Praise Reports for July 11th

  1. Happy Sabbath from San Antonio!!! Truly it has been a HAPPY Sabbath! 😉
  2. It is estimated that 60,000+ joined us for Sabbath Services in the Alamodome here in San Antonio today, where we experienced a powerful worship service together. (Imagine what it will be like when we can all worship together in heaven!)
  3. God blessed Elder Wilson this morning as he delivered a convicting message for the Divine service titled, “Cross the Jordan…Don’t Retreat!” (To read this message, click here.)
  4. Something else really special about today is all the amazing testimonies we have heard. The following are a few of our favorite stories that we are praising God for today:
  5. This morning, Dr. Moskala, a dentist serving in Bangladesh, testified about a young boy being raised from the dead. Praise the Lord, we serve a God that is still ALIVE today!
  6. A former Muslim shared how he became a converted Seventh-day Adventist Christian. His wife prayed for seven years that he’d become a Christian. Prayer works! We must not give up!
  7. In the afternoon “Church in Mission” program, a woman from China shared how she has planted 10 churches and 500 have been baptized as a result.
  8. Also another man from China, who pastors 40 churches with a total of 4,300 members, shared how he was not raised Christian. In fact, his father was a persecutor of Christians and for years would take Christians to prison when he caught them worshipping God. However, his father was so impacted by the sweet manner of the Christians who he had imprisoned, that after 12 years of watching these Christians, he gave his life to Christ and led his children to the foot of the cross. The pastor that shared this testimony is one of those children. Now he not only pastors 40 churches, but he’s also overseen the building of a major health center that has ministered to over 5,000 people over the past 15 years. Of those 5,000 who have come through their health center doors, 1,200 have been baptized. This is another amazing testimony of the powerful entering wedge of the health arm of the gospel.
  9. Many more testimonies have been shared today, from a street-side trumpet and preaching ministry with a family in the Congo, to Youth in Mission, Global Youth Day, and pathfinder testimonies from all around the world! We praise God for seeing so many young people on fire for Christ. As Elder Wilson shared today, “We are so proud of our young people!” AMEN, Praise the Lord!
  10. Another praise report this afternoon is that Hope Channel shared how 8 new channels will be opened up around the world. Elder Wilson cut the ribbon and gave a prayer of dedication.
  11. In the prayer room this morning, we had more blessings! Bursting at the seams again, because of too much traffic, the Alamodome Fire Marshall threatened to close our doors. However, we were able to move a divider wall and make the room twice as big. What a blessing! (As it turns out, we’ve had over 8,000 prayer request cards turned in, and many more people visited the prayer room that did not write out their prayer request. So we praise God!)
  12. On an interesting note, Elder Wilson reported that San Antonio authorities say this is one of city’s largest conferences they have ever hosted, and they have had no problems with us. We praise God for this testimony.
  13. Thousands continue to signing up for the new Bible reading Believe His Prophets and United in Prayer initiative which starts tomorrow. We praise God for this, and we encourage you to continue to share with your family and friends that many more can be part of this journey with us!
  14. Our final Sabbath evening ended with a grand finale featuring “Mission on the Move,” formerly known as the “Parade of Nations.” Many people shared with us that they are going back inspired and revived! We praise the Lord!
  15. “Arise! Shine! Jesus is coming! Let’s get ready to meet Him!”

Dear Prayer Partners,

THANKS for BEING PART of 100 Days of Prayer! While we have received many blessings, there are many blessings that we are still waiting for…especially that mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our church. But not one prayer has been wasted.

Consider the following thought from Inspiration.

“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.” Letter 96a 1899, p. 2.

Here’s one more promise:

“There is no danger that the Lord will neglect the prayers of His people. The danger is that in temptation and trial they will fail to persevere in prayer.” Christ Object Lessons, p. 175

So let’s keep praying!

The first United in Prayer e-mail will be sent sometime later tomorrow. It will also be viewable on www.100daysofprayer.org.  Thanks for your patience as we finish up GC Session details and modifying and updating the website for this new initiative. While we have many exciting plans, it will still take some time to evolve.

In the meantime, let’s continue to pray for our church leaders and delegates as they return to their homes! We are also praying for all of you! Stay strong in the Lord, and thanks to so many of you that came by the prayer room to pray with us. It was such an honor to get to meet so many of you.

FORWARD ON OUR KNEES!

Melody
100 Days of Prayer Coordinator

Praise Reports for July 10th

  1. Today’s morning worship was given by Ron Smith, president of the Southern Union in the North American Division. His message was: “Home at Last: The Joy and Fullness of His Return.” Thanks for praying for him. God spoke through him!
  2. Thousands of people are signing up for the new Bible reading Believe His Prophets and United in Prayer initiative. We praise God for this, and we encourage you to continue to share with your family and friends that many more can be part of this journey with us!
  3. The GC business session ended early today. From GC Session twitter reports, it looks like the spirit among everyone has been good even through difficult discussions from time to time.
  4. We’ve had many answers to prayer in the prayer room, which we will share in more detail at a later date. However, in short, we’ve seen people who have come in be convicted to re-surrender their lives to God. We’ve seen supernatural provision in answer to prayer for the needs of different GC attendees. We’ve seen physical relief from pain for different individuals. We’ve also had people in the room who cannot speak English report that they could understand everything that was being said during the prayer sessions. (This is just too amazing!)
  5. We praise God that many church leaders and laity have shared with us that they’ve been inspired to go back to their churches around the world and raise up more prayer ministries and activities. May God continue to build a mighty movement of prayer around the world.
  6. The convention food has been healthy and tasty!
  7. The weather has been warm (sometimes much warmer), but not overly humid or miserable. We praise God for this, for bad weather could have made life much more difficult.
  8. The musical selections have been amazing on so many counts. It’s also been amazing to see the different cultures and their talent. God is working among His people!
  9. We praise the Lord for His hedge of safety and protection around this whole Session.
  10. Now we praise the Lord for the soon coming Sabbath!

Prayer Request for July 11th

  1. Pray for safety of all those that will be coming in for Sabbath! This will probably be the largest group! Pray that they will also receive the inspiration they need to have a closer walk with God!
  2. Pray for the special mission offering which will be collected during Sabbath worship services to fund thousands of youth-driven mission projects around the world.
  3. Pray for Elder Wilson as he gives the Sabbath morning message at 11 a.m.
  4. Pray that many will be inspired and convicted and blessed by the Sabbath afternoon program titled, “The Church in Mission.” Pray that individuals will be inspired to become personally involved in our worldwide mission.
  5. Pray for the closing Sabbath evening program which will be “Mission on the Move,” formerly known as the “Parade of Nations.”
  6. Pray for each of the GC delegates and attendees as they return to their homes, churches and countries around the world that they be equipped and empowered to work even more effectively for God.
  7. Pray that after Session is over, attendees and leaders would be inspired to go back to their home Divisions, Unions, and conferences and pray with the same fervency and passion for their leaders and churches, and that this movement of intercessory prayer (holding up the arms of those in office – Ex. 17:12) would encircle the world helping usher in that full outpouring that we’ve been waiting for. (It still hasn’t happened. We are still waiting! But we must keep praying, for God promises it will come!)
  8. Pray that we can all keep our eyes on the goal and realize that Jesus is coming soon!
  9. Pray that WE as a church will continue to prepare our hearts and focus on that goal, being ready for Jesus soon return.

To watch the GC Session on HOPE Channel via LIVESTREAM, click here

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Praise Reports for July 9th

  1. Today’s morning worship was given by Taj Pacleb, an evangelist for Central California Conference. His message was, “Into All the World: The Proclamation of the Gospel and His Return” and was a powerful testimony of how God can work in our lives when we fully commit ourselves to Him.
  2. Nominating committee work is over. This afternoon divisions separated to caucus to select department leaders. Agenda items are fast coming to a close. It hasn’t always been easy, but God has been working, none the less! Delegates continue to testify to this.
  3. We’ve had several reports of non-SDA workers who have been really impacted by what they’ve observed in the meetings and in the interaction with the delegates and attendees. Some have even joined us in the prayer room. Praise God! We’ve even heard that one of the security guards has requested baptism. This is another amazing answer to prayer!
  4. The morning after the big vote, the GC prayer room was packed once again. Standing room only for awhile! Many people are seeking God’s will and wisdom for the future. Sweet spirit reigns!
  5. Powerful and inspiring TED and WAD Division reports tonight. WAD pictured above with, “Jesus is coming again!”
  6. God has also been blessing in the women’s ministry meetings and the prayer seminars. Good attendance and lots of positive reports.
  7. Administration and leadership continue to share with us that they feel God’s sustaining hand and strength! We praise the Lord for this! He will carry us through. Only 2 more days to go, and Session will be over.

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Prayer Request for July 10th

  1. Pray for Ron Smith, president of the Southern Union in the North American Division, as he gives the final morning devotional message. His message will be: “Home at Last: The Joy and Fullness of His Return.”
  2. Pray as the business items for GC Session are brought to a close.
  3. Pray that the meeting will finish early and that there will be time for an extra prayer and praise session for the whole group of GC delegates.
  4. Pray for the additional Adventist that will be traveling here for the final GC weekend, that God will use this weekend to inspire and bless them in a powerful way.
  5. Many have been struggling with health issues during GC Session. Please pray that God will give healing and people will be able to travel safely back to their homes.
  6. Pray that despite differences, our leaders and delegates will work together to promote unity and move forward in mission.
  7. Pray for Mark Finley and the things he will be sharing with the world church tomorrow night. Pray that many will be inspired and convicted to go deeper in their walk with God.
  8. Pray that we can all keep our eyes on the goal and realize that Jesus is coming soon!

To watch the GC Session on HOPE Channel via LIVESTREAM, click here. 

Praise Reports for July 8th

  1. Today’s morning worship message: “Through Trials to Triumph: The Advent Movement and His Return” was given by Alain Coralie, associate executive secretary of the East-Central Africa Division. Thank you for praying for him. His final challenge to us, “Arise, Shine, Jesus is coming!”
  2. We had a powerful praise report this morning from 100 Days of Prayer from Professor and Mrs. Rono from Eldoret Kenya. They shared how their 100 Days of Prayer group grew from a small group to over 400, and then how non-SDA pastors eventually joined the group and asked for studies. Of the 30 pastors that they studied with, 16 of those have recently been baptized to become Seventh-day Adventist. What an amazing testimony! (See picture to right of Mrs. Rono with Melody, 100 Days of Prayer Coordinator.)
  3. Today’s business session was dedicated to the question of whether divisions should make provision for the ordination of women in their respective territories. After lengthy discussions, the world church voted: Yes 977; No 1381. (There were 2,363 votes total!) While the day was challenging, and at times grew a little tense, God’s Spirit was manifested in the proceedings. The Chair, Michael Ryan, as well as Elder Wilson, expressed thanksgiving for this. (To read more in depth report by the Adventist Review, click here!)
  4. Throughout the day, many people came and went from the prayer room. There was a sweet sweet spirit here as well, as we sought to avoid praying agenda prayers, but just prayed for God to work and His will to be done. When the vote was announced, there was no applause in the prayer room, but just a time for group prayer and then everyone joined hands as they sang “Bind us together.” Some cried, but there was a spirit of unity present in the room and we thank God for that.
  5. Powerful division reports tonight given by SID and SPD. God is working in His church!
  6. Although it’s been a long day (and a long last 7 days), we praise God that He is continuing to sustain us as well as our leaders!

Prayer Request for July 9th

  1. Pray for Taj Pacleb, as he gives the morning devotional entitled: “Into All the World: The Proclamation of the Gospel and His Return.” He is an evangelist for the Central California Conference.
  2. The General Conference session is expected to start wrapping up on Thursday. Any unresolved agenda items will be discussed at the morning and afternoon business sessions. Pray for wisdom and efficiency!
  3. Pray for a sweet spirit to remain throughout the meetings.
  4. Pray that the weather remains tolerable!
  5. In the evening, reports will be delivered by the Southern Asia Division (SUD), Trans-European (TED), and the West-Central Africa Division (WAD). Pray that we will be convicted and inspired by these reports.
  6. Pray for continued strength for the GC staff, prayer team, and others. Three more days to go! We are tired, but God promises that His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

To watch the GC Session on HOPE Channel via LIVESTREAM, click here for the airing schedule

Praise Reports for July 7th

  1. Today’s morning worship was a real blessing. In the words of Pastor Derek Morris, “Mathilde Frey shared the Good News at the morning devotional in the Alamodome. We are never alone (Jn 14:18).” Praise the Lord!
  2. Nominating committee members, as well as administrative leadership, have shared that they can tell that prayers are making a difference. (Praise the Lord! We still have a few more days of Session, so keep praying!)
  3. God blessed in the discussion on Fundamental beliefs today. Closing remarks by Dr. Stele, General VP, said: “I am proud of my church which is really committed to the Word of God.”
  4. Continuing to hear inspiring reports from the Divisions around the world. Last night it was shared how a former prison inmate, who served 17 years in prison, has now led 1200 former gang members to Jesus. (This came in the Inter-American Division report.)
  5. We’ve also had a number of inspiring testimonies of God’s blessing in the prayer room, from burdens being lifted, to even a young boy that has decided after visiting the prayer room that he wants to learn how to have a relationship with Jesus.
  6. Also many have shared testimonies of how God convicted them to come here to GC to pray, and how God then provided for them to come. Praise the Lord for all these reports. We can’t keep up with them all!
  7. So we continue to praise God for the many showers of blessings and answers to prayer in the prayer room!

Prayer Request for July 8th

  1. Please pray for morning worship message: “Through Trials to Triumph: The Advent Movement and His Return” which Alain Coralie, associate executive secretary of the East-Central Africa Division, will be giving.
  2. The entire day’s business session for July 8th will be dedicated to the question of whether divisions should make provision for the ordination of women in their respective territories. (Please pray for a sweet spirit to be manifested throughout the day and the discussion.)
  3. The question that delegates will be asked to vote on is: “After your prayerful study on ordination from the Bible, the writings of Ellen G. White, and the reports of the study commissions, and; after your careful consideration of what is best for the church and the fulfillment of its mission, is it acceptable for division executive committees, as they may deem it appropriate in their territories, to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry? Yes or No.” (Please pray that God will give divine wisdom to the delegates as they answer this question. Pray that God’s will be done!)
  4. Pray for the Holy Spirit to fill the dome and when people walk into the building tomorrow morning, instead of anticipating problems or coming in complaining, pray that they will come to the meetings with hearts of praise for the great and mighty God that we serve. He is still on the throne, and this is HIS church!
  5. Pray for the reports which will be delivered by the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID), South Pacific Division (SPD), and the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD).
  6. Pray for God’s strength, patience, and endurance for all!
  7. Pray that Jesus prayer from John 17 may be fulfilled, that we may be ONE!

To watch the GC Session on HOPE Channel via LIVESTREAM, click here for the airing schedule

Praise Reports for July 5th

  1. Morning worship titled “Faithful End-time Living: Preparation for His Return” by Shian W. O’Connor, president of Cayman Islands in the IAD, was a powerful reminder of the importance of our priorities.
  2. According to O’Connor, the big question that we all should be thinking about at GC Session is: “What do I still lack?” (In other words, examining our heart condition to see if there’s anything between us and God as we prepare for His soon coming!)
  3. The day started with a sweet prayerful spirit.
  4. All GC officers, General VPS’s, Division presidents, and many of the departmental leader elections have been announced.
  5. Serving as new General Vice Presidents for the world church will be: Ella Simmons, Artur Stele, Geoffrey Mbwana, Guillermo Biaggi, Abner De Los Santos, and Tom Lemon. (Pictured above with spouses in photo by James Bokovoy/NAD Communication.)
  6. One observer tweeted, “Much better spirit today among the delegates. Progress being made…” (So we praise God for this!)
  7. The GC Prayer Room during the morning hours continues to burst at the seams. There is almost not enough room for everyone. We praise God for many showers of blessings and answers to prayer in the prayer room!

Prayer Request for July 7th

  1. Pray for God’s will to be carried out in the nominating committee as remaining positions continue to be filled.
  2. Continue to pray for a sweet spirit and for wisdom for delegates as they deal with sensitive issues.
  3. Pray for morning worship speaker Mathilde Frey, former professor of Old Testament exegesis and biblical languages at the seminary at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) in the Philippines. Her devotional talk is titled: “Never Alone: The Promised Comforter Who Precedes His Return.”
  4. Pray for the reports which will be delivered by the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD) and the South American Division (SAD).
  5. As we get closer to the big “O” discussion, Pastor Derek Morris tweeted: “Instead of praying for our desired outcome at #GCSA2015, let’s unite in prayer for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Yes indeed!)
  6. Pray that God’s Spirit will continue to be poured out in the prayer room and upon our leaders.
  7. Pray that our lives will be a testimony and witness to the many workers here.

To watch the GC Session on HOPE Channel via LIVESTREAM, click here for the airing schedule

Praise Reports for July 5th

  1. God has been blessing in the booth area in the convention center here at GC with many connections and opportunities to grow mission and service.
  2. Exhibitors have shared how the spirit has been wonderful, such as they’ve never experienced at previous GC’s.
  3. The food has been wonderful and lots of healthy options!
  4. The prayer room has continued to be packed, especially in the mornings.
  5. We’ve had some AMAZING testimonies from the 100 Days of Prayer that we will share in more detail soon.
  6. Inspiring Division reports: “Euro-Asia Division’s report is that Jesus is coming soon!” – Guillermo Biaggi

Prayer Request for July 6th

  1. Pray for God’s will to be carried out in the nominating committee as positions continue to be filled.
  2. Pray for a sweet spirit and for wisdom for delegates as they deal with sensitive issues.
  3. Pray for morning worship titled “Faithful End-time Living: Preparation for His Return” by Shian W. O’Connor, president of Cayman Islands in the IAD.
  4. Pray for wisdom over proposed wording changes to strengthen 28 Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
  5. Pray for the discussion over how to strengthen the statement on Creation.
  6. In the evening, reports will be delivered by the Inter-European Division (EUD) and the Inter-American Division (IAD). Pray that these reports will convict and inspire many.
  7. Pray that God’s Spirit will continue to be poured out in the prayer room and upon our leaders.

To watch the GC Session on HOPE Channel via LIVESTREAM, click here for the airing schedule

Praise Reports for July 4th

  1. Beautiful Sabbath here in San Antonio. Even though the weather is warm, it’s not been unbearably hot so far. This is a huge answer to prayer.
  2. Thousands of delegates joined us for Sabbath services.
  3. Heard news during Sabbath school that church is launching Hope Channel for the deaf in the Fall. Many other initiatives for those with physical limitations. What a blessing!
  4. The recently elected executive officers (Wilson, Ng, and Prestol, along with wives) were on platform for this morning’s worship service. Loud amens in prayer of dedication for trio of GC officers when speaker asks that this be last GC session before Jesus comes.
  5. The church announced new strategic plan called “Reach the World” for 2015-2020. The emphasis on mission is growing! PTL!
  6. The Alamodome was filled with attendees from 168 countries. You can feel the Spirit of the Lord here! God is at work.
  7. Powerful worship service, including convicting message by G.T. Ng.
  8. Lots of blessings happening in the prayer room! God is continuing to bless.

Prayer Request for July 5th

  1. Pray for God’s will to be carried out in the nominating committee as positions continue to be filled.
  2. Pray for July 5th morning worship, “The Amazing Event: The Manner of His Return” by Neale Schofield, CEO of Adventist Media Network in Australia.
  3. Pray that God will be glorified in every detail of business session as it resumes tomorrow. Discussion may include editorial changes to the Church Manual, and more!
  4. Pray for the evening report to be given by East-Central Africa Division (ECD) and Euro-Asia Division (ESD).
  5. Pray that God would continue to flood the dome with His presence and that wisdom would be granted to all the leadership.

To watch the GC Session on HOPE Channel via LIVESTREAM, click here for the airing schedule

Also we continue to invite you to JOIN US in a SPECIAL TIME of PRAYER and FASTING during these days: June 28th – July 11th, our GC Prayer team is fasting (some on raw food, some on Daniel’s fast etc, and some in other ways, like media fast). We invite you to join us as we pray for God to work in a powerful way in the coming days! Click here to learn more about Daniel’s Fasting.

Praise Reports for July 3rd

  1. The BIG NEWS and PRAISE REPORT of today is that of the re-election of Elder Ted Wilson as General Conference president of the Seventh-day Adventist world Church. It was obvious by votes today (with yellow voting cards raised high and standing ovation and clapping) that he has overwhelming support in his leadership and is very loved by this church.
  2. Wilson shared three goals in his short speech as he accepted the vote for re-election. They were: One, “I hope that all of us will completely and fully lift up Christ’s righteousness in all things.” Two, “I want to ask all of us by God’s grace to be faithful to God’s Word, to His message, and to His calling.” Three, “I want to see total member involvement in evangelism and witnessing. God intends for His people to stand faithfully, but we have got to do it together.” His closing remarks were: “It is Nancy’s and my humble privilege to work with you. I am so proud of this woman who stands at my side. She is a godly humble woman… I pledge to you today, by God’s grace, to look to Him every morning, every moment. I commit myself to God and promise to ask Him every day for His guidance.”
  3. Today’s morning worship devotional was titled: “Tomorrow’s Headlines Today: The Signs of His Return” by Sikhu Hlatshwayo, a Zimbabwean missionary in the United States, went powerfully. Praise the Lord!
  4. Sikhu talked abut the need for better connection between our profession and our life. She shared, “If I’m waiting for Jesus coming, then my life will reflect it.” Later she said, “It’s not about the SECOND COMING of Jesus. It’s about the second coming of JESUS!” (Important where the emphasis is!)
  5. G.T. Ng gave inspiring report and shared four milestones for Adventist church. First milestone: Ng shares that SDA church, now at 18.5 million members, is now the 5th largest church in the world. Second milestone: 1.16 million baptisms in 2014, highest number of baptisms in one year on record. That equals 2.2 baptisms every minute. Third milestone: Four divisions are outstanding in growth areas: ECD, IAD, SAD & SID. We praise the Lord for how HE is blessing and bringing in so many new members to the church. Fourth milestone: Church planting. 2010-2014, 78,810 churches were planted, in 2014: 2,446 new churches were formed. That’s 6.7 churches per day. 215 out of 237 countries/territories that are part of UN have Adventist presence.
  6. Ng shared about mission and that it is not just something we talk about, but it’s the reason we exist as a church. G.T.
  7. G.T. Ng was re-elected as General Conference Secretary, another praise report!
  8. Juan Prestol, a godly spiritual man, was elected as new GC treasurer to replace Robert Lemon, who is retiring. We praise God and are hopeful for what God will do through these three top leaders in the coming years.
  9. The GC prayer room was packed this morning as people interceded for the church. (See picture below). There was standing room only for quite some time. Truly God is at work and His Spirit is moving at GC Session as many many people are praying!
  10. Finally, we praise the Lord for the soon approaching Sabbath and for the many more praise reports to come!

Prayer Request for July 4th

  1. Pray the thousands that will be joining us for Sabbath Services tomorrow, that God will pour out showers of blessings upon them!
  2. Pray that God will speak through the sermon by G.T. Ng tomorrow.
  3.  Pray for the participants and God’s blessing on the afternoon Sabbath Session which focuses on “Church in Mission.” Pray that many more are inspired to be involved in the mission of the church!
  4.  Pray that God will bless the evening reports to be given by the NAD and MENA.
  5. Pray for God’s continued blessing in the prayer room here at Session, that it will be a place of healing as well as inspiration as we hold on to the promises of God.
  6. Pray that it will weather stay moderate and tolerable for GC attendees as they have a LOOOONG ways to walk between Alamodome and hotels and convention center.
  7. Pray for the health and strength of GC Staff and delegates. Many of them have been putting in long hours and are very tired and exhausted.

To watch the GC Session on HOPE Channel via LIVESTREAM, click here for the airing schedule

Praise Reports

  • Morning Worship devotional titled: “History’s Glorious Climax” was given by secretary of the Trans-European Division, Janos Kovacs-Biro. God blessed powerfully!
  • After getting business session officially started, session opened on a spiritual note with the showing of the video “What Might Have Been, Can Be.” There was time for prayer and reflection afterwards.
  • Sweet Spirit present!
  • A vote was taken to approve 35 new Unions that have been organized since the 2010 GC Session. PRAISE TO GOD!
  • Leaders of breakaway Adventist church in Hungary were welcomed on stage this morning. Members rejoined Adventist Church after 40 years. More praises!
  • 18 special guests attending from China. These are first official Chinese guests at a GC session.
    Nominating committee was chosen! We believe that God is going to bless through these men and women!!
  • Elder Wilson gave an inspiring presidential report on how God has been working over the last 5 years. Truly God has been leading our church.
  • We’ve had powerful times of prayer in the Prayer Room throughout the day!
  • One Russian lady shared how she’d prayed for her son in the prayer room at a previous GC Session and how God had answered her prayer. Powerful testimony!
  • Many shared how 100 Days of Prayer has changed their lives and how they came to GC Session just to pray. God is working!

Prayer Requests for July 3rd!

  • Pray that God will lead tomorrow’s morning worship titled: “Tomorrow’s Headlines Today: The Signs of His Return” by Sikhu Hlatshwayo, a Zimbabwean missionary in the United States who helps lead public campus ministry.
  • Pray that God will bless G.T. Ng as he gives his “Secretary’s Report” summarizing his office for past 5 years.
  • Pray for Robert E. Lemon as he gives an overview of the churches’ financial state with his Treasurer’s report.
  • Pray for the nominating committee and that God’s will would be done in who should be the General Conference President for the next five years. That decision will be made tomorrow! Executive Secretary and Treasurer positions may also be decided.
  • Pray for the prayer seminars that will be given tomorrow by Esther Knott (12:15-1:45) and Dan Augsberger (5:15-6:45) in the Convention Center, Room 102B.
  • Pray that more people will come and pray together in the prayer room in the Alamodome Meeting Room F.

To watch the GC Session on HOPE Channel via LIVESTREAM, click here for the airing schedule.

 

Bible Passage for Meditation: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 

Key Verse: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

The second-to-last mile is the hardest one, I’ve heard. It’s the mile just before the end is actually in sight. That’s about how it worked out on my first half marathon.

I remember running past the marquee at mile 3 and noticing the temperature: 25 degrees Fahrenheit. It was cold. But I wasn’t nearly alone. I was surrounded by my siblings and friends. We’d all trained together for this event. And there’s nothing like good company to make the miles passing underfoot seem a bit shorter. And all around us were thousands of strangers, all pressing toward the same goal.

By mile 5 or 6 we were running along the river. The crowds were thinning with each passing step, and the scenery kept our eyes on the horizon, rather than on the ground at our feet. Fully settled into our stride, we chatted comfortably as we ran, frequently exchanging looks and laughter.

Sometime after mile 10, a few in our group broke into a slightly slower stride. By now we could feel the satisfying fatigue that comes with measured but prolonged exertion. We watched intently for mileposts now.

Then came the dreaded second-to-last mile. The course suddenly broke away from the riverbank and led uphill to the downtown district, where (the signs indicated) we’d find the finish line. Now the pack was strung out in near single file. All of the strangers seemed to pull ahead, or fall far behind. And our feet? If they had murmured before, they were yelling now. We passed more and more who were walking, or sometimes simply standing. The weight of fatigue and the seeming eternity between mileposts combined to create a war in our minds as truly as in our legs.

How similar is the course facing eleventh-hour runners in the race that is set before us. Many have run long miles since their first love nerved each endeavor. We have passed through hills and valleys and run along peaceful streams. But now our course has turned, and surely, the grade is uphill. The miles may seem to pass more slowly than ever. The end may be out of sight. But don’t we know the course Designer? And hasn’t He promised that the finish will come not one step later than it must?

Fatigue is real, but camaraderie takes over. At all costs, we’ll cross. All of us. Together. We shout to one another. We growl up each hill. We jog back to round up the slower ones at the end of our line. Then we turn a corner that must be the last. But no . . . maybe the next one.

Ah! There it is! The arch that marks a race well run. Shoes cross the mat, and the official time is done. A medal hangs around each neck. We’ve done it! And we lost not one.

“To run the Christian course in triumph, it is as necessary for us to exercise fortitude, patience, and self-denial, as it was for the contestants in the games and races of the Greeks and Romans. . . . Every hindrance must be laid aside; no weight must impede his course. And after this has been done, the utmost exertion is required in order to gain the victory” (Sketches from the Life of Paul, pp. 164, 165).

Now is just such a time. At all costs, we must cross. And together. Let us rally, all prayer and praise! The end is just around the corner. We are almost home.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, help us to hold on to You, knowing that “He which hath begun a good work in [us] will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Help us not to give up, although the miles seem more and more difficult. Help us to hold on until You bring us safely home. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Seán Nebblett

Note: While 100 Days is completed, our prayer journey has not! We ask you to continue to pray during these 10 days of GC Session.

Also starting tonight through July 11th, we will be posting daily PRAISE REPORTS as well as PRAYER REQUEST for the agenda items of the following day at GC Session. We will post these each evening, Central Time, after the evening Session has finished.

July 12th, we will begin our new prayer initiative – UNITED in PRAYER on this website! So stay tuned!

StanleyPlease partner with us!

During the past GC Sessions, the Prayer Room served as an oasis in the beehive of activities at the General Conference Session. It has been my humble privilege to meet with many of you for prayer here. Heaven alone will reveal the real results of the time spent with God during these past sessions.

It’s my humble honor and sacred privilege to once again invite God’s Remnant people to Prayer. God honors bold prayers and bold prayers honor God. Please make it a priority to visit the Prayer Room in the Alamodome during the July 2-11 Session in San Antonio. Please partner with us and pass on the word to everyone on your email address list, on Facebook, and Twitter. Let’s take time to pray during the GC Session and see what God will do!

Stanley Ponniah, General Conference Session Prayer Team

JuanitaWhy wouldn’t we be in the GC Prayer Room?

What an enormous privilege it is to spend time in a room set aside simply “For Prayer” during a convocation of SDA world leaders:

At the very time when prophecy tells us (and all time prophecies and specific signs are fulfilling faster than can be imagined) that we are living in the “end of time.” At the very time when the Creator/Redeemer said there would be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the operational key for it to happen is exactly one word! Have you read Zechariah 10:1 recently… and even read a few more verses beyond? Why wouldn’t we be here in the prayer room? Or from wherever God has placed us around the world, why wouldn’t we be on our knees? I am here THRILLED WITH THE URGENCY OF TIME because I don’t want to miss the outpouring. It’s time! AND THIS CAN BE THE PLACE! GOD SAID: ASK!

Juanita Kretschmer, General Conference Session Prayer Team

Directions to the GC Prayer Room:

The Prayer room will be located in the Alamodome down the escalator from the main entrance. Look for signs to Alamodome, Meeting Room F. Open: July 2-11, 8am-8pm

 

Bible Passage for Meditation: 2 Timothy 4:1-8

Key Verse: “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8

Several years ago I attended a Bible camp in the mountains of Colorado. I had never been to Colorado before, and I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was up there in the mountains. I can still vividly see the view from the top of a rocky outcrop that a group of us climbed one morning. It was breathtaking.

However, we are told that the beauty we see now pales when compared with what God has for us in eternity. Isn’t that amazing? “Even in this life we may catch glimpses of His presence and may taste the joy of communion with Heaven, but the fullness of its joy and blessing will be reached in the hereafter. Eternity alone can reveal the glorious destiny to which man, restored to God’s image, may attain” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 602).

Getting to the top of that rocky outcrop was not easy. In fact, the first time the group went up, I couldn’t make it all the way. I was literally paralyzed with fear as I looked down the steep slopes around me. You see, I am afraid of heights, and the evil one knew it. As I walked toward the steep hill, a little voice in my ear kept telling me, “You can’t climb that! It’s too much for you. And even if you did make it up, you’d probably fall or be blown off the top.”

I trembled in fear and stopped part way up as I began to cry. In fact, I started to turn back and go down, when some friends came back to help me. “You can do it! Just step there, now there,” they encouraged me. With their love and compassion soothing my fears, I finally made my way, step by step, all the way to the top. It felt amazing! The glorious, beautiful view was worth every once of sweat and struggle I’d experienced on the way up!

I’m reminded how the Lord encourages, supports, and comforts us on the path to our heavenly home. We are told in Hebrews 13:5, 6, “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (NKJV).

And in Romans 8:31 we read, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (NKJV).

Our path in life is much like my first mountain climbing experience in Colorado. Along the way we all have times when we doubt what God has promised, and instead we listen to the lies of a fallen angel telling us we cannot advance, we cannot go farther, we’ve already failed too much to reach our goal. But we must not listen to this voice of doubt. We must keep moving forward and upward with our eyes on Jesus. The path to eternity is not easy, but it will be so worth it when we reach the other side.

Whatever you face in the coming days, remember that Jesus is beside you. As long as you keep holding on to Him and pleading for His assistance, He will not fail you. He will carry you when needed. And He will lead you safely home!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Loving Father, as the Bible tells us, the way home is not always going to be easy. In fact, we know we will face trials along the upward way. Because of this, we need You to guide us and help us to stay on the narrow path. Please help us to surrender daily, keeping our eyes on You. Help us to stay in tune with Your voice and not give place to suggestions of discouragement from the enemy. Please shield us and protect us from all attacks until You’ve brought us safely home. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

By Kat Taylor

Let’s kneel together for His glory!

“It is a wonderful thing that we can pray effectually, that unworthy, erring mortals possess the power of offering their requests to God. What higher power can man desire than this,—to be linked with the infinite God?” (Messages to Young People, p. 250) What an amazing thought! It brings a smile to my face as I ponder it.

I have seen how God can work when we come together in one accord, so I am very excited to see how God will work during the GC Session as we kneel together for His glory! I invite you to come to the prayer room and join me in prayer for our church.

Kat Taylor
GC Session Prayer Team

Directions to the GC Prayer Room:

The Prayer room will be located in the Alamodome down the escalator from the main entrance. Look for signs to Alamodome, Meeting Room F.
Open: July 2-11, 8am-8pm

 

Bible Passage for Meditation: Psalm 27:1-14

Key Verse: “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4

I’ve been dealing with a struggle for a few years now. You probably face this struggle as well. It’s a struggle between good, better, and best.

This struggle affects many daily habits and lifestyle choices, but I’ve really felt the attack in the area of social media and technology. I mean, how can I fight against it? Technology offers so many blessings. However, this good gift that allows us to connect so easily with the world can also become our biggest enemy, an enemy that keeps us from truly connecting with each other and with God as we should.

We all have to realize that Satan doesn’t mind if we spend our lives making good choices. No, good choices are fine, and so are better choices, as long as we don’t make the best choice. You see, all those YouTube videos that your friends post about animals being rescued or weird stunts being performed, about amazing talent being displayed, about unique houses or hilarious moments . . . there’s nothing wrong with most of them, really. But while they may be better than what others are looking at, could they be robbing us of God’s best choice? As one of my friends likes to say, “Get off Facebook and get your face in His book!”

It doesn’t matter how many people have “liked” your page or post or affirmed your beauty or talent. What matters most is what God thinks. “The LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

If you are a busy leader, maybe your weakness isn’t Facebook, but maybe it’s watching a movie on the airplane while you fly across the ocean, or turning on the hotel television at night just to watch the news. What if we’ve allowed the good and better things of life to keep us from the best, from pursuing an intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ?

We are Seventh-day Adventists, supposedly preparing for heaven. However, I’m afraid our spiritual sensitivities are being numbed by the barrage of television, Internet, and social media that constantly begs for our attention. We can spend hours at these things, and yet we struggle spending even a few minutes in God’s Word! We struggle going even a few minutes without checking our smart phones, text messages, or tweets. If we are serious about going to heaven, something must change in our focus and priorities.

Inspiration tells us, “Most professed Christians have no sense of the spiritual strength they might obtain were they as ambitious, zealous, and persevering to gain a knowledge of divine things as they are to obtain the paltry, perishable things of this life. The masses professing to be Christians have been satisfied to be spiritual dwarfs. They have no disposition to make it their object to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; hence godliness is a hidden mystery to them, they cannot understand it. They know not Christ by experimental knowledge” (Counsels for the Church, p. 186, emphasis supplied).

Of course, media and social networks can be tools for good. I maintain my accounts specifically because I want to use them as a witness. However, I have to keep proper boundaries around them and keep re-surrendering them to God, or they will control me rather than God controlling them. If you have a similar struggle, I suggest a 7- or 10-day fast from media and social networks. Spend the time you save connecting in more meaningful ways with your family or loved ones. Spend extra time studying out something you want to learn in the Bible. Spend the time in prayer or memorizing Scripture. This may be difficult (let’s face it, we are addicted to our media gadgets more than we want to admit), but I promise that if you will make this sacrifice, it will change your life!

The Bible says, “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31).

Christ is that more excellent way. He is the best gift. Seek Him while the door is still open. He’s coming soon!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, as we face the end-time crisis, the enemy has disarmed us in a thousand ways. We have no strength for spiritual battle because we’ve lost our spiritual focus. We’ve been numbed to the things of eternal value. Forgive us, Father! We want to turn our focus back to You. We don’t want to settle for good or better anymore. We want the best! We want You! When You return, we want You to be able to say, “I know you; you are my child!” Help us, Father. Be Master of the things that seek to master us. May You truly become our one heart’s desire. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Melody Mason

Pray moves the arm that moves the world!

“Prayer, faithful, earnest prayer will move the arm that moves the world” (Pastoral Ministry, p. 183). I am looking forward in uniting in prayer with all of you during the GC session! Come join us in the prayer room and let’s move the Arm that moves the world!

Melissa Miranda
GC Session Prayer Team

judy2Please come join us in the GC Prayer Room!

Prayer without ceasing is God’s call for each of us to maintain that vital connection with Jesus throughout the day. Since prayer is the breath of the soul, God wants to make us one in Him as He is One in the Father through that moment by moment abiding.  The prayer room is the opportune place to spend time together in united prayer to seek that unity in Christ. Please come and join us.

Judith Getchell
GC Session Prayer Team

The GC Prayer Room will be in the Alamodome down the escalator from the main entrance in Meeting Room F. Look for signs! Open July 2-11, 8am-8pm.

Bible Passage for Meditation: Psalm 146:1-10

Key Verse: “While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.” Psalm 146:2

What is one thing that you look forward to most when you get to heaven? Is it passing through those pearly gates? Is it walking on the streets of gold? Is it talking to the patriarchs or spending time with Jesus?

One thing I really look forward to, besides being in the presence of Jesus, is joining the angels in singing praises to God. For the past few years God has been teaching me more and more about the importance of praising God. In order to be able to sing praises with the angels in the courts above, I need to learn to sing praises to Him now. In Testimonies for the Church, volume 5, we read, “All heaven unite in praising God. Let us learn the song of the angels now, that we may sing it when we join their shining ranks” (p. 319).

When we think about singing praises, we automatically think that we need to have a nice voice. But I believe it’s not about having a nice voice and being able to read music. It is about our heart attitude and learning to praise God in difficult times and in good times. It is all about having a character like Jesus.

We need to learn to be thankful and praise God here if we want to be praising God there.

It was not always easy for me to praise God. At one time it seemed so much easier to see the negatives, to see what was not working well, to see the glass half empty instead of half full, to see only the thorns on the roses. But as I have drawn closer and closer to God, He has been teaching me to praise Him no matter what my circumstances.

Ellen White tells us in the book In Heavenly Places, “Begin to educate your tongues to praise Him and train your hearts to make melody to God” (p. 95). When I understood that, and learned that “to praise God in fullness and sincerity of heart is as much a duty as is prayer” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 299), I started to praise Him when I awoke in the mornings, when I traveled, and when I went to sleep. Thankfully, our brains learn new habits quickly, and now the first thing that comes to my mind when I wake up is praise to our God.

How is it with you? Are you learning to praise God in all your circumstances even now, so that you can join the angels one day in heaven?

Heaven can start here. “The soul may ascend nearer heaven on the wings of praise. God is worshiped with song and music in the courts above, and as we express our gratitude, we are approximating to the worship of the heavenly hosts” (Steps to Christ, p. 104).

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for the power of praise that allows us to come close to heaven even now. We thank You that we will one day join the angels in the heavenly choirs above. We pray that You will help us learn to truly praise You here, no matter our circumstances, knowing that You are still with us even in the blackest night and will soon come to take us home. We look forward to the day when we can tell You thank You in person for all that You’ve done for us. Come soon, Lord Jesus! In Your precious name, Amen.

By Raluca Ril

We may have many nationalities, cultures, languages, experiences, and more…but we are all part of God’s Church!

“Nothing tends more to cement the hearts of Christians than praying together. Never do they love one another so well as when they witness the outpouring of each other’s hearts in prayer” (Quote by Charles Finney). We may have different nationalities, languages, cultures, experiences, preferences and opinions, but we are all part of God’s church, and I pray that it is our desire to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with love for our brethren and for the lost. I want to invite you to join us in the prayer room to be able to experience the powerful bond that prayer creates.

Roman Ril
GC Session Prayer Team

My favorite quote comes from the compilation on prayer, by Ellen White: “The greatest blessing that God can give to man is the spirit of earnest prayer. All heaven is open before the man of prayer….The ambassadors of Christ will have power with the people after they have, with earnest supplication, come before God” (Prayer, p. 83). I am really looking forward to seeing how God will answer our prayers at this GC session. I hope and pray that you find some time to join us in the prayer room and be able to witness God’s power working on behalf of His people.

Raluca Ril
GC Session Prayer Team

Let’s seek God with all our hearts!

In the prayer room, we have the privilege to come before God and give Him an opportunity to show us what must change in our lives, so the Spirit can use us! This is our absolute, greatest need as God’s last day people. I hope to see you in the prayer room as we seek God with all our hearts!

Ranela Kaligithi
GC Session Prayer Team

The GC Prayer Room will be in the Alamodome down the escalator from the main entrance in Meeting Room F. Look for signs! Open July 2-11, 8am-8pm.

Bible Passage for Meditation: Revelation 21:1-7

Key Verse: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Yesterday my grandmother had a heart attack. When I received the news in the early hours of the morning, tears instantly began welling up in my eyes, and a heavy weight came crashing down on my heart. I thought about all the times that my grandma and I would sit together on Sunday afternoons. Usually we would enjoy a cup of tea while savoring the sweet aroma of a special baked treat. In fact, I always promised my granny “Mama” that I would learn to make that special coconut treat. I never did. And today, as I sit thousands of miles away, I long desperately for home. I long to be with “Mama.” I want to spend time with her and lay my head on her lap so she can stroke my hair. I want to hear her sing to me again and hear the same wonderful stories about the old days. My heart yearns to be in her presence, and I am ready to sacrifice just to spend time with her and make her wounded heart smile.

As I thought about my grandmother, it suddenly became clear that God must feel exactly the same about me.

In Eden, God spoke directly to Adam and Eve (see Genesis 2, 3). “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8). “With open face [Adam] beheld the glory of the Lord, and talked with God, and Christ, and angels, in paradise, without a dimming veil between [them]” (The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, p. 7). However, because of sin we lost the privilege of being continually with the Father in heaven. I think about how many times in my anger and frustration I have run away from my God. I have failed to believe His promises and refused to acknowledge the sacrifice of His Son for my salvation. Still, the Father’s heart yearns for me. The Bible says, “‘Therefore my heart yearns for [Shanter]; I have great compassion for [her],’ declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 31:20, NIV). I want to see my grandmother alive and laughing. I want to be near her so she can see the woman that I have become and know that I have committed to making the journey to my heavenly homeland, come what may.

As we near the end of these 100 days of prayer, my heart burns within me for my eternal heavenly home. I want to be with my Father in heaven. I desire to bask in the fulfillment of His promise that He will be with me and that “he will dwell with [me], and [I] shall be his . . . and God himself shall be with [me], and be [my] God” (Revelation 21:3). I hunger for the day when “God shall wipe away all tears from [our] eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away,” and I am eager for the time when my heavenly Father will truly “make all things new” (Revelation 21:4, 5).

“Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of heaven. There will be no more tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning” (The Great Controversy, p. 676).

Thankfully, it won’t be long now, for Ellen White tells us, “Soon there [will appear] in the east a small black cloud, about half the size of a man’s hand. It is the cloud which surrounds the Saviour and which seems in the distance to be shrouded in darkness. The people of God know this to be the sign of the Son of man. [We will] gaze upon it as it draws nearer the earth, becoming lighter and more glorious, until it is a great white cloud, its base a glory like consuming fire, and above it the rainbow of the covenant. Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror” (The Great Controversy, pp. 640, 641).

I’m excited for that day, when our hope to see the One who loves us shall at long last be fulfilled.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, we pray that Your Spirit will be made manifest as this General Conference Session begins. Let Your holy angels surround the stadium and the homes of all who will be watching via Internet and television around the world. Please, Father, let us experience a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit, just as at Pentecost. As we watch and wait together for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, help us to hold on to the hope of Your second coming. May our hearts burn within us for Your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Shanter Alexander

Come spend at least one hour with us in the Prayer Room during Session!

I’m always asked what my favorite verse is. Some may think my choice is an easy way out. But this short verse has been the most impactful in my walk and prayer life. 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray Without Ceasing.” Because of this verse I’m excited to be part of the prayer team and prayer room. It is my hope and prayer that every GC delegate and attendee will come visit the prayer room for at least one hour.

Joseph Astran
GC Session Prayer Team

“Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms” (‭James‬ ‭5‬:‭13‬). One of the most powerful ways to be cured from our Laodicean state is by linking together in one accord with fellow believers in prayer. Please join us in the prayer room to experience abundant blessings as we unite in prayer. “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him” (‭Psalms‬ ‭34‬:‭8‬). We look forward to seeing you there!

Puteri Astran
GC Session Prayer Team

Prayer room experiences have changed my life!

Prayer room experiences have changed my life.  I’d like to personally invite you to come to a place consecrated for meeting with God. Get ready! He is about to do something new and amazing in your life.  Join us in the prayer room and let us agree in prayer with you that the thing which God has promised you; is no longer delayed – It shall be done! Ezekial 12:28.

Shanter Alexander
GC Session Prayer Team

The GC Prayer Room will be in the Alamodome down the escalator from the main entrance in Meeting Room F. Look for signs! Open July 2-11, 8am-8pm.

Bible Passage for Meditation: Philippians 4:1-23

Key verse: “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

“How do I remain faithful in the shaking? Where will I hide, what will I eat, how will I survive the time of trouble?” It can be terrifying to contemplate how we are going to make it through the end times if we are not rooted in Christ. The final events of earth’s history are coming upon us even now. How can we be prepared to stand the coming crisis?

Paul gives us one significant key in Philippians 4:5, where he urgently asserts, “The Lord is at hand.” This pressing reality often leaves many feeling anxious, so it is fitting that Paul’s very next words are these: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6, NKJV). In other words, don’t be anxious about the Lord being at hand, but pray about everything! The antidote to any anxiety, especially end-time concerns, is prayer. The promised result of our prayers is what will actually see us through the coming final events: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, NKJV).

In this world, with its constant turmoil and upheaval, our need is for peace, which should be expected only from time spent in prayer. Paul continues in this passage to point out that he had learned how to be content in any and every circumstance “through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, NKJV). Remember, this is coming from a man who was stoned, shipwrecked, beaten, and imprisoned! Truly, Paul knew from personal experience that prayer is key to finding peace and contentment in every time of trouble. No wonder we find him praying and singing joyfully when he was placed in prison stocks at midnight, even though he had just received many stripes with rods (Acts 16:25).

Peter, also, noted that prayer is the key to enduring the end times: “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers” (1 Peter 4:7, NKJV). Peter discovered for himself the devastating results of neglecting to pray. Jesus had pleaded with Peter and the disciples to “watch and pray” in order to not “enter into temptation” (Matthew 26:41) when they were on the verge of the greatest crisis of their lives. But Peter fell asleep rather than persisting in prayer, and before he knew what he was doing, he had betrayed his best Friend at the moment when Jesus needed him most.

Inspiration tells us, “It was in sleeping when Jesus bade him watch and pray that Peter had prepared the way for his great sin. All the disciples, by sleeping in that critical hour, sustained a great loss” (The Desire of Ages, pp. 713, 714). What victory might we be losing today because we are sleeping when God has called us to watch and pray?

In Luke 21:36, Jesus explicitly prescribed prayer as the key to standing in the end: “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (NKJV).

Ellen White was given a vision of the end, in which she saw that it was those who persisted in prayer who would endure. “As the praying ones continued their earnest cries, at times a ray of light from Jesus came to them, to encourage their hearts and light up their countenances. Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. . . . I saw angels of God hasten to the assistance of all who were struggling with all their power to resist the evil angels and trying to help themselves by calling upon God with perseverance. But His angels left those who made no effort to help themselves, and I lost sight of them. . . . All seemed to have a deep sense of their unworthiness and manifested entire submission to the will of God; yet, like Jacob, every one, without an exception, was earnestly pleading and wrestling for deliverance” (Early Writings, pp. 270, 272).

It couldn’t be much clearer. The key to standing in the end is not stockpiling food or finding the perfect hiding spot. Instead, the key is in developing a tight hold upon Christ through earnest, agonizing, and persistent prayer. The promised result is that our hearts will continually be guarded by the peace of God and that God will bring justice in answer to our earnest prayers!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Father in heaven, we can see that the end is near. Thank You that we don’t have to worry about how we will make it. Thank You for teaching us that our foremost need is to cling to You through earnest prayer. Please give us an earnest passion for prayer. Help us to pray as if our lives depended upon it, because they really do. Thank You for promising to answer and help us as long as we persist in prayer. Thank You that we don’t have to be afraid of the time of trouble because we know that You will give us strength to stand! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Pastor Zac Page

I’m 17! I understand the struggle to pray…but prayer has changed my life!

I know that as young people, taking time out to seriously pray is often the last item on our list of things to do. Prayer meetings and the like can seem geared towards an older crowd, possibly boring or seemingly ritualistic. Some may even feel that they can’t have an intimate, personal conversation with God because they don’t think He’s listening.

I, as a 17 y/o who understands this struggle, would like to invite and challenge each of you, from ANY age, whether you’re 9 or 19 or 39 or 99, to come to the GC Prayer Room. It will be a place where we can join together as God’s children, barriers of age and culture removed, to seek God about our problems, burdens and on behalf of our church.

Being in prayer with each other, and for each other, is a life changing experience – not just for the older generations but for MY generation. I know because it’s changed my life. “This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).

Come test the promises of God. You will not be disappointed!

Elise, GC Session Prayer Team

Make it a priority to spend some time in the Prayer Room!

Listen to this powerful quote: “The convocations of the church…are God’s appointed opportunities for giving the early and the latter rain… At every meeting we attend our prayers should ascend, that at this very time God will impart warmth and moisture to our souls. As we seek God for the Holy Spirit, it will work in us meekness, humbleness of mind, a conscious dependence upon God for the perfecting latter rain” (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 508). Oh how I long for the latter rain to fill my heart! How about you? I’m so thankful our leaders have provided us with the opportunity to join together in prayer at this GC session. I hope you can make it a priority to take time in the prayer room for the most important and fulfilling work that can be done, uniting in prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit!

Pastor Zac Page
100 Days Devotional writer

The GC Prayer Room will be in the Alamodome down the escalator from the main entrance in Meeting Room F. Look for signs! Open July 2-11, 8am-8pm.

Bible Passage for Meditation: 1 Peter 4:7-19

Key Verse: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.” 1 Peter 4:12

While our final theme of 100 Days of Prayer is “Preparing for Heaven,” I think it’s important that we remember before we go to Heaven, we are going to face some pretty tough trials ahead.

From the time I was a little girl, I remember my parents teaching me about the trials and persecution that will come upon God’s people in the last days. It wasn’t scary to me. I remember reading the stories of Christian martyrs like the Waldenses, John Wycliffe, Huss and Jerome, and others who faithfully stood for Jesus and paid the ultimate sacrifice in giving up their lives. Their undaunted courage and faith inspired me, and I’ve always prayed that God will give me that same courage if I’m ever asked to face death because of Christ.

And yet—while many Christians around the world suffer for their faith even today—for most of my life here in the West, I’ve been surrounded by peace, not persecution. Why is that?

“The apostle Paul declares that ‘all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ 2 Timothy 3:12. Why is it, then, that persecution seems in a great degree to slumber? The only reason is that the church has conformed to the world’s standard and therefore awakens no opposition. The religion which is current in our day is not of the pure and holy character that marked the Christian faith in the days of Christ and His apostles. It is only because of the spirit of compromise with sin, because the great truths of the word of God are so indifferently regarded, because there is so little vital godliness in the church, that Christianity is apparently so popular with the world. Let there be a revival of the faith and power of the early church, and the spirit of persecution will be revived, and the fires of persecution will be rekindled” (The Great Controversy, p. 48).

Yes, we have fallen asleep. However, I believe that God is waking up His people even now, and I see a revival of biblical godliness taking place in the hearts of many. At the same time, spiritual persecution seems to be increasing, and it’s getting closer and closer to home. This shouldn’t surprise us. Rather than being fearful, let’s rejoice and lift up our heads, knowing that our redemption draweth nigh.

Remember, the same God who gave courage and strength to the early church martyrs will give us strength as well when we need it (Deuteronomy 33:25). But we need to prepare ourselves and our families. How? By preparing our hearts!

“Christians should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise, and this preparation they should make by diligently studying the Word of God and striving to conform their lives to its precepts” (Last Day Events, p. 66). “None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict” (Ibid.).

You see, the key to preparing to die in the future is learning to die today. Daily we die to self, to our agenda, to our dreams and plans, to the call of the world. Daily we seek to live only to Christ. Then, as we study His Word, lay up His promises in our hearts (this is the best stockpiling!), and learn to live by faith through prayer (spending much time in prayer, wrestling for the salvation of others), we will grow stronger and stronger, clinging to Jesus. The days ahead aren’t going to be easy. Let’s not whitewash the truth. But God promises He will see us through if we cling to Him. Let’s not wait until we are in the fire to learn these lessons of faith and trust. Let’s learn today!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, You tell us to expect persecution and trials on our journey to our heavenly home, and yet when we experience them we often question You and wonder if You have forsaken us. Forgive us, Father, for having such weak, faltering faith. We know the times ahead are going to be more difficult than we can even now imagine, but You promise You will never leave us nor forsake us. Teach us how to cling to You with a faith that will not be swayed, no matter our sensations or feelings, no matter how much the world pressures us to conform. Teach us to rely upon Your Word alone (Isaiah 8:20). Make us strong so we can stand and honor You! Help us to be faithful to the very end. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

By Melody Mason

JOIN US in a SPECIAL TIME of PRAYER and FASTING: Starting on June 28th, our GC Prayer team will be fasting (some on raw food, some on Daniel’s fast etc, and some in other ways, like media fast). We will be fasting for 14 days, through July11th. We invite you to join us as we pray for God to work in a powerful way in the coming days! Click here to learn more about Daniel’s Fasting.

The Prayer Room will be the most powerful room at GC Session!

The 100 Days of Prayer has been powerful and God is already working. The prayer room at GC will be the most powerful room at the convention.  I believe God is wanting to give us another Acts 2 experience where every heart is changed and totally surrendered to Him.  He has promised a new heart in Ezekiel 36:26,27.  The prayer room is a place where we can seek God’s will and forget our own agendas.  Praise the Lord, He will answer our prayers for wisdom, love, unity and will guide us in knowing how to pray His Heart.

We are excited about being in the prayer room at GC.  We can’t wait! And we look forward to seeing YOU there!

Keith & Joyce Mulligan, GC Session Prayer Team

Is it your dream to see God work? Come pray with us in the GC Prayer room!

We are told through Ellen G. White that only the “power that comes in answer to prayer will make men wise in the wisdom of heaven, and enable them to work in the unity of the Spirit, joined together by the bonds of peace” (Our Father Cares, p. 295). This is what I dream to see happening at this General Conference Session, and I’m so happy to witness it from the Prayer Room! Isn’t this your dream too? If so, come to the Prayer Room and “move heaven” with us! God is eager to answer our prayers and change History!

Marisa Ferreira, GC Session Prayer Team

The GC Prayer Room will be in the Alamodome down the escalator from the main entrance in Meeting Room F. Look for signs! Open July 2-11, 8am-8pm.

Bible Passage for Meditation: Revelation 22:6-12

Key Verse: “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12

John’s declaration, “Behold, I come quickly,” is given in context of the close of probation, after Jesus has concluded His ministry in the heavenly sanctuary and declared, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still” (Revelation 22:11).

If you read the Bible, you should have no doubt that last-day events show we’re getting closer and closer to the coming of Jesus, and the door of mercy is about to close.

Watch how the growing ecumenical movement, initiated by Rome, is bringing many of the greatest world religions together. See the rapid decline of morality, the increase in natural disasters, and the escalation of violence. Our world appears to be heading high speed for the precipice of destruction. This can be very scary if we don’t have our feet on solid ground.

Thankfully, even amid the spiritual and physical chaos, a movement is taking place within God’s remnant church. Thousands are seeking to understand the Bible and its prophecies of the future. Many are turning from the pleasures of the world to walk the narrow way. It’s time for us to do the same.

As we near the end, it’s more important than ever that we live as mature Christians, putting away the milk of babes and learning to eat solid spiritual food.

The Bible tells us in Hebrews 6:1, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.”

But, how can we put aside dead works? How can we go “unto perfection,” as the Bible commands, so that we will be prepared for our new heavenly home? Well, very simply, we cannot do this ourselves. We must continually seek the power of the Holy Spirit, who will grow us and guide us (John 16:13) into all truth. We must also put on the armor of God (see Ephesians 6:13-18). Above all, we must continually stay connected to Jesus, the living Vine, through daily time in the Word and prayer. Only this connection, fueled by the power of the Holy Spirit, will see us through the coming crisis.

It’s time to refill our lamps so that the oil, the Holy Spirit, will never go empty as we prepare for the coming of the Groom. Let’s get ready. He’s coming soon!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Wonderful Father, help us to continue in faith, trusting in Your promises as we prepare for Your soon coming. Give us strength to eat spiritual meat, not just milk. We need to grow and become strong in You so that we can stand firm during the coming crisis. Most of all, help us not to grow weary or discouraged as we come closer and closer to the finish line. Help us to hold on to You tightly until the end. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Carolyn Azo

Special Invitation from some of the GC Prayer Team!

One of my favorite Bible verses is Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Inspiration tells us, “A great work is to be done, and this work has been entrusted to those who know the truth. They should make mighty intercession with God for help now” (Testimonies, v. 5, p. 454).

My greatest desire is to see Jesus come back in our generation! Together, let us with humble hearts and spirit double our prayers at the Prayer Room, recognizing God’s power and sovereignty. If we continue to do this, the promise of the Latter Rain will be fulfilled in our generation. I will be waiting for you so we can pray together and see the great miracles that God will work during this session. 

Carolyn Azo, GC Session Prayer Team

Your individual prayers, yes YOURS, could make an eternal difference!

The purpose of the prayer room is to unite our voices to the Lord as we claim His promises. And God will hear the prayers of His people now just as He did in time past. We can count on it.
 
Please come and join us in the prayer room, for this purpose. Your individual prayer, yes yours, could make an eternal difference as we pray for God to guide our church.

Erik Kelly, GC Session Prayer Team

The GC Prayer Room will be in the Alamodome down the escalator from the main entrance in Meeting Room F. Look for signs! Open July 2-11, 8am-8pm.

Bible Passage for Meditation: Matthew 25:1-13

Key Verse: “But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” Matthew 25:4

I’m a Seventh-day Adventist pastor. I pray and study my Bible every day. I know and wholeheartedly believe the biblical truths we hold dear. But it just hit me recently that all of this only gives me a 50 percent chance of being ready for Jesus’ soon return. Where do I get this statistic? From Jesus Himself.

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the parable of the ten virgins. All have a pure faith (they are virgins; see Revelation 14:4). All have Bible truth (lamps; see Psalm 119:105). Yet five are wise, and five are foolish. Five get to be with Jesus, and five hear the dreadful words from Jesus, “I do not know you.” It means everything to have the assurance that we know Jesus—that we are among the wise virgins. What is the one thing that distinguishes the wise from the foolish virgins? The wise virgins have enough oil.

What does the oil in the parable represent? In Zechariah 4 we find an incredible vision about a lampstand that has oil continually flowing from two trees into each lamp. The crucial point of this vision is in verse 6: “‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit,’ saith the Lord of hosts.” The only thing that will see us through the end is the gift of the Holy Spirit. We need to know the Bible for ourselves, we need to be following His commands, but if we don’t know Jesus intimately—through being filled with the Holy Spirit—then we are only foolish virgins with nothing but a form of godliness.

“The class represented by the foolish virgins are not hypocrites. They have a regard for the truth, they have advocated the truth, they are attracted to those who believe the truth; but they have not yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit’s working. They have not fallen upon the Rock, Christ Jesus, and permitted their old nature to be broken up” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 411). We must allow the Spirit to do a deep, transformational work. We must know Jesus as a Savior from sin today, or we have no hope for eternity tomorrow.

“The Spirit works upon man’s heart, according to his desire and consent implanting in him a new nature; but the class represented by the foolish virgins have been content with a superficial work. They do not know God. They have not studied His character; they have not held communion with Him; therefore they do not know how to trust, how to look and live. Their service to God degenerates into a form”  (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 411).

As Seventh-day Adventists living on the very cusp of eternity, we must make sure that we know God on a deep, practical, and transformational level. We don’t have time to be distracted by any other focus in life.

What does this look like practically? One of the best examples is the story of those who were earnestly looking for Jesus’ return in 1844. Ellen White, who was a part of this movement, describes the constant, watchful attitude of those early believers: “Carefully and solemnly those who received the message came up to the time when they hoped to meet their Lord. Every morning they felt that it was their first duty to secure the evidence of their acceptance with God. . . . The assurance of the Saviour’s approval was more necessary to them than their daily food, and if a cloud darkened their minds, they did not rest until it was swept away” (The Story of Redemption, p. 371).

What an example! I’m learning that I, too, cannot leave that time with Jesus each morning until I know that there is nothing separating me from His loving presence. Without this refreshing (Acts 3:19), I can’t go about my day. There is too much at stake. I must know that I have oil in my lamp—I must be filled with the Spirit!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Father, we want to allow You to prepare us for Your soon return. Forgive us for being content with a superficial heart work, with only a form of godliness. Please fill us with Your Holy Spirit. Help us to know You and Your character. Give us a determination not to leave our time alone with You each morning until we know our sins are covered by Your blood and we are accepted in Your sight. Thank You for longing to fill us with Your Spirit. Please give us oil in our lamps!

By Pastor Zac Page

Special Invitation from some of the GC Prayer Team!

One of my favorite Bible verse is found in 2 Chronicles 20:12. “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” This verse always reminds me that spiritual victory begins the moment we see our nothingness and realize our NEED of HIM.  I can’t wait to see what God will do as we humbly seek Him. Come and join us in the prayer room where God is waiting.

Gem Castor, GC Session Prayer Team

I look forward to meeting you in the Prayer Room!

Like no other time in history we see our world changing, daily, harbingers of warning tell us that Christ’s coming is near.  We have an opportunity and an obligation, brothers and sisters, to seek God’s will for His church, for His Spirit to be poured out, and for the accomplishment of His mission in taking the Gospel to the world.

Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 210 says, “Brethren should stand shoulder to shoulder, uniting their prayers at the throne of grace, that they may move the arm of the Omnipotent.”

I look forward to meeting you in the prayer room!

Teri Salvador, GC Session Prayer Team

The GC Prayer Room will be in the Alamodome down the escalator from the main entrance in Meeting Room F. Look for signs! Open July 2-11, 8am-8pm.

Have you been blessed by the 100 Days of Prayer? Have you been blessed by Revived by His Word? Do you long to keep growing and going deeper in your walk with God?

We are really excited because during the upcoming General Conference Session, two new exciting revival initiatives will be introduced and launched, one in Bible study and one in prayer.

Believe His Prophets, the sequel to Revived by His Word, is a five-year program reading through the Bible and selected Ellen White writings including: Steps to Christ, Christ’s Object Lessons, Patriarchs and Prophets, Prophets and Kings, The Desire of Ages, The Acts of the Apostles, and The Great Controversy. Participants will receive the daily Bible chapter, interactive blog, and weekly inspirational readings.

United in Prayer will follow in the tracks of 100 Days of Prayer and 777 and will foster a broader prayer focus to provide support for both a personal as well as interactive prayer community. Participants will be able to share testimonies, prayer request, practical prayer resources and helps, as well as inspirational messages to take them deeper in their walk with God.

Rather than being a daily mailing, the new United in Prayer initiative will start off as a simple weekly e-mail and website post (right here on this website) sharing a short inspirational devotional thought and some prayer request from the church. Participants will also be encouraged to share their own prayer requests and to write notes of encouragement and prayer for each other, as well.

In the coming days, we will be transitioning the current 100 Days of Prayer website to the new United in Prayer program. So be watching for updates as we develop and grow this website!

RevivalLogosClick here to SIGN UP NOW!!!!

Note: Those enrolled in 100 Days of Prayer will automatically be enrolled in United in Prayer and will receive the daily e-mails.  

A Special Note from Jerry Page, Ministerial Secretary!

God’s Word and the Spirit of Prophecy tell us that a true revival of godliness is what we need, and that comes only in answer to prayer and time in the Word. That’s why I’m very excited about these follow-up initiatives promoting deeper Bible Study and a world-wide network of prayer. 

Please share this announcement with your friends and loved ones, your church leaders, your pastor, and anyone else that can help us get the word out. And if you haven’t already done so, please sign up for the United in Prayer and Believe His Prophets opportunities. 

It is our prayer that even before GC Session, thousands will already be signed up. We want as many people as possible studying the Word and praying for God’s will in our lives, our families, our churches, and our communities! As we do this, God’s blessing will be poured out. 

Thank you for your help to urge participation and your continued prayers for the Holy Spirit to work in a powerful way at the GC Session and beyond as Jesus prepares to return! If you are planning to be at GC Session, please come join our prayer team in the prayer room. We expect God to work in wonderful ways!

Jerry Page
General Conference Ministerial Secretary

Bible Passage for Meditation: Isaiah 65:17-25

Key Verse: “And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.” Isaiah 65:21

When I was a child, maybe somewhere between ten and twelve years old, my mother struggled with serious health problems that caused her a lot of pain. To help pass the painful days, she often called my cousins and me together and said, “Why don’t we take turns dreaming about what heaven will be like.” And so, in my imagination, I began planning exotic heavenly adventures. One thing I most enjoyed dreaming about was building my heavenly mansion.

I still remember it to this day. My mansion was high up on the edge of a mountain overlooking a beautiful lake and a valley full of vibrant colors. I didn’t need a road down the mountain because I could fly. One unique feature of my mountaintop home was that it had clear double-paned glass walls through which flowed a sparkling stream as it headed down the mountain. This stream contained an assortment of beautiful exotic fish, so my walls were actually a constantly changing aquarium. I also had fruit trees overhanging my walls and ceiling, so all I needed to do was reach up and pick what I wanted to eat. My dreams went on and on.

Many may smile at such childhood fantasies, but have you have ever stopped to seriously consider what your heavenly home will be like? It’s going to be much better than any fantasy you might dream up. In fact, I really believe that if we spent more time contemplating our heavenly home, we would spend much less time investing in and wasting our time on the fleeting pleasures of earth.

Inspiration tells us, “A fear of making the future inheritance seem too material has led many to spiritualize away the very truths which lead us to look upon it as our home. Christ assured His disciples that He went to prepare mansions for them in the Father’s house. Those who accept the teachings of God’s word will not be wholly ignorant concerning the heavenly abode. And yet, ‘eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.’ 1 Corinthians 2:9. Human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who behold it. No finite mind can comprehend the glory of the Paradise of God” (The Great Controversy, pp. 674, 675).

Rather than getting stuck in the lowlands of earth and wasting our energy on treasures that will rust and rot away, let us prepare for eternity by laying up treasures in heaven. As the Bible tells us, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (see Matthew 6:19-21).

“[In Heaven] the grandest enterprises may be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations reached, the highest ambitions realized; and still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of mind and soul and body” (The Great Controversy, p. 677).

The final ten days of devotionals for this 100 Days of Prayer will focus on preparing for heaven. As we pray for our church, may we turn our gaze to our heavenly paradise, the place where “the wide-spreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God’s people, so long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find a home” (The Great Controversy, p. 675).

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us for all too often allowing our gaze to get stuck in the lowlands of earth. Forgive us for focusing on temporal rather than eternal treasures. Help us to keep our eyes on You and the glorious reward that You have prepared for the faithful. We know the enemy is doing everything he can to discourage and test us, but You promise in Your Word that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Please help us to hold on until You bring us safely home! In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

By Melody Mason

[Important Announcement: 100 Days of Prayer will be followed by the new GC Prayer initiative called United in Prayer, also to be hosted on this same website! Stay tuned as we begin changing the website over in the coming days! PRAISE REPORTS and PRAYER REQUEST will also continue to be posted July 2-11 during GC Session to conclude the 100 Days of Prayer.]

Please come Join us in the GC Prayer Room!

This quote really convicts me: “I asked the angel why there was no more faith and power in Israel, “Ye let go of the arm of the Lord too soon.  Press your petitions to the throne, and hold on by strong faith.” Early Writings, p. 73  

Our General Conference Leaders believe that prayer is very important. Because of that they asked for the prayer room to be right outside the Dome floor where the business sessions will take place. Also they have scheduled a lot of prayer times during the  meetings. My favorite place at GC Session is the prayer room! It is in the prayer room where I experience God’s healing and presence. It is where I see the right arm of God move mightily. It is where miracles happen.
 
I hope you will join us in the prayer room. If you will not be at GC Session, please join us in prayer where ever you are. We will have ongoing updates regarding the prayer needs during the GC Session here on the 100 Days of Prayer website.
 
Janet Page
General Conference Prayer Ministries Coordinator

I’m looking forward to praying with YOU at Session! 

We serve a God who is ABLE to do exceedingly abundantly ABOVE all that we ask or think! Ministry of Healing tells us, “Prayer and Faith will do what no power on earth can accomplish.” (p. 509). Because of this and so many promises in God’s Word, I’m very excited to see how God is going to work in the coming days. I’m also looking forward to praying with many of you in person at the Session. Please come join us in the prayer room! Let’s dare to ask for more, let’s dare to believe for more! God is faithful and He will do above and beyond our expectations as we press together for His glory and honor. 

Melody Mason
100 Days of Prayer Coordinator

Bible Passage for Meditation: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31

Key Verse: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.” 1 Corinthians 12:13, 14

When I think about unity, I am reminded of the famed Alexander the Great. A key point of his success was that his army was arranged on the battlefield in such a way that every soldier had enough space in the battle. No one would hinder the other. And yet, although they had their own space and position, they still stayed unified, fighting side by side as they kept their eyes on their commander. It’s interesting to note that Alexander did not direct his soldiers from the safety of the sidelines. He took his place amidst his army, fighting and bleeding with his soldiers. Isn’t it amazing that Christ has done the same for us? What a beautiful testimony.

Inspiration tells us, “Cooperation and unity are essential to a harmonious whole, each laborer doing his God-given work, filling his appropriate position, and supplying the deficiency of another” (Evangelism, 104).

In another place Sister White writes, “It is the purpose of God that His children shall blend in unity. Do they not expect to live together in the same heaven? Is Christ divided against Himself? Will He give His people success before they sweep away the rubbish of evil surmising and discord, before the laborers, with unity of purpose, devote heart and mind and strength to the work so holy in God’s sight? Union brings strength; disunion, weakness. United with one another, working together in harmony for the salvation of men, we shall indeed be ‘laborers together with God.’ Those who refuse to work in harmony greatly dishonor God. The enemy of souls delights to see them working at cross purposes with one another. Such ones need to cultivate brotherly love and tenderness of heart. If they could draw aside the curtain veiling the future and see the result of their disunion they would surely be led to repent” (Counsels to the Church, p. 43).

It’s not easy to blend in unity. If I disagree with someone, my natural reaction is often to distance myself from the person instead of finding a basis on which we can work together to fulfill our mission. But is this Christ’s method? No. It amazes me that Christ works with weak and erring men like me. It also amazes me that He’s willing to enter the battlefield with me and stand by my side, even when I am sometimes actually fighting against Him without realizing it.

What a great Lord and Master we serve! Let us pray that He will keep us united for eternity, united even if we must turn the other cheek at times, even if we must spill our blood for one another. John 15:13 tells us, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Again, as we struggle to become one, let us remember what is most important. Let us keep our eyes on our Commander. Let us keep our eyes on our mission. Let us lift up the cross. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32).

That is what will keep us together!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Father, help us to keep focused on You, the one who alone can bring us together. I admit that I do not have the mindset of You, our Heavenly Commander, as I should. Unfortunately, when there’s a rift between me and someone else, I get focused on the problems and prefer to keep my distance rather than striving for unity. Help me learn to see things the way You do. Make me willing to take the blow or turn the cheek rather than becoming a stumbling block to someone. Soon You will come back and take us home to heaven. Teach us how to love one another here so that we can live together in unity up there. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Roman Ril

Bible Passage for Meditation: Isaiah 61:1-3

Key Verse: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” Isaiah 61:1

The last blog I wrote, entitled “The Freedom of Forgiveness,” triggered more responses than I could have imagined. I came to an overwhelming realization that perhaps more than ever before our church is filled with brokenness.

The hurts within our church family are deeper than we allow ourselves to acknowledge, and while we as a body of believers find ourselves bickering about everyday issues, it’s obvious that the enemy is wreaking havoc among us over deeper hurts in our hearts. Whatever it is covering up the light of Christ—whether it is our children straying from the path of holiness, our marriages being torn apart, hate, suicide, abuse, or sexual immorality—we are virtually suffocating from a cloak of darkness that is rooted in our dire state of pain and disunity as a body.

In my daily work, I often come face to face with the inexplicable pain that drains the heart of the very desire for life. On every side I witness brokenness and despair.

However, I am reminded of the words of our Lord in Isaiah 61:1-3, affirming that my calling in this life (and your calling as well) is to be a source of healing and hope for those lost in despair. God has sent each of us to bind up the brokenhearted; that means those who have been hurt by loved ones or even cast out of their communities. He has called us to proclaim freedom for (legal) captives of the enemy—those who willingly participate in things that displease the Lord. While they have no strength to get free, our prayers can help set them free! God also calls us to offer hope to those who are depressed and wish to die because they feel so alone in a cruel world.

The casualties of war are on every side. That’s why God needs us, as a church body, to unite in prayer, setting free the captives of darkness and the prisoners of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, and more.

We should also search our hearts to see if we’ve intentionally, or even unknowingly, despised others or kept them on the periphery of our church community. We are called to offer hope and healing, courage and love to these outcasts as well. As we pray for them, we will find our distaste for them evaporating. It’s time for those barriers to come down and for healing to take place.

Sister White admonishes us, “No provision has been made for Christians to draw apart from one another. By our unity and love we are to reveal the character of Christ” (Review and Herald, April 27, 1897, par. 7).

If we are to be united in our mission, if we are to welcome the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and if we are to offer hope and healing to a dying world, we must allow God to heal the wounds among us. We must come together in unity and love, seeing one another as Christ sees us. This time of unity will bring healing; we will then go forward with new strength and power as a united body, and our churches will once again begin to flourish.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Loving Lord, forgive us for becoming distracted from our mission by the worldly concerns of our individual lives. We bicker among ourselves so much that we have lost sight of Your call to minister to the hurting within our own church family. We’ve also not allowed you to heal the pain in our own hearts. Unite us, Lord, in the mission of Isaiah 61, to become Your servants who provide for those who grieve in our churches. May we become a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness. Let us unite at the foot of the cross and receive Your healing so that we can share this hope of healing with the rest of the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Shanter Alexander

[For some practical tips on how to bring your church into greater unity, click here for downloadable file.]

Bible Passage for Meditation: 1 John 4

Key Verse: “We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

The statistics are heartbreaking. One out of every two marriages in the U.S. ends in divorce. And the sad reality is that this is just as true of Christians who regularly attend church as it is of the general public. We live in a society that struggles to find lasting unity.

But the statistics also provide a radical solution. A recent Gallup poll found that for couples who pray together daily, only one out of 1,153 marriages ends in divorce! That’s 0.09 percent, compared to 50 percent of marriages where the couples do not pray together daily. This leads the authors of the book Prayer Saturated Kids to conclude, “Prayer builds unity and intimacy. We become intimate to whom we pray, for whom we pray, and with whom we pray” (Prayer Saturated Kids, p. 33). In essence, praying together can bring unbreakable unity to our relationships.

Of course, this isn’t always easy. When I’ve just had a disagreement with someone, I seldom feel like praying with the person. Yet, I’ve found again and again that this truly does break down barriers and cool down tempers.

I remember one time when I saw how clearly this could help a difficult situation of disunity. I was leading a team in ministry and having difficulty resolving some interpersonal conflicts with one member of the team. Usually I confronted the individual on the spot about behavior I thought was problematic. This often resulted in an escalated conflict. One day God led me to pull him aside and spend time praying with him before we talked about the challenges. Afterward, we had the smoothest and most productive conversation that we’d ever had. Then he asked me, “Can we always work things out like this?”

Clearly, what Ellen White wrote more than 100 years ago is extremely relevant for finding unity in 2015: “Prayer unites us with one another and with God. Prayer brings Jesus to our side, and gives to the fainting, perplexed soul new strength to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. Prayer turns aside the attacks of Satan” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 250).

Prayer is a powerful key to unity because it connects us with the only true source of love! After all, we only truly love because of the love He has given us (1 John 4:19).

As we enter into dialogue this General Conference Session about crucial issues that some believe will divide us, may we remember to humble ourselves and pray together (especially with those with whom we have the greatest disagreements). Let’s pray for unity in love that Christ alone can bring!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Father, we are facing big challenges individually and as a church. The enemy is seeking to divide us. Help us to remember that we will only find unity as we spend time in Your Word and in praying together. Help us to humbly and lovingly come together in prayer, laying down our personal agendas and seeking Yours alone. Please pour out Your Spirit upon us. Now, more than ever, we need this gift in our families, communities, and churches. Thank You for so lavishly loving us so that we can love others in return! Amen.

By Pastor Zac Page

 

Bible Passage for Meditation: Ephesians 4:1-7

Key Verse: “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3

As I studied Ephesians today, I found myself repeatedly reading the same passage over and over. In fact, my Bible has been open to the same spot all day, Ephesians 4: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (verses 1-3).

This passage is so simple, yet so complex. You and I are called, we are chosen, and we are reminded by Paul that we are to deal with each other just as Christ has dealt with us, with gentleness and love. We are to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. However, what does unity look like when we have so many different perspectives and angles on how things should be done?

Ellen White gives us a glimpse: “We are one in faith in the fundamental truths of God’s Word. And one object must be kept in view constantly, that is harmony and cooperation must be maintained without compromising one principle of truth.”

This is powerful, yet she continues with a warning. “And while constantly digging for the truth as for hidden treasure, be careful how you open new and conflicting opinions. We have a worldwide message. The commandments of God and the testimonies of Jesus Christ are the burden of our work. To have unity and love for one another is the great work now to be carried on” (Pastoral Ministry, p. 30).

Hmmm. Serious message. Maintaining love and unity may not seem like an easy task at times like this, but God is not asking us for the impossible. He never does. He’s simply asking that we yield so He can work the impossible through us. This is His church, His work. He will accomplish His purposes if we allow Him to.

I am humbled that God has trusted us, trusted me, with His Spirit. I am humbled that He is willing to guide me through His Word in order that I might be used by Him to lead others to the truth of Who Jesus is. Let this remain our focus. Let this be our mission. Let us be united in His love.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Heavenly Father, we are at a crossroads in many ways. We need Your Holy Spirit to lead and guide our every action and reaction, to guide our thoughts and control our tongues. We want to follow Your truth, but You must help us. You tell us in Your Word to “study to shew ourselves approved unto God, workmen that needeth not to be ashamed rightly dividing the Word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).  Rather than leaning on others to make decisions for us, help us to study out the truths of Your Word for ourselves as we are accountable to honor these truths. This is not easy. We pray for Your Spirit of meekness to be poured out upon us as never before. And at last, we pray that Mrs. White’s vision of “What Might Have Been” will finally be fulfilled. Help us, Lord! We desperately need You. In Jesus’ precious name we pray, Amen.

By Kat Taylor

[For some practical tips on how to bring your church into greater unity, click here for downloadable file.]

Bible Passage for Meditation: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Key Verses: “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. . . . And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12

I believe we make two life-altering choices in life. These choices not only affect our eternal destiny but also that of others. The first choice is WHOM we will serve (the God of heaven or the god of this world). The second choice is with whom we will link our life destiny—in other words, whom we will marry.

Before my husband and I met, we were both very involved in our own ministries—I in prayer ministry and he in Bible study leadership and managing a publishing house. As well as being busy, we were also both quite independent.

So when we began to consider the possibility of a relationship, one of the first questions we asked ourselves was this: Would we be more effective working for the Lord together or apart? If we married, could we be united in our ministry?

From the very beginning, we decided that we would continue our relationship only if we could work in unity and do more for the Lord as a team than we could separately. How could we make such a firm decision? It’s because we had both decided, long before we met, that honoring God and doing His work is more important than having a spouse. After all, marriage is a temporary blessing, but what really counts is saving souls for eternity.

In Adventist Home, when referring to the choice of a life companion, Ellen White writes, “Weigh every sentiment, and watch every development of character in the one with whom you think to link your life destiny. . . . Let the questions be raised, Will this union help me heavenward? Will it increase my love for God? And will it enlarge my sphere of usefulness in this life?” (p. 45).

So we began asking God for opportunities to serve together to see each other’s character and to know if we could work together effectively and in unity. With time and prayer, it became evident that God was definitely leading us to work together as husband and wife, so we moved forward.

It’s been one year now since we were married. Of course, we have had many adjustments to make. Each one of us has had to give up things in order to accommodate the other and work together effectively. But as we continue to humbly yield to God and to each other, God has given us such a sweet love and unity together. And what a blessing it has been to share life and ministry with someone who has the same goals and the same desires to serve and honor God. It is worth giving up everything of self, every roadblock, to experience this unity.

While we desire to see unity in the church, this unity needs to start in the home. Ellen White writes, “The first work of Christians is to be united in the family. Then the work is to extend to their neighbors nigh and afar off” (Adventist Home, p. 37).

And as families are united in their work for God, then the church of God can work unitedly to accomplish its great commission. “The most convincing argument we can give to the world of Christ’s mission is to be found in perfect unity. . . . In proportion to our unity with Christ will be our power to save souls” (Our High Calling, p. 170).

Wow! Let us pray for that unity so we can experience that power. That’s the whole reason for living!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You that Your Holy Spirit is able to transform our hearts and help us put aside selfishness, pride, and anything that hinders us from working in unity as husband and wife. We thank You that You will also help us do the same as a church and that the mission You’ve given us can be accomplished in power. Thank You for the examples throughout Your Word of those who worked in unity—especially Your disciples after Pentecost, who were able to reach the entire world. This is what we pray for again today! Help us to humble our hearts and let go of whatever hinders us from becoming one in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Raluca Ril

Bible Passage for Meditation: 1 Corinthians 1:10-17

Key Verse: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10

Can you imagine winning a war with a divided army? I remember when my high school history teacher shared with us stories of different battles lost and won in world history. Back then it made me think, What if one day somebody declared war against my country and we were not ready or united to fight for our sovereignty? What would happen? Obviously, we would be easily defeated. When I think about this, I’m reminded that we are at active war, a spiritual war. The battle is currently going on between Christ and Satan, and we each have a part to play in deciding the outcome.

Now, more than ever before, we as a body of believers need God’s Spirit to unite us, for if we are divided or each pursuing our own way, we will be overcome by the attacks of the enemy.

Inspiration tells us, “We are nearing the end of the earth’s history, and God calls upon all to lift the standard bearing the inscription, ‘Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ He calls upon His people to work in perfect harmony. . . . No word is to be spoken to discourage any, for this grieves the heart of Christ and greatly pleases the adversary. All need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit; all should refrain from censuring and disparaging remarks and draw near to Christ, that they may appreciate the heavy responsibilities which the co-workers with Him are carrying. ‘Press together; press together,’ are the words of our divine Instructor. Unity is strength; disunion is weakness and defeat” (Counsels on Health, pp. 517, 518, emphasis supplied).

How often is the Holy Spirit grieved when He sees one of Christ’s soldiers leave the ranks and try to battle darkness alone? Now is not the time to fight alone. Now is the time to come together, putting away pride, self-sufficiency, and selfishness. We need to hold fast to the mighty Rock of our Foundation. We need Him to lead us.

“Love of self, pride and self-sufficiency lie at the foundation of the greatest trials and discords that have ever existed in the religious world. Again and again the angel has said to me, ‘Press together, press together, be of one mind, of one judgment.’ Christ is the Leader, and you are brethren; follow Him. Walk in the light as He is in the light. Those who walk in the footsteps of Christ shall not walk in darkness, but those who draw apart in unsanctified independence cannot have God’s presence and blessing in the work” (Christian Leadership, p. 11).

Let us be united in Christ so He can bring the victory!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Loving Father, the spiritual battle we are facing in these last days is much too big for us. We surrender all to You. Everything that makes us think we can accomplish the mission on our own, we yield to Your control. Give us humble hearts, willing to depend on You completely. May Your Holy Spirit add to our lives the wonderful fruit of unity with You and with our fellow brothers and sisters as we walk through the hardships of this world to our heavenly home. Please, unite us in one spirit and one mission. This is our urgent need. Thank You for answering. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Carolyn Azo

Guest contributor from South American Division, Communications Department

[For some practical tips on how to bring your church into greater unity, click here for downloadable file.]

Bible Passage for Meditation: Acts 1:14 – Acts 2:4

Key Verse: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 2:1

It all began when my prayer partner, Godfrey Miranda, had the idea to begin waking up very early for extra prayer about a year and a half ago. We decided to invite a few other pastor friends to join us in our PUSH initiative. (PUSH stands for “Praying Until Something Happens.”)

A key part of this has been praying together in a “Google Hangout” at least once a week. During these united prayer times, I have sensed the Holy Spirit moving on my heart more and more deeply. Additionally, these fellow pastors have become some of my best friends as God has brought us into greater unity through our prayers.

In Matthew 18:19, 20, Jesus promises His presence when we unite in prayer. Referring to the promise of Matthew 18, Ellen White states, “[This] promise is made on the condition that the united prayers of the church are offered, and in answer to these prayers, there may be expected a power greater than that which comes in answer to private prayer. The power given will be proportionate to the unity of the members and their love for God and for one another” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, p. 303).

In other words, while God’s Spirit is poured out in our own private prayer closet, it is poured out even more powerfully when we pray in unity with others. What a gift!

Thankfully, the disciples had learned the power of uniting in prayer through Jesus’ example and teachings. After He ascended to heaven, they went to the upper room and immediately began praying.

The Bible tells us, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication” (Acts 1:14). And after ten days of earnest intercession, the Spirit finally came with power. But here is the key: it only came to those who were with “one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1).

The unspoken tragedy of Pentecost is that more than 300 of Christ’s followers were missing. Only 120 were gathered to pray together, and only the 120 in the room were filled with the Spirit, despite the fact that in 1 Corinthians 15:6 we read that 500 followers were present at Christ’ ascension.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be among those missing when the Latter Rain is poured out.

Ellen White herself appealed, “I tell you, we must have the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is for us, and we must have it. We are living in that time of this earth’s history when we must meet to pray for the special blessing upon us individually, and then we shall be in Christ, and through Christ victorious. We are too easily satisfied with limited, special, far-between blessings” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, p. 24).

Will we unite in prayer for this gift? Will we lay self aside and come into one accord? Let us not be satisfied with far-between blessings anymore. Let’s PUSH until something happens.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Father, we long for greater power to witness for You. Please bring us into one accord as You did the disciples in the upper room. Give us an earnest desire to prayer together, claiming the promise that You will send us Your Spirit. Help not one of us to be missing from this prayer circle. Nothing is as important as this. Help us to make this our priority above all else. Please unite us in Your love and fill us with the outpouring of the long-awaited Latter Rain! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Pastor Zac Page

Bible Passage for Meditation: Acts 1:1-14

Key Verse: “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” Acts. 1:14

When I think about unity in the church, I immediately think about Acts, where the believers gathered together in like mind and with like purpose.

Acts 1:14 tells us, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.” In Acts 2:1 again we find that “they were all with one accord in one place.” This is where the church caught fire, literally. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit could not be mistaken by those in the room. This is also what Jesus wants for our church today: that we will be in one accord, united in a bond of brotherhood that nothing can shake.

In my life (I’m sure this is also true for many of you), the evil one has tried to break bonds and ruin relationships. What is one place that he attacks me the hardest? In my relationships in the church! Yes, time and time again he has tried to drive a wedge between me and the very ones that I should be most united with, my brothers and sisters in Christ. This is what we must guard against today.

As a church, we face many challenges and now more than ever are liable to wound and hurt one another.  So how do we relate to those with whom we may disagree? The world is watching, waiting to see us fall, waiting to see us show ourselves to be mere hypocrites.

Mrs. White tells us, “It is not the opposition of the world that endangers us the most; it is the evil cherished in the hearts of professed believers that works our most grievous disaster and most retards the progress of God’s cause. . . Harmony and union existing among men of varied dispositions is the strongest witness that can be borne that God has sent His Son into the world to save sinners. It is our privilege to bear this witness. But, in order to do this, we must place ourselves under Christ’s command. Our characters must be molded in harmony with His character, our wills must be surrendered to His will. Then we shall work together without a thought of collision” (Counsels for the Church, pp. 44, 45).

She finishes that thought with this: “Little differences dwelt upon lead to actions that destroy Christian fellowship. Let us not allow the enemy thus to gain the advantage over us. Let us keep drawing nearer to God and to one another. . . . The Spirit of God alone can bring about this oneness. He who sanctified Himself can sanctify His disciples. United with Him, they will be united with one another in the most holy faith. When we strive for this unity as God desires us to strive for it, it will come to us” (Ibid., p. 45).

Let it be our prayer and goal that God will give us oneness through His Spirit! Let the greatest bonds of unity be with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, You’ve told us in John 15 that the world will hate us if we are following You as we should. If they hate us, that is okay. But let them not hate us because they find us to be hypocrites or mere pretenders to the faith. May they instead see us working together as a united body in love, filled with the power from on high. This is a big miracle that we pray for. But we know we are asking these things according to Your will. Thank You for hearing this request. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Kat Taylor

 [For some practical tips on how to bring your church into greater unity, click here for downloadable file.]

Bible Passage for Meditation: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Key Verse: “For I am determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2

Several weeks into an international speaking trip, I was half complaining to God that I was trying to do His work, but with late nights, early mornings, and hectic days, I was becoming utterly drained and exhausted. Not just physically exhausted; my soul felt dry as well. I knew it shouldn’t be that way.

His answer to my prayer came while I was out somewhere around mile 20 of a 33-mile “unwind hike” through the South American mountains. You’re going about this in the wrong way, His Spirit whispered to my heart. You’re doing the work for the sake of the work, and that will always leave you dry. Working for love—that’s another matter. The purpose of your life is not work. The purpose of your life is Jesus Christ.

Why are the simplest things sometimes the most profound epiphanies?

Revelation 4:11 came to my mind like a cool river in the desert: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are, and were created.” That’s life! His glory. Exalting His name. What profound refreshment there is for the soul when I am just His—all His, only His. When life and work are all for love—a love that is stronger than death.

We as a church have a mission: to take the gospel to the world and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). This is no easy task. But there was a time before now when the gospel “was preached to every creature which is under heaven” (Colossians 1:23), against even greater odds than we currently face. What enabled it to happen then? The apostle Paul summed it up: “For I am determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” And, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:2; Philippians 3:8). Opinion, reputation, comfort, ease, pride, popularity—no, I want none of that. I want Jesus Christ. Him crucified. All else is rubbish besides.

Glory!

We cannot accomplish our mission by ourselves. It can only be accomplished when everything besides Jesus Christ and Him crucified has become rubbish through the reviving power of the Holy Spirit. It can be accomplished when we find in Him our common treasure, the One worth setting aside all for—our opinions, our comforts, our reputations. Our common point, our unity in mission, lies in our collective willingness to count all as loss besides Jesus and to know nothing but Him. Without this mindset of surrender, we are sheep scattered on the mountains.

May our outlook on ministry and mission be revolutionized. May we be all for Him, together. O Lord, receive glory and honor and power!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, how can we say it more eloquently than Paul: “For I am determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2)? May this be our one central focus! May this be the key that puts everything else into place. For Your glory and honor we pray, Amen.

By Natasha Nebblett

Guest Contributor from New Mexico and president of GYC

Day81Bible Passage for Meditation: John 17:14-26

Key Verse: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” John 17:21

A little while back, some of my ministry colleagues and I were attending our yearly board retreat, where we had a lot of important decisions to make. However, there was a brewing disagreement among us over several issues, and we weren’t making much headway in our meeting. Finally one of our advisors wisely recommended that we take a day out to fast and pray, study our Bibles, and seek God together. So rather than discussing the issues of disagreement, we put away our differences and sought God. The results were amazing. Not only did the issues resolve themselves naturally and easily, but a greater peace and unity came to our group. As the Holy Spirit’s blessing was poured out on our team, we ended up getting two days of agenda items accomplished in one day.

This is only a small example of what God longs to do in a much greater degree for our whole church. The devil would like to use divisions to divide us, but if we use these situations as an opportunity to seek God more urgently, they can actually be turned around to unite us.

In the book Adventist Home we are told, “The cause of division and discord in families and in the church is separation from Christ. To come near to Christ is to come near to one another. The secret of true unity in the church and in the family is not diplomacy, not management, not a superhuman effort to overcome difficulties—though there will be much of this to do—but union with Christ. Picture a large circle, from the edge of which are many lines all running to the center. The nearer these lines approach the center, the nearer they are to one another. Thus it is in the Christian life. The closer we come to Christ, the nearer we shall be to one another. God is glorified as His people unite in harmonious action” (p. 179).

When Jesus lived on the Earth, He prayed a powerful prayer for His disciples and for all those who would in the future believe in Him (that’s us today). You can find this famous prayer in John 17. While He prayed many things in this prayer, one plea He repeated over and over; in fact, He repeated it five times. What was it? That we would be one, even as He and His Father are one. Evidently, this was pretty important to Jesus.

Of course, He wasn’t just praying that His disciples would be united in action for a particular cause. Rather, He prayed that they would be one in the truth—God’s truth (John 17:17). This is still our great need today.

For the next ten days we will focus on unity in Christ. As we do so, I want you to imagine what could be possible if we were truly one in Christ. Actually, we don’t have to imagine, for we’ve already been told what could happen: “If Christians were to act in concert, moving forward as one, under the direction of one Power, for the accomplishment of one purpose, they would move the world” (Christian Service, p. 75).

Let this be our aim!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for how You’ve been growing and changing all of us during this 100 Days of Prayer. We also want to praise You for how You are going to work and bless our church during the upcoming General Conference Session. We want to be one, just as You and Your Son are one. We don’t know how to accomplish this, but You do. So we humbly ask for Your guidance. Thank You for hearing this prayer, and thank You for working on our behalf. We love You! Amen.

Melody Mason
Coordinator, 100 Days of Prayer
General Conference Ministerial Association

[For some practical tips on how to bring your church into greater unity, click here for downloadable file.]

Bible Passage for Meditation: Luke 4:14-21 

Key Verse: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Luke 4:18

Have you ever met a person about whom you could say, “Here is a mighty man or woman of God! Here is someone led by the Spirit!”?

Maybe they were not famous. Maybe they did not even have diplomas or degrees, but it was obvious that God was teaching and using them in a mighty way. Why? Because they were walking in the light that God had given them. They were using their talents to bless others. They were unselfish and servant-hearted, humble and prayerful. An atmosphere of peace surrounded them. Most of all, their faith and trust in God was their foundation, giving them a steadfastness of purpose that would not be compromised or swayed, no matter the cost.

This person, while obviously blessing the lives of many, wasn’t looking for applause or trying to take credit for what they had accomplished. Rather, they were continually giving all the glory back to Jesus. In everything they said and did, they pointed you to Jesus.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that they didn’t have limitations, but they acknowledged them with humbleness. They weren’t afraid to say, “I don’t know the answer to that question,” or to admit when they did wrong. And then, even when they failed, they sought to use those times as opportunities to grow.

What a blessing to meet such people!

For the past couple of months my husband and I have been traveling to different health institutions, trying to learn how to be better medical missionaries after God’s own heart. We praise God that we have met a few people who exemplify to us what it means to be a medical missionary filled with the Holy Spirit. Seeing their godly, humble examples has inspired us and made us want to follow in their footsteps.

We are told in the Spirit of Prophecy, “We have come to a time when every member of the church should take hold of medical missionary work” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 62).

However, becoming a true medical missionary is not just about learning how to use hydrotherapy treatments or natural remedies or about learning how to train others to cook healthfully. It’s so much more.

What Christ needs are medical missionaries who do not trust in their own abilities and knowledge but in Him and His power. He needs people who will pray for the Holy Spirit and wrestle with God in prayer until their prayers are answered on behalf of others. He wants people who are humble and dependent on Him. As Inspiration tells us, “There is no limit to the usefulness of the one who, putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart and lives a life wholly consecrated to God” (Christian Service, p. 254).

Do you want God’s power to be manifested in your life? Training is great. We need knowledge. But what we need most is divine wisdom with Heaven’s blessing. If you want to be a Spirit-filled medical missionary or worker for Christ, then join me in the following prayer.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, we come to You because we realize there is nothing good in us. We’ve trusted many times in our own strength and skills, and we have failed miserably. We want to learn how to depend on You. We want to be led by Your Holy Spirit. Help us to see more and more our need of the Holy Spirit. Help us, Father, to be teachable. Help us to humble ourselves. And help us to learn to listen to Your voice and follow the guidance of Your Holy Spirit so we can be mighty workers for You. Thank You that You are more willing to give us this gift than we are to give good gifts to our children. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Raluca Ril

ATTENTION: Click here for recent Adventist Review article by Raluca titled “Fasting and Prayer Could Save Your Marriage” to read how this 100 Days of Prayer initiative is changing lives and has even helped save a marriage. And rejoice with us that we serve a God who hears and answers prayer!!!!!

Bible Passage for Meditation: 2 Samuel 23:1-7

Key Verses: “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.” 2 Samuel 23:2

Can you imagine being able to say that God’s Words were in your tongue? What a testimony this would be! And yet, this was David’s final testimony.

In my finite human mind, it’s hard to imagine having such a close relationship with the Lord, yet that is exactly what He desires, and even requires, of all of His children. In our own strength, this is impossible. Yet David, although human and erring, could claim this testimony. In fact, despite his great failures, he was known as being a friend of God.

God wants this relationship with us as well. It doesn’t mean our lives will always be perfect. It doesn’t mean we won’t ever make mistakes. It means that when we do, we will repent and return to Him in all humility.

Isaiah 57:15 tells us, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

As I was reading in Ezekiel the other morning, I could not help but think of the upcoming General Conference Session and how God is calling us all to deeper heart searching and repentance, that He may dwell with us and that we would be His friends, just as David was.

“Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”’ When they come there, they will remove all its detestable things and all its abominations from it. And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be my people, and I shall be their God” (Ezekiel 11:17-20, NASB).

As individuals and as a church, we must allow God to rid us of all that is detestable in His eyes and to fill us with His Spirit. For apart from Him, and without this filling, we can do nothing.

Business must be conducted. Decisions must be made. And this is as God would have it. However, Inspiration encourages us, “Let those who attend committee meetings remember that they are meeting with God, who has given them their work. Let them come together with reverence and consecration of heart. They meet to consider important matters connected with the Lord’s cause. In every particular their actions are to show that they are desirous of understanding His will in regard to the plans to be laid for the advancement of His work” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 256).

When we come together, we are coming together to meet with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Let us not pass by this solemn responsibility. Let us pray that the Lord’s words would be in our mouths and that our hearts would be humble before His throne, and that all sin would be put away from our hearts.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Gracious Father, as the General Conference Session comes closer, we continue to pray on behalf of our leaders and church. We are facing many challenges, but our biggest challenge is that we all need a deeper and closer walk with You. Please help us to remove the idols and detestable things we’ve embraced in the world, and help us to put compromise behind. Help us to humble ourselves before Your throne, that the meditations of our hearts will be acceptable in Your sight. And may the words we speak be from You. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

By Kat Taylor

(To read another inspiring devotional by Kat titled, “I’m Saul, Lord make me Paul,” click here.)

Bible Passage For Meditation: Isaiah 53:1-12

Key Verse: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

It’s hard to describe the feeling of knowing that you have caused a lifelong scar. A friendly football game had gone wrong when I tagged my friend Godfrey too hard and sent him crashing into the pavement. I had apologized. I had felt bad about the wound on his arm. But now it was almost five years later, and we were classmates at the seminary at Andrews.

One day I caught a glimpse of his arm. It was still there—the only noticeable scar on that arm. My repentance was far deeper now than it had been five years before, as I realized the lasting effect of my actions on one of my best friends. However, all of us are guilty of inflicting upon Someone a much deeper, more lasting scar than the one I gave my friend.

The Bible tells us, “I will pour out on the house of David [that is, the leadership] and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem [that is, God’s people in general], the Spirit of grace and supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10, NASB).

If we want a deeper filling of the Holy Spirit, we need to learn to grieve for those scars!

In Acts 3:19 we read, “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (NASB).

Of course, it is only the Holy Spirit that convicts me and leads me to grieve for having pierced Jesus. Also, the more I look at the cross and recognize that it was my sins that put Jesus there, the more I begin to hate sin. The more I want to repent.

In fact, the little sins in my life that I thought were no big deal in the past suddenly seem completely hideous. The things I used to watch on the news, the movies and TV that I used to enjoy, the frivolous YouTube videos that I used to waste time on and laugh over—all now begin to lose their attraction as I realize that they glorify the sins that Jesus died for. Ouch! I’m tired of hurting my best Friend Jesus! I want nothing to do with sin anymore.

It’s time we look at the cross and recognize the horrific way our sins have forever wounded our Savior.

Inspiration tells us, “It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day reviewing the life of Christ from the manger to Calvary. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination vividly grasp each scene, especially the closing ones of His earthly life. By thus contemplating His teachings and sufferings, and the infinite sacrifice made by Him for the redemption of the race, we may strengthen our faith, quicken our love, and become more deeply imbued with the spirit which sustained our Saviour. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and faith at the foot of the cross. . . . Everything noble and generous in man will respond to the contemplation of Christ upon the cross” (Gospel Workers, p. 246).

I can only imagine how our repentance will deepen throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity as we continue to behold the scars Jesus bears due to our sin. Thankfully, we are told, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4, NASB).

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Father in heaven, please forgive me for taking sin so lightly. Forgive me for forgetting what my sin has cost You. Help us to truly mourn for having pierced You. Please give us a deeper repentance for sin, one that leads us to make lasting changes and completely turn away from the sins that have wounded You. Please change our hearts and give us a more earnest desire to sit at Your feet, contemplating Your incredible love, so that we can be more fully filled with the blessing of Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for wanting to give us this greatest gift! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Pastor Zac Page

(To read another convicting devotional by Pastor Zac, titled “Agonizing for Souls” click here.)

Additional Inspiration: “I have been shown that many are in the greatest danger of failing to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. . . . There is with nearly all a neglect of self-examination. . . . You will receive more strength by spending one hour each day in meditation, and mourning over your failings and heart-corruptions, and pleading for God’s pardoning love, and the assurance of sins forgiven, than you would by spending many hours and days . . . making yourself acquainted with every objection to our faith, and the most powerful evidences in favor of our faith” (Pastoral Ministry, pp. 24-26).

Bible Passage for Meditation: Romans 8:1-11

Key Verse: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

It was October 16, 2010, when I was baptized into a new life in Christ. I will never forget this day. It had been a long and difficult journey, but finally I had decided to commit to being part of the body of Christ.

Since giving my life to Christ, I have been learning and unlearning many things. Good habits have taken the place of bad habits, new thoughts have taken the place of bad ones, new dreams have taken the place of worldly plans, and the process is still going on.

I praise the Lord for the promise of Proverbs 4:18: “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

This lifelong journey is called sanctification, and as we surrender to the Spirit’s promptings, we continue to grow more and more like Christ.

However, when we’ve discovered a new way to live, if we aren’t careful, we can get caught up in the physical changes taking place, in the better choices being made, and in the new position that we should be in, while we neglect the condition of our hearts.

Let me explain. In the past I made many wrong choices while running from God. But once I gave my life to Him, I began studying the Bible instead of the knowledge of the world, and, as a result, I learned many truths. So I started making changes in my life. I left behind worldly fashions, entertainment, priorities, and plans because I wanted to be a good Christian. Of course, it’s not wrong to do these things. The Bible tells us that if we are friends of the world, we are actually enemies of God (see James 4:4).

However, now I understand more clearly that Christianity is not just about being in the right position (by following Christian standards) but about my heart condition. This is what really counts.

Often in the past I would speak up in Sabbath School or in preaching, trying to make sure my friends understood the position Christ’s followers should be in—separate from the world, united with Christ. However, I admit that I didn’t always do this with the right heart condition.

Now God is changing my heart. Now I ask myself, Are my actions the fruit of a heart rooted in the love of Christ, whether or not I achieve my goal? Can I accept a brother or sister, even if we don’t agree? Can I treat stubborn people with love, with the goal of winning their hearts, not just winning the argument?

As I reflect on these things, I realize how much I need the Spirit of Christ. How much more I need His love, His joy, and His temperance! For without His Spirit, there’s no way I can reach hearts.

So where is your focus today? Is it all about right position and standards, or is it about a right condition of the heart? If the latter is the there, the former will automatically fall into place as we seek to glorify and honor God.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, please wake me up from my sleep and self-sufficiency. Help me to see my need of a deeper relationship with You. Open my eyes that I may see You and let go of my self-righteousness. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I will follow Your heart and Your thoughts rather than my own understanding. Thank You for not giving up on me, even when I had my priorities out of line. You have been so patient. Thank You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Roman Ril

(To read another convicting article by Roman, click here for “The Subtle Witness.”)

Bible Passage for Meditation: Nehemiah 9:16-21

Key Verse: “You, in Your great compassion, did not forsake them in the wilderness; The pillar of cloud did not leave them by day, to guide them on their way, nor the pillar of fire by night, to light for them the way in which they were to go.” (Nehemiah 9:19, NASB)

Just as God sends rain on the just and on the unjust, to water the earth, so He sends His Spirit to work upon hearts—both the receptive and the rebellious.

The gift of the Holy Spirit comes from God as a token of His love for us. He desires to make us His dwelling place that He may accomplish His plans in and through us. However, many of us are slow to respond. Thankfully, He is longsuffering and patient and keeps seeking to woo us and bring us back to Himself as He continues to send showers of blessings from His throne.

Ellen White tells us, “From the beginning, God has been working by His Holy Spirit through human instrumentalities for the accomplishment of His purpose in behalf of the fallen race. This was manifest in the lives of the patriarchs. To the church in the wilderness also, in the time of Moses, God gave His ‘good spirit to instruct them.’ Nehemiah 9:20” (The Acts of the Apostles, p. 53).

As I was studying the book of Nehemiah recently, I was reminded that from the beginning of time, God wanted His chosen people to be filled. Even though they often wandered from Him, He still kept extending His arm of mercy and love.

“Even when they made for themselves a calf of molten metal and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up from Egypt,’ and committed great blasphemies, You, in Your great compassion, did not forsake them in the wilderness; The pillar of cloud did not leave them by day, to guide them on their way, nor the pillar of fire by night, to light for them the way in which they were to go. You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, Your manna You did not withhold from their mouth, and You gave them water for their thirst. Indeed, forty years You provided for them in the wilderness and they were not in want; Their clothes did not wear out, nor did their feet swell” (Nehemiah 9:18-21, NASB).

What a powerful reminder of how far God will go to win our hearts back to Him.

Jeremiah 31:3 tells us, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness” (NASB).

Are we responding to His call? Are we receptive to the showers of blessing, or are we ignoring the conviction of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts?

Inspiration tells us, “Only those who are living up to the light they have will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it” (Last Day Events, p. 195, 196).

Many of us have received undeserved showers of blessing throughout our lives. However, if we are unrepentant of our stubborn and disobedient ways, if we do not respond to the Holy Spirit’s promptings, these showers will not continue forever. When the Latter Rain is poured out, it might be poured out on those around us, but we will be unaware. Lord, have mercy, that we will not be among this latter group.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Heavenly Father, forgive us for taking these showers of blessing for granted for so long. You have given us years of probation, years of time to repent and draw close to You in true, full-hearted surrender, and still we continue to walk proudly and stubbornly in our self-sufficient ways. Forgive us, Lord! We recognize that time is running out. We cannot ignore Your grace much longer, or it will be forever too late. Help us to embrace the Early Rain, and prepare us to be receptive to the Latter Rain. We don’t want to miss out! Take all traces of self from our lives. Remove from our hearts all idols, all golden calves, and anything else that we are trusting in. Make us vessels fit for Your Kingdom. Fill us with Your Spirit, we pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Kat Taylor

(To read the convicting devotional,”Do I have a beam in my eye?” by Kat, click here.)

Bible Passage for Meditation: 1 Thessalonians 5:15-24

Key Verse: “Quench not the Spirit. . . . Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19, 21

With sensational revivals growing, extremes in fanaticism multiplying, unbelievable miracles occurring more and more, and people being encouraged to follow their heart and feelings over biblical doctrine and truth, we have a lot to be concerned about in this day and age. In fact, it is high time to awaken from our sleep, for if we do not stay vigilant, rooted and grounded in the Word of God, and if we do not test and prove all things by the Word (see Isaiah 8:20), we could be deceived and led astray.

However, there’s another danger: that we might quench a true revival and work of God when it comes. Naturally, most assume that “fanaticism and sensationalism” is the biggest danger. And it is very dangerous! However, cold formalism can be just as disastrous spiritually. While cold formalism may pride itself on not getting caught up in the delusions of this new age, it could very well keep its subjects from recognizing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit when it comes.

And don’t think we are above falling into this ditch. We must remember that the spiritual leaders of Israel did not recognize Jesus for who He actually was when He came to earth. Neither did they recognize when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples. They knew the prophecies, they knew the Bible doctrines, and they rigorously obeyed the commandments (at least when it was to their best advantage), but when people began to respond to the Holy Spirit’s moving, the hearts of these leaders stood up in protest because of their pride. May this not be our story today or when the outpouring truly comes!

Inspiration gives us a somber warning: “The baptism of the Holy Ghost as on the day of Pentecost will lead to a revival of true religion and to the performance of many wonderful works. Heavenly intelligences will come among us, and men will speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Spirit of God. But should the Lord work upon men as He did on and after the day of Pentecost, many who now claim to believe the truth would know so very little of the operation of the Holy Spirit that they would cry, ‘Beware of fanaticism.’ They would say of those who were filled with the Spirit, ‘These men are full of new wine’ (Acts 2:13). . . . The great sin of those who profess to be Christians is that they do not open the heart to receive the Holy Spirit. When souls long after Christ and seek to become one with Him, then those who are content with a form of godliness exclaim, ‘Be careful, do not go to extremes.’ . . . But while we should be careful not to go into human excitement, we should not be among those who will raise inquiries and cherish doubts in reference to the work of the Spirit of God” (Ye Shall Receive Power, p. 322).

Ellen White spoke of just such an event occurring in the 1880s at Healdsburg College—later to become Pacific Union College—when a revival took place and was squelched by well-meaning leadership. “Who of you dared to stop the work because in your finite judgment everything did not appear to meet your ideas? Every time I think of this matter I am so pained I try to put it out of my mind at once,” she wrote to school leaders after the event. (To read more, see Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, pp. 147, 148.)

We as humans have a tendency to run to one extreme or another. I see it all around me even now. And this is as the devil would have it. But rather than running to extremes, let’s ask God to help us stay on the straight and narrow, firmly rooted in His Word. Let’s ask that He would help us humble our hearts and be ready for the Holy Spirit outpouring that He longs to give. It is promised. It will come. But will we be ready to receive it?

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, help us not to quench the Holy Spirit when it begins to fall. Please help us to know how to prove all things and hold fast that which is good. In a time when every wind of doctrine is sweeping the world, we cannot stand strong without You. In fact, You tell us that none but those who have fortified their minds with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict (The Great Controversy, p. 593). So help our minds and hearts to be fortified in You and in Your Word, for with You by our side, we cannot fall. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Melody Mason

(To read “The Keys to Spiritual Fortification” by Melody, click here.)

 

Bible Passage for Meditation: John 14:15-18

Key Verse: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” John 14:16

“Oh how I’d love to see You, hug You, and press my head close to Your chest,” I said to God in the silence of my thoughts one day, as I thought of the invisible Friend He promises to send to comfort us.

“Please, Lord, give me a hug! I know You are here,” I whispered again, as tears began to roll down my cheeks. It was a difficult time. Tough trials were overwhelming my heart. Tired and weary, I fell to my knees and asked my invisible Friend for comfort. It was then that I felt His arm around my shoulder; He dried my tears and gave me consolation. What a sweet experience to know that He was near.

While we may not always feel His presence as I did that day, we have the assurance that we are never alone. He is the One who always walks with us, the One who never fails.

The Bible tells us, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever” (John 14:16).

I must confess that in earlier years I didn’t really understood the role of the Holy Spirit and how He affects my life personally. But during a retreat with friends, the truth came home to me.

I still remember the pastor who spoke. He talked about the Holy Spirit and introduced Him to us all as a Person, as a Friend. That sermon never left my mind, and since then my life has changed. Every day I now ask for His presence in greater measure. I’m not satisfied with just a little of His presence. I want to be filled and overflowing, so when I beg the Father for His Spirit, I ask for a double, triple, or quadruple portion. What wonderful days I’ve had as God has answered this prayer in my life.

The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit accomplishes many roles in our lives. For example, He regenerates (John 3:5); He convinces us of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11); He guides us into all truth (John 16:13); He glorifies Jesus and teaches us (John 16:14, 15); He fills us with power (Acts 1:8); He sanctifies us (1 Corinthians 6:11, 17); and He dwells in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). This divine Person of the trinity makes us complete, and without Him we can do nothing. Because of this, we need to be baptized afresh daily.

I have good news. For those who are seeking, God promises to supply. “Morning by morning, as the heralds of the gospel kneel before the Lord and renew their vows of consecration to Him, He will grant them the presence of His Spirit, with its reviving, sanctifying power. As they go forth to the day’s duties, they have the assurance that the unseen agency of the Holy Spirit enables them to be ‘laborers together with God’” (The Acts of the Apostles, p. 56).

In the past, I didn’t understand my need of the Holy Spirit. Now I can’t imagine my life without Him. If I become distracted by the world and lose His presence for even a few moments, I immediately notice the loss and become desperate for His return. The One who was once distant and misunderstood in my life has now become my closest Friend. He wants to be your Friend too!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Father, we have no words to thank You for the wonderful, true promise of the Holy Spirit, but we can accept it by faith with the hope of receiving it each time we come before Your holy throne. That is why, at this moment, we ask that You fill us with Your Spirit, the only One who can guide us to You. Thank You, Lord, because we have received it, and we’re not asking for a little. We want more. Now, wonderful Holy Spirit, guide us to all truth, comfort us in our times of pain, convict us of sin, renew our sinful and selfish hearts, and with Your forgiveness give us power, so we may have great victories on this day in Jesus’ name. Thank You for listening to our prayers, our Loving Father. Amen.

By Carolyn Azo

Guest contributor from South American Division, Communications Department

Bible Passage for Meditation: John 3:1-16

Key Verse: “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8, NASB)

“Don’t you think it’s about time for you to get rid of that box?” Leah asked. We had just gotten engaged the night before.

“What box? . . . Oh, that box,” I responded, seeing the box she was referring to hiding in the back corner of my closet.

It wasn’t very noticeable. Just a small box that I rarely opened. However, Leah knew about it because I’d told her that inside were old notes, pictures, and so on, from a previous girlfriend. And Leah was unwilling to marry someone who was giving less than his whole heart.

Do you think I even hesitated to get rid of it? With all the love Leah had given me, with the joy of a happy future before us, I had no desire to cling to some dusty old love notes that represented an old life that God had thankfully asked me to leave behind.

So what about when we ask Jesus to fill us with His Holy Spirit?

After Jesus shocked Nicodemus by telling him that he needed to be born again, He used the metaphor of wind to explain how one could be born of the Spirit (John 3:8). Wind is incredibly powerful. It can create everything from massive waves and hurricanes to tornados and dust storms. Wind is the simple result of changes in barometric pressure. Air always blows toward areas of lower pressure. This is also how a vacuum cleaner works. The engine expels air from the chamber, making it a lower pressure area, which causes air to rush in, sucking up dirt and debris along with it. A space becomes a “vacuum” when it is completely empty of any matter.

This is incredibly significant for you and me, because we are living in the time when we are to pray for the Latter Rain of the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 10:1). If we want to see a more powerful outpouring, we need to become a vacuum and become emptied of self so that the “mighty rushing wind” will fill us, as it did the disciples on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:2).

Inspiration tells us, “We cannot retain self and yet be filled with the fullness of God. We must be emptied of self. If heaven is gained by us at last, it will be only through the renunciation of self, and the receiving of the mind of Christ. Pride and self-sufficiency must be crucified, and the vacuum supplied with the Spirit and power of God. Are we willing to pay the price required of us for eternal life? Are we ready to sit down and count the cost, and conclude that heaven is worth the sacrifice of dying to self, of having our will brought into perfect conformity with the will of God? Until we are willing, the transforming grace of God will not be manifested upon us. When we present our emptied nature to God, He will by His Holy Spirit supply the vacuum made by the renunciation of self, and give us of His fullness” (Signs of the Times, Nov. 21, 1892, par. 4).

I can tell you from my marriage to Leah that love grows deeper when we are willing to clean out the old boxes in the back corners of our hearts! Jesus is longing to fill our hearts with His Spirit, but He can’t share the space with the little sins we so carefully cherish. If I want to see the Latter Rain, if I want power to witness, if I want the Holy Spirit to fill me more fully, I have to be willing to be emptied. “When one is fully emptied of self, when every false god is cast out of the soul, the vacuum is filled by the inflowing of the Spirit of Christ” (Lift Him Up, p. 142).

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Father, we are desperate for the rain that You have promised to send us. Please open our eyes to the little boxes in the corners of our hearts that are keeping You from pouring out Your Spirit in its fullness. We long to be bright witnesses for You. Please empty our hearts of all that takes away from our love for Jesus, and fill us with Your wonderful Spirit. Thank You that the promise is sure if we comply with the conditions. Please fill us today! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Pastor Zac Page

(To read another powerful devotional by Pastor Zac called “Our Jesus Getaway,” click here.)

ATTENTION: Click here for recent Adventist Review News article titled “Fasting and Prayer Could Save Your Marriage” to read how this 100 Days of Prayer initiative is changing lives and has even helped save a marriage through the influence of one of our devotional bloggers. And rejoice with us that we serve a God who hears and answers prayer!!!!!

Bible Passage for Meditation: Matthew 3:1-11

Key Verse: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” Matthew 3:11

His words suddenly ring like a bell in my memory: clear, strong, and true. It was the testimony of a man whose heart was still across the sea with his people, though I met him while on a speaking trip in the American Midwest.

“My people are thirsty,” he told me. “Spiritually thirsty, that is.”

And I knew it was true. My sister and brother-in-law spend six months of the year working with the beautiful people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. So I’ve been introduced to the burning thirst that these people have—a thirst that we in more developed parts of the world could use more of.

Today I’m confronted by thirst once again.

For the past few weeks I’ve been working alongside many others to spread the gospel here in Harare, Zimbabwe, as part of the Zimbabwe Union Conference’s Mission to the Cities* initiative. After my experience here, it suddenly seems as though all former encounters with spiritual thirst have been outdone. Here in Harare I have seen thirsty people perhaps as never before, and I have seen the deep satisfaction that always comes when people finally encounter Jesus.

As I reflect on the recent memory of standing beside the baptismal pool, watching them stream in and out of the water, the words of my new friend in the Midwest take on a new meaning. “We’re thirsty.”

Perhaps that is why you can find the thirsty by the water, and often in such great numbers . . .

The waters of baptism part and then come together again. They ripple and sparkle, while scores of voices send praises wafting on the wind in every direction. Tears stand in many eyes as we take in the spectacle.

But surpassing the beauty of even this Zimbabwe baptism is the promise of another. My soul is drawn to the words of John the Baptist, as recorded in Matthew 3:11: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”

Now I’m thirsty, really thirsty. This is the baptism that I long for.

I’m thirsty to see God finish what He’s begun in His church. I’m thirsty to see the children of God join hands, forget themselves, and focus on their mission. I’m thirsty for the power of the living God to be poured out, that we might live out the full implications of our redemption, that we might constantly exude the joy of our salvation, that we might be prepared to go home.

Aren’t you thirsty?

I have full faith that we’ll find whatever we seek for. Then let us spend our lives seeking this heavenly Holy Ghost baptism of fire (Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 7:7).

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, many of us in this modern day have become so saturated with the things of the world that we have lost our intense hunger and thirst for You. We have become satisfied with the superficial, we’ve become content to be lukewarm. Please give us this intense spiritual thirst again—the thirst for a living, vibrant relationship with You, the thirst for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Help us to be thirsty to reach others so the work can be finished and we can go home. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Seán Nebblett, guest contributor from New Mexico

*This Mission to the Cities initiative in Harare, Zimbabwe, was in cooperation with ASI, Share Him, the General Conference, the Southwestern Union Conference, and others. To read more, click here.

[If you haven’t yet watched “What Might Have Been, Can Be,” we encourage you to prayerfully do so and also share with friends and church members. Multiple languages of the video are available on our website.]

Bible Passage for Meditation: Joel 2:15-32

Key Verse: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” Joel 2:28

Throughout the 100 Days of Prayer our key focus in prayer has been on a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Now, for the next ten days, this will also be the primary theme of our devotionals. However, if we aren’t careful, this prayer can turn into a mere repetition of the same request over and over without real heart change.

Let me explain:

While we need to pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we need to pray this prayer intelligently. Praying intelligently means we are praying that the Spirit will have free rein in our lives. Praying intelligently means we are asking for the Holy Spirit to change us—our heart, thoughts, attitudes, habits, and, in short, our whole lives. (Just as the disciples prayed in the upper room!)

When our sinful, selfish, prideful human hearts and minds are made into something completely new—into lives that fully manifest the power of God’s love—the greatest evidence of Holy Spirit filling has already occurred! However, we are praying that we would experience this as a church collectively. When we have this experience as a church, the Latter Rain will fall, and what a work will then take place.

Speaking of this coming outpouring, Ellen White writes, “In visions of the night, representations passed before me of a great reformatory movement among God’s people. Many were praising God. The sick were healed and other miracles were wrought. A spirit of intercession was seen, even as was manifested before the great day of Pentecost. Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families and opening before them the Word of God. Hearts were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of genuine conversion was manifest. On every side doors were thrown open to the proclamation of the truth. The world seemed lightened with the heavenly influence. Great blessings were received by the true and humble people of God. I heard voices of thanksgiving and praise, and there seemed to be a reformation such as we witnessed in 1844” (Counsels on Health, p. 580, emphasis supplied).

Even now I believe we are fast approaching seeing this vision fulfilled as I see more and more people coming together all around the world to pray and plead for the Holy Spirit. I believe it’s close to being a reality!

Whatever the case, I want to part of this final revival and reformation. How about you? It is possible!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, as we are getting closer and closer to the General Conference Session, our hearts continue to be burdened on behalf of our church. We need what only You can do. We need Your Holy Spirit to fall upon us, to change us, to work among us and through us. We want to be part of this last great final movement of sharing the gospel with the world, but we are not ready, Lord. Please change our hearts! Change us from the inside out. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Melody Mason
Coordinator, 100 Days of Prayer
General Conference Ministerial Association

[If you haven’t yet watched “What Might Have Been, Can Be,” we encourage you to prayerfully do so and also share with friends and church members. Multiple languages of the video are available on our website.]

Bible Passage for Meditation: 1 Peter 5:5-11

Key Verse: “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5

Are you looking for someone who will teach you how to be successful in ministry? Typically, people who are looking for success along any line will gravitate toward those who seem popular, strong, talented, scholarly, well-known, wealthy, and apparently successful. These things aren’t wrong, of course, if under the control of God, but are these gifts the true secret to success and strength in ministry?

In the book Gospel Workers we are told, “I saw that the strength of the children of God is in their humility. When they are little in their own eyes, Jesus will be to them their strength and their righteousness, and God will prosper their labors” (Gospel Workers, 1892, p. 365).

We are also told in the book The Desire of Ages, “Lowliness of heart is the strength that gives victory to the followers of Christ” (p. 301).

When we look at the Scriptures, we find Jesus telling us to learn one thing of Him: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:29).

Jesus did not teach skills in public speaking or how to stay ahead of our peers. He did not teach us how to perform miracles or how to attract the attention of crowds. He simply invited us to learn humility and meekness from Him. Why? Because He knows that if we are humble, if we see our need of Him and our desperate need of dependence upon Him, we will be fit channels for God’s power to pour through. For it is when we are humble that God can best be seen in us and that He can best be reflected in our lives.

You see, dear friends, as I’ve been learning more and more over the years, it is not our abilities, our talents, our eloquence that will give us success in our work for God. It is all about our dependence on Him and His strength. “In the work for this time, it is not money or talent or learning or eloquence that is needed so much as faith graced with humility” (Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 108).

So as you look for a strong spiritual mentor, rather then looking for someone who always seems to be center stage and who seems to be the most popular, look for someone who follows the example of Jesus, who is a servant-leader, who reflects His character, who isn’t seeking attention or applause but who works faithfully behind the scenes, even when no one is watching. Of Christ we are told, “He was never elated by applause, nor dejected by censure or disappointment. Amid the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, He was still of good courage” (The Desire of Ages, p. 330). This is the kind of mentor we most need.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Father, we thank You so much for the humble example of Jesus and how He lived His life as a leader. Help us, rather than seeking for the first place, to seek for the best place, the place at His feet. Teach us what it means to be meek and lowly of heart. Teach us what it means to wait upon Him, to be faithful and do our job well, even when no one is watching or cares. We are naturally proud, and it’s not easy to take the lower path, but since we want to be used for Your Kingdom, help us to learn to put self aside and seek Christ first. Teach us how to walk humbly with You! In Jesus’s name, Amen.

By Raluca Ril

Bible Text for Meditation: Romans 8:18-26

Key Verse: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26, ESV

I will never forget the date. It was October 8, 2010. It was a Friday evening, and I, a student at Andrews University, had joined a group in the church prayer loft to pray during an evangelistic series. At first, since I didn’t know anyone, I just knelt quietly on the sidelines, observing more than participating in the time of prayer.

After many people had prayed, one young woman surprised me by praying, “Lord, some of us are hurting tonight. I would like to confess that I am struggling with unforgiveness and anger in my heart. Please forgive me and help me to forgive.” Her prayer of honest heart confession triggered a ripple effect across the room, as others agreed. “Me too, Father, please forgive me for my anger against . . .”

I had anger and unforgiveness in my heart, as well, but I wasn’t ready to share with a bunch of strangers that just that week I had experienced a broken relationship that had left me raw and bleeding emotionally. The pain was too deep for words.

For a long time, as others continued to pray, I stayed silent before the Lord in my piety, unwilling to admit before my brothers and sisters that I too was struggling and in need of healing. However, as the spirit of humility and repentance continued to spread around the room, I felt more and more conviction from the Holy Spirit to surrender. At last I could stay silent no longer. “Please deliver me from my cup of bitterness,” I begged God. “Please remove this anger and grant me the gift of forgiveness.”

When I finally overcame my self-righteous piety and prayed aloud, admitting my need, it was as if the floodgates opened up within my soul, and my tears flowed freely. At last the dam had been broken, and there was relief followed by sweet peace. Giving my pain to God, while surrounded by the love of my brothers and sisters, was just what I had needed.

That evening of prayer has forever impacted my life.

Some of the deep hurts that we face with loved ones, in broken relationships, at our jobs, and in our churches, are unconscious and can ride below the surface unaddressed for years. Yet, if they are not acknowledged and surrendered to God, they can foster a spiritual coldness that numbs and hardens our hearts. Satan would like us to live in the chains of bitterness and resentment forever, but God calls us to unmask at His feet in all humility and confess the anger and unforgiveness that we hold toward others. Usually this happens alone in our private prayer closets, but sometimes we need the love of a body of believers to help us bear our burdens as we find this freedom (Galatians 6:2).

Although our pain may be deep, and we may not even know how to pray as we should, thankfully the Bible tells us, “The [Holy] Spirit helps us in our weakness. For [even when] we do not know what to pray for as we ought . . . the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26, ESV).

We all need to learn to let go and forgive. Ellen White writes that “bitterness and animosity must be banished from the soul if we would be in harmony with heaven” (The Desire of Ages, p. 310). Giving forgiveness to others is also a prerequisite for receiving forgiveness from God. “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14, 15).

If we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work, God will remove the chains that bind us and make us free!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, we as a people are broken and in need of Your healing power in our lives. Many of us have tried to bury our pain, our losses, our grief, and pretend that nothing is wrong, as we want to save face and protect our reputation, but inside we have deep resentment and bitterness. As we continue praying for our church, we ask that Your Holy Spirit would give us hearts of forgiveness toward those who have wronged us so that You can also forgive and completely cleanse us. Please strip us of all masks of pretense, pride, and human strength, and make us clean, empty vessels that You can fill with Your strength and power. We want to be channels that You can use to send forth a healing balm to the broken and hurting, but first, we ourselves must be healed. We must be set free. Thank You for hearing and answering this prayer. Thank You for setting us free. Amen.

By Shanter Alexander

Bible Passage for Meditation: Luke 6:27-36

Key Verse: “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.” Luke 6:27

I once read a beautiful saying on what forgiveness should be. It went like this: “Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heal that crushed it.”

The Bible tells us, “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee” (Proverbs 25:21, 22).

While this is a profound biblical concept, it’s not often we see it in action. However, I recently came upon just such a story.

I happened to be in Southeast Asia, working with ASAP Ministries, and we were interviewing their Bible workers and church planters. That’s when I met Phil* (name changed to protect privacy, as he’s from a closed country).

Not long before, Phil had been in a motorcycle accident. Interestingly, when the accident happened, he and his motorcycle were sitting still. That’s right. He was actually hit by another moving cyclist. Thankfully, he was not injured, although both motorcycles were damaged. The person who hit him happened to be the head chief from a neighboring village, and he was drunk at the time.

Phil could have been very angry and demanded the chief pay for damages, but instead he asked the chief, “What can I do for you?” “Fix my motorcycle and pay me such and such amount of money for damages!” he was told rudely by the chief.

Without argument, Phil paid the amount requested. But he didn’t stop there. In addition, he went to visit the chief and started seeking ways he could help him and his family, even to going out and plowing his field. Phil was so kind and did so many things for this chief and his family that the people in the village could not believe it.

“Our chief is a very rude and mean man!” they told Phil. “Why are you doing these nice things for him? No one ever manages to be friends with him!” They were astounded.

As a result of these “coals of fire heaped upon the chief’s head,” Phil was eventually invited to teach people in the village about Jesus. This was a village that he’d been trying to reach for some time, but unsuccessfully. Now God was opening the doors.

In fact, he shared with me through his translator that he is already doing Bible studies with some villagers, and some are already preparing for baptism. Just think—if he had reacted to the accident the way most of us would have, fighting for our rights and for recompense, he would never have been able to reach this village.

The Bible tells us, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves . . . for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:19-21.)

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Lord, as we continue praying for our church, we pray that You’d give us love and forgiveness toward one another and toward those who have wounded our pride, our hearts, and maybe even our bodies. It’s not easy to forgive and act in love toward those who hurt us, but please teach us what it means to truly forgive as You have forgiven us. And teach us what it means to go the extra mile in love, even if there is no visible reward immediately, and even if someone spits in our face. We spat in Your face when we crucified You, and You still loved and forgave us, so help us to do as You have done, knowing that our reward will come in heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Melody Mason

Bible Passage For Meditation: Luke 17:5-10

Key Verse: “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” Luke 17:10

“Thank You, Father, for not blessing me with more power for ministry!” I prayed one morning. I never imagined I would pray a prayer like that. It was the end of ten days of early morning conference calls with some of my closest ministry friends. We had spent the time in earnest prayer for a deeper outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

On the last morning, I was deeply moved with a realization that I was not safe to bless with heavenly power for ministry. If God had given me the ability to reach thousands for Him, I might have been eternally lost due to my own pride that would have taken the credit for myself. When I had first started praying, I had thought all I needed was greater faith. But over the course of days, God began heavily convicting me that what I needed even more urgently was actually greater humility.

When the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith (Luke 17:5), His response was surprising. In verse 6, He promises power to all who have “mustard seed” faith. But this isn’t the answer to having larger faith. Instead, the answer comes in the form of an illustration about a servant humbly serving his master, without any expectation of recognition.

Jesus concludes with the secret to increased spiritual power: “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10). Incredible! Is that the way I respond when God blesses? When someone is healed at an anointing? When I see someone won to the Lord? Do I see myself as an unprofitable, unworthy servant, or do I take pride in what God has done?

I’m coming to realize that God cannot bless me with the powerful results I desperately crave until I have an intense level of humility. Otherwise, I’m all too prone to be puffed up by success and to take credit that belongs to God alone.

No wonder it took the disciples ten days of earnest heart searching before they were filled with power to witness! For it was only then that it was safe for God to use them to do the incredible miracles we find throughout the book of Acts. I’m so thankful that God is patiently waiting for me to have a completely humble heart before He pours out the power I so desperately crave!

Ellen White writes, “If they would cherish true humility, the Lord could do much more for His people; but there are few who can be trusted with any large measure of responsibility or success without becoming self-confident and forgetful of their dependence upon God. This is why, in choosing the instruments for His work, the Lord passes by those whom the world honors as great, talented, and brilliant. They are too often proud and self-sufficient. They feel competent to act without counsel from God” (Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 553, 554).

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Father in heaven, please forgive us for our deep-rooted pride. If we honestly evaluate our feelings, we must admit that we have too often been motivated in our work for You by selfish ambitions, by ambitions to be noticed and applauded. This is wrong! Please empty us of any desire for our own glory and overwhelm us with an incredible sense of our unworthiness. Thank You that all You need is our humility, and then You will be able to pour out such power that the earth will be filled with Your glory. May all the glory for our lives today, and every day, go to You! In Jesus’ precious and holy name, Amen.

By Pastor Zac Page

Bible Passage for Meditation: Matthew 18:1-5

Key Verse: “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4

Christ tells us, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). This was a statement of profound meaning in Christ’s day. It was also a shock to Christ’s disciples and all those listening, for it was the reverse of what their culture taught. And yet Christ continued, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4).

Consider the following questions about proud people versus humble people. As you do, ask God to search your heart and reveal the pride that only He can remove.

Proud, Self-filled People versus Humble, Self-less People:

Do you desire to be a success so others will see, or do you desire to be faithful so that God’s glory may be seen?

Do you see all the good you do and feel worthy of salvation, or do you believe that only through Christ’s blood and merit can you gain salvation?

Do you feel confident and proud of how much you know, or do you feel humbled by how much you have yet to learn?

Do you find yourself defensive and easily offended when criticized, or are you able to receive criticism with a humble, open heart as you seek to grow?

Do you tend to cast blame on others for problems, or do you accept personal responsibility for these problems?

Do you have difficulty saying, “I was wrong, will you forgive me?” or are you quick to say, “I’m sorry, let’s work this out”?

Do you feel that “Everything must be my way!” or are you willing to surrender control, desiring that God’s will and way be accomplished?

Do you have to prove you are right or save face even when wrong, or are you willing to yield the “right to be right,” even at times when you are right?

Do you find yourself too busy with important business to notice or care about the “small people” in your life, or do you seek to serve and minister to “small people,” even the “least of these”?

Do you find yourself protective of personal space, time, and reputation, or are you giving and generous, allowing God to protect space, time, and your reputation?

Do you find yourself always thinking about all the things you could do for God if given an opportunity, or do you realize that without God, you can do nothing, and that your good efforts are actually only filthy rags?

Do you desire to be recognized, appreciated, and honored for your work, or are you content to go unnoticed as long as God gets the glory and honor?

Do you find yourself concerned with your profile and what others think of you, or are you more concerned with purity of heart and what God thinks of you?

Do you feel that you are fine, while your church and everyone around you needs revival, or are you the first to acknowledge that you need continual daily revival?

“It is easy to think we humble ourselves before God: but humility towards men will be the only sufficient proof that our humility before God is real. The humble man feels no jealousy or envy. He can praise God when others are preferred and blessed before him. . . . He can bear to hear others praised and himself forgotten, because in God’s presence he has learned to say with Paul, ‘I am nothing.’ He has received the spirit of Jesus, who pleased not himself, and sought not his own honor, as the spirit of his life” (Andrew Murray, Humility and Absolute Surrender, pp. 25, 27).

True humility, a humility that will not take pride in itself or its strength, is a rare gift and one that only God can give. But it is this Christ-centered humility we desperately need.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, we cannot gain true humility in our own strength. It’s a work that only You can do. Please help us, Father, to see ourselves as You see us, to be unmasked of our pride, self-sufficiency, and arrogance. Take us to a new, deeper level in our walk with You. Change us from the inside out, we pray! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Melody Mason

[To review the entire list of Pride versus Humility, please click here. Every time I go through this document, I’m convicted again of how much pride is still within me. Also, if you didn’t see the note yesterday after Kat’s blog, I encourage you to prayerfully read “Removing the Breaches: Heart Evaluation” by clicking here. I pray these resources will convict and inspire you as they have all of us —Mel]

Bible Passage for Meditation: Matthew 7:1-6

Key Verse: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Matthew 7:3

Over the years, I’ve faced many trials and tribulations, which I’ve often blamed on the actions of others. Over and over I have thought to myself, If only he or she would change. Or, If they would just do things differently, we wouldn’t be in this difficult situation.

It’s so easy to point the finger at others and ignore your own character defects and struggles. After all, if we compare ourselves to others, we are usually not doing that bad, at least not from our own biased perspective.

However, in time I’ve begun to recognize that many of my problems are not all the fault of others. In fact, maybe I’ve been part of the problem. Maybe I’ve been filled with pride, anger, and unforgiveness. Maybe the way I’ve spoken hasn’t always been in love. Maybe I’ve been the hypocrite, ignoring the “beam” in my own eye! I’ve been praying for others to change, but maybe God must change me first.

It’s been a difficult journey, but as I’ve grown closer to Jesus, I’ve recognized that I have more sins and shortcomings than I ever thought possible. As I ask God to give me a new heart, my attitude toward others and perspectives about life have slowly changed. Rather than criticizing and condemning those that I don’t agree with, I’ve begun to pray for them. Rather than back-biting and judging, I’ve asked God to teach me how to love.

Ellen White writes, “The work of judging his brother has not been placed upon any man. ‘Judge not,’ the Saviour says, ‘that ye be not judged; for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.’ He who takes upon himself the work of judging and criticizing others, lays himself open to the same degree of judgment and criticism. Those who are ready to condemn their brethren, would do well to examine their own works and character. Such an examination, honestly made, will reveal the fact that they, too, have defects of character, and have made grave blunders in their work. If the great Judge should deal with men as they deal with their fellow workers, they would regard him as unkind and unmerciful” (Christian Leadership, p. 59).

On the other hand, “When those to whom God has entrusted responsibilities as leaders fear and tremble before Him because of the responsibility of the work, when they feel their own unworthiness and seek the Lord in humility, when they purify themselves from all that is displeasing to Him, when they plead with Him until they know that they have forgiveness and peace, then God will manifest Himself through them. Then the work will go forward with power” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, pp. 50, 51).

So rather than focusing on the weaknesses and defects of others, let’s ask God to remove the “beams” in our own eyes. Let’s ask Him to change our hearts. Only then can His work go forward with power!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Gracious Father, as we continue praying for Your Church, we ask that You would do a deeper work in each of our hearts. It’s easy to criticize each other and even our leaders, especially when they don’t think and act as we believe they should. But instead of back-biting and pointing fingers, we ask that You’d shine the spotlight in our own hearts. Show us where we have allowed sins to separate us from You. Show us where we have failed. And then change us so we can move forward in Your power and strength, sharing Your love with the world. We humble our hearts before Your throne today. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

By Kat Taylor

[IMPORTANT NOTE: We encourage you to prayerful take some time to read “Removing the Breaches: Heart Evaluation” document. You can view or download by clicking here.]

Bible Passage for Meditation: 2 Chronicles 7:12-18

Key Verse: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

I feel an intense desire that at this meeting [of the upcoming General Conference Session] we shall come into right relation with God. We may have great ambition, all the ambition it is possible for us to have; we may have all the activity it is essential for us to have; but unless we are close to our Saviour, unless His power and grace are with us individually, we may be sure that we shall go from this place thinking that we have not had a very wonderful meeting.

It rests with us individually to decide what this meeting shall be to us. Since the last time we assembled in General Conference, we have all been making our record, and at this meeting we shall continue to make our record. Every time we assemble together, angels of God are here. Evil angels also are here.

If we have neglected our duties, if we have come up to this meeting unprepared to meet with God, unprepared to worship Him in the spirit of truth and in the beauty of holiness, let us, at the very beginning of the meeting, humble our hearts before God and put away everything that interposes between our souls and Him.

I feel an intense desire that this shall be a meeting where God can preside. This is an important time, a very important time. There is a great work to do. But whether the meeting shall be a success depends on us individually. We can make a heaven here during this meeting. We may make a heaven or a hell for ourselves, just as we choose.

There are solemn and important decisions to be made at this meeting, and God wants every one of us to stand in right relation to Him. He wants us to do a great deal more praying and a great deal less talking. He wants us to keep the windows of the soul opened heavenward. The threshold of heaven is flooded with the light of God’s glory, and God will let this light shine into the heart of everyone who at this meeting will stand in right relation to Him.

God wants you to stand in a position where He can breathe upon you the Holy Spirit, where Christ can abide in the heart. He wants you at the beginning of this meeting to lay off whatever of controversy, of strife, of dissension, of murmuring, you have been carrying. What we need is a great deal more of Christ and none of self. The Saviour says, “Without Me ye can do nothing.”

Let us grasp the great and rich treasures God has for us. God is willing to do great things for us. But we carry with us such a load of deformity that we have no room for the Saviour. He cannot sit on the throne of the heart, because there is no place for Him. Give Him a place.

He is knocking, knocking at your heart. Open the door and let Him in. Empty the heart of all selfishness, by living right, eating right, thinking right. Enthrone the Saviour in the heart. With His long human arm He encircles the race, while with His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Infinite.

I am hungry for the Spirit of God. Are you, brethren? My soul longs for it. May the Lord help us to take steps heavenward.

By Ellen White

(This message is excerpted from a talk given by Ellen G. White on March 28, 1901, at Battle Creek, Michigan, to a gathering of publishing leaders. As Mrs. White spoke, her mind turned from this smaller meeting at hand to the General Conference Session, which was to begin a few days later, on April 2, 1901. It’s the very session that later she grieved over because of “What Might Have Been” had the delegates heeded the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Taken from Manuscript 29, 1901, Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, pp. 151-155. To read this powerful message in its entirety, Click Here.)

Bible Passage for Meditation: James 5:13-18

Key Verse: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

I will never forget the time a few years ago when, as I was preparing to lead a prayer service for a large event, the Holy Spirit convicted me of some things in my life that I needed to make right with God. Overwhelmed with the recognition of sins that I had been pushing aside, I sank to my knees on the motel room floor that morning and cried out to God, “Oh Lord, how can I go before Your people today and lead them in a time of prayer and seeking after You, when these things in my life have not been as they should be?”

I cried and prayed for a few minutes, then resolved that I would ask one of my fellow teammates to lead the service, as I was obviously not worthy to do so. However, as I got up to call on my teammates for help, the Holy Spirit began speaking to my heart again.

“Melody, God is not looking for perfect vessels who have their life all together. He’s looking for yielded vessels; vessels that will humble themselves so that He can use them. You need to lead the prayer service, and you need to share with the congregation what I’ve convicted you of this morning. Be real about how you’ve failed! Remember, you come to God’s throne because you need Him to save you and help you get your life in order. If people wait to come until their life is all in order, they will never come. Share that with the people. Bring them with you to God’s throne as you seek to put away all sin and compromise.”

Immediately I began to protest. “No way! I can’t do this, Lord! What will everyone think if they see that I, a leader, have not been honoring You as I should in my life? How can I go before the people and share that I’m not worthy to stand before them and lead them in this time of prayer?”

Again I felt the impressions of the Holy Spirit upon my heart. “It’s not about your worthiness. It’s about Christ’s worthiness. But if He is to work, you must humble yourself.”

Oh, how I did not want to obey the Spirit’s promptings that morning! If I could have run away like Jonah, or locked myself up in my motel room, I would have. But with such heavy conviction of the Holy Spirit upon my heart, I knew what I must do.

Shaking and with tears in my eyes, I went before the congregation that morning and shared how the Lord had convicted me of an area in my life where I had not been living in complete obedience to Him. (It was in paying my tithes and offerings—funds had been short and I was several months behind, thus robbing God of what was His. See Malachi 3:8.) I told the congregation that since the Lord had brought this sin to my mind, knowing I hadn’t had a chance to make it right yet, I had not wanted to get up and lead the prayer service that morning.

The room, full of hundreds of people, was perfectly still as everyone listened.

Although it hurt my pride deeply, I continued sharing what the Lord had laid on my heart in this and other areas. Then I invited the congregation to come forward and join me in putting away our sins (confessing private sins privately and confessing corporately those sins we are all guilty of as a church).

That day there were many tears in the auditorium as we all asked God for forgiveness for those areas of compromise that we’d allowed to creep into our lives. It was a powerful prayer service, and the Holy Spirit truly came down on us all.

Afterward, multiple people told me how it was just what they needed to be convicted to make their own sins right. One man even told me that he had come with a crusty heart of skepticism and doubt, but seeing me honestly share my shortcomings and my need of the Savior that day had convicted him of his need, and he’d decided to give his heart to the Lord. “I’ve never seen people on the platform be real before like you were today, Melody,” he told me. “It always seems like such a show at religious events. But you showed me today that God is real, because I saw how He was convicting you and changing your life. Thank you,” he said with voice cracking, as he grabbed my neck.

James 5:16 says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Of course, it wasn’t necessary that I share my failures publicly that day. (Making things right with God is what really mattered most.) But since the Holy Spirit convicted me to do so, I knew I had to obey. And Ellen White writes that sometimes we need to confess our sins publicly, not only for our own sake but also for the sake of those listening, as a witness and example. In my case, not only did I learn a lesson I will never forget, but it also served to lead others to put away compromises that they’d allowed in their own lives. And this is what we must do if we want the Holy Spirit to be poured out. The question is, who will be willing to lead the way in this journey? Will you humble your heart? Will you allow the Lord to use YOU?

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Lord, it’s not easy to admit when I’ve done wrong, especially in front of others. It’s much easier to point out when others are wrong. But help me to recognize that being honest with You and with Your people is more important than carrying a respectable façade. I don’t want anything to stand between me and You, and I don’t want anything to prohibit the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our church, so please purify my heart today. Show me the way You would have me walk. And help me to humble myself before Your throne and before my brothers and sisters so that the world can see a living picture of Your grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love.

By Melody Mason

To read more about what is and is not appropriate for Public Confession, click here!

[I have to share this one additional quote: “There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church. . . . The latter rain will come, and the blessing of God will fill every soul that is purified from every defilement. It is our work today to yield our souls to Christ, that we may be fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord—fitted for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Last Day Events, pp. 192, 193]

Bible Passage For Meditation: Luke 10:38-42

Key Verse: “But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42

We often frown upon the fact that Martha couldn’t stop what she was doing to spend some quality time at Jesus’ feet, but what about us today? Why is it so hard for us to stop working and take some time to pray in the midst of a busy day?

I believe it is because taking time out of our day to pray is incredibly humbling. Think about it. The more we get done in a day, the more people will view us as successful. However, when we spend time in secret prayer, no one knows. Not only are we entirely dependent upon God to work things out while we pray and surrender our burdens to Him behind the scenes, but we’re also losing the opportunity to be noticed by others for what we are doing.

These thoughts may seem narrow and self-centered, but how often do we act based on such self-seeking motives?

Naturally, the world favors talent, skill, accomplishment, and energy, and thus those with these apparent virtues often get applauded and chosen for responsible positions, even in church leadership. But what type of man or women is most needed in God’s work today? It’s the humble man and woman who don’t just talk about the power of prayer but who actually take time to pray.

Just consider those whom God used to do the greatest work during Bible times.

Moses spent days and nights in prayer, and then led millions out of slavery. Daniel, a top-ranking counselor to the king of Babylon, retired to his room three times each day just to pray, and as a result was promoted to even higher status after miraculously escaping the lions’ den. But the stories don’t stop there. Consider these: Joshua telling the sun to stand still, and the sun obeying. Esther courageously saving her people. King David, Peter, Paul, Jesus, and other Bible leaders who humbled themselves through daily prayer—the list goes on and on!

Regarding these and many others, Ellen White writes, “How often those who trusted the word of God, though in themselves utterly helpless, have withstood the power of the whole world” (Education, p. 254). How did they do this? Through the power of significant time in prayer!

Of Martin Luther, the leader of the Protestant Reformation, we are told, “From the secret place of prayer came the power that shook the world in the Great Reformation.” In fact, during the time when Martin Luther was under the most pressure to defend himself, we are told that he “did not pass a day without devoting three hours at least to prayer, and they were hours selected from those the most favorable to study” (The Great Controversy, p. 210).

The key to Martin Luther’s success, which is still shaking our world almost 500 years later, was putting aside that which would be more noticeable to connect with the only Power capable of bringing true reformation and change.

“In the sight of men the self-sufficient worker may seem to be moving the world; but in the sight of God the humble wrestler moves heaven. The hosts of God are interested in the humble, praying man, who dares not make a move without first coming in prayer into the presence of God to counsel with the Omnipotent” (Review and Herald, July 4, 1893, par. 7).

Truly taking time to pray and sit at Jesus’ feet, when we could be busy accomplishing something important, takes great humility. But when we humble ourselves and make time for prayer, we will find that God will work for us and accomplish in a short time what it might have taken us years to do in our own strength.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us for being too proud and self-sufficient to stop what we are doing and pray. Forgive us for valuing recognition more than we value the blessing of the Holy Spirit to move Your work forward. Please increase our faith in Your willingness to answer, and work a mighty reformation today in answer to our prayer. We need You desperately as a church. We need You to help us humble our hearts that You can exalt us in Your time. Please be exalted in our lives, dear Jesus, as we, Your people, call upon You and humble ourselves in prayer. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

By Pastor Zac Page

Day61Bible Passage for Meditation: James 4:7-12

Key Passage: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10

Back in 1901, the Seventh-day Adventist Church was beginning to expand rapidly. Great things were happening on many fronts as the work went forward. Yet one thing was lacking. This one thing, if experienced, would have brought all other blessings in its wake, and the work would have been finished.

Referring to this lack, Ellen White sadly recounts a vision she received:

One day at noon I was writing of the work that might have been done at the last General Conference if the men in positions of trust had followed the will and way of God. Those who have had great light have not walked in the light. The meeting was closed, and the break was not made. Men did not humble themselves before the Lord as they should have done, and the Holy Spirit was not imparted.

I had written thus far when I lost consciousness, and I seemed to be witnessing a scene in Battle Creek.

We were assembled in the auditorium of the Tabernacle. Prayer was offered, a hymn was sung, and prayer was again offered. Most earnest supplication was made to God. The meeting was marked by the presence of the Holy Spirit. The work went deep, and some present were weeping aloud.

One arose from his bowed position and said that in the past he had not been in union with certain ones and had felt no love for them, but that now he saw himself as he was. With great solemnity he repeated the message to the Laodicean church: “‘Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.’ In my self-sufficiency this is just the way I felt,” he said. “‘And knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.’ I now see that this is my condition. My eyes are opened. My spirit has been hard and unjust. I thought myself righteous, but my heart is broken, and I see my need of the precious counsel of the One who has searched me through and through. Oh, how gracious and compassionate and loving are the words, ‘I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.’” Revelation 3:17, 18.

The speaker turned to those who had been praying, and said: “We have something to do. We must confess our sins, and humble our hearts before God.” He made heartbroken confessions and then stepped up to several of the brethren, one after another, and extended his hand, asking forgiveness. Those to whom he spoke sprang to their feet, making confession and asking forgiveness, and they fell upon one another’s necks, weeping. The spirit of confession spread through the entire congregation. It was a Pentecostal season. God’s praises were sung, and far into the night, until nearly morning, the work was carried on.

The following words were often repeated, with clear distinctness: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:19, 20.

No one seemed to be too proud to make heartfelt confession, and those who led in this work were the ones who had influence, but had not before had courage to confess their sins.

There was rejoicing such as never before had been heard in the Tabernacle.

Then I aroused from my unconsciousness, and for a while could not think where I was. My pen was still in my hand. The words were spoken to me: “This might have been. All this the Lord was waiting to do for His people. All heaven was waiting to be gracious.” I thought of where we might have been had thorough work been done at the last General Conference, and agony of disappointment came over me as I realized that what I had witnessed was not a reality (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, pp. 104-106).

“What might have been” may not have happened in 1901, but it could happen today!

The Bible tells us, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:8-10).

For the next ten days our theme will be Humility and Forgiveness. As you pray through the next ten days with us, we ask that you would especially search your heart and ask God if there is any area of your life where pride has been keeping you from making some wrong right—maybe with a family member or even a ministry colleague. If He shows you something, do something about it. Let not anything hold back the outpouring of His Spirit upon your life!

Melody Mason
Coordinator, 100 Days of Prayer
General Conference Ministerial Association

[Note: If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to watch the video of the above vision entitled “What Might Have Been, Can Be” by clicking here. (It’s available on our website in Spanish, French, Portuguese, and German under the resources tab.) During this week, we also encourage you to share the video with ten of your Adventist friends, ask your pastor to share it in your church (if this has not yet happened), and ask those you share it with to join you in praying that God will do this work in our church. To read inspirational comments by producer of the “What Might HAve Been, Can Be” video, Jim Ayer, click here.]

Bible Passage For Meditation: 2 Peter 3:1-13

Key Verse: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

“Why, God?” I cried as I knelt beside my bed in prayer. It had been a rough week. I was worn out by all the emotional and physical pain I had seen around me. “Why can’t you just put an end to all this suffering and come take us to heaven tonight?”

As I knelt by my bed, feeling that the burdens I was bearing were too much, I suddenly felt God impressing me with how incredibly selfish my prayer really was. It was as if God was asking me, “Do you realize the amount of pain I am going through, Zac, how much it hurts My heart to intimately know the suffering, burdens, and pain of more than seven billion people on the planet? Do you realize that every day I prolong My coming, I feel an amount of suffering beyond anything you can begin to imagine?”

As I contemplated these things, my thoughts turned to my wife and how much it breaks my heart to watch her when she is in pain or sick. I would rather be the one suffering than watch her suffer any day. I feel this way because I know her better, and love her more, than any other human being. And yet, God knows and loves each human being far more than I love my dear wife, Leah.

Just think: He knows and suffers with every starving child, every sex slave, every orphan, and every victim of war, cancer, abuse, or depression. Why not end it? Why is He so patient and longsuffering with this wicked world? It’s because there is at least one more precious soul that He knows, if given an opportunity, will repent and choose to live with Him forever. And He’s not willing that even one person perish who might be saved (2 Peter 3:9).

“Our world is a vast lazar house, a scene of misery that we dare not allow even our thoughts to dwell upon. Did we realize it as it is, the burden would be too terrible. Yet God feels it all. In order to destroy sin and its results He gave His best Beloved, and He has put it in our power, through co-operation with Him, to bring this scene of misery to an end. ‘This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’ Matthew 24:14” (Education, p. 264).

We have the opportunity to lessen the pain in God’s heart. Will we act now? Will we allow Him to use us to hasten the day when He can finally put all suffering to an end?

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Precious Father in heaven, thank You for enduring another day of unimaginable pain so that more people can be saved, for if I were that one still drifting, I would hope You’d hold back heaven a few days longer just for me to be able to spend eternity with You. Forgive us as a church for so selfishly and indifferently living our lives, unconcerned about those dying in sin all around us. Burden us with a passion to see the lost come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Please fill us more fully with Your Holy Spirit so that we can be Your witnesses. Please empower us to speed the day of Your coming! We love You and want to do everything possible to ease the pain in Your infinite heart of love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Pastor Zac Page
(To read more of Pastor Zac’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Bible Passage for Meditation: Genesis 32:22-30

Key Verse: “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” Genesis 32:26

A few years ago I was leading the prayer room at a youth congress in Germany. Over 1,600 young people were attending the meetings, but it seemed that not many were interested in praying, especially not together. As I prayed about this situation, I remembered the story of John Knox.

“If we have the interest that John Knox had when he pleaded before God for Scotland, we shall have success. He cried, ‘Give me Scotland, Lord, or I die.’ And when we take hold of the work and wrestle with God, saying, ‘I must have souls; I will never give up the struggle,’ we shall find that God will look upon our efforts with favor” (Evangelism, p. 294).

Inspired by the thought of John Knox’s prayer, I wrestled with God in prayer for several hours that night: “Lord, give me Germany, or I die.” It was a small attempt to hold on by faith to a big God; however, God faithfully answered this prayer in amazing ways beyond my wildest expectations. The very next day I saw the love of prayer start to spread, and many people overcame their fear of praying aloud with others. Not only that, but a little over two years later God gave me a German husband. The second part of God’s answer to this prayer was quite amazing, because only a few months before the conference I’d told a friend that I could never marry a German man. (For some reason, I was quite set on this!) So God has a unique sense of humor, as now my husband and I have been living and serving in Germany. Truly, God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. But He wants us to ask large things of Him, and to put His Word to the test!

Inspiration tells us, “It was because Elijah was a man of large faith that God could use him in this grave crisis in the history of Israel. As he prayed, his faith reached out and grasped the promises of Heaven, and he persevered in prayer until his petitions were answered. He did not wait for the full evidence that God had heard him, but was willing to venture all on the slightest token of divine favor. And yet what he was enabled to do under God, all may do in their sphere of activity in God’s service. . . . Faith such as this is needed in the world today—faith that will lay hold on the promises of God’s word and refuse to let go until Heaven hears” (Prayer, p. 138).

Do you have a burden for souls? Do you want more of this burden? Then pray the following Heart Prayer Challenge with me.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Lord, we come to You because You are the One who can change our hearts and give us more love for the lost. As we pray for the outpouring of Your Holy Spirit upon our church, make us willing to do whatever it takes to see more souls brought into the Kingdom. Help us not to be afraid to sacrifice as we reach out to Your children. Teach us how to wrestle with You in prayer for the salvation of souls. Help us to hold on like Jacob, like Elijah, like John Knox, and like others who said, “I will not let go except You bless me.” Thank You for the example of Jesus, who spent entire nights in prayer and who worked untiringly to bring physical and spiritual healing to those who needed it. Help us to follow His example. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

By Raluca Ril
(To read more of Raluca’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Bible Passage for Meditation: Matthew 18:18-20

Key Verse: “Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:19

I will never forget the day my close friend Julia called me on the phone. Her father, who had not given his life to Christ, was dying from a sudden illness. “Please pray with me,” she pleaded, “that God will work a miracle in his heart before it’s too late!”

In times past I probably would have prayed on the phone with my friend and then gone back to my work without thinking much more about it. (After all, while I cared about Julia, I didn’t know her father personally.) However, that day God challenged me with the thought, “He may not be your father, Melody, but he’s my child. Will you intercede on behalf of my child?”

So after we prayed together on the phone, being reminded that that each soul is of infinite value to God, I felt convicted that God was asking me to continue to fast and pray with Julia until we saw a spiritual breakthrough.

I was quite busy, but I put my work aside and began to pray. However, I didn’t make it through that first night of prayer, for a small area of compromise stood in the way. At first I argued with God, “This is ridiculous; it’s so small! I can’t let this go.” But then I felt His Spirit convicting my heart, “Is it more valuable than a soul for whom I died?” Ashamed, I surrendered my sin of compromise to God, and, as I did, new strength and power came into my prayers.

For the next night and several days thereafter, I prayed with Julia incessantly—almost without stopping—for this miracle. It was a fierce spiritual battle, and at times Julia and I both felt discouraged and wanted to give up. But God heard our prayers of agreement, and—praise the Lord—the spiritual victory we prayed and fasted for was accomplished before her father died.

Today, God calls all of us to deeper, more persistent prayers of agreement. He’s calling us not just to pray for but to perseveringly pray through.

We all know how to pray for: we pray for our meal, we pray for safety on the road, we pray for a class or meeting, we pray for our friends and loved ones, and we pray for anything else that randomly crosses our path—and this is as it should be. But praying through literally means that “I’m committing to pray with persevering faith until I see victory or until I see an answer come!” Praying through is not easy because we must be committed for the long haul—maybe years. And we must be willing to put away any known compromise or sin. But when we are willing to pray through with a surrendered heart, God will give breakthrough!

Inspiration tells us, “To every sincere prayer an answer will come. It may not come just as you desire, or at the time you look for it; but it will come in the way and at the time that will best meet your need” (Gospel Workers, 1915, p. 258).

Of course praying through can only be successful if we are rooted in God’s Word. It’s not about our determination to outlast God. No, it’s about our confidence in God’s faithfulness. “We should not present our petitions to God to prove whether He will fulfill His Word, but because He will fulfill it; not to prove that He loves us, but because He loves us” (The Desire of Ages, p. 126).

Today let’s ask that God would teach us not just to pray for but also to pray through until we see souls brought into the Kingdom.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, it’s easy to give up praying for those we love when we see no evidence of change in their lives, but help us to hold on to You and not give up for as long as they have breath. Help us not to give up on ministry goals being accomplished just because things look despairing. Rather, help us hold on in faith until we see breakthrough, for You’ve promised that the honor of Your throne is staked on the fulfillment of Your Word. Thank You for hearing these prayers. Thank You for hearing our many prayers on behalf of our church. Thank You for how You are going to answer all these prayers of faith. We love You and can’t wait to be with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Melody Mason
(To read the testimony of how God awakened Melody to her spiritual need, CLICK HERE.)

Bible Passage For Meditation: Exodus 32:30-34

Key Verse: “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” Exodus 32:32

Am I willing to agonize so that someone can find salvation? Am I willing to fast and pray earnestly so that more souls can be saved, maybe even souls that have wounded and hurt me or hurt God’s church?

When the Israelites constructed a golden calf, God told Moses that He would wipe them out and make Moses into a great nation (Exodus 32:10). Honestly, if I were Moses, I can imagine being so frustrated with the Israelites for their foolishness that I might have agreed with God’s suggestion. But Moses had such an incredibly deep-hearted love for his stubborn people that He began to earnestly intercede on their behalf.

Let’s review the story:

Moses had just come down from forty days on Mount Sinai without food or water, but rather than being concerned with his own interests or health, He immediately began to fast and pray for the people. “Thus I prostrated myself before the LORD; forty days and forty nights I kept prostrating myself, because the LORD had said He would destroy you. . . . As at the first time, I stayed in the mountain forty days and forty nights” (Deuteronomy 9:25; 10:10, NKJV).

This is an earnestness, a burden for souls, that I can scarcely imagine! By the end of this, Moses had spent eighty days in fasting and prayer on the mountain, only coming down briefly to grind up the golden calf.

But even more moving is the self-sacrificial nature of Moses’ prayer. “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written” (Exodus 32:32). Wow! Moses loved the Israelites so much that He was willing to give up his eternal life for their salvation, if it would have made a difference. When I read about this kind of love for lost souls, I recognize I need a new heart. I need God to change my heart from one of selfish ambition for souls to one of complete, self-sacrificing love! Only then can I have such a Christ-like concern for the lost.

“John Welch, a minister of the gospel, felt so great a burden for souls that he often rose in the night to send up to God his supplication for their salvation. On one occasion his wife pleaded with him to regard his health, and not venture on such exposure. His answer was, ‘O woman, I have the souls of three thousand to answer for, and I know not how it is with them’” (Gospel Workers, p. 31).

God is longing for us to dare to ask for souls! He gave two million Israelites another chance in answer to Moses’ prayer, and has worked mightily through the prayers of others down through the centuries. What will He do when you and I are filled with an agonizing burden for the lost? How will He work when we love others enough to truly wrestle in prayer for their salvation?

Closing thought: “We must be co-workers with Christ if we would see our efforts crowned with success. We must weep as He wept for those who will not weep for themselves, and plead as He pleaded for those who will not plead for themselves” (1 Selected Messages, p. 118).

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Precious Father, forgive us for not truly wrestling and agonizing in prayer for the lost. Forgive us for our lack of unselfish love. Naturally, we can’t love or pray like this. Please transform our hearts. Fill us with the love of Christ, which is willing to give up everything to save even one stubborn sinner. Change our hearts today that we may love others as Christ has loved us. Thank You for filling us with Your Holy Spirit and transforming our hearts as we continue to persistently pray for our church! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Pastor Zac Page
(To read more of Pastor Zac’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Bible Passage for Meditation: Matthew 25:31-40

Key Verse: “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40

Jesus is clear in Matthew 28:19 when He tells us, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (ESV). He makes it clear that His followers, not just some but all, must follow in His footsteps and go.

So what qualifications do I need to have in order to be a soul winner for Jesus? This has often disturbed me, as I have felt so unfit to work for Christ. After all, I am a tax collector, literally. But then I remember the men and women that Jesus picked to follow Him, to learn from Him, and to serve Him. He picked the harlot, the fishermen, the unclean, the tax collector . . . yes, He even picked me!

Some of us have education, some of us don’t, but He still wants to use us, if we are willing.

“By all that has given us advantage over another,—be it education and refinement, nobility of character, Christian training, religious experience,—we are in debt to those less favored; and, so far as lies in our power, we are to minister unto them. If we are strong, we are to stay up the hands of the weak” (The Desire of Ages, p. 440).

He hasn’t called us for our own comfort though. He’s called us to reach out to every person that He places in our path. That includes even the least of these. How we respond to the poor around us, the naked, the hungry, and the destitute actually reveals how much we love Jesus. Matthew 25 tells us that when Jesus returns, He will divide the sheep from the goats. (That means He will divide the faithful from the unfaithful.) What determines which group we will be in? It’s determined by how we care for His children.

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).

So whether you feel like one of the least, or you are called to reach the least, honor God with the gifts He has given you. Ask Him to help you be faithful!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Heavenly Father, we know what we are called to do. We know we are to serve You by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the outcast in prison, and much more. But God, it isn’t easy. We need Your Holy Spirit to guide us; to give us Your faith, hope, and love; and to strengthen us as we work for You. This world is getting darker and darker, and we want to go home. So Lord, here we are. We ask that You will equip us to labor and work for Your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

By Kat Taylor
(To read how Kat became a Seventh-day Adventist, CLICK HERE.)

Bible Passage for Meditation: Luke 9:1-6

Key Verse: “And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.” Luke 9:2

Since giving my life to Christ and asking Him to create a new heart within me, I have wanted to do something for the Lord, something that would really count for eternity. I knew that I didn’t want to waste my time and effort on meaningless pursuits any longer.

As I’ve prayed about what God would have me do, a passage of counsel from the book The Ministry of Healing has really impacted my thinking. I like it because it shows how we can have true success and bear lasting fruit for God’s Kingdom as co-laborers with Christ. It goes like this:

“Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’ There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. If less time were given to sermonizing, and more time were spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen. The poor are to be relieved, the sick cared for, the sorrowing and the bereaved comforted, the ignorant instructed, the inexperienced counseled. We are to weep with those that weep, and rejoice with those that rejoice. Accompanied by the power of persuasion, the power of prayer, the power of the love of God, this work will not, cannot, be without fruit” (The Ministry of Healing, pp. 143, 144).

Not long ago, the pastor of a Sunday-keeping denomination in a restricted country became very ill; doctors said they could do nothing more. Death was expected. However, Adventist missionaries began ministering to this pastor with natural treatments such as juicing, vegetarian meals, massage, and hydrotherapy. Not long after, the pastor’s health began improving. Just recently this pastor told the missionaries, “When I return to church, I will be bringing all of my members to your Seventh-day Adventist Church.”

What a powerful testimony to the value of ministering to the physical needs of others!

When I first started studying what it means to be a missionary, I learned how important it is to reach hearts, not just give information. Now the Lord is teaching me that one of the best ways to reach the heart is to “touch it” by ministering to a person’s physical need. “When properly conducted, the health work is an entering wedge, making a way for other truths to reach the heart” (Counsels on Health, p. 434).

It is my heart’s desire to become a strong medical missionary like Jesus, who spent even more time healing than preaching.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Lord, we thank You for the abundance of light You have blessed us with in the medical missionary work! We thank You that You know how to reach the heart of suffering humanity. Forgive us for neglecting our duty to combine our efforts to spread the gospel with medical missionary work. Show us how to bring physical and spiritual healing to a dying world. Revive us! Restore us and let us learn of You rather than trust in our own understanding. No matter our position in church leadership or our current occupation, help us not be so high-minded that we fail to go out and minister to our neighbors’ physical needs. Pour Your Holy Spirit upon us. Flow through us to touch hearts and open them to Your saving grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Roman Ril
(To read more of Roman’s personal testimony on how he came to know the Lord, CLICK HERE.)

Bible Passage for Meditation: Isaiah 52:7-10

Key Verse: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” Isaiah 52:7

Have you ever considered that God might be calling you to be a missionary, not just a gospel-giving missionary, but a medical missionary?

Ellen White writes, “We have come to a time when every member of the church should take hold of medical missionary work” (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 455).

To be honest, I had read this passage many times but for some reason had not really taken the message to heart personally. However, about a year ago my fiancé (who is now my husband) opened my eyes to the fact that this passage is for all of God’s church, including me.

As we studied the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy more, and as we became more aware of the many sick around us, whom we had no idea how to help, we recognized that it was time we get some medical missionary training.

It wasn’t as if we weren’t already active in service. We were very involved in giving Bible studies, leading prayer groups, traveling, speaking, and giving presentations on different topics. And this intensified when we became a married couple. But God convicted us that we were missing one of the most important aspects of ministry: being properly trained and equipped as “medical missionaries” in order to help others physically as well as spiritually. So this spring of 2015, we took a leap of faith, left everything behind in Germany, and came to attend a medical missionary training school here in the United States.

We’ve learned that becoming a medical missionary isn’t complicated. Anyone can learn, even if they have no medical background. This is so important because in the future, medical missionary work may be the only way we are able to witness to others.

In the book Evangelism Ellen White writes that “soon there will be no work done in ministerial lines but medical missionary work. . . . You will never be ministers after the gospel order till you show a decided interest in medical missionary work, the gospel of healing and blessing and strengthening” (p. 523).

In yet another place we are told, “Medical missionary work is the pioneer work of the gospel, the door through which the truth for this time is to find entrance to many homes. God’s people are to be genuine medical missionaries, for they are to learn to minister to the needs of both soul and body. . . . As they go from house to house they will find access to many hearts. Many will be reached who otherwise never would have heard the gospel message” (Counsels for the Church, p. 308).

Just imagine how much more powerful our witness will be if we not only feed people spiritually but also alleviate their suffering. How many more hearts will be opened to the gospel?

Just as God has challenged us, we also challenge you to pray and ask Him how you can become a “medical missionary.” How can you serve the hurting and suffering of your communities? May God help us all become His hands and feet to those who need hope and healing!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Lord, thank You for showing us how to reach people’s hearts. Thank You for Jesus, who was the best and greatest medical missionary of all times. And thank You for all the simple, natural remedies that You have provided for us to use. Thank You for calling us to being coworkers with You to alleviate suffering and pain and bring people closer to You! Teach us, Father, how to minister to souls as Jesus did. Teach us how to bring physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. Help us to be missionaries after Your own heart! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

By Raluca Ril
(To read more of Raluca’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Bible Passage for Meditation: Romans 4:13-21

Key Verse: “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” Romans 4:20, 21

Have you ever made a promise, intending to keep it, but somehow “life” got in the way and you just didn’t follow through? I know I have, and I always feel so bad when I fail to do something that I promised.

I’m so thankful that God isn’t like us when it comes to keeping promises. In fact, the Bible tells us a number of things about God and the promise He’s made for our salvation.

It tells us, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

It tells us, “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life” (1 John 2:25).

It tells us, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13).

It tells us, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19).

It tells us, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).

Finally, it tells us to be like Abraham, who “staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God” (Romans 4:20).

I thank God for His longsuffering with me! I can’t imagine how it would feel to be promised a chance to spend eternity with God, only to have Him say, “Oh, sorry, Kat. I forgot about promising you that. You’re out of luck now; it’s too late.” Instead, God tells me over and over in His Word that He is waiting for me, that He wants to save me, and that He’s longing for me to follow Him.

However, His promises don’t stop here. Not only does He promise to save us but He also promises to enable us to reach others with the good news.

“Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say” (Exodus 4:12).

“For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist” (Luke 21:15).

He also promises to make us like Himself: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4).

In the book Heavenly Places we are told, “Every promise in the Word of God is for us. In your prayers, present the pledged word of Jehovah and by faith claim His promises. His word is the assurance that if you ask in faith, you will receive all spiritual blessings. Continue to ask, and you will receive exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think. Educate yourself to have unlimited confidence in God. Cast all your care upon Him. Wait patiently for Him, and He will bring it to pass” (In Heavenly Places, p. 71).

God’s promises go on and on. The question is, will we take them by faith as we seek to win others for the Kingdom, or will we try to work in our own strength? The answer to this question will determine the success of our ministry. Let’s trust His promises today!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Gracious Father, we know You cannot lie, for Your Word does not return unto You void (Isaiah 55:11). Please help us to trust You and to lean upon Your promises as we seek to reach others. The General Conference Session is getting closer, and we are praying for Your Holy Spirit to be poured out in our lives. As we seek to win souls for the Kingdom, help us not to rely upon our own strength but upon Your strength, which cannot fail. Thank You for honoring Your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Kat Taylor
(To learn more about how God has worked in Kat’s life CLICK HERE.)

Bible Passage for Meditation: John 15:9-17

Key Verse: “These things I command you, that ye love one another.” John 15:17

I recently stumbled upon a profound quote from C. S. Lewis that aptly put the concept of love into perspective for me. “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken” (The Four Loves, p. 160).

The world has trained us so well to “self preserve” (another fancy term for being self-centered) that we struggle to be vulnerable, to unreservedly trust, serve, and love our brothers and sisters as we should. And I can identify. For years I’ve busied myself with my career and studies, not wanting to risk the pain of being vulnerable, and of possibly being wounded. However, more and more I’ve grown to understand that if I cannot allow myself to be vulnerable, then I cannot truly love others as Christ intends.

But what does true love look like?

“Love is not simply an impulse, a transitory emotion, dependent upon circumstances; it is a living principle, a permanent power,” Ellen White writes (Our Father Cares, p. 22).

The truth is that the only way we can genuinely show love to our fellowman is to meditate much on the sacrifice and love of Christ. The Bible reminds us that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). This love is without parallel.

However, as we meditate upon Christ, He can change us from the inside out. “The soul is fed by the streams of pure love that flow from the heart of Christ, as a well-spring that never fails. O, how is the heart quickened, how are its motives ennobled, its affections deepened, by this communion! Under the education and discipline of the Holy Spirit, the children of God love one another, truly, sincerely, unaffectedly,—‘without partiality, and without hypocrisy.’ And this because the heart is in love with Jesus. Our affection for one another springs from our common relation to God” (Our Father Cares, p. 22).

Oh, to be in love with Jesus like this, that it overflows every area of our hearts and lives!

In The Acts of the Apostles we are told, “When we study the divine character in the light of the cross we see mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness blended with equity and justice. We see in the midst of the throne One bearing in hands and feet and side the marks of the suffering endured to reconcile man to God. . . . In the contemplation of Christ we linger on the shore of a love that is measureless. We endeavor to tell of this love, and language fails us. We consider His life on earth, His sacrifice for us, His work in heaven as our advocate, and the mansions He is preparing for those who love Him, and we can only exclaim, O the height and depth of the love of Christ! ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins’” (p. 333).

Speaking of being vulnerable, no one has been more vulnerable for us than Christ. In fact, He risked all heaven on our behalf. Can we not be vulnerable and give up what little we have to genuinely love and point others to Him?

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Father, as we prepare to enter into an intensified season of personal and corporate decision-making, we ask that You will unite our church through daily meditation on Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. In our individual lives, show us afresh Your grace, that we may corporately show grace to others. Show each of us Your mercy, that we may corporately show mercy. Show us Your forgiveness, that we may corporately forgive. And above all else, open our hearts to accept and experience Your love, that we may share with others just as Christ made Himself vulnerable and shared with us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Shanter Alexander
(To learn more about God’s faithfulness in Shanter’s life, CLICK HERE.)

[NOTE: For some excellent sharing resources visit GLOW: Giving Light to Our World. Also, available online now on our resource page are links to the video “What Might Have Been, Can Be” in Spanish, French, and Portuguese.]

OXYGEN Volume 21Bible Passage for Meditation: Luke 19:1-10

Key Verse: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10

Zacchaeus may not have been living as he should have been, but one thing he did right. He was desperate to see Jesus, and he was willing to do whatever it took to accomplish this goal, even if it meant climbing a tree, going out on a limb, and having others look at him like he was strange.

Because Zacchaeus was so desperate to see Him, Jesus stopped along the way and called him to come down. In fact, Jesus didn’t just say, “Come down”; He said, “Come down quickly!” Jesus was eager to be with him.

The Bible tells us, “And he [Zacchaeus] made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, that [Jesus] was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner” (Luke 19:6, 7).

Zacchaeus hadn’t been living a moral life. He was a tax-collector and thief! That’s why the crowd simply could not understand why Jesus would go to his, of all people’s, home. But Jesus knew Zacchaeus’ heart. He saw the desperate longing for something better.

As a result, Zacchaeus was so touched by the love of Christ that he decided to pay back all those that he had taken from wrongly. According to the Levitical law, he was required to restore not only what he’d taken but also one-fifth extra. (That’s 120 percent payback, according to Leviticus 6:4, 5.) However, after his time with Jesus, he decided to give half of his wealth to the poor and to restore fourfold to those he had taken from. (That is 400 percent payback!) What motivated Zacchaeus to change so drastically, giving above and beyond the call of duty? He had met a Person; not a concept, principle, or pattern, but a Person—the Person of Jesus Christ!

Now let’s make the story more personal: What will Jesus find when He comes to our neighborhood? Are we willing to do whatever it takes to help others find this same loving, merciful Savior who has rescued us from a life of sin? Are we willing to go out, even on a limb if necessary, and appear odd to those watching, just so someone else can hear the gospel? Are we willing to follow Jesus when He calls us to minister to others, even outside our comfort zones? Are we willing to make right to those we’ve wronged?

During the next ten days of prayer, we will focus on what it means to have genuine love for the lost. Remember, Jesus isn’t looking for perfect people to be His co-laborers. He’s looking for people who are humble, empty of self, and willing to be transformed through His power. He’s looking for men and women like Zacchaeus, who are so eager to share what Christ has done for them that they will give generously to His cause, no matter the sacrifice or consequences. Are we willing to be those men and women?

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Lord, as we continue praying for our church, we pray that You would pour Your Spirit upon us so powerfully that we are enabled to reach the world for You. However, we do not love others as we should. Our hearts are still selfish and cold. The reality is that we are not desperate to see others find You as we should be. Our thoughts and plans and goals have been too narrow and too self-centered. Change us, Lord! Give us hearts like Yours that are willing to do whatever it takes to see people find You. Help us not to worry about what others think. Instead, help us to live only for Your approval and Your glory. And if we’ve wronged others by our actions or lives, please show us, like Zacchaeus, how to make things right. We want You to come to our house today. We want our home to become Your home! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Melody Mason
Coordinator, 100 Days of Prayer
General Conference Ministerial Association

[NOTE: For some excellent sharing resources visit GLOW: Giving Light to Our World. Also, available online now on our resource page are links to the video “What Might Have Been, Can Be” in Spanish, French, and Portuguese.]

Oxygen Volume 14Bible Passage For Meditation: Luke 6:12-19

Key Verse: “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles.” Luke 6:12, 13

The task before Jesus was overwhelming. He had less than three and a half years left to walk this planet. How would He accomplish the overwhelming task of getting the gospel to the entire world? While Jesus, with all of heaven’s power behind Him, could have done anything, He focused on discipling others to do the ministry, rather than trying to reach everyone Himself.

In my work for the church, it’s tempting to try to do all the work myself. That way I won’t have to ask people to do something they don’t want to do, and it also means that the job gets done the way I want it to be done. But when I look at Jesus’ example in ministry, I realize I need to invest more time and energy in training and equipping others for ministry.

So the first big question to ask is this: how did Jesus choose those in whom to invest His precious time in discipling? Did He choose the twelve most promising prospects, the most influential, the most talented? Obviously not. He chose illiterate fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot (whose mission would normally have been to kill the traitorous tax collector), and a dishonest financier, just to name a few. Surely you and I could have made better choices, right? But are we wiser than Jesus? How did Jesus know to choose these twelve as apostles?

“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles” (Luke 6:12, 13).

Did you catch that? It was through an all-night season of earnest prayer that Jesus was given wisdom as to whom He should choose as the first laborers in the great work.

As I reflect on Jesus’ example, I’m challenged by the question, “Am I wiser than Jesus?” The obvious answer is no. But how often have I prayed all night about a decision, or about tomorrow’s ministry tasks? (Not often enough!) How earnest am I even today in seeking heavenly wisdom?

When I allow prayerlessness to dominate my life, it reveals that I actually have more self-confidence than Jesus did. If the Son of God on earth needed so much time in prayer to know how to disciple others, then how much more time in prayer do we need to gain a clear understanding of the Father’s mission for our ministry of discipleship?

Let’s follow His example in earnestly asking God to show us how to make disciples!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Precious Father in heaven, as we consider this upcoming General Conference Session, I again ask that You would forgive us of our arrogance, our pride, our constant dependence on ourselves. Please give us the wisdom You have freely promised (James 1:5). Please give us an earnestness in prayer and unwillingness to move forward in our own understanding. Thank You for waiting patiently for us to call upon You. Help us to see that the work will never be accomplished without following in Jesus’ example of fervent prayer and of intentional discipleship. Thank You, Lord, for giving us heavenly wisdom to disciple others!

By Zac Page

(Zac is pastor at Templeton Hills SDA Church in Templeton, California. He and his wife, Leah, have been married seven years and speak at revival and prayer retreats. To read more of Pastor Zac’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Additional quote:

“He frequently continued His petitions through the entire night. He is our example. If we could remember this, and imitate Him, we would be much stronger in God. . . . If the Saviour of men, with His divine strength, felt the need of prayer, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of prayer—fervent, constant prayer!” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 202).

Day49Bible Passage for Meditation: Luke 24:44-49

Key Verse: “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:49

In Matthew 28 we find the Great Commission, the commission for which countless millions have given their lives. The Bible tells us simply, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (vv. 19, 20).

The commission is clearly to GO! And most of Christianity today revolves around this single command. It’s the command that dominated much of the early years of my ministry as well. But all too often, something has been forgotten. Before we go forward, we must wait for something. We must wait for power from on High.

Luke 24:49 tells us, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

While we as Adventists are looking forward to the soon coming of Christ, there is something that we should be seeking even more, for without this gift, Christ will never return. And that is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. For it is only the Spirit that will convict the world of sin and prepare us for Christ’s soon coming (see John 16:8).

In the words of Pastor Ron Clouzet, “Christ is far more interested in our fitness for His return than we should be in the timing of His return” (Adventism’s Greatest Need, by Ron E. M. Clouzet, p. 33). That’s why, in Christ’s final message to the disciples before He ascended to heaven, rather than focusing on His return, His message was, “Wait! Don’t leave Jerusalem until you’ve received the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. It will come, but wait for it!”

Ellen White writes, “It is the absence of the Spirit that makes the gospel ministry so powerless. Learning, talent, eloquence, every natural or acquired endowment, may be possessed; but, without the presence of the Spirit of God, no heart will be touched, no sinner won to Christ. On the other hand, if they are connected with Christ, if the gifts of the Spirit are theirs, the poorest and most ignorant of His disciples will have a power that will tell upon hearts. God makes them channels for the outflowing of the highest influence in the universe” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, pp. 21, 22).

This is an amazing promise! Here we see that God is no respecter of persons. He’s just looking for humble servants willing to connect their weakness to His unlimited strength.

Are you willing to allow Christ to be your strength today as you witness to those around you? If you are, there’s no limit to what God might do through you!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, as we continue praying for our church and seeking to be a witness to those around us, we pray that You would help us not to rush ahead in our own strength trying to do Your work. We cannot do this work without You. We need You to fill us and make us vessels able to be used for your glory. Please connect Your strength with our weakness. We want to go home. We need You, Jesus. In Your precious name, Amen.

By Melody Mason

(Melody is author of Daring to Ask for More: Divine Keys to Answered Prayer and coordinator of 100 Days of Prayer. She currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. To read more of Melody’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Additional quote for e-mail:

The Desire of Ages tells us, “Thus Christ gave His disciples their commission. He made full provision for the prosecution of the work, and took upon Himself the responsibility for its success. So long as they obeyed His word, and worked in connection with Him, they could not fail” (p. 822).

Day48Bible Passage for Meditation: Psalm 19:7-14

Key Verse: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

I always pray that wherever I go, others will see Christ in me. It is not always easy. One day I disagreed with a colleague on a matter, and I found myself being the recipient of some really disrespectful and hurtful words. Although I stood in silence and appeared very calm on the outside, my heart was pounding as if I had a raging animal trapped inside, and I wrestled the urge to release the sharp response that was on the tip of my tongue. I quickly walked away to find a place to compose myself, and I remember thinking, “I hate you.”

As I sat in the quiet place I had run away to, the Holy Spirit spoke to me in a tone so clear that it cut through the bitterness that was poisoning my heart: “Let the words of your mouth and every meditation of your heart be acceptable in the Father’s sight.” I cried to the Lord for His forgiveness, and my life was changed.

Ellen White writes, “It is true that there may be an outward correctness of deportment without the renewing power of Christ. The love of influence and the desire for the esteem of others may produce a well-ordered life. Self-respect may lead us to avoid the appearance of evil. A selfish heart may perform generous actions” (Steps to Christ, p. 58).

You see, even though I had appeared “Christ-like” by walking away from the conflict, and even though I had fooled the world and myself into believing that I was reflecting His character, the Bible clearly states that “the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).  Also, Jeremiah 17:10 tells us that it is the Lord that searches the mind and examines our hearts.

In the book The Desire of Ages we are told, “It is the motive that gives character to our acts, stamping them with ignominy or with high moral worth. Not the great things which every eye sees and every tongue praises does God account most precious. The little duties cheerfully done, the little gifts which make no show, and which to human eyes may appear worthless, often stand highest in His sight. A heart of faith and love is dearer to God than the most costly gift” (p. 615).

Let’s ask God to change not just our outward behavior but also our heart and motives, because what’s inside is what matters most.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Loving Father, You have called us to be Your disciples, but we have only learned to present ourselves as acceptable in the world’s eyes. Lord, as we journey together through these 100 days of prayer, please examine us and show us any wicked ways within us. Root out the selfish, impure motives that so often control our lives and thoughts. Create in us clean hearts and renew Your right Spirit within us. Let the words of our mouths and every meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, our Strength and our Redeemer. Amen!

By Shanter Alexander

(Shanter, a native of St. Lucia, an island in the West Indies, is a psychologist who lives and works in Michigan. She has been involved with prayer leadership both locally and in division events across the ocean. To read more of Shanter’s testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Additional Quote:

“If we are Christ’s, our thoughts are with Him, and our sweetest thoughts are of Him. All we have and are is consecrated to Him. We long to bear His image, breathe His spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things” (Steps to Christ, p. 58).

OXYGEN Volume 09Bible Passage for Meditation: Psalm 37:23-27

Key Verse: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” Psalm 37:23

My fiancé and I were soon to be married. Our families were already in town. Preparations were in full swing. Days seemed to blend together as we hurried from one to-do list item to the next.

In the midst of all this hubbub and chaos, I remembered to take some GLOW tracts along in my pocket one day, although literature distribution was one of the farthest things from my mind at the time. Soon, I found myself waiting at a clothing store while my wife-to-be tried on a dress or two for her bridesmaids.

As we left the dressing room area, I quickly gave a GLOW tract to the dressing room attendant, with full intentions of moving on to other nuptial necessities. However, the attendant stopped me and said, “Thanks for this tract. I like these kinds of things.”

I soon found myself engaged in a fifteen-minute spiritual conversation with this young man named Vincent. In the end, we prayed in the dressing room and exchanged contact information. Three weeks later, Vincent was baptized into the Adventist Church. What a miracle! As you can imagine, we were “glowing” in more ways than one when we heard the news.

Interestingly, we found out later that we had accidentally gone to the men’s dressing room instead of the women’s that day. Thankfully, there were no men using it at the time, or we might have noticed our mistake, left for the women’s dressing room, and missed Vincent entirely.  Obviously, God directed our course, both in helping me remember to carry literature in the midst of hectic wedding preparations and in our mistaken visit to the wrong dressing room.

Whenever I think of this, I’m reminded of the Scripture, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way” (Psalm 37:23).

God has a plan for each one of us, and if we are faithful in small things (such as carrying spiritual literature in our pockets and purses and seeking to share it whenever we have opportunity), we will see big results that make an eternal difference for the souls around us.

By Nelson Ernst, guest contributor

(Nelson is the co-founder and leading director of GLOW, a literature distribution ministry which started in California and has spread across the globe, printing nearly 50 million tracts since its beginning in 2007. Nelson is also an energy-filled speaker who has current outreach stories and training tips to help activate church members, young and old. To learn more about GLOW or to get tracts of your own to share, please visit the ministry website: http://glowonline.org/home.)

Day46Bible Passage for Meditation: 1 Corinthians 4:6-13

Key Verse: “For we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” 1 Corinthians 4:9

When we think about witnessing, most of us think about a certain event at a certain point in time: we went knocking on doors, we shared our testimony, we gave a Bible study . . . and therefore we witnessed. But what if witnessing was more than that? What if we are witnessing every minute of our lives? What if we realized that we are a spectacle to the world with every choice we make each day? Would we make the same choices? Would we choose to speak the same words? Would we choose to act the same way?

Consider the following passage from one of my favorite books, Christian Service:

“The glory of the church of God is in the piety of its members; for there is the hiding of Christ’s power. The influence of the sincere children of God may be esteemed as of little worth, but it will be felt throughout time, and rightly revealed in the day of reward. The light of a true Christian, shining forth in steadfast piety, in unwavering faith, will prove to the world the power of a living Saviour. . . . I have been shown that the disciples of Christ are His representatives upon the earth; and God designs that they shall be lights in the moral darkness of this world, dotted all over the country, in the towns, villages, and cities, ‘a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to man’” (Christian Service, p. 19).

Can we be this light and witness in and of ourselves? No!

Ellen White continues, “The followers of Christ are to be the light of the world; but God does not bid them make an effort to shine. He does not approve of any self-satisfied endeavor to display superior goodness. He desires that their souls shall be imbued with the principles of heaven; then, as they come in contact with the world, they will reveal the light that is in them. Their steadfast fidelity in every act of life will be a means of illumination” (Christian Service, pp. 19, 20).

It’s hard to recognize the seriousness of the times in which we live and that every choice we make might be influencing someone’s eternal destiny. But people are watching, angels are watching, and, most importantly, God is watching. Will we be faithful with the witness He’s given us?

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for the example that Jesus set for us when He was on earth. Forgive us that we have not witnessed for You as we should have. Help us to remember that we are a spectacle to the world, that the choices we make are actually affecting others for eternity. We cannot be who You’ve called us to be in our own strength. Put Your love in our hearts. Teach us what it means to love others and, most of all, what it means to love and obey You. As we live our daily lives, may others not see us but instead see a reflection of You. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

By Raluca Ril

(Raluca is co-author with her husband, Roman, of the Ten Days of Prayer materials for 2015-16. She and her husband currently serve as missionaries in Germany. To read more of Raluca’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day45Bible Passage for Meditation: Ecclesiastes 3:9-15

Key Verse: “He hath made everything beautiful in its time: also he hath set eternity in their heart, yet so that man cannot find out the work that God hath done from the beginning even to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11, ASV

It is interesting to observe that when two people pass each other on the street or sidewalk, they often look at each other’s faces, even if they don’t know one another. Also, while in a room with others, even if we don’t talk to one another, we often observe and make private judgments about other people based on appearance, words, body language, and more. Some people we are drawn to and subconsciously want to emulate. Others turn us off, and we think to ourselves, I’m glad I’m not like them.

While we may live in the twenty-first century, and while styles and ways of life have changed over the years, this pattern of observation and interaction among humans has been going on since Creation. In fact, as Ecclesiastes 1 tells us, “There is no new thing under the sun” (v. 9). “All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing” (v. 8).

However, one thing does last, and one thing can change: our character and our witness. This includes both the intentional witness we try to put forth and the subtle witness that we don’t think about. The Bible tells us, “He hath set eternity in their heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, ASV). In other words, God has given us the desire and capacity to rise above mundane daily life and make a difference for eternity.

So what “eternity” do others see in your life today? Does your life exude Christ in every word and action, even the way you walk into a room or the way you smile as you pass others on the street? Do others see Christ when they observe you at play, or when they see you shopping for groceries?

Ellen White tells us, “Daily, in the words we speak, in the plans we form, in the acts we perform, we are making impressions for good or for evil upon those with whom we come in contact. In all we do and say we should testify for Christ” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, p. 306).

Unfortunately, sometimes I’m so busy with what’s in front of me that I miss the person who is watching me, looking for a smile and desiring to know what it means to be a follower of Christ. Sometimes I’m so busy trying to accomplish important errands that I don’t think about the people who are watching the choices I make.

Let’s pray that God will help us make every action count for eternity. After all, the only thing we will take to heaven is our character—and those people with whom we’ve succeeded in sharing Christ. The true evidence of conversion in our lives is not just our intentional witness; it’s also the subtle influence that is shared daily when we think no one is watching.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Lord, help me to see people as You see them. Also, help me to be a witness wherever I am, in my home, on the street, while I’m shopping, when I walk into a room, in my classroom, when I’m traveling on a plane, and wherever I go. Help my life to be an eternal witness for You, not just with my words but also in the subtle influence that others see when I’m not paying attention. Help me not to be too busy to smile, give an encouraging word, and appreciate those around me. Forgive me for the many times I’ve been so consumed with myself and my tasks that I’ve missed opportunities to witness for You. As I continue praying for my church, I pray that You would fill me with Your Spirit and teach me to love and live as Jesus did while on this earth! Thank You for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Roman Ril

(Roman is co-author with his wife, Raluca, of the Ten Days of Prayer materials for 2015-16. He and his wife serve the Lord in Germany as missionaries. To read more of Roman’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Oxygen Volume 18Bible Passage for Meditation: Psalm 101:1-8

Key Verse: “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” Psalm 101:2

I’ve always wanted to be a missionary, ever since I was a little girl. My grandparents were missionaries, so my mom got to be a missionary while she was growing up. In fact, she still speaks Spanish as a result of her childhood in the mission field.

However, it wasn’t until high school that I started my official missionary career when I took my first overseas mission trip to Bangkok, Thailand, and Seoul, South Korea. I was so excited. Okay, so it was just a music tour with our high school band and bell choir, but still, I needed a passport to take the trip. However, after a few more overseas trips and then serving as a student missionary in South America for a time, I began to get a handle on missions, or so I thought. Then God called me to a different mission field. Yep, He called me home!

At the time, I was just finishing my sophomore year in college. And honestly, home was the last place I wanted to go. Don’t get me wrong. I have a great family, but . . . I had my sights on bigger and more exciting missionary endeavors. But that year, God convicted me that I needed to go home and spend some time serving my family before I continued seeking to serve God on a broader field. It wasn’t an easy choice to make at first, but to tell you the truth, it ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. God really blessed that year, and, as a result, my family and I are closer now than ever before.

In the years since my interlude at home, I’ve been privileged to work and travel in many countries. However, God continues to remind me that being a missionary is not just about having a passport and going somewhere “out of my comfort zone.” It’s much more than that. It’s about having the right attitude and heart right now, where I am. It’s about being a cheerful servant to those around me.

Of course, it’s okay to dream of traveling across the ocean to be a missionary. And it’s great to work in full-time ministry. But before we try to save the world, God is calling us to be faithful missionaries with those closest. That means our spouse, our roommates, our parents, siblings, and children. It means being faithful in that dark little corner of service where no one notices or applauds us, or maybe witnessing to that next-door neighbor or church member that seems kind of odd. These things may not sound very glamorous or attractive, but if we can’t be faithful here, it’s like dreaming of sailing across the ocean when we are still doing a baby paddle in our own bathtubs. So let’s get our priorities straight, and first things must come first!

“The first great business of your life is to be a missionary at home. . . . Our work for Christ is to begin with the family, in the home. . . . There is no missionary field more important than this” (Christian Service, p. 206).

The Bible says, “I will walk within my house with a perfect heart” (Psalm 101:2). It also tells us, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10).

So wherever you are in the world right now, consider yourself a missionary! It may not be easy, but ask God to help make you a good missionary, for you are touching lives for eternity, whether you realize it or not.

by Melody Mason

(Melody is author of Daring to Ask for More: Divine Keys to Answered Prayer and coordinator of 100 Days of Prayer. She currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. To read more of Melody’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day43Bible Passage for Meditation: Acts 22:1-16

Key Verse: “And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.” Acts. 22:14

We all know the story. Saul was a great persecutor of Christians, putting many to death. However, one day everything changed. One day He met Jesus and, as a result, became one of Christ’ most devoted followers, bringing healing and hope where before he had brought death and suffering.

I have read this story many times, and not until just recently—literally today—had I thought about how this story has a lesson for my own life.

No, I haven’t put Christians to death as Saul did, but I have been proud and judgmental and wounded my fellow brothers and sisters in many other ways. I’ve spoken words of criticism when I should have remained silent and prayed. I’ve been harsh and condemning when I should have had empathy and love. I’ve torn down when I should have built up. These sins in God’s eyes are no less sinful than Saul’s.

Thankfully, despite all that I’ve done, I hear God’s voice calling me. He’s calling you as well. He’s telling us, “The God of our fathers has chosen you for a special purpose. He has a higher calling for your life. In the past you’ve been used of the enemy to tear down and destroy, but now God wants to use you to build up and to bring healing.”

But how are we to change? How are we to go from being a Saul to being a Paul?

Ellen White writes, “No outward observances can take the place of simple faith and entire renunciation of self. But no man can empty himself of self. We can only consent for Christ to accomplish the work” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 159).

And so, my prayer echoes the words of Inspiration:

“Lord, take my heart; for I cannot give it. It is Thy property. Keep it pure, for I cannot keep it for Thee. Save me in spite of myself, my weak, unchristlike self. Mold me, fashion me, raise me into a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich current of Thy love can flow through my soul” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 159).

Ellen White continues: “It is not only at the beginning of the Christian life that this renunciation of self is to be made. At every advance step heavenward it is to be renewed. All our good works are dependent on a power outside of ourselves. Therefore there needs to be a continual reaching out of the heart after God, a continual, earnest, heartbreaking confession of sin and humbling of the soul before Him. Only by constant renunciation of self and dependence on Christ can we walk safely” (Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 159, 160).

So what will I do from this day forward? What will you do? Jesus Himself is asking us this very question. He is commissioning you and me to follow Him. He wants to take us from being a Saul to being a Paul. Will we respond to His call?

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Gracious Father, Thank You for loving us so much that You sent Jesus to die for our sins. We admit that even as Christians, we have too often been like Saul, tearing down and persecuting our fellow Christian brothers and sisters. Please change our hearts. We surrender our lives to You now, Father. As we continue praying for our church, show us how to be the witnesses You’ve called us to be to those around us—to those right next door, to those next to us in our church pew, and, most importantly, to those in our own homes. This isn’t easy, but You can change us. Take us, mold us, and make us into vessels who will serve You and bring glory to Your name. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

By Kat Taylor

(Kat works full time for a government agency in Kansas, but her real heart and passion is in ministry. She is a prayer leader as well as a member of the 100 Days of Prayer leadership team. To read more of Kat’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day42Bible Passage For Meditation: Matthew 5:1-14

Key Verse: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Matthew 5:13

“Are you an Adventist?” the leader of the group asked me. At that moment, I wished I could just disappear. I was an immature, unconverted college student and had just used some very unkind profanities to tell some rowdy teenagers to leave my car alone. When they found out I was attending a local Adventist school, the leader mentioned someone he knew who went there and then asked if I was an Adventist also. Even though I was barely going to church at the time, I remember feeling horrible about how I had represented my Christianity.

My actions that day left a foul taste in the mouths of those young, impressionable minds. The fact is, whether we intend to or not, we all have a constant influence on those around us. Jesus illustrated this with the metaphor of salt: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matthew 5:13).

So what “taste” is left in people’s mouths after being around me? Does it make them want to know my God more, or does it make them turn away in disgust? Truly, as Ellen White writes, “The strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable Christian” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 470). However, of myself, I’m not very loving. When someone mistreats me, my tendency is to respond and protect self. But God has promised us that when we are filled with the Spirit, we will bear the fruit of the Spirit. And that fruit will taste good!

Just imagine the impact you will have on the non-Christians in your sphere of influence when you react to your angry boss with patience; when you are joyful even when your car breaks down or inconveniences pile up; when your travel plans are changed and everyone is angry with the gate agent at the airport, but you remain kind; when you go the extra mile to give that rude waiter a pleasant word of encouragement. Of course, you can’t do these things on your own, but you do them because you are so filled with the Holy Spirit that Christ’s character has started to become your character.

Inspiration tells us, “If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind and courteous and tenderhearted and pitiful, there would be one hundred conversions to the truth where now there is only one” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 189).

I want everyone around me to want to know Jesus because they can taste His fruit in my life. Let’s pray that we bear more of Christ’ Spirit so that the world can truly “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Father in heaven, naturally we fall short of Your wonderful, loving character. But You have chosen us to bear fruit (John 15:16), so please bear the fruit of the Spirit in our hearts today. Please make us so overflowing with Your goodness that everyone we come into contact with will want to know what is different about us. Jesus, live in us today so that our neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family can truly taste and see that You are good! Please fill us with Your Holy Spirit! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Zac Page

(Zac is pastor at Templeton Hills SDA Church in Templeton, California. He and his wife, Leah, have been married seven years and speak at revival and prayer retreats. To read more of Pastor Zac’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

OXYGEN Volume 09Bible Passage for Meditation: 1 Pet. 3:13-17

Key Verse: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15)

We all have a testimony, but do we know how to share it? We say we are Seventh-day Adventist Christians, but do we know why? If we were put on the spot, would we be ready to give an answer for our faith?

In Acts 1:8 the Bible tells us, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me.” Responding to this verse, Ellen White writes, “These words of Jesus have lost none of their force. Our Saviour calls for faithful witnesses in these days of religious formalism; but how few, even among the professed ambassadors for Christ, are ready to give a faithful, personal testimony for their Master!” (Gospel Workers, p. 273).

Whether we’ve been Christians for years or only for a brief time, God has given each of us a personal testimony—and it’s one of the most effective tools for sharing the gospel. However, the reality is that when it comes to witnessing in day-to-day life, we may only have a few brief minutes to share the joy we have found in Christ. Or maybe we won’t even get to speak at all. Maybe all someone will see is our actions, the way we talk to our family members, or the way we handle a frustrating situation. As one pastor put it, “What you are doing is thundering so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying!” Yes, our unspoken words and actions speak volumes about our relationship with Christ.

I love this quote from the book The Desire of Ages: “Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven’s chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. . . . [and] that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience. We are witnesses for God as we reveal in ourselves the working of a power that is divine” (p. 347).

Already we have completed forty days of prayer. And God has been blessing. For the next ten days, we will focus on “daily discipleship” and the practical aspects of what it means to “be a witness” to those around us. As we continue praying for our church, our leaders, and the upcoming General Conference Session, let’s pray that God will show us how to share with others the great gift—our testimony—that He’s given us. Let’s pray that He will make us faithful witnesses for His glory!

Melody Mason
Coordinator, 100 Days of Prayer
General Conference Ministerial Association

 

[New Testimonial Page: While we are on the topic of testimonies, we invite you to share how the 100 Days of Prayer initiative has impacted your church or your life personally. You can share your testimony on the new testimonial page–see tab above. Share a few comments or even a picture of your prayer group so that others can be encouraged and blessed. Click Here to go to the testimonial page directly!]

OXYGEN Volume 16Bible Passage for Meditation: John 15:1-12

Key Verse: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18)

During high school I had a lot of struggles, so I began to drink because I wanted to be happy. I wanted to have a good time. Unfortunately it just ended up causing more pain and heartache than ever.

Of course, even for us as Christians, life isn’t easy. The Bible warns us that “many are the afflictions of the righteous” (Psalm 34:19), and it also tells us not to be surprised when we face trials (1 Peter 4:12).

Since becoming more fully converted, I’ve often thought I just needed to “grin and bear” with the difficulties of this life, knowing that one day I will experience the happiness and joy of heaven.

But James tells us to “count it all joy” when we go through trials (James 1:2). Can you imagine having your clothes torn off, being beaten with rods until you had “many stripes,” and then being placed in a dark high security prison with your feet in stocks? Talk about a difficult trial. If ever someone needed alcohol to numb the pain, this seems like the time. How was it that Paul and Silas were able, under such intense conditions, to joyfully pray and sing hymns?

Jesus promises us something incredible in John 15:11: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (NKJV).

This promise comes in the context of abiding in Christ. To constantly find refuge during the storms of life in Christ’s loving presence brings true joy! Because, in His “presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11). No wonder Ephesians 5:18 contrasts being drunk with being filled with the Holy Spirit. “The presence of Christ alone can make men and women happy. All the common waters of life Christ can turn into the wine of heaven” (Adventist Home, p. 28).

I no longer need to drink alcohol to try to be happy; I just need to drink more fully of the Holy Spirit. This is the wine of Heaven. And this is something that we can partake of without limit. It is the joy of learning to abide in Jesus’ presence.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Father in heaven, we want to be filled with joy! We don’t just want to pretend the Christian life is joyful; we want to actually be filled with the precious fruit of joy. Please help us to drink more fully of the Holy Spirit. Please forgive us for drinking from empty cisterns when we might have the pure wine of heaven. Please help us to abide in Your loving presence so that we can truly show the world how joyful it is to be a Christian. Thank You for filling us with joy today!

By Zac Page

(Zac is pastor at Templeton Hills SDA Church, in Templeton, California. He and his wife, Leah, have been married seven years and speak at revival and prayer retreats. To read more of Pastor Zac’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day39Bible Passage for Meditation: Psalm 16:8-11

Key Verse: “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11, NKJV

Have you ever seen a Christian who seems to be sad all the time? They hardly smile, and while professing to serve Christ and holding to many high standards, they do not seem to have much joy. Maybe you are such a person?

Unfortunately, I used to be such a person. I very rarely smiled. I was not sad all the time, but I simply did not know how to be a joyful person. Even my family would tell me, “You need to smile more, Raluca!”

However, one day things began to change. God took hold of my heart. He showed me how much He loved me and how He longed to spend time with me in prayer. Drawn by His love, I began to spend more and more time with Him. As a result, I could not contain my joy. I had joy and peace in my heart like I’d never had before.

A few months after that, I met a friend whom I had not seen since college days. Her reaction made me realize for the first time how visible the change was in my life. She could not believe it was really me with such a huge smile on my face.

Ellen White tells us in The Desire of Ages, “When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the joy of heaven. . . . The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God” (p. 173).

In another place we are told, “Those who abide in Jesus will be happy, cheerful, and joyful in God” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 625).

Today I can happily say, the joy of the Lord is my strength! What about you?

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Father, we thank You for giving us joy and peace in our hearts. Thank You that in Your presence there is fullness of joy. We pray that You help us surrender all our being to You so that we can rejoice in Your salvation. As we worship You today, help us to be happy, cheerful, and joyful Christians. May it not be a mask, but come from a genuine relationship with You. We pray that You grow in us joy, the fruit of the Holy Spirit. May Your Holy Spirit dwell in us, and may others see on our faces the joy of heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Raluca Ril

(Raluca is co-author with her husband, Roman, of the Ten Days of Prayer materials for 2015-16. She and her husband currently serve as missionaries in Germany. To read more of Raluca’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day38Bible Passage for Meditation: Isaiah 26:1-6

Key Verse: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3

Hudson Taylor, one of the early pioneer missionaries to the interior of China, spent many years working as a missionary in service to the Lord before he realized the significance of the gospel personally. Discouraged with the weight of sin and his constant shortcomings, he longed for peace but saw only darkness. At times he wondered if it was even possible that Christ could save him.

However, one day the truth of the gospel came home to him, and he grasped the fullness of what Christ came to bring. In a letter to his sister, he described his awakening experience and its effect upon his life.

“How to get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One,” he wrote. “I have striven in vain to rest in Him. I’ll strive no more. For has He not promised to abide with me—never to leave me, never to fail me? . . . The sweetest part, if one may speak of one part being sweeter than another, is the rest which full identification with Christ brings. I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize this; for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. For in the easiest positions He must give me grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient” (V. Raymond Edman, They Found the Secret, p. 20).

Others, who were witnesses to Hudson Taylor’s transformed life, later added their own testimonies.

“He was a man bearing tremendous burdens, yet absolutely calm and unruffled. He was an object lesson in quietness. He drew from the bank of heaven every farthing of his daily income—‘My peace I give unto you.’ Whatever did not agitate the Savior, or ruffle His spirit was not to agitate him. Although occupied with millions, he knew nothing of rush or hurry, of quivering nerves or vexation of spirit. He knew there was a peace passing all understanding, and that he could not do without” (Edman, p. 20).

Hudson Taylor became a living example of what it is like to live in peace, peace above the storm. This is the peace that Jesus lived, and the peace that He wants to give us as well.

In Christ’s Object Lessons we are told, “When trials arise that seem unexplainable, we should not allow our peace to be spoiled. However unjustly we may be treated, let not passion arise. By indulging a spirit of retaliation we injure ourselves. We destroy our own confidence in God, and grieve the Holy Spirit. There is by our side a witness, a heavenly messenger, who will lift up for us a standard against the enemy. He will shut us in with the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. Beyond this Satan cannot penetrate. He cannot pass this shield of holy light” (p. 171, 172).

No matter the stress or storms we face today, no matter the many responsibilities demanding our immediate attention, let us pray to be shut in by the beams of Christ’s righteousness!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for the sweet peace that You give us as we turn our hearts and eyes upon You. You promise never to leave us or forsake us, and You promise to carry our burdens when we surrender them to You. As we continue praying for Your Holy Spirit to be poured out on our church, we ask that You would pour out a spirit of peace and forgiveness, of meekness and love in our hearts toward one another. Help us to be patient and forgiving of each other’s faults, and in the ways that we might disagree, help us to still act toward one another in love, without hypocrisy. Shield us from the attacks of the enemy and from allowing him to rob us of the gift of Your peace. Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Melody Mason

(Melody is author of Daring to Ask for More: Divine Keys to Answered Prayer and coordinator of 100 Days of Prayer. She currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. To read more of Melody’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day37Bible Passage for Meditation: Matthew 6:33, 34

Key Verse: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

I spend much time studying about autism, improving my diagnostic skills, designing interventions for children with the disorder, and offering support to their families. In fact, I’ve always dreamed of one day having the opportunity to make a national presentation on the topic.

Thus you can only imagine my excitement when I received an e-mail a couple of weeks ago from the National Autism Society of America informing me that my presentation proposal was approved for the upcoming national conference in Denver, Colorado, July 8-11, 2015. It was an answer to prayer and a dream come true. Then my joy suddenly faded as I realized that this was the same time as the upcoming General Conference Session. I’m passionate about prayer ministry, and I had already committed my services as a prayer team member for the ten-day session.

In this moment the Lord reminded me of His promise, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). I knew I couldn’t change my mind on the Lord! I could not choose the things of this world, no matter how noble they were, over His call to serve.

These types of decisions confront us daily. What will we choose when we face a conflict between service to God and service to our own earthly interests?

Ellen White writes, “We are never called upon to make a real sacrifice for God. Many things He asks us to yield to Him, but in doing this we are but giving up that which hinders us in the heavenward way. Even when called upon to surrender those things which in themselves are good, we may be sure that God is thus working out for us some higher good. In the future life the mysteries that here have annoyed and disappointed us will be made plain. We shall see that our seemingly unanswered prayers and disappointed hopes have been among our greatest blessings.” Help in Daily Living, p. 13

I don’t know if God has called me to surrender my dream permanently, or just entrust it to Him for now. But I have made my choice! The Lord has honored His Word to me time and time again, so I must honor my word to Him. He promises “For [I am] not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward [My] name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Hebrew 6:10). I choose to have faith in my Lord. What about you?

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, entire consecration is not easy. While we love You, it is not always easy for us to give up the things of this world when You call us to serve. As we continue through the 100 Days of Prayer, help us to re-commit daily to giving You our all, and to taking You at Your Word. Help us to have faith that You will fulfill Your promises in our lives when we put You above all else. But whether or not You choose to honor us by answering our prayers as we would hope, we still relinquish our private dreams and selfish worldly ambitions to You today. May the words of William Cowper’s faithful hymn be our daily prayer: “The dearest idol I have known, whate’er that idol be, help me to tear it from Thy throne, and worship only Thee.” Amen.

By Shanter Alexander

(Shanter, a native of St. Lucia, an island in the West Indies, is a psychologist who lives and works in Michigan. She has been involved with prayer leadership both locally and in division events across the ocean. To read more of Shanter’s testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Oxygen Volume 17Bible Passage for Meditation: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

Key Verse: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20

We talk a lot about the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, and meekness, but what about temperance, which is another word for “self-control”?

Self-control is easy to preach about until it steps on your own toes, or until it touches your own plate.

Recently, a friend and I were studying out different principles of healthful living, and I was priding myself on my self-control in a number of areas, until I began to realize that I still have a long way to go when it comes to truly embracing the health message as I should. I can talk a lot about the “fruit of the Spirit” and about “surrender,” as well as the many ways that God has worked in my life over the years, but—well, just don’t touch my dessert plate!

In most circles I would probably be considered quite conservative. I’m a vegan (most of the time), and I eat my salads and greens pretty regularly. So I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, right? After all, I take pretty good care of my body. But recently, God’s been convicting me about my love affair with sugar. Yes, I really do love that sweet stuff. It’s so good, so comforting, and surely a little extra now and then (as well as an extra helping of dessert on Sabbath) isn’t to be scorned, is it? Or is it?

Actually, as I have studied further, I’ve discovered that not only is sugar super addictive but it also has an effect on the brain similar to certain drugs. And when used with dairy products, it is even more harmful. The same is true for many of the rich foods we delight in.

Now sugar may not be your weak point, but God is calling us to keep our bodies in upmost physical health so we can serve Him fully. Are we truly willing to give Him our all? Are we willing to allow Him to touch even those sensitive points in our lives, even what we put on our plates? Hmmm.

Ellen White writes, “Christ began the work of redemption just where the ruin began. His first test was on the same point where Adam failed. It was through temptations addressed to the appetite that Satan had overcome a large proportion of the human race, and his success had made him feel that the control of this fallen planet was in his hands. But in Christ he found one who was able to resist him, and he left the field of battle a conquered foe. Jesus says, ‘He hath nothing in Me.’ His victory is an assurance that we too may come off victors in our conflicts with the enemy. But it is not our heavenly Father’s purpose to save us without an effort on our part to cooperate with Christ. We must act our part, and divine power, uniting with our effort, will bring victory” (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 153).

Yes, where Christ began is where He asks us to begin as well, and it’s in the surrender of appetite. So, my brothers and sisters, it may not be easy, but I encourage you, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, we really want to serve You with all our hearts, but it’s so difficult to let go of things we love, especially things we love to eat. Please forgive us for abusing our bodies, Your temples, and for keeping back this part of our lives from You. We cannot overcome in our own strength, but You promise that what we cannot do, You will do, as we surrender to You and as we choose to walk a new pathway (Philippians 4:13). So as we continue praying for our church, and praying that You would do a thorough work of reformation among us at the upcoming General Conference Session, let the reformation continue in our own hearts today, in our own homes, and in our own food closets. May You be Master of the things that master us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Melody Mason

(Melody is author of Daring to Ask for More: Divine Keys to Answered Prayer and coordinator of 100 Days of Prayer. She currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. To read more of Melody’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Oxygen Volume 18Bible Passage for Meditation: Colossians 3:12-17

Key Verse: “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Colossians 3:13

A few months into Bible studies with my Adventist friend, I could feel God calling me to make changes in my life, changes for Him. One change I made was to remove body jewelry. While I liked my jewelry and thought it looked good, I learned that God didn’t want me to have piercings (Leviticus 19:28).

However, when I took my final stand and the last piece of jewelry was removed, I could tell Satan was angry, for two days later an old boyfriend showed up at my door wanting to talk. He claimed that he wanted reconciliation for the past and the chance to make things right, but actually he had come to gain entrance to my home (which I naively gave him) so he could assault me.

As a result of this tragic incident, I was angry at God all over again. Here I had just made a new surrender to Him. How could He allow this to happen to me?

For a time, I was a victim and was determined I would never forgive. Thankfully, I’m no longer a victim to my past, for God has given me a heart transplant. He has given me a heart of forgiveness toward the one (and ones) who hurt me. My prayer now for those who have hurt me is that they will be touched by the One who has forgiven me.

Has something hurtful ever happened in your life that you find difficult to forgive? Are you a victim to something from your past? Forgiveness is not something we can manufacture. It’s a gift that comes from God. But if we hope to go to heaven, we must have a heart of forgiveness for our fellow man—that includes those who don’t know better, and those who do, such as fellow Christian brothers and sisters who wrong us at times. Forgiveness is extremely difficult toward this latter group, but Jesus will give us this heart if we ask. What freedom true forgiveness brings!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Heavenly Father, create in us a clean heart, and take the heart of stone from us. Although we want to be like Jesus, we are human and so very weak. As we continue praying for our church, give us forgiveness toward those who have wronged us. You tell us that if we can’t forgive others, You cannot forgive us. So please forgive us for holding back this gift. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and guide us in the way we should go. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Kat Taylor

(Kat works full time for a government agency in Kansas, but her real heart and passion is in ministry. She is a prayer leader as well as a member of the 100 Days of Prayer leadership team. To read more of Kat’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day34Bible Passage for Meditation: Luke 10:25-37

Key Verse: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” Luke 10:27

Some might wonder what thing has been hardest to surrender as I’ve chosen to walk with the Lord. Was it leaving the path of pursuing a career in the world? No! Was it leaving the lifestyle of the world and the superficial happiness of dancing, drinking, and partying? No! Maybe it was giving up my intense passion for soccer, since I’d won many awards and trophies in competitive sports? No, once again!

I can honestly say that none of these things, hard as they might seem, come even close to being a “sacrifice” to give up. The life God has given me in exchange is not simply a different life, but it is life more abundant, and I would not trade it for the world.

However, the Christian walk involves struggles that I did not expect, and these challenges test and try my character the most. These are the things that I continually struggle to surrender.

Jesus summarized our Christian duty in Luke 10:27: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”

You see, the commandment to love the Lord—who never did anything bad to me but loves me, has saved me, and accepts me just as I am—is different from the commandment to love my neighbor as myself. While it can be a struggle to love people in the world, my biggest struggle is to respect and accept my fellow Christian brothers, who often have shortcomings and failures and who sometimes wound me. Yet, the ability to love as Christ loved is what sets us apart from other religions of the world. And if we follow Him, we must learn to love those around us (including our Christian brothers and sisters who fail us) with His unselfish, sacrificial love.

This kind of surrender is not easy, but I praise Him that, as I continually seek to yield my heart to Him, He keeps giving me that love and acceptance for my fellow Christians.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Lord, help me to see others as You see them. Put Your eye salve on my eyes, for I am blind and cannot discern Your handwriting in the lives of my brothers next to me. Instead of seeing the shortcomings, pride, and selfishness of others, help me to believe and see that You will finish the work that You started in them, just as You are also doing in me. Help me to be a tool of love that You can use to soften and shape my brothers’ hearts. And as we continue this 100 Days of Prayer, may true love for our brothers (who don’t always agree with us) be upmost in our hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Roman Ril

(Roman is co-author with his wife, Raluca, of the Ten Days of Prayer materials for 2015-16. He and his wife serve the Lord in Germany as missionaries. To read more of Roman’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day33Bible Passage for Meditation: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Key Verse: “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2, NKJV

As I began my studies at Andrews Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, I longed to be so connected with God that I could see His power unleashed in every aspect of my life, just as it was for early Christians in the book of Acts. So, as I’ve shared before, I began to take more and more time to pray and seek God earnestly each day.

I wanted to be “thick with the Almighty,” as it says in Gospel Workers (p. 255), so that I could have spiritual power. I wanted to be able to preach with Holy Spirit power and see thousands converted in a day. I wanted to be able to pray in faith and see incredible miracles of healing, as well as victories for the church. And so I kept clinging to the promise: “Power will come from God in answer to the prayer of faith” (Gospel Workers, p. 255).

God answered my prayer for power. But I didn’t recognize it at first. As I spent long hours with Jesus each morning, I began to recognize the hardness of my own heart. I realized that I had an anger problem that was hurting a lot of those closest to me. I realized that I had a lot of pride, a lot of rough edges that needed softening.

“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2, NKJV).

Wow. That verse is so familiar that it’s easy to miss the significance. Even if I were able to do all these miracles in God’s power but still lacked love, it would be absolutely valueless!

You see, “Love is power” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 135). In another place Sister White writes, “God considers more with how much love we work, than the amount we do” (The Youth’s Instructor, Jan. 13, 1898, par. 9). What an eye-opening revelation.

So the most crucial thing to ensure that my life has eternal value and meaning is for God to write His law of love on my heart through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Of course, I still believe God will fulfill the book of Acts before He returns and that a power such as we’ve never seen before will be exhibited in the lives of believers. But I’m thankful that He has first begun to work this most incredible miracle in my own heart. The miracle of true love!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Father in heaven, we long to do mighty things for You. We long to do mighty things as a church; however, forgive us for forgetting that the mightiest thing we can do is to truly love others as You love us. Please break our hard hearts and fill us with Christ-like love. We cannot do this on our own. Please come, Holy Spirit, and write Your law of love on our hearts today, that the world may see Jesus in us. Give us a heart of humility that “what might have been” in days gone by, will finally be a reality for us today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Zac Page

(Zac is pastor at Templeton Hills SDA Church, in Templeton, California. He and his wife, Leah, have been married seven years and speak at revival and prayer retreats. To read more of Pastor Zac’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day32

Bible Passage for Meditation: 1 John 4:7-11

Key Verse: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:7, 8

It never ceases to amaze me how often the Epistles of John speak of love and how John does not mince words. He goes always to the point, and it is a sharp and sometimes painful point. In essence, if I don’t love, I don’t know God. Ouch!

Then I look back at Galatians 5:22. Love is the very first fruit of the Spirit that is listed, which tells me that it should be the first visible sign of my transformed life. Also in Romans 12:9 we are told, “Let love be without hypocrisy” (ASV).

So what kind of love does God expect me to have toward people?

This question has sent me digging through my Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy writings on multiple occasions, often when I feel chastened by God for the thoughts in my heart and my tendency to unloving deeds. After all, I’m human. Although I desperately long to be like Jesus, to have His mindset, His deeds, and His actions and reactions, I find that my selfish human ways often interfere.

Through the power of the Word, God is slowly changing me. When I find that I don’t “feel” loving toward a person, I reflect upon 1 John. If I truly love God, love will show. No, it isn’t easy, and it doesn’t come from my own corrupt heart, but God can change our hearts. I’ve also found that showing love, even when I don’t want to, brings a peace that surpasses all understanding. This doesn’t mean that I naturally fit with every personality. No, some people still tend to get under my skin every time I see them. However, God is teaching me to love them. They are children of God, and the truth is that I may be the only face of Jesus they will ever see. So I better act like Him! How does He act? Always in love!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Gracious Father, we pray for a magnificent outpouring of Your Holy Spirit, that we may love others as You love us. May we find in our hearts room for all, even those we don’t naturally like. We need Your sweet Spirit, not that we may boast of anything but that we may look like Your glorious Son to the world. Thank You for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

By Kat Taylor

(Kat works full time for a government agency in Kansas, but her real heart and passion is in ministry. She is a prayer leader as well as a member of the 100 Days of Prayer leadership team. To read more of Kat’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day31

Bible Passage for Meditation: Galatians 5:22-26

Key Verse: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22, 23

We pray you are being blessed on this journey of prayer as much as we are! For the next ten days of prayer we will reflect on “personal consecration” as it’s displayed through the fruit of the Spirit.

The main goal we are praying for during this 100 Days of Prayer program is that the Holy Spirit will be poured out abundantly on us as a church so that we will be equipped to finish the work so we can go home to heaven. But the work starts with us as individuals. It starts personally, and in our own homes.

In Acts of the Apostles we are told, “Every worker who follows the example of Christ will be prepared to receive and use the power that God has promised to His church for the ripening of earth’s harvest. Morning by morning, as the heralds of the gospel kneel before the Lord and renew their vows of consecration to Him, He will grant them the presence of His Spirit, with its reviving, sanctifying power. As they go forth to the day’s duties, they have the assurance that the unseen agency of the Holy Spirit enables them to be ‘laborers together with God’” (Acts of the Apostles, p. 56).

This is what we need daily: that reviving, sanctifying power. Let’s pray for that today. And let’s pray that God will continue to show us what practical Christianity and practical godliness look like in our daily lives. Let’s ask Him to give us the fruit of the Spirit, for as Inspiration tells us, “This fruit can never perish, but will produce after its kind a harvest unto eternal life” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 68).

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, as we continue praying through 100 Days of Prayer for our church, we ask that You take the work deeper into our hearts. Show us what it means to have the fruit of the Spirit in our daily lives. Show us what true love looks like. Show us what it means to have joy, to have peace, to be longsuffering (even under provocation), to show godly gentleness, to act in goodness (not our goodness, but Yours), to continue praying in faith, to respond to others in meekness, and to be temperate. God, we cannot be any of these things in our own strength. This is a work that only You can do. Please change us. Make us like You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Melody Mason
Coordinator, 100 Days of Prayer
General Conference Ministerial Association

Day30

Bible Passage for Meditation: Luke 4:42-5:16

Key Verse: “And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.” Luke 5:16

Have you ever come to the end of your vacation and found that you were more tired than you were when it began? I remember thinking at the end of a recent vacation, “This is craziness! What’s the point of taking a vacation when it is just about as exhausting as work?”

With the constant rush, ever increasing stress and overwhelming busyness of our daily lives, we all are in need of a true get-away, but what type of getaway should we be seeking? First, we should ask, how did Jesus deal with it all? After all, He had more pressure, more potential stressors, and greater responsibilities than you or I will ever face.

In Luke 5:15, we find a glimpse of Jesus exhausting schedule. “However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities.”

Talk about a time of high stress and incredible opportunity! As a pastor, if the multitudes were gathering at my church to hear the gospel and to be ministered to, I would feel that this was the moment to shift into overdrive! Clearly, this would not be the time to withdraw and get away from the multitudes. Or would it?

The story continues in Luke 5:16, “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” Wow! Jesus’ example reveals the importance of getting away. And for the Son of God, there was no greater joy, no greater relaxation, and no greater way to meet the pressing needs around Him, than to withdraw and take some time pray. But, while we all have things we like to withdraw to when that moment for much needed rest comes, this seems to rarely be for the purpose of prayer.

Recently, my wife and I decided to try and follow Jesus’ example literally. We had a few flexible days in our schedule, and decided to use the time to withdraw and pray. This was honestly harder to explain to some well meaning friends and family than I imagined. It’s simply not something that we do these days. But I can honestly say, those few days were some of the most refreshing days I have had in a long time. At the end of the time I told my wife. “Why don’t we take vacation time to do this every year?”

So I ask the following to challenge you as well as my own heart: What if we really lived like Jesus? What if our ultimate get-away was to run to God and pray?

Heart Prayer Challenge

Precious Father in Heaven, Forgive us for looking to worldly diversions to renew our strength rather than to You, the source of all true rest and strength. Forgive us for forgetting that in Your presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). Give us a heart to pray! Teach us to withdraw from our busy tasks (even ministry labors) for the purpose of prayer. Increase our faith in Your power to do greater things in answer to prayer than we can do through our feeble efforts. Please pour out Your Spirit of prayer upon us (Zec. 12:10). Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon our Church. We want to follow Jesus’ example! And we want to go home. In Your Precious Name, Amen.

By Zac Page

(Zac is pastor at Templeton Hills SDA Church, in Templeton, California. He and his wife, Leah, have been married seven years and speak at revival and prayer retreats. To read more of Pastor Zac’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

NOTE: Many of you have written asking for more information about fasting. We have just uploaded a document on our resource page that gives more thoughts on Fasting and the Daniel’s Fast specifically. You can locate this document to download by CLICKING  HERE. 

Oxygen Volume 14

Bible Passage for Meditation: Psalm 118:14-18

Key Bible verse: “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.” Psalm 118:17

It was December 2003. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was lying there on a hospital bed feeling like my life was almost over. I could not even move. Every joint in my body felt like it was on fire. I had never felt so much pain.

I had been battling Dengue fever with temperatures of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 C) every day for about two weeks. Each day I grew weaker and weaker. My mom would come early in the morning and would cover my body with towels dipped in ice-cold water. I was so miserable. And what hurt the most was seeing the pain in her eyes as she fought back the tears. I saw sadness in my father’s eyes too.

One day, as my mother looked on, my father held my limp body in his arms and begged me (his only daughter) to fight and not give up. I then heard my mother speak boldly the Bible promise: “You shall not die but live to declare the works of the Lord!”

There is an inexplicable shift that occurs in the atmosphere when parents intercede on behalf of their children. I still get goose bumps as I recall this experience. I can’t even explain it, but I felt such hope. I remember praying in my heart, “Lord if you don’t heal me for my sake, please heal me in answer to my parents’ prayers! Jesus, please answer their prayer.”

Ellen White once wrote the following regarding the power of a mother’s prayers: “It is impossible to estimate the power of a praying mother’s influence. She acknowledges God in all her ways. She takes her children before the throne of grace and presents them to Jesus, pleading for His blessing upon them. The influence of those prayers is to those children as ‘a wellspring of life.’ These prayers, offered in faith, are the support and strength of the Christian mother. To neglect the duty of praying with our children is to lose one of the greatest blessings within our reach, one of the greatest helps amid the perplexities, cares, and burdens of our lifework.”

This quote is long, but it’s so powerful, so I must let Sister White continue:

“The power of a mother’s prayers cannot be too highly estimated. She who kneels beside her son and daughter through the vicissitudes of childhood, through the perils of youth, will never know till the judgment the influence of her prayers upon the life of her children. If she is connected by faith with the Son of God, the mother’s tender hand may hold back her son from the power of temptation, may restrain her daughter from indulging in sin. When passion is warring for the mastery, the power of love, the restraining, earnest, determined influence of the mother, may balance the soul on the side of right” (Adventist Home, p. 266).

My mother encouraged me that day to ask for God’s healing and she repeated over and over again in my ears “You shall not die but live to declare the works of God!” She said every day afterward until my wounded spirit began to believe and I too began to declare: “I shall not die but live to declare the glory of God!”

There is power in confessing the Word of God. And there is power when a mother prays. My healing in that experience is testimony of God’s grace in answer to the faithful prayers of my parents.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Father God, Together we want to intercede for all of the parents in our world church today, especially those parents who have committed their lives in ministry; as leaders, pastors, administrators, teachers, and missionaries in service. We pray for their protection and especially the protection of their children. We unite as a church today and declare that even though some of our children are caught in the snares of the enemy, that our children shall not die but live to proclaim the mighty works of the Lord! We have faith that You will honor your promise to contend with he who contends with us and that You will save our children! (Isa. 49:25). Let your Holy Spirit pour out gifts of strength, wisdom and grace upon all parents as they seek to shape their children’s lives in preparation for Your Kingdom. Amen.

By Shanter Alexander

(Shanter, a native of St. Lucia, an island in the West Indies, is a psychologist who lives and works in Michigan. She has been involved with prayer leadership both locally and in division events across the ocean. To read more of Shanter’s testimony, CLICK HERE.)

OXYGEN Volume 19

Bible Passage for Meditation: Ephesians 3:14-21

Key Bible verse: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Eph. 3:20

Alexander the Great was a mighty conqueror and king, and although he lived long before the time of Christ (around 300 B.C.), his reputation still lives on today.

Besides being a great conqueror, King Alexander was also a compassionate ruler. Every year he set aside one day that he called “compassionate day.” As the story goes, on this special day of the year, he would randomly select different people across his kingdom whom he would allow to come and make special requests.

Most people asked for food, clothes, money for medicine, and so on. However, one year, there was a man who dared to ask for more! He asked for a palace, and not just a palace, but a fully furnished palace, and a large banquet hall to feed all his friends. To the amazement of all, King Alexander granted the man’s request.

When asked why he would grant such an outrageous request, the king replied, “This man is the first man that’s really made me feel like the king I am. For only I can grant such a request!”

This story has really affected my life because it reminds me of the great God that we serve and how little we ask of Him. And it’s made me wonder why we so often settle for superficial blessings when we serve the King of the universe. It’s made me wonder why we settle for barely surviving spiritually, when God is longing to give us so much more richness and depth in our walk with Him. I think far too many Seventh-day Adventist Christians have settled for being spiritual dwarfs when God is calling us, modern-day Israel, to become spiritual giants standing in the gap, interceding for the lost.

God is able, and He longs to work in a mighty way, but our lack of faith actually limits His work in our lives. In fact, we are told, “Every failure on the part of the children of God is due to their lack of faith!” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 657)

Let’s not allow our doubts to limit us anymore, but trust the Bible which tells us, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Eph. 3:20).

Heart Prayer Challenge

Dear Heavenly Father, As we continue this 100 Days of Prayer, help us to keep daring to ask for more! Help us to keep daring to ask for more in our own personal walk with You and help us to keep daring to ask for more on behalf of our church. We need what only You can give. We need You to work mightily on our behalf. Forgive us for our lack of faith, and forgive us for praying little prayers. Forgive us for limiting what You want to do because of doubting Your Word. Thank You Jesus for giving us a new heart and a new perspective of the greatness of Who You are, not a mere earthly King, but the King of the universe. We love You! Amen!

By Melody Mason

(Melody is author of Daring to Ask for More: Divine Keys to Answered Prayer, and coordinator of 100 Days of Prayer. She currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. To read more of Melody’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

OXYGEN Volume 8

Bible Passage for Meditation: Jeremiah 29:10-14

Key Verse: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jer. 29:13

“You should’ve seen Nathan* before the seminary!” Bobby said about our mutual pastor friend one day. “He was super scrawny and thin!” [*Pastor Nathan, whose name has been changed to protect privacy, is a very muscle-bound man.]

Bobby continued, “However, when he came back to visit recently, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I asked him what had happened during his time at the seminary. He simply responded, ‘There isn’t much to do in Michigan.’ So I guess he spent all his time at the gym.”

My friend Bobby had no idea, but God used this conversation to set the stage for a radical change in my Christian walk.

Not long after, my wife and I moved to Andrews University so that I could attend the seminary. I’d already been working as a pastor for a couple years, and I expected to learn many helpful things, but to be honest, I didn’t expect to experience a huge personal revival. But thankfully God had other plans for me.

While there were many things during my time at the seminary that God used to awaken me to my need for a deeper personal walk with Him (including prayer partners, prayer journaling, Bible study and more) one of the things that impacted me most was that conversation about Pastor Nathan.

Not long after, I told a long-time friend and prayer partner, “What if we do the same thing Nathan did, but instead of hitting the gym, we take extra time and energy to focus on our personal walk and connection with God? I want to be spiritually buff!”

And so began a radical journey as I committed to seek God more earnestly than ever before.

This commitment forced me to make some changes that weren’t easy. In high school I had been willing to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to train intensely, for hours on end, in order to become the best athlete possible. I had also committed to eating an extremely healthy diet (vegan and no refined sugar) for several years in order to have energy for a particular athletic event. But could I make the same sacrifices in order to have extra energy to get up early and spend hours with my best friend Jesus?

What made it so difficult was that I really liked sleeping in. And I didn’t even know how to keep awake while reading the Bible early in the morning. Also I didn’t want to give up some of the unhealthy food that I really thought I needed. So I simply began crying out to God to change my heart; To give me a heart to know Him (Jer. 24:7). And I kept claiming the promise of Jer. 29:13 that says, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

Those following two years, God gave me a desire to seek Him whole-heartedly as I’ve never had before. And when my time at the seminary was over, and my wife and I had the moving truck packed for our return to California, I was so in awe at what God had done, that I simply had to kneel down on the ground and thank Him for how He had changed me in so many ways; ways I didn’t even know needed to be changed.

I’m still not as spiritually buff as I want to be, but God is working, and I praise Him for His patience and tender mercy in my life.

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Precious Father in Heaven, Thank You that You are always faithful to Your promises. As we continue praying for our church, please give us a heart that desires to know You more, for what we desire to see happen in our church must first happen in our own lives. Lord, we surrender the stuff that is holding us back today. Take away all our small expectations and give us a heart to truly seek more from You. Please help us to fall so in love with You that nothing else matters as much as being with You. Amen.

By Zac Page

(Zac is pastor at Templeton Hills SDA Church, in Templeton, California. He and his wife, Leah, have been married seven years and speak at revival and prayer retreats. To read more of Pastor Zac’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day26

Bible Passage for Meditation: John 15:1-5

Key Verse: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” John 15:4

Not that long ago I was sitting in my living room, looking at the tips of some of the leaves on one of my plants. I noticed that on some of the leaves, the tips were beginning to wither and turn brown due to the fact that they were not as tightly connected to the stem.

As I looked at the leaves, God began speaking to me. I realized how at times my own spiritual life starts withering and turning brown as well.

In the book of John we are told, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:4,5).

Yes, just as the leaves must remain connected with the stem and life-sustaining root system of the plant, I also must have that same daily connection with my heavenly Father. I must daily draw from His wellspring of life so that I will stay alive and produce good fruit.

It’s interesting that when a leaf is first disconnected from its root system, it still looks alive for a little while. But it will eventually die. There’s no turning the process around or reviving it. With us as Christians it’s similar with one difference. When we become disconnected from Christ, we can look

alive for a while as well before we wither and die apart from Christ. However, we can always re-connect and be revived. God can work a miracle and bring us back to life! How does He do this? All it takes is one prayer.

Ellen White writes, “Prayer is the breath of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power. No other means of grace can be substituted and the health of the soul be preserved. Prayer brings the heart into immediate contact with the Wellspring of life, and strengthens the sinew and muscle of the religious experience. Neglect the exercise of prayer, or engage in prayer spasmodically, now and then, as seems convenient, and you lose your hold on God” (Messages to Young People, p. 249).

I thank God that even with I start to wither and turn brown, He is there, always ready to revive me. I just must turn to Him in prayer!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Dear Heavenly Father, Sometimes we get disconnected and think we can operate in our own strength. We forget we need the “wellspring of life” that only you can provide. Please change our hearts Lord, that we may desire to abide in You just as the branch abides in the vine. Also, as we continue praying for our church, we ask that you would help us as a people to learn what it means to stay connected to You personally. We know that we are not saved as a church, or as a group, we are saved and revived individually. So help us to daily spend time at Your feet in prayer that You may pour Your Holy Spirit upon us in abundance. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

By Kat Taylor

(Kat works full-time for a government agency in Kansas, but her real heart and passion is in ministry. She is a prayer leader as well as a member of the 100 Days of Prayer leadership team. To read more of Kat’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

OXYGEN

Bible Passage for Meditation: Genesis 5:21-24

Key Bible Verse: “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Gen. 5:24

My wife and I often enjoy taking a walk after our meals. We are thankful for the beautiful nature that surrounds our home and for the fresh air we can breath in God’s great outdoors.

However, I have come to realize that when we walk together, I’m much more aware of my surroundings than I am when I walk alone. Part of this has to do with the fact that I want to protect my wife from oncoming cars, or from thorns and thistles that might be along the path. I also don’t want her to fall in one of those big potholes that we often find along the dirt road. So I’m more in tune with the environment and what is happening around us.

As I was thinking about how sensitive I try to be when walking with my new bride (we’ve been married only about 10 months now) I thought about my daily walk with God and my need for a continual connection and sensitivity to Him throughout my day.

Ellen White writes, “I wish I could impress upon every worker in God’s cause, the great need of continual, earnest prayer. They cannot be constantly upon their knees, but they can be uplifting their hearts to God. This is the way that Enoch walked with God” (Evangelism, p. 681).

The Bible says, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Gen. 5:24).

What was it about Enoch that made God want to take him home? I don’t know all the answers, but I think Enoch must have been very sensitive to God’s voice in His daily walk of faith.

You see, as we journey along the Christian path we need to watch out for potholes and thorns in our walk with God as Enoch must have done. We don’t want anything to hurt our divine Friend. And yet, how often I find that I am not sensitive enough to worry about the little things that might hurt God; the negative thoughts, feelings, words, or small compromises that pull me away from Him.

Also, we must learn to listen closely. When I walk with my wife, I listen as she shares her thoughts and worries. But am I as sensitive when the Lord is speaking to me through His Word, thru circumstances, or the people around me? How sad it is to miss opportunities to share an encouraging word or smile to one of my fellow brothers because I wasn’t paying attention to the Lord’s voice.

We must give our lives daily into the hands of our Maker if we want to walk with God like Enoch did. And this is a decision that happens moment-by-moment as we face the potholes of temptation, or the thorns of distraction. Let us not be so distracted that we miss the voice of Lord!

Friend, are you walking with God today as Enoch did?

Heart Prayer Challenge

Dear Heavenly Father, Teach us what it means to walk as Enoch walked. Teach us how to be sensitive to Your still small voice. Teach us how to be sensitive to Your desires, and obedient to Your Word that the enemy will have no foothold in our lives. We want to go home. Want to see Your Spirit poured out on our church so the work can be finished. Please make us disciples, ready to receive Your outpouring. In Your precious Name, amen.

By Roman Ril

(Co-author with his wife, Raluca, of the 10 Days of Prayer materials for 2015-16. He and his wife serve the Lord in Germany as missionaries. To read more of Roman’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day24

Bible Passage for Meditation: Matthew 6:16-18

Key Verse: “But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face.” Matt. 6:17

It was exactly two years ago that I was faced with a very important life-changing decision. In fact, it was totally unexpected. You see, I was single, and happy. I had totally surrendered to God my desire to be married and was joyfully pouring my life into ministry. To be honest, I had come to have such a close relationship with God, that I was a bit afraid that if I started a romantic relationship I might loose the sweet closeness and communion I had in my daily devotions.

So what was I to do now that a handsome young man was asking me to consider a relationship? One thing I knew: I could not trust myself to make such an important decision. Eleven years earlier, I had failed and failed miserably. So I had promised God that I would never enter a romantic relationship again unless I was sure that He was guiding me.

As I considered the new circumstances before me, I decided to fast and pray for 10 days. As a result, God answered in amazing ways. Not only did He give me such a peace about this man like I have never had before, but He gave me the answers I was looking for.

Eight months later we were engaged and planning our wedding. However, we faced some challenges as we were both working in ministry and did not have a way to pay for all the wedding expenses. So we fasted and prayed. Once again, God performed many miracles for us, and our wedding ended up being better than my dreams. Now when we look back, we are still amazed at God’s abundant goodness to us.

As my husband and I entered the New Year 2015 (still our first year of marriage), we decided to start the year with 21 days of prayer and fasting, asking for increased spiritual blessings. We both had done this before we got married, but now that we are doing it together, we see even more abundant blessings in our lives spiritually as we have determined to abstain from certain foods and media activities in order to have more time to focus on God. What a rich blessing this has been to us!

Maybe you are at a crossroad in your life. Maybe you are looking for answers. Maybe you are in need of God’s divine intervention in your life or in the life of someone dear to you. Maybe you want a deeper experience with God. I want to encourage you to take some time to fast and pray, to tune out the other distracting influences around you and listen to His still small voice. It may not be a total fast. That’s okay. You may want to choose a Daniel’s fast, like we have done. Whatever you do, if you seek God with earnestness in fasting and prayer, God will draw you closer to Himself, closer than you’ve ever been before. Remember, fasting isn’t just about getting what we want from God. It’s more about getting closer to Him, about knowing Him. For He is the greatest gift we can receive!

Heart Prayer Challenge

Dear Heavenly Father, In Matt. 6:16,17 you tell us “when we fast” we should not be sad as the hypocrites are, but rather we should be joyful. Also as we read the stories throughout the Bible, we see that You always answered when Your people prayed and fasted. God, we are in need of big answers. We are in need of great miracles on behalf of our church. Help us to draw near You with all our hearts. Show us how to pray, and when appropriate, how to fast. Show us what things, foods, and activities in our lives we should set aside for a time that we may hear Your voice more clearly. Thank you for hearing and answering this prayer. Amen.

By Raluca Ril

(Raluca is co-author with her husband, Roman, of the 10 Days of Prayer materials for 2015/16. She and her husband [pictured above] currently serve as missionaries in Germany. To read more of Raluca’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

[For more resources on fasting as well as information about the “Daniel’s Fast,” CLICK HERE. Leadership has not called for a specific corporate fast during this 100 Days of Prayer, however many of us are fasting in various ways during this time. Some of us have chosen to fast from desserts or from other favorite foods. Some of us have chosen to fast from certain media activities or entertainment. And some may not be fasting specifically at all, but are setting apart extra time to spend with God in His Word and to take time to pray over these daily request. So follow whatever God prompts you to do, knowing that God will bless.]

Day23

Bible Passage for Meditation: John 20:24-29

Key Verse: “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” John 20:29

Sometimes the hardest part of prayer is just starting! “But I don’t feel like praying right now! Should I really pray when the feelings aren’t there?” some ask. I know this is something I really struggled with in the past.

However, we need to recognize that as Christians, we all fight a daily battle: a battle between fact versus feeling. The outcome of this very significant battle will determine what type of faith we hold and the way we will pray. Let me explain.

Fact is what we find in God’s Word. Fact, although built upon unseen realities and invisible promises, does not waver, as it reflects the unchanging nature of God; That is, He cannot lie (Titus 1:2). He will not change (James 1:17). He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). He is more eager to give us good gifts than we are to give good gifts to our children (Luke 11:13). When we base faith on fact, we have a firm foundation to weather any storms.

Feeling, on the other hand, is constantly wavering as it is based on our personal experiences, changing emotions, anxieties, spiritual lethargy, and unanswered prayers. Rather than counseling the Word of God for its decisions, feeling takes counsel from self, from worldly wisdom, from skeptical friends, and from the past unproductive Christian experience. When we base faith on feelings, which come and go, it’s as if we are building our house upon the sand. And any storms that come along may knock it over.

Consider the following quote from Inspiration:

“Faith takes God at His Word, with or without feeling. It ‘is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ We can believe our fellowmen, and can we not trust the Word of God? When we go to Him for wisdom or grace, we are not to look to ourselves to see if He has given us a special feeling as an assurance that He has fulfilled His Word. Feeling is no criterion. Great evils have resulted when Christians have followed feeling. How do I know that Jesus hears my prayers?—I know it by His promise. He says He will hear the needy when they cry unto Him, and I believe His Word. He has never said to the ‘seed of Jacob, seek ye Me in vain.’ If we walk in the light, we may come to the throne of grace with holy boldness. We may present the promises of God in living faith, and urge our petitions. Although we are weak, and erring, and unworthy, ‘the Spirit helpeth our infirmities.’ When we have offered our petition once, we must not then abandon it, but say, as did Jacob when he wrestled all night with the angel, ‘I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me,’ and like him we shall prevail” (Bible Echo, Sept. 24, 1894, par. 4).

Faith must be rooted in the unchanging facts of God’s Word—not in our changing emotions.

If you are waiting to feel like you can trust God completely before you trust God completely, you will probably never trust Him. If you are waiting to feel like praying before you pray, you may never pray. God gave us a mind, and He’s given us His Word. We need to use them together!

Heart Challenge

Dear Heavenly Father, Teach us what it means to pray even when we don’t feel like it, to pray in faith even when all around seems hopeless, to pray even when the odds seem against us and even when our feelings are telling us that it’s not really going to make a difference. Instead of listening to our feelings, help us to learn to stand upon Your Word in faith. For Your promises are true, and Your Word does not fail. Help us to be rooted and so strong in You that no matter the storm, we will stand strong upon Your Word in faith. Amen.

By Melody Mason

(Melody is author of Daring to Ask for More: Divine Keys to Answered Prayer, and coordinator of 100 Days of Prayer. She currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. To read more of Melody’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Oxygen Volume 14

Bible Passage for Meditation: Luke 11:1-8

Key Verse: “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1

If I had been one of Jesus’ disciples during His 3 1/2 years of ministry, I can think of a number of things I would have asked Him to teach me. However, in all four gospels, Jesus’ disciples only ask Him to teach them one thing: something that might seem shockingly simple.Luke 11:1 tells the story. “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray …” That’s it. Not how do we feed 5,000 people, how do we walk on water, or how do we raise the dead? None of the above: Just, teach us to pray!

Jesus’ disciples had seen the incredible results, the power that was unleashed, when Jesus prayed. Thus they knew where the power behind His work came from. They longed to see the same power come from God exhibited in their own lives.

Ellen White writes, “The greatest blessing that God can give to man is the spirit of earnest prayer. All heaven is open before the man of prayer. The prayers offered in humble faith will be heard” (The Review & Herald, Oct. 20, 1896, par. 15).

The more that I am exposed to in this old sinful world, the more that I feel this same need. I personally have family members who don’t know Jesus yet, close friends with cancer, and there are billions who still need to hear the three angels’ messages. In my own strength, I can do so little. But when I call upon the almighty God of the universe, He delights to answer by unleashing His power. He is the creator, and can create the solution to any and every problem that I will ever face. The greatest blessing then is to be taught by God, inspired by God, to earnestly pray!

Heart Prayer Challenge

Father in Heaven, Please forgive us for so often being half-hearted in prayer. Forgive us for our pride, which leads us to depend on our own strength. Teach us how to depend on Your strength. Teach us to pray! Teach us how to get beyond our own petty needs and pray effectively for the world around us. Teach us how to pray effectively for our church. We long to be used as Your prayer warriors. We long to see kingdoms shaken in answer to our prayers. Thank You for making us men and women of earnest prayer! And thank You for the righteousness of Jesus, that covers or weak, impotent prayers, and makes them acceptable before Your throne. In Jesus precious name, Amen.

By Zac Page

(Zac is pastor at Templeton Hills SDA Church, in Templeton, California. He and his wife, Leah, have been married seven years and speak at revival and prayer retreats. To read more of Pastor Zac’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day21

Bible Passage for Meditation: Joel 2:12-14

Key Verse: “Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning.” Joel 2:12

In the biblical book of Joel, we are instructed to gather the remnant people, to pray, to fast, and to repent, and as we do this, we are promised that the Lord will do wonders among us, leading to the last great latter rain outpouring.

If ever there was a time that we needed to be on our knees, it is now. As we watch the increasing tragedies and tribulations that are coming upon our world, it seems that we are fast approaching the time of the final crisis in earth’s history—the time when God must intervene! Are we watching? Are we praying?

Ellen White writes, “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 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 unprepared to receive it. Our heavenly Father is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. But it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing. A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer” (Last Day Events, p. 189).

In another place, Ellen White writes, “More prayer and less talk is what God desires, and this would make His people a tower of strength” (General Conference Bulletin, Jan. 1, 1900, Art. B, par. 14).

As we enter the third 10-day phase of 100 Days of Prayer, we are going to turn our focus to prayer: what it means to pray in faith, and how we experience a revival of prayer in our lives personally.

The time for playing games is over. It’s time to get serious, to intensify our focus on the Lord’s call for deeper consecration and heart-searching. It’s time for deep wrestling prayer.

Heart Prayer Challenge

Dear Heavenly Father, As we continue forward with this 100 Days of Prayer, we pray that you would take us to our knees as we’ve never been before. That you would teach us how to agonize and wrestle on behalf of our church, on behalf of our nation, and on behalf of our hurting brothers and sisters all around the world. We need a form of godliness that we do not yet possess. We need a baptism of the Holy Spirit’s power that we have not yet received. Please help us Father. We want what was prophesied in Joel to happen. We want You to finish the work so we can go home. Thank you, that in Your time and way, You will answer these prayers. In Your precious name, Amen.

Melody Mason
Coordinator, 100 Days of Prayer
GC Ministerial Association

OXYGEN Volume 19

Bible Passage for Meditation: John 6:27-35

Key Verse: “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet” (Proverbs 27:7).

There is nothing that keeps me from craving junk food like a full stomach. If I’m hungry enough, almost anything can be appetizing. But when I’m completely full, even that favorite dessert is no longer hard to pass by at potluck.

I’ve discovered that this is also true in my Christian walk. If I’m hungry enough, almost anything can be appetizing. But if I’m spiritually full from spending time with Jesus in His Word, the things of the world don’t attract me near as easily.

Unfortunately, despite my best intentions to do what’s right, my cravings often get the best of me, because I haven’t been filling myself with enough heavenly food. So I fall for that empty junk food that the enemy offers, even though I know it’s only going to hurt me. 

That’s what makes the following promise so incredibly powerful to me: “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

Wow! Talk about an incredible diet plan! Jesus promises that we will NEVER hunger and NEVER thirst when we come to Him. 

Now, those listening to Jesus might have thought He was referring to physical food, so Jesus had to make it very plain how we can feed on Him: “…The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Jesus’ promise is that He will feed us—satisfy us— by His Word.

Now I realize why at times I’ve had such a hard time resisting the enemy’s temptations. Too often I’ve let myself get to the place where I’m starving. And when I’ve neglected to take time feeding on Christ through His Word, I find today’s temptations are much harder to resist and get victory over. But when I’m filled with Jesus—satisfied by His Word—I no longer crave the empty pleasures of this old world.

So join me! Let’s feed upon Christ and upon His Living Word today. For only He can satisfy!

Heart Prayer Challenge

Dear Father in heaven, As we continue praying for our church, the cry of our hearts today is that You would give us more of Jesus! We are tired of finding this world appetizing. Please satisfy us with Jesus so that everything else will be empty and unappetizing in comparison. Give us a hunger and thirst for Your Word and for things of eternal value. Thank You that as we come to You, we will NEVER hunger and NEVER thirst, for You have promised that You will give us living bread. Thank you Father for hearing these prayers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Zac Page

(Zac is pastor at Templeton Hills SDA Church, in Templeton, California. He and his wife, Leah, have been married seven years and speak at revival and prayer retreats. To read more of Pastor Zac’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day19

Bible Passage for Meditation: Numbers 23:13-20

Key Verse: “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Num. 23:19

Have you found yourself at times very discouraged? Have you felt at times dark clouds surrounding you? Has it seemed to you that there is no way out of a certain situation?

The story is told about Martin Luther who had been very discouraged for a while. The plans he had made did not seem to be working out, and he found it hard to accept the situation. So one day his wife Katie decided to do something. She put on a black dress and came into the room where he was.

Why are you dressed for mourning, wife?” he asked.

Haven’t you heard? God has died,” she answered.

Luther replied, “God has died? What do you mean by such blasphemous talk? Of course He hasn’t died!”

Oh,” she said. “I’m sorry. By looking at you these last few days I thought for sure that He had died.”

Thankfully, Martin Luther got the point, and so should we today. While circumstances may sometimes look dark and foreboding, we can entrust ourselves (as well as our church) to God’s care in all things. Yes, in all things!

God has given us many precious promises in His Word. He has promised to be with us until the end. And He also promised in Isaiah 43:1-2, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.”

In Jeremiah He has told us that He knows the plans He has for us, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11 ESV).

As Ellen White writes, “It is our privilege to take God at his word” (Gospel Workers, p. 370). What He has promised, He will do. When dark clouds gather around us, “Let us grasp the rich promises of God. The garden of God is full of rich promises. Oh, let us gather them; let us take them home; let us show that we believe in God. Let us take Him at his word; let not one of us be found distrusting God or doubting Him” (Selected Messages, vol. 3, p 192).

God has not died, and He has not lied. We can trust His Word!

Heart Prayer Challenge

Heavenly Father, teach us to trust in You even in the most difficult circumstances we may face. You’ve given us so many promises in Your Word. Teach us how to lay hold of them, how to truly take You at Your Word, for as Num. 23:19 says, You cannot lie for what You’ve spoken, You will do. Forgive us for sometimes getting discouraged by what happens around us. Help us learn to cast all our cares upon You and trust that You are in control and that You will work out whatever is for our best good. Teach us what it means to truly have faith built upon Your Word. Amen.

By Raluca Ril

(Raluca is co-author with her husband, Roman, of the Ten Days of Prayer materials for 2015-16. She and her husband currently serve as missionaries in Germany. To read more of Raluca’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day18

Bible Passage for Meditation: James 1:21-27

Key Verse: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22

When I was a young mother raising my children, I learned through some hard experiences that reading my Bible was the only way I could maintain a real connection with Jesus. When I woke up late and didn’t make time for Him, I would find myself on a downward spiral that left me with no power to withstand temptation. Thankfully, God taught me that spending time in His Word is my lifeline to heaven.

However, much as I love God’s Word, “Merely to hear or to read the Word is not enough. He who desires to be profited by the Scriptures must meditate upon the truth that has been presented to him. By earnest attention and prayerful thought, he must learn the meaning of the words of truth, and drink deep of the spirit of the holy oracles” (Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 59-60).

In the flyleaf of my Bible, I penned a similar thought. It says, ‘The mere hearing of sermons Sabbath after Sabbath, the reading of the Bible through and through, or the explanation of it verse by verse [all good things to do as a disciple of Christ] will not benefit us or those who hear us unless we bring the truths of the Bible into our own individual experience” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 514).

James 1:22 tells us, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

And here is the secret. We must not only read the Bible, we must not only meditate upon it, but we must apply it to our every day life. These are the keys that will unlock the power that’s found in God’s wonderful Book!

Heart Prayer Challenge

Dear Heavenly Father, as we enjoy another Sabbath, help us not just to listen to what the preacher has said today. Help us not just to meditate upon the words written on the pages of our Bible. Rather, help us know how to make these words part of our every day life, for that’s why You gave them to us. You want us to be doers of the Word and not just hearers. Teach us what this means as we continue to grow and as we continue to pray for our church. Amen.

By Sue Gilmore, a guest contributor from Michigan.

Day17

Bible Passage for Meditation: Ps. 119:9-11

Key Verse: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Ps. 119:11

I use to get offended if someone said something to me that I didn’t like or if they criticized something I did, and I’d sulk for awhile afterwards. “Why did he say that to me?” or  “Why doesn’t she look at her own issues instead of pointing out mine?” I thought to myself in frustration. But as God slowly changed my heart through the study and power of consistent time in the Word, I began to welcome correction even if it hurt my pride. 

However, there were two key verses that made a big difference and helped me gain perspective. They still keep me focused today.

The first verse is Psalm 119:71, that says, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” Wow! In this passage, I saw clearly that God allows afflictions, and maybe even the words of criticism from others to help us grow, grow in character and grow closer to Him. I want to grow, so I realized that maybe it’s good to be afflicted like this.

The second passage that really impacted my thinking is in the same chapter, Psalm 119:165, and it says simply, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”

When I first read this, I thought to myself, “Nothing! Are you serious, NOTHING shall offend them?” It was hard to believe.

Now I quote Psalm 119:165 to myself all the time as it’s convicted me that if I’m in tune with God and His law (His Word) I’m not going to be offended by what happens to me OR what happens around me. Of course, I’m not saying that I never get offended anymore, but when I’m tempted to grumble or complain, or when trials seem to be multiplying, I just remind myself of this passage, and my irritation literally goes away. That’s the beauty and power of the Word. It can change your mind!

Ellen White writes, “We might close the door to many temptations, if we would commit to memory passages of Scripture. Let us hedge up the way to Satan’s temptations with ‘It is written’” (The Faith I Live By, p. 8).

Yes, I believe this is an important part of becoming spiritually fortified. It’s learning to put God’s Word in our heart. If it’s in our heart, Satan can’t take control of our mind.

Psalm 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

Heart Prayer Challenge

Dear Heavenly Father, Teach us how to build a strong foundation upon Your Word. Teach us how to lay up Your Word in our heart and apply it practically in day to day life. Teach us how to fortify our mind from the attacks of the enemy by telling him “It is Written.” Your Word is power! And when all else fails in this life, Your Word will remain. So help us Lord. Help us individually and as a church to stand strong, rooted and grounded upon your Living Word. Amen!

By Melody Mason

(Melody is author of Daring to Ask for More: Divine Keys to Answered Prayer, and coordinator of 100 Days of Prayer. She is from Arkansas but currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. To read more of Melody’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Note to Prayer Participants: We are almost 3 weeks into this prayer initiative, however if you or your church have any testimonies about how God has been blessing your time of prayer during this 100 Days, please e-mail us at Revivethemission@gmail.com, and share your testimony. You can also share your prayer pictures on Twitter with hashtag: #100days2015

OXYGEN VOLUME 13

Bible Passage for Meditation: Isa. 49:14-16

Key Verse: “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” Isa. 49:16

Today, my schedule was changed. I had to call in sick for work, and I was so engulfed with thoughts of extra hours I would have to put in to make up for the lost time, that even while lying in bed, I was upset with myself for being sick.

It is so easy for me to become anxious and to worry about my long “to do” lists each day. I like to be organized, and I tend to plan things well in advance to avoid the “unfortunate” surprise that comes with a change in circumstances. However, sometimes this need for structure comes in direct contradiction with God’s will and His purpose for me.

Today, the Lord graciously reminded me of the promises in His word: “Be still, [Shanter], and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10), “For [I] will perfect the things concerning you!” (Psalm 138:8) “I have graven you upon the palms of My hands and your walls are continually before Me” (Isaiah 49:16). Put your trust in Me!”

Things may not be going according to my plan, but I feel encouraged knowing that my Lord, Immanuel, is with me. I am constantly a “nail print” reminder in the palms of His hands. His Word promises that He cannot, and will not forget me! He is constantly aware of my needs. I am grateful for His grace that promises to sustain me in all circumstances and the fact that He has not failed me yet.

So no matter what you face today, don’t panic, don’t stress. God is in control, and He has got you in His hands. And no matter what our church faces, He promises that He will see us through. Let’s keep praying and claiming the promises of His Word!

Heart Prayer Challenge:

Father, we thank You that Your Word never fails, and though we cannot see what the future holds, You assure us that You are already there! Help us as we journey together over these 100 days of prayer to surrender each day of our plans to You, and to rest firmly on Your promise to perfect all things concerning us. Thank You that You hold us in Your hands. Thank You that You are working on behalf of our church, and that You hear each prayer we pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

By Shanter Alexander

(Shanter, a native of St. Lucia, an island in the West Indies, is a psychologist who lives and works in Michigan. She has been involved with prayer leadership both locally and in division events across the ocean. To read more of Shanter’s testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day15

Bible Passage for Meditation: John 1:1-13

Key Verse: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12

God in His providence gave us His Word for all circumstances of life. In the beginning His Word made something out of no-thing. And it was His powerful Word that made every-thing “very good.” Our first parents were instructed to keep everything “very good” by obeying the Words of God. However, it is through the disobedience of man that the world is no longer “very good.”

Thankfully God does not change. So it is the very Word that made beauty out of chaos that shines His light into our dark hearts. It is the same Word that sustains us, the same Word that gives us hope and courage, the same Word that recreates us and gives us power to become sons of God once again.

John 1:12 tells us, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

In the book, In Heavenly Places we are told, “The Lord has determined that every soul who obeys His Word shall have His joy, His peace, His continual keeping power. Such men and women are brought near Him always, not only when they kneel before Him in prayer, but when they take up the duties of life. He has prepared for them an abiding place with Himself, where the life is purified from all grossness, all unloveliness. By this unbroken communion with Him, they are made colaborers with Him in their lifework” (p. 53).

What a privilege it is to me to be called a son of God. I was once a son of the world, but now because of the sacrifice of His Son on Calvary, and because of the power of His Word, I have become a new man, a re-creation. I may not be good in and of myself, but I’m covered by Christ’s goodness, and that is “very good.” And as I spend time in His Word, and seek to understand and obey His words of love, I can be a colaborer with Him in reaching others.

God has called all of us out of darkness, nothingness, to be channels of the joy of salvation and to declare to the world His living Word. Shall we accept that challenge today? 

Heart Prayer Challenge

Dear Lord, help us to see the beauty of Your Word today. Also, open our eyes to see You in Your Word. Please make us willing to gladly obey and trust You and Your Word, no matter where You choose to lead us. Help us know how to pray, as we continue to lift up our church and leaders. We are a broken people without You. We need Your power to make us and re-create us to be who You’ve called us to be. Thank You for hearing this prayer. Amen.

By Roman Ril

(Co-author with his wife, Raluca, of the 10 Days of Prayer materials for 2015-16. He and his wife serve the Lord in Germany as missionaries. To read more of Roman’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.) 

Day14

Bible Passage for Meditation: 2 Tim. 3:15-17

Key Verse: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Tim. 3:16

Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28, 29).

The above passage may not be that life-altering to you if you’ve grown up in the Adventist church, but it was to me when I discovered it.

You see, as I grew up I was always taught that when a person dies, they go to purgatory, and eventually they would go to heaven or hell. But when my dad died, I was told by the priest of the Catholic church I attended, that since he had killed himself, he would go right to hell… and I believed my priest.

However, years later as I studied the Bible with my Adventist friend, I learned the truth about heaven, hell, and burning forever. With this realization, my faith in a loving and just God was restored as I realized I needed to stand upon what the Bible said, instead of relying on what a man said. What comfort this new understanding about God has brought me.

Your misconception about God and His character may not be regarding an eternally burning hell like it was for me, but maybe it’s about something else that’s happened in your life that you don’t understand. Maybe it’s over an unexplainable loss, a sickness, or a business failure. Or maybe it’s over a doctrine in Scripture that you don’t quite seem to understand. However, the answers we lack are in God’s Word.

In the powerful book, The Great Controversy, we are told, “But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority—not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain “Thus saith the Lord” in its support” (p. 595).

The Bible tells us, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17).

So the question is, where do we find our truth? Where do we find our reality? Is it from our neighbors and friends, or from a priest or pastor, or is it from the Word of God?

Heart Prayer Challenge

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You that You are a good and just God. And Thank You that You have not left us to be swept to and fro by every wind of doctrine. You have given us Your Word. We have a sure foundation. Help us to stand upon Your Word and to become the people of the Book once again, the people that stand upon the Bible and the Bible only. No matter what happens around us, or what we feel, help us to be rooted in Your Word. Amen.

By Kat Taylor

(Kat works full-time for a government agency in Kansas, but her real heart and passion is in ministry. She is a prayer leader as well as a member of the 100 Days of Prayer leadership team. To read more of Kat’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day13

Bible Passage for Meditation: Eph. 6:10-18

Key Verse: “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph. 6:17

In Isaiah 58:12, we are told, “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.”

From this verse, it’s quite clear that we as God’s people are called to be “breach repairers.” In essence, that’s why we exist, to repair what the enemy has torn down. The problem is, we often have so many holes in our own spiritual walls, that we can’t stand strong as intercessors for others. And God sadly wonders why there are no intercessors for the land (See Ezek 22:30, Isa. 59:16). However, this is where the Word of God and prayer come together.

One of the biggest blessings I’ve discovered in my own life from studying the Bible is the power that it gives me to become spiritually fortified so I can stand strong for others. What do I mean? I mean that when I recognize an area in my life where I’m weak or struggling (it might be a negative mindset, an unchristlike attitude toward someone, a love for something worldly that will pull me away from God, an unhealthy food addiction or craving, or something more serious—we need to pray and ask God to reveal these things to us, 2 Cor. 13:5), I take that breach in my life and I take a promise from God’s Word and I start praying that promise against my area of weakness until God gives me victory. Of course, I also must choose to surrender it to God and walk a new direction, but when I make these decisions and pray that God will change my heart, He always does! Not once, when I’ve truly spent time wrestling on my knees to have a breach in my life removed has He failed to answer.

That’s why the Bible tells us, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17). His Word is true and it’s our secret to spiritual fortification and our weapon against the enemy today.

I love this encouraging thought from Inspiration. Sister White writes, “With watchfulness and prayer [our] weakest points can be so guarded as to become [our] strongest points, and [we] can encounter temptation without being overcome” (Pastoral Ministry, p. 24, personal pronouns added).

Let’s keep praying for our church, that the Holy Spirit will be poured out and that we will be fortified to stand strong on behalf of the dying world. Let’s also pray that rather than making breaches, we will be used by God to build up and restore the breaches that Satan is seeking to create among us.

Heart Prayer Challenge

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for giving us the Sword of the Spirit to be our defense. Thank You that Your Word helps us to become strong fortified Christians for You. Help us know how to pray and stand in the gap on behalf of those who cannot stand for themselves. Help us know how to pray for our church and our leaders. We believe You are coming soon, and we want to be ready, but You must help us for the enemy is all around, seeking to destroy us. Our only safety and refuge is in You and Your Word. Amen.

By Melody Mason

(Melody is author of Daring to Ask for More: Divine Keys to Answered Prayer, and coordinator of 100 Days of Prayer. She is from Arkansas but currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. To read more of Melody’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day12

Bible Passage for Meditation: 1 Peter 1:22-25

Key Verse: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” 1 Peter 1:23

I have to be honest. Some days I don’t notice a big difference spiritually. Yes, I read the Bible everyday. I know it is essential to my Christian walk. But some days I begin to wonder, “Did I get anything from today’s reading?” or “Is this really making a difference in my life?”

Thankfully, God has given us a promise that reassures me that I have no reason to doubt the difference He is making in my life as I receive His Word day by day.

In 1st Peter, we are promised that we have “been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:22-23). Incredible! When we prayerfully and humbly read God’s Word, we are actually planting living seeds of revival in our hearts!

When a seed is planted, we don’t know when or how it will grow. In fact, it could be pretty tempting to wonder if that tiny seed is really capable of becoming a fruit bearing plant. But if the seed isn’t corrupt, the results are sure. It will bear fruit!

In every command and in every promise of the word of God is the power, the very life of God, by which the command may be fulfilled and the promise realized. He who by faith receives the word is receiving the very life and character of God” (Christ Object Lessons, p. 38).

When I began reading the Bible in college, I was still living an ungodly lifestyle. In fact, I didn’t make a lot of changes in my life at first. I just knew I needed to spend time daily at the feet of Jesus, and so I started reading my Bible everyday. 

For awhile I tried to continue living the same lifestyle. However, the planted seeds of God’s Word slowly began to transform my heart and renew my desires. It was virtually imperceptible at the time— and still is, on a daily basis. But when I look back over the years, I realize that God has worked incredible changes in basically every area of my life. Truly His Word always succeeds in the purpose for which He sends it. It does not return unto Him void (Isa. 55:11).

So whether or not you see or feel growth in your life, keep feeding upon the Word. You are planting seeds, seeds that will bear the fruit of revival for eternity!

Heart Prayer Challenge

Father in Heaven, Thank You for the living power of Your Word! Increase our faith today that although we may not always see immediate results, Your Word is planting the seed of revival in our hearts. Give us a deep commitment to daily sit at Your feet, humbly receiving these seeds which will bear fruit for eternal life. Strengthen us by Your Word as we continue to pray for our church, for a work that only You can do! Thank You Jesus for not leaving us helpless as a people, but providing us with a gift that will change our lives if we embrace it. We give You full permission to cause us to be born again today. We need revival! Thank You Lord for doing this in us today, in Jesus name, Amen.

By Zac Page

(Zac is pastor at Templeton Hills SDA Church, in Templeton, California. He and his wife, Leah, have been married seven years and speak at revival and prayer retreats. To read more of Pastor Zac’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)

Day11

Bible Passage for Meditation: John 15:1-8

Key Verse: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7

Happy Sabbath, Prayer Warriors!

For the first 10 days our devotional focus was on “Spiritual Awakening/Seeking God in earnest.” As a result, you heard some testimonies from our blogging team on how God awakened us to our spiritual need, or convicted us of the importance of a deeper walk with Him.

To truly be effective intercessors on behalf of our world church, we need to continually humble ourselves and recognize our spiritual need; that means we don’t forget where God has brought us from (what He’s rescued us from), and also, we recognize our continual need to keep growing. “Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children,” Ellen White writes (Education, p. 18).

Have any of us reached this ideal yet? Probably not; and so begins the next step in our prayer journey.

During the next 10 days, our devotional focus will be on the Word of God, and how it affects our lives personally and practically. If we are to be strong in prayer, we must become truly grounded and strong in God’s Word, not just as a church (although this is vital), but personally.

Inspiration tells us, “The Bible is God’s voice speaking to us, just as surely as though we could hear it with our ears. If we realized this, with what awe would we open God’s Word, and with what earnestness would we search its precepts! The reading and contemplation of the Scriptures would be regarded as an audience with the Infinite One” (Testimonies to the Church, vol. 6, p. 393).

Let us continue praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our worldwide church. Let’s also pray that God would give us a deeper love for His Word.

Heart Prayer Challenge

Heavenly Father, as we begin this next 10 days of prayer, focusing on Your Word, we ask that You would give us new eyes of appreciation for the great gift You’ve given us in the Bible. Help us to love Your Word, to make time for Your Word, and to learn what it means to abide in Your Word daily. For You promise us in John 15:7 that if we abide in You, and Your words abide in us, we can ask what we will, and it will be done unto us, and we will bear fruit for Your glory. We have big things we are asking for as we pray for our world church. So we need Your Word to abide in our hearts today. Thank you for hearing and answering this prayer. In Your Precious Name, Amen.

Melody Mason
Coordinator, 100 Days of Prayer
General Conference Ministerial Association

Note: If you aren’t part of the daily Revived by His Word reading, we encourage you to join. (Click Here for info!) Also to learn some practical tips for Bible study, please download our free online book, Revived by God’s Word by clicking here.

PRAYER CONFERENCE CALL: For anyone in USA or Canada that wants to join a 30 minute prayer call at 7AM (PST) to pray for the 100 Days of Prayer “Daily Prayer Focus,” here’s the number to call:

USA number: (605) 562-3131 Access Code: 250159#
Canada number (605) 781-0006 Access Code: 250159#

We also encourage you to start your own prayer conference lines (which can be done for free, click this link for info) or gather your family or a few friends to pray with you over these daily request. There’s power in private prayer, but also great blessings when we pray together (See Matt. 18:19-20).