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1. Above & Beyond Living and Praying

Melody Mason

Description

Daring to ask for more in life and prayer, and the call to become a spiritual giant! Jer. 33:3

Presenter

Melody Mason

Coordinator of the United Prayer program and assists with the Revival and Reformation Initiatives at the General Conference

Conference

Recorded

  • December 29, 2016
    9:15 AM
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This message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference call has been heard in Houston Texas for other resources like this visit us online at W O R G or good morning. So it's microphone working OK OK Very good. It's exciting to be here at another G Y C. How many of your first time attenders for do I see a wall or are you serious. Wow Praise God you are really going to be blessed. Do I see is been a highlight for me for I don't know probably the last ten years or so. So this is just such a blessing. Every time I come. Anyway I'm privileged and honored to be here and excited about what I'm going to be talking about today. Above and beyond living and crying as you saw in your book going to be talking about keys to personal revival. Now I really convinced that the enemy does not want us talking about personal revival. He doesn't want us talking about prayer or anything that's going to help clear the road blocks between us and God and I just see I just see that all the time different places I go and things that happen and the reason. Also I'm saying that is just like a day ago I came down with this really strong head cold and I was like well I guess you know he doesn't want me to get up and speak but I'm going to anyway and God's going to bluff. So anyway it's a blessing to be here before I have a word of prayer. I think I always like to hear just. A little bit just a synopsis really quick where speakers are from and all of that. So I just share this in the very beginning. I grew up as a country girl in the Ozarks of Arkansas and. Parents had a big garden a big farm. I had just loved it out there in the country. I had two younger brothers I should say I have two younger brothers and the picture on the right is back about the time I was in high school. So you can see that I'm significantly older than my brothers and the picture is about five years ago and this picture is a current picture. Both my brothers are married now and the one on the right just got married and his wife is not twelve by the way she's eighteen she is very young. But anyway they just got married this summer. And my brother on the right he and his wife are expecting a baby so I don't know about you but I've just been very blessed to grow up in a supportive family and if I had my choice I would be with my family in the Ozarks there on the farm but I really believe that Jesus is coming soon that we don't have much time and I want to be ready and I want to help as many people be ready for his coming as possible and so because of that he called me to different places that I probably would not have gone off and gone. If I was just to thing myself but I'm really in earnest. Currently my mission field is in Silver Springs Maryland with the church and that's the last place I ever thought I would be I'm going to share more of my testimony later. About that but I just praise God for His goodness because I have seen in my life truly his plans and his choices for us are better than what we would choose for ourselves. You know this is not necessarily what I would think or want but God says I know what is needed and. And you see me with all your heart you are going to have the best. So anyway. With that. Let's go ahead and our heads for a word of prayer because I'm a lot of things to share today and I'm just praying I can cram it in the time we have so your heads with me if you would definitely father I just thank you so much for the opportunity to be here with these young people at G Y C. And I'm just praying Father that this will not be like any normal G Y C. But father that this will be a life changing event for us Father that we will not leave the same way that we came that you will break us that you will open our hearts. To our desperate desperate need of you and father that you will fill us with what you alone can give us Father I just submit to you. The smarting I'm just asking that you would forgive me and my sense I'm asking that you would cover me with your righteousness father you know I don't have what I need to share today. But you do and I'm just seeking to hide behind the cross. I'm just asking that you would be glorified father we don't have much time I'm just praying that you would open our hearts that there would be nothing between us and you that we can truly be ready for your soon coming. We moved out remove unbelief father give us eyes to see the God that you are the God that you want to be in our lives today. Please help us. Father thank you for hearing this prayer in your precious name Amen. Apologize again for those of you that are just coming in that I am fighting a head cold but I praise God that he can work even through our weaknesses. In the beginning of the seminar I want to turn to John Chapter eleven those of you that have brought your Bibles John Chapter eleven and we're going to just look at a story that I know me. Many of you are already very familiar with. John Chapter eleven. And John Chapter eleven we see Mary and Martha close of course and Lazarus who are very close to Jesus and when last of us got sick. They came to Jesus write expecting that Jesus is going to do something to help but as we know Jesus did not come right away. Right. He came how late. Four days late. He came four days later. Now listen we're going to actually skip to verse twenty one when when Jesus finally does show up and Martha goes out to meet him. John chapter eleven verse twenty one. Then said Martha Jesus Lord if thou had been here. My brother would not have died. So basically if you'd been here four days ago plasters would have died. Lord what happened. Where were you yesterday. But then Martha continues. But I know that even now whatsoever you will ask of God he's going to give it to you. I know you know if you've been here. This would have happened but whatever you ask God's going to do. Well listen what Jesus says verse twenty three brothers going to rise again. They say men brothers going to rise again. But what was Martha thinking verse twenty four Martha says unto him. I know that he's going to rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Do you see what Martha has done here in this passage. She has expressed a faith in the God of yesterday. If you had been here yesterday. My brother would not have died or four days ago and then she. Says We are brothers going to rise again. Now was Jesus saying in the future. He's going to rise again he was meaning that day. Right but Martha automatically puts it to the future and says well I know it's the last day he's going to rise again and this is the same thing that we often do in our own Christian walk in experience and it was really eye opening to me when I realized you know I have grown up in the church. Many of you have some of you haven't but you've heard the Bible stories you've heard the Americans about what God has done in the past we believe look at it. Well you know we serve a God He opened the Red Sea for the children of Israel. He parted the waters he's brought down bread from heaven all these amazing things and we believe in the God of the past. And we also talk a lot about a god that is going to do amazing things in the future a day is coming when his spirit is going to be poured out working the sea miracles we're going to see people healed. We're going to see people brought back from the dead we're going to see spiritual and spiritual healings and great multitude like we've never seen before. But what about today. Do we serve a God that is living and alive today. Now you will say amen That's right. But do we really believe it by how we live our lives and by how we pray if you look at the story and it goes on. We actually see that Jesus takes Martha to the tomb and the others go as well but even when he's saying roll away the stone Martha is still protesting. Don't roll away the stone he's going to stake. You don't want to do this and how many times we said the same you know to Jesus Jesus what what in the world are you doing. You can't do that you know this is going to be making an even worse mess than we already have but often times I have learned in my own life that is seeming more and more impossible and more and more sticky is. Almost like this is this is what Jesus can be most glorified in in that mare call him that rolling away the stone and so I want to encourage us as we're we're beginning today to recognize that we serve not just the God of yesterday. He's the god of yesterday. Not just the God of the future. He's the god of the future but we serve a God that is living in alive today. Now I don't know most of you in this room I see a few familiar faces but I don't know the background of this you're coming from. I don't know the impossible situations that you're facing. But we are told in God's word. Mark ten twenty seven that the things that are impossible with God are possible the things that I say that backwards the things that are impossible with men are possible with God nothing is impossible with God. Some of you may have heard some of these stories before included them and daring to ask but it's good to be reminded. And some of you probably have never heard these before I just want to tell you a brief story about a lady named G.M. First off there was a house church in Vietnam and Vietnam is a communist dominated country so it's not free for worship like we have here and there was this group of people that were praying and they'd been fasting and praying for God to do a greater work among them and they were really convicted to start praying for this is village of people that lived about a hundred miles away and the reason they were convicted to start praying for this village was because one of the families in the house church group had come from the village and there was no believers in that village and they wanted to see the Gospel go to that village so they started praying and praying. And after a little while. This woman named yen came to the city where they were. And she was coming. From that village but she came with a serious illness and she went to the doctors and found out that she had like a terminal stomach cancer or something along that line and so the prognosis was not good. Just basically you need to go home and set your house in order because you're going to die. Well she didn't know what to do but the people that knew were invited her come come to our fellowship and they introduced her to Jesus and she discovered that there is a bread and a Living life you know that nothing even death can quench and she began eating the Word of life even though she couldn't eat physically. And just eating up the word and falling in love with Jesus and so it was really exciting because she accepted the Lord but she was getting sicker and sicker so she went back to her village and they they were praying and praying they're like Lord. You have answered our prayer and you've given us a believer in this village but now she's dying you have to do something. Lord we believe that you're the God This able to heal and Re Store and set free. Well a little time passed and the sister of young called she was not a believer. But she called the pastor on the phone and said you're your friends need to prepare to come to a funeral because it was done. The pastor told her we believe that you know and that we believe that we serve a God that is able to heal and we've been praying that God would heal yet and he told her we gave you a black book it's called the bible go and open that book and turn it to Psalms thirty and read the passages the Psalms thirty and yet his name in the passages. That's what the house church pastor told this woman who's not a believer. Well the woman is just kind of scoffed at that and said whatever you just need to prepare to come to a funeral because she's not going to live much longer anyway they hung up and they kept praying and praying to God We believe that you can heal. They gather the things together a couple days later and went to the village travelled to the village and when they got to the village they found out what had happened. Had actually died. She died. She was being prepared for burial all wrapped up and cleaned up and all of that and that woman who is not a believer remembered what the pastor had said to her and she thought well it doesn't hurt to try right. She's already dead. What kind of hurt. She went and got the Bible and she opened that passage to Psalms and she began reading the passage putting the ends name in the passages and well she was reading do you know that yet and began to move and came back to life not only did she come back to life but she was completely healed and as a result of that amazing miracle. There is now a group of believers in that village and that group is growing even today and that mission story actually comes from the admin The Southeast Asia projects because it was some of their church planters that got that group praying together and claiming the promise of them believing that we serve a God that is living in alive today. You know well we don't necessarily see these type of raising from the dead all the time but you know God wants to raise us from the dead today. Greatest resurrection that I believe that we need is those dry bones coming back to life as they were told and is the thirty seven. He says I will breathe upon you and you shall live and that is desperately what we need you know we talk a lot about prayer in the church but do we really take time to pray. I believe that we don't we don't pray for a number of reasons. Oftentimes it's you know we're just too tired but if you look at what happens in the Bible what happened when the design tools were too tired to pray you know we're actually told in desire of Ages it was by sleeping when they should have been praying. That they actually prepared their way for the great fall. You know like for Peter when he betrayed Christ for not being able to stand face fall and running away when the tests come. It was by sleeping when they should have been praying. Another reason often we don't praise we say well. God only knows what I'm going to say. So why bother. I've heard people say that what does it matter if I tell him. Now probably most of you in here are married but if you were married and your husband or wife said well why do I need to tell you I love you or why do I need to tell you such and such. You already know with that I have a very strong marriage. No we need to communicate we're actually told that we don't have because we don't ask. Yes we need to ask another reason goes along with that whatever is going to happen. Going to happen do you know that we're actually told that God does not want to destroy the land he does not want to pour out the wrath upon the people of the lamb but he's looking for intercessors to stand in the gap he's looking for people that will rise up and say I'm going to fight for my community for my church for my lost loved ones I'm going to fight. Of course another one is we don't trust God because we say if you love me so much. Why did he allow this to happen and that's a big one in our lives today. You don't understand the grief I've been through. You don't understand the pain I've been through. If God loved me. Why would he allow this to happen how can I pray to a God like that. You know unfortunately we live in a world that is a battlefield ground of broken lives and hearts and that's part of the great controversy that we live in does that the way that God intended. We're actually told that we need to pray. Matthew six ten that God's will. Will be done On earth as it is in heaven. God's will is being done in Heaven but it's not being done on earth as a. Should be as it is and have been and that's what we need to pray we are also told that he is going to avenge our adversary. I believe the. Well the small belief that we have in the power of prayer is evidence by the little time we give it if we truly understood the power of prayer. We would be spending hours on our knees and this also applies here. The small appreciation we have for the love of God is evident by the little time we spend with him. Each day in the little time we spend leading others to him. I just found this quote this week and I was just like wow. This is on the negative side but we need these wake up calls say ten uses the listless sleepy indolence of professed Christians to strengthen his forces and win souls to his side. Oh wow by their failure to be diligent workers for the Master by leaving duties and done and words spoken they have allowed Satan to gain control of souls who might have been one for Christ. Are there your are there people in your life that might have been one for Christ. If you had been willing to prey on their behalf or to fight on their behalf or to befriend them or to do something to share your testimony there is no such thing as a truly converted person living a helpless. Useless. Life. It's not possible for us to drift into heaven. I don't know about you but I saw that quote I was like This is serious. You know we may not all have the same tools in our hands we may not all have the same platform this or that but God is calling you to be faithful with what he's given you. And that's the biggest thing I remember a message they. David years ago it was one of the one of the like. At the second G Y C. I think that we had and it was called stir what you got and if any of you remember that stir what you got use what God has given you and the thing is if you use what God has given you. He's going to give you more you know that he has given each one of us a measure of faith. You may say what man if I just had faith like you I would I would be praying for this or I would see this or you know too but you know what God has given each of us a measure of faith and he's saying use the measure of giving you and I'm going to grow it I'm going to give you more faith. We need to be responsible for what he has given us. Something I talk a lot about is a term called Wilderness Christianity some of you may be familiar with this you know I believe God called the Children of Israel out of the land of Egypt right. It was his purpose to take the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt and to have them set up housekeeping in the wilderness was that his purpose. You know his purpose was to take them to the promised land right. That was his purpose to take them to that land flowing with milk and honey and I believe that is also his purpose for us today. His purpose is not just to get us out of the world. Some of us you know have come out of the world. Some of us have been raised out of the world or we've come out on our own. But the problem is we've got stuck in the wilderness. We've got stuck in a wilderness existence living in the desert and were excited about the fact of the different things that we're doing in the wilderness because there are some cool things you can do. And wilderness living but that is not the destination that God is intended for if he wants to take us to the promised land. He doesn't want us to get stick or stuck in the wilderness. I really believe though that many of us are just spiritually surviving. Christians like this picture of this woman here she is just basically living right below the surface gasping for breath seeking. To breathe and just barely surviving in councils for the church we're we're told most professed Christians have no sense of the spiritual strength that they might obtain where they as ambitious as Ellis and perseverance to gain a knowledge of divine things as they are to obtain the perishable things of this life. Many are satisfied to be spiritual do wharfs those that are calling to be spiritual do or know this is not our calling. Thus many will be lost. Will hoping and desiring to be Christians they make no earnest effort and therefore they will be weighed in the balance and found wanting. But I share these things not to focus on the negative and just like I mean just like why are sharing these things is so discouraging but because I believe that we need to awaken to our condition. We need to see sometimes where we've fallen so that we can allow God to be what we need because until we recognize our need I'm going to talk a lot about this in the second message actually above and beyond humility at the foot of the cross and till we come to the point where we were truly allow God to be who we need. We're not going to come out of that will during this experience as long as we think we're OK. In the desert as long as we think we're OK doing these different things and so that's why I'm trying to take on a little bit. My experience was I grew up in the Seventh Day Adventist Church grew up in a home that was living the lifestyle the message all these different things and I thought I had a pretty. I mean I had pretty good experience of a good life good family and all of that but I didn't recognize for a long time especially in the early years. Mine. Need and I remember I remember reading stories when I was younger. About revivals and change lives and and these different things. Wow that's really that's really powerful I wish I wish I could see that today for me you know I had a happy home life and all of that I will say this. It was a struggle for me going to church when I was a young teenager church was not really that enjoyable to me and my might have been part of the fact I was from a really small church there wasn't a lot of activity and all of those things but I just didn't see life that was the problem. I didn't see life and so it was a struggle for me but I felt in my heart that there must be something more. And I praise God because of the faithfulness of my parents and their prayers and different people that God brought to my life I didn't just walk away from the church even though I felt like it many times. We're told. I'm going to share more of my testimony later we're told. I will pour water. I put this in my place upon the woman that is thirsty and I will pull a poor floods upon her dry ground and through a series of circumstances which I'm going to be sharing more testimonies later on God began to open my eyes to my need and I was like Lord. I need a deeper experience with you. I don't know how to pray like I should i don't know how to study my Bible like I should I mean I'm I'm doing it because I know it's the right thing to do in my really getting anything from it. I mean yeah I think God blesses the feeble attempts that we make. OK even if you're not that deep Bible student I'm not that deep Bible student I'm always striving for more of that but I just want to say God blesses even if you're not there. You don't get discouraged you get in God's word because he can change you but I'm recognizing in the early part of my life and this is probably where a lot of you are as well. It was a superficial experience it was a very superficial experienced. God wanted to do so much more but I praise the Lord he promises one of my favorite promises in John ten ten. I am come that they might have life and life more abundantly. This is God's promise to us. This is what he's calling us to is life and life more abundant wherever you are God wants to grow you. He wants to give you a richer experience a deeper experience in the things of his word. Now if you're familiar with this verse you know there is a first part of this verse that I did not put on the screen and it says the enemy comes to steal and to kill and to destroy. Yes and his attack is to do everything that he can to keep us from experience this life but God says I come to give you life and life more abundant and he is more powerful than all the forces of the enemy. So in a nutshell. As I began seeking out and crying after God and. Just saying Lord. I'm not where I need to be helped me it was actually through a series of very painful circumstances and events which I'm going to share in tomorrow's message trusting God even when he silent even when you don't understand what he's doing it was through these things that I actually was jolted up to awaken to my need because basically I came to such a low point in my life I had rock bottom and I'm going to talk about that tomorrow. But I began crying out saying God you have to help me. I'm not where I should be. And as he began to grow me and this actually this whole this whole transition in my life actually just took place back in two thousand and six two thousand and seven. So it wasn't that long ago this is still very recent. But since that time since I began asking God please show me what to do. Show me how to move forward. I feel like I've basically been put on a roller coaster adventure in a good way. With God and it's just been going and going I mean I cannot believe it's just so amazing to me what God has been doing so much as I was saying in the beginning above and beyond what I would have imagined a dream for my own life. Now I'm going to share a few testimonies again some of you may have heard some of these things before but just to give you a little bit more how God began to awaken me to the power in prayer. I don't know how many of you. Grew up with the desire to be in the army or something like that. Probably not a lot of you but I always find some in the audience that have but I love this quote from Christian Service that says it's not ministers alone who are soldiers but every man and woman who is enlisted in Christ army is a soldier that means every single one of us that we've been lifted in Christ army we are a soldier now and we cannot fight this battle in our own strength. You know why we are having so much problem and we are constantly falling and failing and and having all these issues in our lives because we're trying to fight in our own strength. We're not putting on the armor that God has given us and we are constantly falling we're told that the soul must be barricaded by prayer and study of the Scriptures. Armed with these weapons. Jesus encountered our wily foe on the field of battle and overcame him. Armed with these weapons we have been given the weapons that are going to talk more about that. Anyway I grew up having no desire whatsoever to be in an army or physical things like that I was always very much a girly girl love to. Those type of things and battles and conflict. I would rather stay away from it but I have recognized this God has been growing me that he has called us to a spiritual battle. Incidentally it's kind of interesting because a few years ago. How many of you heard of Pastor Ivor Meyers. Most of you've heard of him he just has amazing testimony of how God delivered him from the entrapments of Egypt in the world in the hip hop music industry and now of course he teaches shares his testimony worldwide and teaches people about finding Christ in the Scriptures I'm going to share a little bit more about that later but God planted in his heart the vision of starting a bible camp training program and so back in two thousand and eight we started brainstorming about this idea it actually happened to do I see it was two thousand and eight at the G Y C that we were attending and we were like you know we hear all these amazing speakers we go to do what I see. And. And the profound things they're sharing from the front ten and the deep truths that are sharing what if we actually started a program to teach people how to study the Bible for themselves so that they could go and find some of those truths for themselves rather than just always having to hear it. It's good to hear it but I want to know how he found that I want to know what his personal Bible study habits are how are these things coming together. So this this concept dreamed about him and then pulled a few of us together and we started talking and very quickly this ministry came to gether called army Bible camp. Army by the ways two words put together arm. Me OK. Arming people with tools for a biblical revival. And so when we were first starting the ministry. We planned to the first conference a few months in advance and we were told You should give yourselves more time you know this is it this is too fast for you to pull off such a conference because we were hoping to have two or three hundred people coming. Well as we got closer and closer to the conference we realized that maybe we had made big big mistakes because coming up to the conference just a couple weeks out we only had like forty people forty five people registered and we're like Lord you're going to bring the people we obviously don't know how to do this. And so we started praying and praise God he worked and by the time that first by the time the meeting started we had over three hundred people registered and that is the very first conference right there that we hosted with the army Bible camp. However another important thing happened along the way there was a girl in our midst. Called Melissa Melissa has been here at G Y C and helped lead prayer ministry in the past so some of you may have met her. Melissa was really convicted that we needed to have a time of United prayer every morning before we started the meetings. Just like you had the smarting here with you. I see. And so she told our team you know let's let's have the time apart what are we going to do you know the devotionals at seven o'clock and she said well we should we should do it at six o'clock in the morning how are we going to get people there six o'clock we're just hoping we can get them there as seven o'clock for the devotional. I have to admit I was one of the people that questioned the this was was this a very good idea but finally we agreed well we can offer it. Nobody has to come right. So we offered this and the first morning we had probably twenty people that came the next morning forty the next sixty by the end of the conference it's a four and a half day conference same time frame as to I see by the end of conference we had over one hundred people meeting together and praying in them in the morning and it was powerful. It was powerful just with that group that we had I remember we had grown men that were weeping and and pleading that God would do a deeper work in their lives we saw miracles happen as a result of that prayer time and we remember we were talking about it in all of Lord forgive us. You know we are we are told that our church should be called a house of prayer. Of all things we are told we should be a house of prayer but so often it's a house of other things that the house of entertainment is a house of sermons it's a house of. Yes and that yes we need preaching the Word and everything but prayer is often just a little thirty second thing that we sandwich everything else around. We need so much more prayer and so we began to recognize that God wanted to do more than we than we understood as a result of that first conference something else that happened we were really praying that first conference were like Lord. You know we've stepped out and face we didn't have the funds to do this we need you to provide if you want to go forward. We need you to provide and we had like three hundred some people and we needed to raise ten thousand dollars as a freewill offering if we were to go forward and so we were praying God please help us at that conference God brought in over thirty five thousand dollars and he showed us very clearly. I want you to go forward with this word. So we were so convicted by what we saw saw happen during that first per conference at the next at the next army Bible camp we decided not only are we going to have a united prayer every morning. We're going to have a prayer room going all day long and we invited the attendees to come in and pray with us and we began praying with them and for them and as a result of this we began seeing more and more Americans happened just a few testimonies. I remember this young girl that came to us she was fourteen at the time and she had not prayed more than five minutes a day that was basically just Dear Lord help me blah blah blah. Amen. And so her mom kind of drug or to the prayer room she came into the prayer room and she stayed an hour she came back the next day and she stayed for eight hours and at the end of the time she told the prayer leaders she said I'm going to go back to my church and start to pro groups. So as a fourteen year old girl and she told us she says you know I've been to lots of Bible conferences I've attended different things growing up but I always felt like something was missing and now I see what it is is the power of prayer. We had a nother young man come to us he was twenty one years old he had been smoking since he was thirteen. He wanted to quit but he'd never been able to quit. So he just kept smoking. Of course while I was there at the camp we can have smoking on the premises and so after a little while you need to smoke is like what I do one of our team mates took him to the perv and said let's pray do we believe that we serve a God This able to deliver us from those addictions. We do. But so often we don't allow him to because we don't grasp a hold of his arm of strength when we don't allow him to so this young man was in the prayer room praying and praying and praying. And it came time for lunch and our teammate the taken him and said Do you want to go with us to lunch. It's time to eat the young man says no I need to pray and to keep praying. So he was in there a couple more hours. He stayed in there about four hours that day and at the end he came out and he says I don't have any desire to smoke God's taken it away and he was there the rest of the conference. No more desire to smoke God delivered him from that addiction. We had another man that came to us he was struggling with another problem. He was a married man and he had an eye problem or I say a lust problem and he didn't tell us what the problem was he was just praying silently You know when we have these times of prayer. We're encouraging people to keep their private sins private and just between them and God and corporately we confess those things that we're guilty of as a church corporately. So he was praying on his own and wrestling and just praying and spending a lot of time in the prayer room just pleading that God would give him victory. Finally after three days of spending some significant time in the program. He felt like God had given him a new heart you know that he knew mind. Do we believe that God is able to do that. Yes he does he says he can change our hearts he can give us a new heart. You can have a lust problem an addiction problem this problem that problem. God is able to change your heart. That's what I keep sharing you know different people come to me with different questions and they're like well this melody. I have this problem. What do I do about this and you know what my answer is the same for every one that comes to me with all their different situations and issues. God is able you start claiming his promises claiming his word removing those things in your life that are roadblocks between him and you and I'm going to talk about that more in the next session removing those roadblocks and he will work. He will deliver he will set you free. So what happened with this young man that. They had this problem. He also had a vision problem in the fact that he couldn't see without glasses but it was amazing because that day when he felt like God had given him a new heart of course this was all still private we didn't know anything that was going on. He was walking to Bible class and he suddenly realized he was not wearing his glasses God had not only given him a clean heart he had healed his vision as well at the same time and that's just a practical illustration to me of the fact that God is wanting to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think is a fusion three twenty says that's my very favorite bible verse of fusion thirty twenty now and to him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that work within us. This is not our power it's his power. It is him that does the that gets the victory and so testimonies go on and on and on I can tell you about marriages that have been restored as answers to prayer families that have been brought back together. There's this young man here in the center that came to our camp last year I think it was and he was so depressed. He didn't even want to live very very startling with very very bad depression. Some of you may have struggled with depression and you know if you've been there. It's like a pit you cannot get out. Out of but he came somehow and we surrounded him in prayer. He probably spent like thirty some hours in the prayer room over at that conference and at the end he came out and you knew me and he went back to his church he began sharing what he had learned you know when God does something for us. One of the best ways not to lose what he has done for us is to go and share it. We need to testify of God's goodness in our lives and we need to share the great things that he has done for us just like when Jesus healed those demoniacs he said Go back and tell your friends what great things got us done for you. So he went back and shared He started a permanent church start going around speaking and sharing He started working on raising funds for a Health Center in Panama because that's originally where he's from and as friends and family in Panama already God is doing an amazing work through this fact I think you might even be here with us that you I see it's really exciting another individual that we met came to another conference that we had and to be honest with him at this individual. I don't know if this was a boy or girl. But this is a girl. She had been living as a lesbian for the last fifteen years. And she really didn't have any real conviction to let go of it but she knew she was missing something. And she knew she needed something from God So she came to our conference. Well we are our big focused was and this should be the focus of everywhere you go is leading people to the foot of the cross and to Jesus to a personal relationship with him because when we do that Jesus is able to change his Holy Spirit will convict of those things that need. It's not about priests preaching health reform or diet reform or all these different things. Those are important and I believe that we do need to be educated on those but our focus first should always be on Jesus and what he has done and who he is for us because only He can change all. Arts. You can tell me how I need to dress. But if God doesn't change my heart does my Except of all dress matter anything to God. It has to come from a hard experience our lifestyle choices are whatever we're doing house to come from a personal conviction and heart surrender to God because otherwise it's just dead works were told if any man be in Christ he is a new creature old things are passed away be called All things are become new so she was convicted as she sought that closer walk with Christ that she needed to give her life to God and as she was convicted to do that she was also convicted that she needed to change her lifestyle. No one told her she needed to do that the Holy Spirit told her she knew. And she changed and she is still growing and changing. Today we're told a revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs to seek this should be our first work there must be an earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord. Not because God is not willing to bestow his blessing upon us. But because we are un prepared to receive it. It is our work by confession confession by humiliation repentance an earnest prayer to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us his blessing. A revival in the be expected. Only in answer to prayer. Do you know why do you why. C. has so much emphasis and prayer. Here this year. It's because we're pleading for that revival. We know it's coming. And we're also told. When it comes. There's going to be showers. Falling but there are going to be some it's going to be falling around that aren't even to recognize and I don't know about you but I don't want to miss that. Add that outpouring when it comes to have our hearts prepared to have our hearts ready we need to be on our knees seeking God as never before and seeking and asking him to change our hearts and prepare our hearts so that we do not miss that revival. I could share a lot more testimonies about what I've seen God do as we have gone through the different conferences over the years and then. My purpose is not to promote army but to give you some background on different things. I saw happening in the ministry things that I had never seen happening before in the other group or conference and I began saying to myself. Lord. You know these are things that I have prayed to be part of and I've never experienced before. But Lord I don't want to just see it happen. In this corporate sense. I want to see it happen in my own life as well. I want to see lives changed as I surrender to you. I want to see people that I prayed for come to you. And so God just began convicting me that what he's doing in a large sense is we come together as a people he wants to do for each one of us. And this is still a prayer that I'm praying that he will do in my life. Some of you may have heard of the man called praying Hyde. The apostle of prayer. There's a whole book written in fact several of them. I think on the life of John Hyde he was actually a missionary to India went to India to serve the Lord back in the eighteenth hundreds and really wanting to make a difference for God but wasn't having a lot of effect initially but then he began praying and then he began early purring and as he did he began seeing God work but this is the part that I want to share of his testimony. There was a point in his life where he was really convicted to start praying that God would bring one person a day to the Gospel as a result of his life and witness. And so he started praying and you know he decided to pray for the next year that God would bring one person to the truth and as he started praying people were like you know that's a really presumptious prayer. What do you think you're doing but he was convicted. Would God not like to see one person brought to the truth every day because of our life and with this. What do you not like to see ten thousand souls brought to the truth because of our life and what this. He has infinitely above you know what we dare to think or pray. Anyway so he started praying and over that next year he saw over three hundred people. I think over four hundred people come to a personal relationship with Jesus because of his life and testimony. Well the next year he was convicted to not just pray for one soul a day he was convicted to start praying for two souls a day and again. People were like you know that's pretty presumptuous but he fasted and prayed and he felt like death. That's the challenge that God was asking him to pray for you know God tells us to prove him to test his word to see what he will do anyway so he started praying and again God worked he brought over eight hundred people to the Lord that year. The next year and instead of praying for three souls he actually he actually asked for four and it was after weeks of agonizing prayer that he actually prayed that bold bold prayer request and God worked powerfully now the story of praying Hyde really really challenges me. I have never seen somebody in my generation that I would that I would say had that kind of her life he had such an intense passion and desire in his heart not just for his own issues and situations and problems we get so muddled in our own issues we can't even stand strong for anybody else because we have so many of our own things that I'm going to talk about how to clear some of those things. Next in the next in the next lesson or session. Anyway but he had such a strong passion that he. Actually had a very rare medical condition where his heart shifted from the left side of his chest partway into his right. Supposedly caused an extreme extreme cases of stress and as a result he died. Still it a young age and I really believe he died with a broken heart. The last because he just wept and prayed so much to to see souls come into the kingdom. And I think wow you know like Lord forgive me I don't have that passion that I showed for the last but you know what his story really inspired me because I was like. This was back in maybe two thousand and eleven and two thousand and twelve when I first read his testimony and I was like Lord I don't have the face to ask for one soul a day. But I want to see you working in my life every day. You know I want to see you answering prayers every day I want to see that you're real and alive in my life. Each day so I began testing and challenging God saying I want to see answered prayers in my life every day not just answer prayers like thank you for waking me up this morning. OK I've had my answer prayer for the day that's not the type of answer prayer I'm talking about you know we don't realize all the things God does for us every day that we take for granted but I'm talking about serious prayers and as I began praying this prayer and not just praying the prayer but speaking to align my life to His Word and claiming the promises all this is so powerful. I'm not going to go into real depth here but this afternoon in the south and in session when I talk about growing in a number of in a Bond above and beyond devotional life. I'm going to talk much more about the power of praying the word but this has really turned my life around. Because in the early part of my life I shared briefly this morning. I had a good life but it was kind of a up and down life in my walk with God when I felt like he was close. He was close. When I went to A G Y C or some spiritual event. He was close right. But when I didn't feel them or things were struggling. He was far away it was very very much a roller coaster spiritually until God began to teach me that I can trust his word. I can be rooted in found in his word. It doesn't matter what's happening around me. It doesn't matter how impossible the mountain looks in front of me or what is happening. I can trust his word and I began praying his word. I put together this this whole notebook of different promises and I just began praying them over different things in my life that I was struggling with and I'm like Lord. You said such and such and hear you say this and I'm holding you to your word. You know Ellen White says I have these different quotes from inspiration that are so powerful actually have some of the best ones in ten pages together that you can actually download off of my website daring to ask for more and I'll share more about that at the end but the different things that she says the owner of God's throne is staked for the fulfillment of His Word. Did you know that the honor of his god the honor of his throne is staked for the fulfillment. We're told that there is no danger that the Lord will neglect the prayers of his people the danger is in temptation and trial they will fail to perseverance prayer. That's the greatest danger. Not that he's going to neglect us but that we don't persevered we don't hold on that comes from Christ optical essence one seventy five. So I just began to cumulate these promises and I just began to pray and what I would do. When I talk about talk about this more in detail later but I would put. My prayer request on little cards like on a key chain and I would have a prayer request on one card and I would have a bible promise on the other card and I would be praying these in the morning or as I went through the day or in the evening or or whenever God prompted me. And as God began answering the prayers. I would take the cards off and fold them up and put them in a jar. And I did that my faith was growing because I was looking in seeing look at it. Look at what God stand I mean I don't know maybe I don't see right this moment what he's doing but look at what he's done and so I began claiming these promises and as I did I began seeing more and more Americans and answers to prayer and it was just amazing running out of time and so so much to share. So anyway. I when I made the challenge I want to see God answer a prayer every day in my life I begin to record. And I begin to see Seriously every single day. God was answering prayers in some specific way about the time that I start making this challenge. I really stepped away from what I was doing in work. I didn't share earlier but I'm a registered nurse so I graduated from Southern Miss University in two thousand and three and started working as a nurse but as time went on and we got involved with the prayer ministry and all of that I began to realize that God was calling me into full time ministry and so I couldn't keep working and so that meant stepping away from a regular paycheck and and a stable income and funds and all of that and so I began claiming this promise of Matthew six thirty one. He says Take no thought we should eat or drink. You know the sparrows are taken care of the Little is the field our clothes how much more does your heavenly Father care about you. So it's like OK God you have to prove yourself and I have this take no thought list where I wrote all the different things that I needed and there are legitimate needs i have i need to pay car insurance and I need to pay traveling and phone and all these different things that I just need to see God provide and one of the things I started crying that this might seem really crazy to you but at the time I was living there at home with my family in Arkansas and we were having this really issue with getting stuck in our driveway because in the mud. We live way out in the country we don't have paved roads up to our drive up to our doorstep and we didn't have five hundred dollars to pay for a dump truck to come and bring gravel and so I put on my take no thought list gravel for my driveway. Would you believe a cup. Months later my dad came into the office where I was working like Melodie can you come help me drive the truck we need to go down and down to the local church in the community and get some gravel and I was like gravel and it's like yeah they breed they repave the parking lot and they have this whole pile of gravel they don't know what to do with and they called me and said Can you come and get our gravel and I was like Daddy I've been praying for gravel and he's like you have off so we went and we got four truckloads I think it was four truckloads four trailer loads plus a tractor load of free gravel. Mom says and all the years we've lived here we've never had gravel and I was like mom did you pray for it now. But the reason I share this crazy Americal I saw God providing in so many ways I could tell you many many stories. Is God cares about Gravel. He cares about the dirt that we walk on he cares about our needs. But if he cares about our needs. How much more does he care about the salvation of souls how much more does he care to see souls right in the kingdom I could share some more stories by begin praying for different people that we were ministering to or reaching in the person hours and different things that we were doing and I saw God work I saw God begin to restore marriages. I saw God bring people back into the church. I remember we hosted the get together at our home and we my parents have been in the community. It was kind of considered one of those dark counties. When they moved into it. In other words there weren't a lot of believers of any faith initially when they went in but God is told. We've been building up or poor over the years but even still we have had a lot of people in our home we haven't had a lot of this type of interaction but we've been praying and seeking and we hosted this kind of open house get together and we had twenty seven people come from the community and the majority. Of them were non I've been asked and we've seen God as a result of our prayers began to open the doors in the community and now my dad's actually studying with a group study group there and when I'm home I was involved as well but I've actually moved on from Arkansas to Maryland so I haven't been around so much but I began to see God opening doors in all these different ways from random text messages I just threw that up there on the screen. I had this text message conversation with this guy I thought I was texting a friend and it turned out to be some stranger that had inherited my friend's number and it turned out that he was in a very discouraged point in his life when I texted him inviting him to some prayer call he had no clue what that was about but I was able to reach out to him and give him a Bible and a great controversy and I just I just began to see God opening these providential doors in you know new meek ways that only God can do right. Like how could you possibly plan these different things. If God was not doing it and God began to do it. And so I began to see more and more and more how he fulfilled his word and how he brought those promises and things that I was claiming together. I want to share this again and I shared a briefly last night one of my favorite quotes I have lots of favorite quotes thing that yes steps are Christ page ninety four is says prayer is the key and the hand of faith to unlock heaven storehouse where our treasure the boundless resources of omnipotence. So God has given us a key and the amazing thing is he's given it to every one of us in this room. Prayer is the key in the hand face to unlock Heaven's storehouse. He has given us the key but does the key do any good if we leave it on our shelf. No. OK Does the key do any go. Good if we take it with us to church and put it in the pew next to us. Is it going to is going to fail anything we can even travel with it in our car we can take it with us to the mission field and put it on the shelf. If we do not actively use this key that God has given us. We're not going to see those windows of heaven opened we're not going to see that store house open. Prayer is the key and prayer must always be founded on the Word of God and I'm going to talk more about that later because we're not just purring your own thoughts and our own ideas and our own fanciful things we have to be founded upon the Word of God. And we have to found prayer on a faith. That's rooted in the Word of God. Prayer is the key and what did that. What did that passage say that I just shared with you. Prayer is the key in the hand of faith. OK So God has given us the key. We can stick it in the log. But if we do not have faith to turn the key. Are we going to see things happen that we're praying for. You know like I said before God takes. What we are feeble efforts he meets us where we are so I don't want any of you to be discouraged because you're not a John high or you're not here. I want to encourage you to take what God has given you and dare to ask for more because God wants to do more take that key that he is given and turn the key and see what God will do you know we are running out of time in this world or you see what's happening around us. In fact I don't know if you some of you saw this a while back the end is near on Time magazine and I thought wow are the rocks actually crying out are the rocks actually crying out telling us that the end of New Year is near God has told us the end is near sealing upon us. So stealthily so imperceptibly so noise the fully. Like a muffled tread of the thief in the night to surprise the sleepers off guard and on ready. May the Lord grant to bring His Holy Spirit upon hearts that are now it is that they may no longer sleep as to others but watch and be sober. Christians should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise. And this preparation how are we supposed to make by stocking up our pantry with lots of survival goods. By building a cave in the wilderness. No we are to make this preparation by diligently studying the Word of God and striving to conform our lives to its precepts the time has come for a thorough reformation to take place when this reformation begins the spirit of prayer. What actuated every believer. There's going to be a spirit of prayer and it will banish from the church the spirit of discord and strife. Do we need that right now. We need that spirit of prayer that is going to banish the spirit of discord and strife. I'm going to share. I'm going to skip this last actually going to skip the story and go to my favorite of all and some of you may have heard this. But for those of you that haven't heard Alexander the Great. This testimony I just love you. We've all heard of Alexander the great writer he was the mighty conqueror that lived before the time of Christ. But what is not so well known that he was also known as being a compassionate ruler and one day out of every year he would invite different subjects from his kingdom and they could come and ask him whatever he wanted or whatever they needed and he usually he would grant the request this one year this man came before His throne along with many others and different people were asking for different things. Some were asking for food. Some are asking for money for clothes some are asking for money to send their kids to school different things but this one man had a different request and he told the spokesman that was talking to the king he says can you tell the king. I want a power. Now the spokesman was like. How can you ask for a palace you can't ask for a palace or do you think you are look at what these different people are asking for this is no I want to Palace and I want to be fully furnished and I want a large banquet hall prepared because I have lots of friends and he started giving him all these specifics of what he wanted in the spokesman was getting more and more outraged because how can you ask for this but. Well King Alexander saw the commotion and he said to the spokesman What is that man asking for so he went off and told the king and he whispered in his ear. He says he's asking for a palace but I tell him you can't ask for Palestinians to you know be more reasonable but King Alexander thought about that for a moment and then he smiled and he sat up a little straighter and he says a request granted. Spokesman says How can you grant that request. The king says you see with all these people are asking me for anybody with a little extra means to supply their needs. But this only this is the first man that has made me feel like the king that I am because only I can grant his request. Now think about this. We serve the King of the universe. We serve the one who we're told and Jeremiah thirty two seventeen is stretched out the heavens by his great power. There's nothing too hard for him. That's what the Bible tells us there's nothing to hard for God nothing. And yet so often we settle for superficial blessings and super superficial work in our lives. God cares about the details OK so don't think he doesn't care about your lost keys. He's helped me find lost keys he cares about the gravel that I walk on right. He cares about those details but he does not want to stop with asking for those things he wants us to dare to ask for more. And so I want to encourage you as we close this first session today to grasp a hold of that key. We're told all who. Consecrate soul body and spirit to God will be constantly receiving a new endowment of physical and mental power. The exhaustible that what it says no the exhaustible supplies of heaven are at their command Christ gives them the breath of his own spirit the life of his own life. The Holy Spirit puts forth its highest energies to work in heart and mind through cooperation with Christ. They are complete in him. This is our US we are complete in him and in our human weakness we are in able to do the deeds of omnipotence. So let's prove him test as words and see if he will not open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. Let's bear heads for prayer. Heavenly Father. Forgive us for our little faith. Father forgive us for not seeking you earnestly. Knowing and believing that you are the God that you say that you are in your word forgive us for not trusting you both with the little details and with the mountains that we think are impossible to move because with you. Nothing is impossible father we give our hearts to you right now. Give us strength to dare to ask for more and not for our glory. This isn't about physical palaces in this lifetime it's about spiritual powers those for your kingdom in your glory. Please help us Father we desperately need to make it for here in the spring purchasing this message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference when all has been heard in Houston Texas. I see a supporting ministry at the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be by. Based Christ centered and so winning Christians for other resources like this visit us online at W W W dot G Y C Web dot au or G.

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