I’d fallen into the same trap as many Christians before me.
At one time I had experienced a vibrant relationship with God — after He saved me from the life of a drug dealer, alcoholic, and thief. I loved my time with God in prayer and study. But as the cares of the world pressed upon me, I studied my Bible less and spent far less time talking with Jesus. The result was to be expected — although I had not planned on it happening to me.
I refused the call on my life to serve God full-time and rapidly found myself neck deep in the world of real estate. Soon I was making huge amounts of money as I rose to the top 4 percent of Coldwell Banker agents across the United States.
My wife found her way into the same world of success, enjoying houses and money that supposedly offered happiness. I had a radio talk show and lobbied for various causes on Washington’s Capitol Hill, rubbing shoulders with senators and other members of Congress. Oh yes, I was a player, as they say, and enjoying every minute of it.
But one day, sitting in church (yes, I was still going to church. I looked and acted the part very well—I even paid a faithful tithe. I was the perfect Adventist), I heard God speaking to my heart.
“Jim, the Holy Spirit may be poured out all around you, but you will not recognize it or receive it.”
I knew it was the voice of God. I hadn’t heard that voice speaking to me in years. Truth be told, I actually hadn’t been listening. But now I was. Here I was sitting in church — lost. Praise God that He did not give up on me.
I began studying my Bible again as my prayer life grew rapidly. I found myself praying this prayer over and over: “Lord, I want to reach the world for you. I don’t know how, but help me reach the world.”
I can’t believe what God has done in answer to that prayer. I have traveled to more than 70 countries. I’ve served at Amazing Facts, Adventist World Radio at the General Conference, and now Hope Channel, the largest denominationally owned television network in the world. And I could tell you more.
Yes, God answers prayer!
We are told that, “Prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence” (Steps to Christ, p. 94-95).
Let’s not forget the importance of this key, or of spending regular daily time with Him. Let’s not miss the outpouring of the Holy Spirit when it comes.
Jim Ayer is assistant to the president for advancement at Hope Channel. He also served as the producer of the 2015 film “What Might Have Been” — and is still praying that Ellen White’s vision of “What Might Have Been” will be realized in our day. Click here to view this film!
Note: To view this week’s world church prayer requests, click here!