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Posts Tagged ‘praise’

“Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly …” (Jonah 2:1)

I imagine it was a bright sunny day – blue skies, birds singing, gentle breeze blowing in from the sea. It must have been a beautiful day. At least it was for Jonah. After three days of hell, he had finally been delivered out of the belly of that whale.  He might have been slimy and acid-eaten, but he was standing on dry ground … alive!  Yes, it must have been a beautiful day.

But this ordeal wasn’t about Jonah. The survival of 120,000 people was depending on this. I’m not sure if Jonah did not want God to deliver the Assyrians, or if he was just plain scared to walk into the midst of this fierce, merciless people and tell them they were going to hell. The point is, he didn’t want to go.

But God did.

Acts of mercy that we perform are generated, not from our own wells of charity, but from the heart of God. He just allows us to participate. And it is prayer that unlocks the door to that mercy.

It may be hard for us to believe that our little tiny prayers could move continents and drop mountains into the sea, but are we limiting God or ourselves?  James 5:16 says that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Much – as in, a lot, because prayer unties the hands of God so that our works of faith become His works of action. True, there are conditions that God requires for effective prayer, but there are no limitations. If you can imagine it, God can do it.

Prayer is an act of mercy.  Mercy, even unintended, is still mercy. We may be praying for something entirely different – Jonah was certainly not praying for the Ninevites – but the effects of prayer, like the random twists and turns of a stream on its way to the sea, can often take circuitous routes to reach God’s intended purpose. We are just required to pray. And prayer moves God. And it may not be in the way you intended.

The works of faith can move mountains. They may not be the mountains you were concerned about, but sometimes God puts you into a situation where you have to pray your heart out, often for your own deliverance, just so He can work through your prayers to bring about unintended consequences and move in ways that you could not have imagined.

Including saving 120,000 people who you never intended to save.

 

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It was snowing as I left Germany, but it was sultry and hot as I arrived in Lagos. Three days of traveling across who knows how many miles have left me ready to get it over with. But it’s not done. Because of flight delays, I have lost my seat on the plane to Warri, Nigeria. Instead I have to wrangle a ticket re-issue at the Lagos airport. Seems simple, right? Oh, but then you haven’t been to Lagos!

At 5:30 in the morning, the domestic terminal is a madhouse. I was hoping that there wouldn’t be many people here and I would be able to get a new ticket easily and simply, but the opposite is the case.  Immediately on getting out of the cab, I am scooped up by a couple of guys that quickly throw my luggage on a cart and start wheeling me into the terminal. This is normal here. They’re just trying to make a few bucks by carrying your bags.

When I try to beg off, I find out that they are some kind of official Porters that are informing me that their job is to do all the paperwork for me. Just sit down and relax. “Doan warry!” (Whenever I hear that, I start worrying.)

At this point, I am so worn out from what I’d been through the last couple days that I don’t care if they are scamming me or not. Take the money; just get me on the plane. Two hundred bucks later, I have a new ticket, my excess baggage is paid and loaded, and I am actually able to get on the plane.

Except that I can’t go to Warri. The flight is full, so I have to go to Benin, which is a couple hours away from where my first conference meeting is about to start.

What a great start to this trip!  Boy, I can’t wait to see what else is in store for me.

Despite everything, however, everyone was waiting for me and I just rolled on up to the pulpit soon after we walked in as if nothing was wrong.

Service was great. At least they said so. I’m not sure what I said. The inertia from travelling was still carrying me along and I was operating on automatic pilot. Pastors were excited and vowed to take this message to the streets, while others were saying that they had never heard these things before. Which is kind of surprising to me because it’s just stuff out of the Bible. Don’t they read?

The evening service was even better. I was still pretty tired, but at least I had caught a nap before getting up behind the pulpit again. We are at a church that I was at five years ago when it was only four months old. They keep calling me Papa because they say that I started the fire back then that launched their church.

That’s not the first time I’ve heard something like that. I believe that most of the places I have been to want revival and are willing to do what the Lord requires — they just don’t know what to do. But when they hear it broken down into a step-by-step manner, the light comes on and the belief is planted in them that they can actually do this. They just have to start.

Over the years, we have heard hundreds of reports of how these little churches will catch the fire and grow. Sometimes it’s just doubling or quadrupling the size of the church; sometimes it’s planting new churches; sometimes it is heading off into the bush to bring this message to other churches just like I am doing. It’s as if they have been waiting for someone to come along and tell them what to do and then get out of the way and watch them go.

There’s a hunger here that must be fed. I see that same hunger in every place throughout history wherever revival has broken out. We have planted the idea in their hearts that, yes, they can do this. And while it may not be easy, it is simple. They just need someone to point out the direction.

I don’t know when or how this last Great African Revival will start, but it will start. I believe that we will hit a flash point and it will all rise up together in a might conflagration. We just have to keep sowing the seed of that idea into them.

 

Brother  Dale

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What a service!

Today was day 3 of a revival conference we held in Buchanan City in Liberia. Each day, we held a service in the morning and in the evening.

At first I thought this was going to be a bomb. Here we are in a shabby area of town in a shell of a building that serves as a church. It is not much to look at, but it is typical for here in Africa. I have not ministered in many churches here that were anything like the fine buildings that we have in the West. Here, you work with what you got, and you are thankful for it. It may not look like much, but this is how God births His great moves.

We were told they were expecting 200 people, but there isn’t even room here for 100 chairs, and there’s only about twenty-five people to sit in them.  Oh well. Typical African numbers.

But they kept coming.  By the second day, the place was filling up and the level of excitement continued to rise. The services were exhilarating. Since I did not have to use a translator, I could get the message out twice as fast and with more freedom.

As I sailed into the messages, the people sailed with me. It was as if they had been waiting for this message for a long time and finally someone was delivering it over the pulpit. There were times when they were not only with me step by step, but were ahead of me, sometimes yelling out a scripture before I could get it out of my mouth. We were on fire!

But this final service this evening was the crowning service for the whole series.

Whenever I preach, I do my best to empty myself out and let God lead me in the direction He wants to go. If I try to prepare my message, I always fall flat, but when I let God take me where He wants to go, it is always great.

It’s very much like a surfer catching a wave. You can feel the swelling begin and you jump on your board and ride with it. Sometimes it will take you to places you would never have dreamed about before. Many is the time when the Lord supernaturally revealed something to me as it was coming out of my mouth. When you are flowing in the Spirit riding that wave, anything can happen … and does.

This was one of those nights. For the sixth and final service, I needed to talk about the necessity of having a vision in order for revival to be birthed. I could feel the swelling start to come when the Lord started to show me what the secret to having a vision was. All of a sudden, the whole concept of a vision came together through the passages in 1 Samuel chapter 14, Isaiah chapter 58, and culminating with Joel chapter 2. (No, I’m not going to tell you. You got to come hear it for yourself.)

An hour later , as services began to end, they were on their feet raising and waving their hands up to God, shouting out praises and glorifying His name. They kept going and going and going. I finally just stood there behind the pulpit and let them run it out.

I waited for them to settle back down, and then I called for them to come while the Oil was flowing. If they needed healing, this was the time to come and be healed. Thirty or forty people came to the altar.

As I went down the line, praying over each one’s specific ailments, it didn’t take long to realize that every person that I prayed over had gotten healed. And for one lady, the Spirit came down and washed over us before I could even lay hands on her. She was healed before I could begin to pray!

I have done around a thousand services over the last 14 years. They are not always this anointed, but there has been a lot that were. When the Spirit of God is flowing that heavily, it leaves you completely drained, as if a river had just run through you. You float on the wash of that current as you head back to the hotel. It is such a wonderful feeling that nothing can compare with it.

This is what revival looks like. This is the planting of the seeds of revival that will take root in these people and grow into this next great harvest.

I am the sower. Others will cultivate, and others still will reap. But I am here at the beginning of what I believe will be the greatest revival of all time.  It doesn’t look like much now. Just some shabby buildings and small crowds in depressed areas of town, but this is the soil from which God brings forth His mighty moves. These are the foolish things of the world, the weak and despised, and the ones that are desperate for God.

He was here tonight. In all His splendor. That’s all I need to know.

 

Brother Dale

 

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