches of that area and the government couldn’t stop it. As I read, my heart was deeply challenged by the following:
1. The believers became burdened for other Romanians who had not heard the Gospel. They travelled over the mountains to remote areas to reach people for Christ. When they arrived at these remote churches, they did not preach evangelistic sermons; they simply taught the believers how to pray for their unsaved families, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Can you imagine coming to church for one solid year to hear preaching about prayer and then you really prayed? Can you imagine not just praying for 10 minutes with weak, silent, going-through-the-motions prayer, but heart-rending prayer for hours? Makes me think of some pertinent passages of Scripture:
- Matthew 21:12-13 – And Jesus entered the templeand drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
- Acts 12:5 – Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.
- 1 Timothy 2:8 – I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling.
2. The evangelist went on to say that a huge difference between preaching in Romania as opposed to America was when the Romanians were taught something from Scripture, they obeyed, and they did it. In America, it’s just written in a notebook and never done! I’m guilty. Are you? What has God convicted you about in recent days through the reading or preaching of His Word? Have you just written it down in your notebook or are you doing it?
3. When the evangelist went back after a year to those churches in Romania where prayer was made without ceasing (Acts 12:5), they would hold evangelistic meetings and many people would come to Christ! In one church in a small place called Gallots, the church was packed and people were standing outside in below zero temperatures. Revival had broken out!!
When I read about how these people prayed and shared the Gospel, I said to myself, “That’s advancement!” Folks, we are twenty days into our 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting. Let’s keep advancing!! What will be different about how you worship this Sunday? What will be different about how you sing, pray, testify, observe communion, fellowship, listening, etc. Will it be prayer advance, sing advance, testify advance, —advancing for Christ!! As Romans 12:11 says, Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord!!
Reminder: Our goal for these 40 days of prayer and fasting is that God would so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!