Monday, October 28, 2013

Praying for Rain 2013 - Annual Council Full Report!

Last year, when my friends and I took 21 days to fast and pray for our church leaders at the General Conference headquarters in Maryland, we received so many blessings and answered prayers that we were asked by General Conference leadership to return again this year. To God be the Glory!

This year instead of just praying together for 21 days, I decided to ask prayer partners from around the world to join our prayer team for 3 months in advance of the yearly Annual Council meetings. I was hoping for at least 50 prayer partners, but God blessed and we had almost 115 join from all parts of the globe.

For this prayer challenge, although we could not all be together, we decided to agree in prayer. We divided up the names of the Annual Council delegates (some from the different church Divisions around the world and some from the actual General Conference headquarters - there are 470+ delegates all together), and we began to pray over them name by name from our respective locations around the world.

Some team members prayed together over their names. Others prayed independently, yet knowing they were in agreement with the prayers of their brothers and sisters. Over these 3 months, many shared how this "Praying for Rain" prayer initiative has encouraged them, inspired them, and also grown their intercessory prayer life. And that's the whole point… that we would all grow to be greater prayer warriors, standing in the gap for others. However, others shared how this 3 months has also brought them some rather large spiritual attacks. (I'm among those, which just convinces me more that we are on the right track and the enemy is NOT happy!)

Pictured below is some of our prayer team, with our Indonesian friends Irene and Arlaine, along with Elder Wilson and his wife Nancy.

So WHY did we do this?

This is not a new idea. Exodus 17:12 shares how Joshua along with Israel was compelled to go to battle against the Amalakites. Moses was up on a hill above interceding for them during the battle with his arms up in intercession. However, his arms grew heavy and he could not hold them up. When his arms dropped the Amalakites began to win the battle, but when his arms were raised the Israelites prevailed over the Amalakites. Since he couldn't hold up his arms, God sent him supportive intercessors by the name of Aaron and Hur to help hold up his arms, and as a result, Joshua and the Israelites won the battle!

Because of this simple story, I have been inspired that we need to do more of the same. As God's people, we need to support and hold up the arms of leaders in prayer, just like Aaron and Hur held up Moses arms.

We aren't battling against the Amalakites, but we are in a very REAL great controversy battle of significant importance. It's a supernatural battle, not of flesh and blood but between the power of God and the powers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places (See Ephesians 6!) It's a battle over YOUR soul and over MY soul! God's church is under fire. And unless God's people stand up, the devil is going to take many captives. Many will be forever lost!

This is a side note, but have you noticed that most of our praying today is centered around self…our needs, our wants, our desires. Of course these things matter to God! Praise the Lord, He cares about each little tiny detail of our lives. However, He's also looking for people who can get outside themselves and pray and wrestle for others.

God is looking for "Intercessors" to stand in the gap. Ezekiel 22:30 says, "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD."

We are told by the pen of Inspiration: "Prayer is a heaven-ordained means of success. Appeals, petitions, entreaties, between man and man, move men and act a part in controlling the affairs of nations. But prayer moves heaven." Prayer partners, did you catch that? …PRAYER MOVES HEAVEN!

It's time to pray…it's TIME to see Heaven moved, the Holy Spirit poured out, and the work finished, so we can go home! Jesus is waiting. He's waiting for you and me!

So let me share an over view of how God blessed at Annual Council this year.

  • Last year we had a large onsite prayer team of eight. This year I (Mel) hoped for a larger team yet. However, most of those planning to attend were not able to come for various reasons. But God reminded me that it's not numbers that make the difference, it is Him! And thankfully, He brought me just the teammates I needed. Also this year, as already mentioned, we had a HUGE prayer team behind the scenes supporting us in prayer. PTL! 

  • When we arrived, Janet Page (GC Ministerial Secretary for prayer and Shepherdess International) shared how much our prayers had impacted the security personnel from last year. We were encouraged to hear this as we had made it a habit to pray with them every morning at 3 a.m. when we came in last year. Initially some of the guys had been resistant to this. However when we arrived the first morning at 3:30 a.m. this year, our security man was already waiting with his request for us, before we even offered to pray for him. I thought that was neat! I saw some real tough hearts (or what seemed to be) soften as we reached out to them in prayer. We know that God cares about Revival and Reformation for all, and we wanted to see everyone impacted by our prayers from the bottom up and from the top down, and so this was a real praise report to begin our time there at the GC this year.

  • Each day our goal was to walk through the entire General Conference building, praying for each department and all those that worked there. We would stop and sit down only once we got to Presidential as we took more specific time to pray for Elder Wilson and his family, all his Vice-Presidents and their families, and all the Division presidents and their team. This whole walk through prayer time took over 3 hours, and could have taken longer, but we tried to be finished before people started coming into work. 

  • As we walked the General Conference building the first morning this year - praying for the GC staff and leaders and for God's church, we began praying again that God would wake up His people (literally get them out of bed!) and help them have a conviction of their great need of a closer walk with Him. Later this very morning, I read a post on RBHW about a person in our time zone that had been awakened at 3:45 a.m. THAT VERY MORNING of the first day we had started praying this prayer. They shared, "I woke up at 3:45 a.m. with an overwhelming conviction of my sins and my need of repentance. I got out of bed and fell on my knees and wept in prayer, then I opened my Bible and wept some more…" As I read this testimony, I felt like God was giving us evidence that He had heard our prayers and this was just a glimpse of what He was doing in the hearts of many individuals in answer to our prayers. PTL!!! 

  • That first weekend we were at the GC, Ted Wilson, Michael Ryan (Vice President), and Jerry and Janet Page (GC Ministerial) had asked us all to pray for the Urban Mission Conference that was occurring the first weekend we were here. (Sept. 27th-Oct 1st!) Well, God REALLY blessed! 

  • Friday night of this conference, G.T. Ng, executive Secretary for the worldwide church, gave a powerful talk sharing about God's call for us to work the cities and about all the "lost pearls" there, just waiting to be found. Very convicting!! Sabbath morning, Mark Finley taught the Sabbath school lesson, the final lesson of the revival and reformation study series, then during Church Ted Wilson spoke. His message was titled, "It's Time" and he too shared how God is calling us to step out and reach out NOW to our lost brothers and sisters in the cities. It was very powerful! Sabbath afternoon they had another program with many powerful testimonies from around the world, on what God is currently doing in the Cities. These testimonies were all broadcast LIVE on the HOPE Church channel.

    After a powerful weekend of testimonies and conviction, the meetings proceeded for the leaders to discuss how to implement what the Bible and SOP has called us to do in reaching our lost brothers and sisters in the cities. Again prayer made a huge difference as our leaders were united in how to move forward. While the task ahead is daunting (and everyone recognizes it will be impossible except by the power of the Holy Spirit), the meetings were a great success with a good plan underway. 

    The final morning of the Urban Mission Conference, Pastor Derek Morris gave a powerful devotional challenging people to seek for that Holy Spirit outpouring of Acts 1:8, as only by this can we have what is needed to accomplish this work. He challenged everyone to be willing to step outside of their comfort zone and follow wherever God calls. There were many tears, and when he made the final appeal, most of the audience went forward. The Urban Mission Conference meetings ended later that day with a time of praise and prayers, followed by a communion service, and all the leaders circled the room holding hands as they prayed. Some were in tears. And it was very obvious the Holy Spirit was present.

  • The unity in the meetings was beautiful. Elder Wilson told me later personally how much God had worked and blessed during these meetings, in the documents written up, and in the unity of everyone in attendance, and he knew it was because of all the prayers. So we praised Lord for this. Thank you everyone that was praying!!

  • Also, the "Mission to the Cities" launch this past summer is continuing to bear fruit. Delbert Baker (one of the Vice Presidents) shared how he was having a meeting in another church in NYC a couple weeks after Ted Wilson's evangelistic meetings in Manhattan and they were preparing to baptize another 30 people. That Sabbath as the day for the planned baptism started, a man walked in and wanted to be baptized that day. They began to explain he would need to study etc. He said, "No, I know all the teachings of this church already." He had attended all the Manhattan meetings Elder Wilson had preached and was convicted but did not make his decision for baptism. However, he had been struggling with conviction for these last few weeks and this Sabbath morning the Lord woke him up feeling he must find the nearest SDA church that Sabbath and get baptized. He looked in phone book and came to this church where Elder Baker was just finishing their meetings and planning a big baptism that day. He was baptized before the day was over!!

  • There are many other reports of ongoing follow-up meetings and new centers of influence and outreach meetings going on in New York City as a result - PTL! So those of you praying for New York Conference, God is at work.

  • We also heard and saw many testimonies from how God's work is going forward around the world. It was so inspiring to see cities and people and Division leaders that we have been praying for these past 3 months (and last year as well) sharing enthusiastically how God is working and blessing in their Divisions and areas of ministry. 

  • Day three at the GC, my prayer partner and I were asked to go start an all-night prayer at the local Indian church. I was very tired and not feeling up to this assignment, but once I got up to speak to the congregation and began to share, God gave me incredible energy and I felt no tiredness again until my time with them was over. As Susy later reported, "Wow! Amazing! God blessed the all-night prayer in big ways. Over 80 stayed throughout the night and they were so convicted by the time of United Prayer, and burden bearing prayer (praying for each of them) that they shared they want to do this a lot more." All I can say is, Praise the Lord for leading and blessing and giving Chelsey and I strength to help out with this when we were already so sleep deprived. 

  • Every morning during these first two weeks before Annual Council, the GC asked different Division leaders to lead the united prayer time. It was beautiful to see the different division leaders lead and the heart-felt convictions expressed in prayer. Some of the very leaders who haven't seemed that interested in these times of prayer in the past were now actively involved. (More answered prayers from last year!)

  • As we were praying for deeper conviction and repentance for our leaders, God was also taking our prayer team deeper. One evening prayer session (we were in the GC building praying for several hours both morning and night) our team just cried together as God brought different things to our hearts that we needed to lay before His throne. It was beautiful and we knew that before God could work for those we were praying for, He had to take us deeper. And He did! This time of prayer cannot be explained. It can only be experienced. So only those that were there could truly understand. (Last year we had this same experience on day 10! This year it occurred on day 7!)

  • One day Pastor Jerry had shared with me a specific request for some specific individuals. However, I had to keep this request in confidence so was not allowed to share with our prayer team. What is so amazing though, is that during our next prayer time, Susy prayed for these specific individuals exactly what Pastor Jerry had told me to be praying for them. She had no idea of the need. She was just praying, but it showed me that the Holy Spirit was truly praying thru her as He told her what to pray. Later, over the next few prayer times, Chelsey and Julia also prayed for these specific individuals similar prayers just as Pastor Jerry had told me to pray, again evidencing that they were in tune with the Holy Spirit's promptings. It was so amazing that it literally made me cry as I realized that, while I couldn't tell them what to pray for as I had to keep confidence, God was telling them what to pray for! It was amazing! (They still don't know the prayers they prayed that were so specific at timely, and they don't know which leaders these prayers were for, but God used them, and I know answers will come in response to the prayers the Holy Spirit inspired them to pray!)

  • Day 10 was our second Sabbath at the GC. Rather than praying specific prayers, we went into the building early (before anyone was up!) and walked and sang praise songs thru the whole building, praising God for hearing our prayers and for what He was going to do. It was beautiful. We actually did this both of the last two Sabbaths that we were at the GC as it was a nice change from our usual intercessory prayer. (See picture below of our last Sabbath of Annual Council, singing "Jesus is coming Again" outside Elder Wilson's office. It was just after "Boss Day" when we took this picture, and obviously some of his staff had enjoyed decorating his office door with all the special things he does!)

  • Also on this second Sabbath (day 10), some of the Division leaders had asked to join us for prayer, so in the afternoon we had a special prayer meeting and invited some of them to join. Many wanted to, but couldn't because of other commitments. However, Pastor Ratsara (Division President of Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division) as well as Pastor Biaggi (the Euro-Asia Division President) and his Executive secretary and their wives joined us for this prayer time. It was powerful! And it was inspiring to hear their sincere earnest prayers as they pray for strength to reach millions in their respective divisions. 

  • It's also been soooo inspiring to hear how God has answered some of the prayers we prayed last year. One of the African Divisions has really been struggling in the area of tithe. Well, this year we got report how God has increased the tithe in this specific Division from 23% to 103%. Amazing!! Even the GC treasury department can hardly believe it! This is a direct answer to prayer and has come as a result of the division focusing on revival and reformation and on more prayer. PTL!! 

  • Another division leader from one of the European divisions shared how he is amazed to see what God is doing in his division…things that he would never have imagined 3-4 years ago, God is NOW doing!!! He sees Revival and Reformation happening in Europe. So praise the Lord, and those of you that are praying for Europe, keep praying! God is working. We may not see the answer for 3-4 years, but He is working! Not one prayed is wasted! :-)

  • The Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division leaders shared how they've started a Bible study small-group campaign, hoping for about 4,000 small groups to start up. Well, God has been answering our prayers for the SID, because so far they have almost 50,000 small groups of active Bible studies going. What a testimony! Let's ask for more! :-)

  • While our 21 day Prayer initiative at the GC was starting, the Northern Asia Pacific Division were just finishing an evangelistic campaign in Tokyo. We've been praying for them, and one of our prayer teams has been praying for this region for months. Well, God blessed. Over 60 people were baptized from this campaign (which may seem small, but is actually highly unusual). As a result of the success and interest shown, the church leaders in this dry territory NOW FEEL like revival and reformation is starting to reach them in Japan. We praise the Lord! Keep praying for Japan!

  • The last Sabbath (during Annual Council itself), Elder Wilson spoke again, this time focusing on the topic of how we can illuminate this world with God's glory by spreading the love of God. It was powerful and moving and deeply convicting. At the end, he even gave a personal appeal, and asked us to get in groups and to pray. The Holy Spirit was leading and it was so encouraging to see how Elder Wilson, our church president, believes in saturating everything in prayer - even his Sabbath sermon, never mind it's being televised LIVE around the world. I urge you to watch the full message linked below at the end of this prayer report!

  • This is on a personal note, but I (Mel) have to say, I've really been blessed and inspired at how humble and down-to-earth our world church president Elder Wilson and his wife Nancy are. I just have to share this with all of you, that may not get to know them personally as I have, that they are truly genuine blessings from God to our church at this time in history. Not only do I see Christ's spirit and kindness flow thru Elder Wilson in meeting after meeting as he interacts with his colleagues and even some that treat him rudely, but he and his wife  love young people, and older alike. I see this expressed in the genuineness they show to EACH PERSON they interact with. It's not for the cameras either. I've been around them enough now to see this is how they are, even behind the scenes when no audience is watching. These guys really love God and their love for people is reflected. When the Oakwood College singing group came and performed during Annual Council, Elder Wilson was eager to greet the kids and mingle with them. It was really inspiring to watch. To provide a special music here and there, he and his fellow friends sang their own musical piece - almost sounded like the King's Heralds. It was amazingly good! :-) When we visited Elder Wilson's home church where he and Nancy attend (it just so happens that my cousin attends there too), I could tell that they were soooo happy to be back with their home church family where no one was clamoring for pictures or autographs. They joined us in a small 8-person Sabbath school group, and as we talked and discussed the lesson, they were so genuine and down-to earth. On a humorous note, Chelsey and I got a little crack up when we left church that day. We unknowingly had parked right beside them. And the car they had driven to church was soooo old (probably from the 80's) that it wouldn't even start on the first try when they tried to leave after church. They just looked at us and laughed and tried again. This time it came roaring to life. And away they drove through the falling autumn leaves. (The way they smiled and laughed with each other, you would have thought they were out on a date!) Not long after I got a text message from Nancy asking if we'd been taken care of for Sabbath lunch as we had driven out right after them. I had to smile. "To think that she was worried about us when this was their only free Sabbath in all the Annual Council hubbub and they had such a full schedule!" (We'd actually turned down other invitations as we needed to get back to an afternoon prayer meeting at the GC, but we had food in our rooms, so we were well taken care of!) But just the fact that they cared -- after all, we're just the prayer team -- spoke volumes. But the plain truth is Ted and Nancy care about people. And it's real. 
  • I have to say, for all the judging and finger pointing that go on in certain groups of our church, I'm ashamed. This man of God and his dear wife, may not be perfect but they are genuine and they are trying to do what God has called them to do the best they can, and each year I work with them (this is the 4th year now) I respect them more and more. They don't put on any airs. They drive older vehicles and live in an older home--one they've actually owned for years and years, and most of all, they genuinely want to see Jesus come back soon! They aren't worried about getting ahead in this world or taking advantage of their status…there just want to go HOME!!! (Shouldn't that be our goal too, above all else?) I've included a couple personal down to earth pictures below of Elder Wilson, Nancy and their family. I love this family dearly and I firmly believe that God has raised them up to lead this church for this time!! However, the devil is NOT happy with what God is doing, with how true Revival and Reformation is sweeping thousands under Wilson's leadership, and with how God's work is moving forward. If ever we needed to pray for someone in leadership, we need to be praying for this family for they have a huge responsibility at this cross-roads of time and history. It's very obvious Jesus is coming soon, and I'm honored to stand behind such godly leadership in todays church. 

  • Back to Annual Council: One afternoon during Annual Council, they had a "Great Controversy Thank you Service" praising God for how He has blessed the Great Controversy Project this past year. The goal last year was to distribute 50 million GC's throughout the world. (Big goal, right?!) However, so far our church and its members have distributed over 142 million Great Controversies, and some with very popular exposure. So the word is going out. PTL! As part of this service, they had a family come up and share how their ENTIRE FAMILY had been brought into the church this last year as a result of this project. We know it's just a representation of the thousands and thousands of others that have been impacted by this powerful book! To close this "Praise Service" they had us circle the room as they had a dedication prayer, and then we sang "To God be the Glory." It was powerful, and I think the angels were singing with us. (Pictured below are the Great Controversy books in it's many different translations around the world, along with pictures of this "Thank you praise Service." If you haven't read this book yet, you need to get a copy! Read REVIEWS here.)

  • One morning during Annual Council pre-meetings, I (Mel) was asked to come into the Presidential committee to have a short devotional and lead prayer. This ended up being for all the Division presidents and their teams as well as the GC Vice-Presidents, and Department heads at the GC. (About 80 of our top high-ranking church leaders in total!) Elder Wilson was chairing the meeting and had Pastor Jerry Page introduce me. I'm not usually nervous, but for some reason (smile smile) I was really feeling nervous this particular morning. However, it was really neat, because God reminded me that since I meet with Him every morning (and He's not the ruler of a Union, Division or world church, He's the ruler of WORLDS and Billions of galaxies) that there was no reason to be nervous. ;-) So God calmed my nerves, and He REALLY blessed our time together…PTL… In fact, He blessed so much so that Elder Wilson talked to me later and asked if I'd do the same prayer time again for the opening business session the following Sunday. Again, praise the Lord! (See pictures of these two prayer times with presidents and leaders below!)

  • During the pre-meetings for Annual Council, Pastor Ratsara (president of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division, one of the fastest growing divisions in our church) found out that his wife Denise (who has been struggling for 2 years with metastatic cancer) was rushed to the hospital having breathing problems. Things didn't look good. As a result, he made an emergency trip home. We surrounded him in prayer before he left. It's obvious the enemy is angry at what he and others are doing and is trying to cause pain and distraction from God's work by attacking the families of those in the field. It was with great heartbreak that we learned that two days later, Denise died. (See my previous blog post for these details!) Thankfully Pastor Ratsara made it home to be with his wife 12 hours before she died. Since her death, his sister has also died. So he's had TWO family funerals within 2 weeks. However, he told me that both have been small "revival services" that God has really used to convict people of their need of Him. So Pastor Ratsara's courage is good. However, please continue to pray for him and the Ratsara family during this difficult time.

  • Another Division leader, Israel Leito was also absent from Annual Council this year. Elder Leito is president of the Inter-American Division, the largest Division in our church. His son was having a serious health crisis and was not sure if he would live. Thankfully, from the last reports we've heard, his condition has seriously improved and it looks like he will survive. Please continue to pray for his family.

  • Our prayer teammates Irene and Arlaine from Indonesia, also got to share how God is working in helping them build centers of influence to reach the secular masses for Christ. Their testimony was especially inspiring, and we could see first hand how God has been answering their prayers. (To read more of this amazing testimony and report, please download their latest news letter!)

  • Throughout our time at the GC, we got reports from the different leaders of how God specifically worked and blessed in many different committees and board meetings with different issues addressed. I can't share many of these details here as these are of confidential nature, but it was so encouraging to see that God was at work in every detail and in every meeting. And over and over again, Elder Wilson kept telling us how much the prayers were making a difference for all of them! PTL!!! 

  • Janet was away speaking most of the first 2 weeks we were at the GC, but when she returned, she told us how she felt the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit as soon as she walked into the General Conference building. She said it was much more obviously felt than before she left. Again, we praise God for hearing and answering our prayers…both that of our local prayer team and that of the many MANY behind the scenes praying for us and with us. God is good!

  • One very special testimony during our 21 days came toward the end from a GC employee. Every day as we walked the building, we were praying that God would convict the staff (every single one of them) and take them deeper in their walk with Him. If they aren't committed as they should be, we were praying that they would be convicted to go deeper. If they weren't walking with God, we were praying that they would seek for reconciliation. One day this woman came in and shared how she had only been with the GC about a year, but hadn't been walking with God or attending church. However, during the last couple weeks she had been convicted to make her life right with God again. She also shared how she was compelled to come into the prayer room and what a difference it made for her. Again, while this is just one testimony, we took it as a sign of what God is doing in many hearts…and even though we won't know most of these testimonies until we get to heaven, we know God is working behind the scenes on the hearts of His people. Praise the Lord!!!! 

  • Another GC staff member shared how they too, since we had come, had felt increasing conviction from the Holy Spirit to deeper repentance. They knew we were praying and they believed that God was working on their heart because of our prayers. PTL for this testimony!

  • Janet shared how some of the leaders and their wives (from the different divisions) had said that their time at Annual Council this year CHANGED THEIR LIFE!!!! They were going back to work as new people for the Lord. Wow! Now if that isn't an answer to prayer, I'm not sure what is. We kept hearing from the leaders that they couldn't believe how everything, even the business meetings were soooo spiritual. How everything was continually bathed in prayer. (I've seen this growing more and more over the last four years that we've been attending Annual Council as a result of Elder Wilson's influence!) And isn't this the way it should be? After all, this is God's work. It's not a secular field! Yes, God has called Elder Wilson and his team to our church for such a time as this. I just praise the Lord for the revival and reformation they are leading that is catching fire all around the world.

  • Once the official Annual Council meetings started (about day 14 of our 21), each morning before the meetings began, our team led a time of united prayer. In contrast to the past, this year we had many MORE leaders making it a point to come early and attend these prayer times. That was so encouraging, especially seeing some high profile leaders in attendance that we'd prayed for previously to attend. And the prayers they prayed were so sincere and heart touching. I could really see how God has been working on their heart and leading in their lives this past year. This was so encouraging!

  • One representative from the South Pacific Division told us continually, "Those morning prayer times are just the absolute best time of the whole Annual Council!" We just had to smile. Of course, we know what God is doing, and prayer is where the true power is. 

  • Also, many of the wives of the Division leaders got on board with the power of prayer and came often to the prayer room to pray. The girls from the Euro-Asia Division I got especially attached to. Such sweet woman and so on fire for God. I'm really excited to see what God is going to do in answer to the prayers they prayed this year.

  • One of the mornings for worship, Cheri Peters gave a very convicting talk. Cheri shared how she had come out of the drug world, and for the first 10 years that she went to the SDA church, no one even talked to her! (Can you believe it???) Evidently, church members just didn't know how to relate to a former drugee street girl. Now of course, she has a world-wide ministry reaching thousands, and she is a sought after speaker. However, as we embark upon a new mission, in reaching the cities, she shared her burden for our church, and that if we are going to be more effective in reaching those in the cities, we need to learn how to accept them, love them, and help them heal. Many of us were soooo convicted about our inadequacies as a church to reach those in the cities that we were moved to tears. I was almost crying before Ranela and I got up to lead the prayer time for the group following her message. However, God's Spirit was really there and it was what our church needed to hear. Ranela and I shared, in response to Cheri's talk, how if we are truly going to be effective that we all need to be re-converted daily…today…our own hearts need to be broken. We then led the group through a three-part prayer of deeper repentance, and supplication. God blessed! 

  • During this year's Annual Council, they also gave us a preview of a new 26 minute video on Creation (one of the projects embarked upon last year to counter the Evolution tendencies occurring around the world). It was powerful! As you can see pictured below, the Adventist world church leaders even spent time praying to dedicate this movie "Creation: The Earth is a Witness" after we all got to view it. This inspiring resource will be made available for distribution and outreach events worldwide. Another answer to prayer for God's church in the battle for truth. Now pray that it will touch and convict many hearts that we have a Creator God!

  •  Another special thing that happened this year was the 10th year Anniversary of HOPE TV. To celebrate this occasion at Annual Council, they dedicated and opened their new network in the Philippines. Pictured below is president of HOPE TV, Brad Thorpe along with his wife Kandus as they share this joy with Elder Gulfan, president of the church's Southern Asia Pacific Division.

  • The testimonies could probably go on and on. We believe God answered our prayers in a tremendous way. As Ranela says, "The Annual Council was a smashing success, at least from our viewpoint. It was evident that God was there!" Many of the leaders expressed the same. Of course, we know many of the biggest answers to prayer are yet to come! While we saw many evidences of God working, we believe the majority of the answers to prayer were experienced in the hearts of our leaders behind the scenes. These answers cannot be measured but will be seen only in eternity. Of course we are still praying for greater spiritual breakthrough and a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit for our church and leaders. We know God has promised more. And we know that even great spiritual battles lie ahead. So it's not time to take a vacation and celebrate, but rather to dig in deeper, and to pray more! But we are thankful for what God is doing and how He is working even behind the scenes where we cannot see, and we are thankful for how He did bless at this year's meetings.
A Thank you Note from Elder Wilson

Here's an e-mail I received just a few days ago, and was asked to share:

Greetings, Jerry, Janet, Melody, Stanley and many others.

Thank you so much for your tremendous prayer assistance before and during the Annual Council. It was a wonderful blessing to have so many who were praying for the International Urban Mission Conference, the pre-meetings of the Annual Council, and the Annual Council (AC) itself. It was very obvious that God blessed in response to prayer as part of revival and reformation during the AC. The wonderful effects of the various prayer teams were realized as we saw so much support for many items at the AC including The Great Controversy Project Thanksgiving Service, The Creation Project, It's Time---Mission to the Cities document and commitment, and so many more items. Thank you for lifting up the church world leaders in prayer and having people in the auditorium praying during the meetings. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you to bring blessings to the church and the mission of proclaiming the three angels' messages of Rev 14 and the fourth angel of Rev 18. Please thank those who participated in this very special spiritual prayer support for AC as we proclaim God's Word to the world in anticipation of Christ's soon coming. Even so come, Lord Jesus. 

Regards. Ted 

(Note: Again for those that don't know, Ted Wilson is the president of the world-wide Seventh-day Adventist church of almost 18 million members.)

I don't know about all of you, but I love my church! And I love those that work here…how can I not when I spend so much time praying for them??? And I'm sincerely convicted that if we prayed more for those in our lives (both leaders and laity, family, and friends) there would be a lot less hurtful elbowing and bickering over insignificant issues. As a result of increased prayer, there would be a lot more miracles occurring in our lives and in our church today as we prepare for Christ's soon coming.

Jesus is coming soon and I don't want to be part of the problem, problems that hold back His return… I want to be part of the solution that hastens the day. In fact, you and I may be small and insignificant no doubt, but we can light candles, candles for God's glory; Candles that will help others find their way out of darkness into the light.

What we and our 115+ prayer partners have been doing over the last few months may seem rather insignificant when you look at the big picture. And in worldly measures it is. And the devil keeps reminding me how small and inadequate we all are for the mountains that lie before God's church. But I have to keep reminding him that it doesn't matter how SMALL we are. What matter is how BIG our God is!!!! And not one prayer from the least of His children is EVER prayed in vain. Not one!!!!!! Only in eternity will we understand or realize what God has been able to do because we were willing to pray! But the spiritual battle is far from over…greater battles are ahead. So let's not stop. Let's keep praying!

Right now thousands all around the world are joining together, praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. God's church is waking up and coming to life. What an exciting time and day to be alive. We get to see history happening. We get to be part of it's making! And not one prayer from anyone prayed around the world has been lost. Each prayer is adding up…

I love this statement, written over a hundred years ago to our church:

"When the Third Angel’s Message shall go forth with a loud voice, the whole earth shall be lightened with His glory, the Holy Spirit is poured out upon His people. The revenue of glory has been accumulating for this closing work of the Third Angel’s Message. The prayers that have been ascending for the fulfillment of the promise, the descent of the Holy Spirit, not one has been lost. Each prayer has been accumulating, ready to overflow and pour forth a healing flood of heavenly influence and accumulated light all over the world." July 19, 1899

Isn't his powerful? Doesn't this just breath LIFE and HOPE to our prayer lives??? It should!

My teammate's have shared a few of their testimonies and how this 21 day GC prayer initiative has impacted them in the previous post below, and I encourage you to read these testimonies and pray about how God is calling you to start prayer circles for your own home church, home conference, or community of believers. You may feel small, just as we do…but remember it's not about YOU! It's about following the call of your God. And if He calls you to pray…He will answer your prayers, if you are only willing to wrestle and persevere.

Of course, this "Praying for Rain" prayer journey WILL CONTINUE!!! Until we see the full complete outpouring that we are praying for depicted in Joel 2, we will not stop. We will keep asking for more! Until the literal outpouring of the Holy Spirit falls so we can be empowered to finish God's work, we must not give up, but keep asking God for more!

If you've been inspired and would like to join our world-wide team, please write me at:

And a special THANK YOU to the following 115+ prayer teammates and prayer partners from around the world for being part of this past 3 month prayer journey! Let's not stop praying!!!!

Kim, Karin, Amie, Stephanie, Cheryl, Teri, Elise, Carolyn D., Raluca, Roman, Melissa, Jackie, Ruby, James, Ranela, Gemalli, Lelilani, Heather, Chelsey, Ursilyn, Millicent, Dorcas, Shirley, Juanita, Melinda, Raja, Mark, Peggy, Kimberly, Staci, Robin, Mychelle, Dawn, Skhu, Penny, Leanne, Hephzi, Beulah, Lalitha, Sucilla, Ketty, Rachelle, April, Michelle M., Ann, Kristin, Bo, Arlaine, Gem, James, Irene, Laura, Calvin, Vickie, Suzy, Curla, Hope, Julia, Judy, Jeannie, Dorothy, JoDee, Michelle A., Nora, Shaina, Shail, Denese, Maylene, Andrea, Judy, Angela, Sophie, Rita, Simone, Filipe, Mary, Delores, Twyla, Marisa, Carolyn A., Anderson, Cameron, Jozsef, Steven, Hannah, Chuck, Randy, Anne, Brittany, Carol S., Alice, Justin, Steve, Mike, Lani, Patricia, Alex,Trevor, Zach, Leah, Mark W., Timothy, Shanter, Dawn J., Yolanda, Jill, Beverly, Steve, Greg, Ralph, Susan, Daniel S., Sherry, Darrel, Beverly, David, Sylvia, Daniel M. and many more!


April said...

Praise God! I am always blessed and enjoy reading your blog. Interceding and praying for others has brought transformation to my own spiritual walk. Enjoyed hearing the stories about intercessory prayer in this blog post. Praying for you all down in ARME Florida.

K .Abraham Lincoln said...

Dear beloved Sister in CHRIST Greetings in the name of Jesus, our LORD and SAVIOUR

We are all brothers in the Body of Christ there is no reason to supporting others because of we have been to edify the saints who are living in want and poverty They worship in Spirit and in Truth but are hungry and needy. Ephe: 1: 4. , Mathew: 25: 35 to 40 and “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble.” James 1:27

I was blessed by my visit to your Blog today and I pray the Holy Spirit will be poured upon you as you touch the hearts who visit your site. YOU’RE SITE IS AN ANOINTMENT FROM GOD and I truly have been blessed by my visit here more than you will ever know.

We want to know more about your Ministry. So please send some literature, Magazine, Newsletter and Books. The Holy Bibles for free distortion for our community people God Bless you all. I AM EAGERLY WAITING FOR YOUR REPLY.

You are in our daily prayers
Blessings to you all
Pastor. K. A. Lincoln

Anonymous said...

Saw your joy and excitement as you shared your testimonies on 3ABN this morning. I was most impressed and touched. I write to ask you to remember me in your prayers. You do not know me but I would like you to pray for me as the Lord leads you. I am a believer and I live in Barbados, West Indies. May God continue to bless you richly as you maintain and deepen your relationship with Him.