MOMENTUM ENCOURAGING TO WORSHIP, WALK AND WITNESS
November 2016 | ISSUE 10
I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land. Psalm 143.5-6
in this issue | nov 2016
Prayer is wrestling
Developing a habit of prayer
Learning from the Master
How to build a consistent prayer life
Happenings in the GMI family
Call to be an intercessor
Power of fasting and prayer to change situations
Private Circulation Only. Subscription free.
Patterns of prayer
Chief Editor Mohan Varghese
Intercession and spiritual warfare
Editorial Team Rahul Thomas Debra David Vinamzi Samuel Joanna Ruth
The YLPT Story
GMI Prayer Stories
Momentum is published in India by the Gateway Ministries family of churches, for circulation among members.
Consultants Stanley Mehta David Selvan Anand Mahadevan Published by Gateway Ministries International B 215, 2nd floor (Deck Level), Belapur Railway Station Complex Tower no. 10, CBD, Navi Mumbai400 614 Maharashtra, Indiaâ€¨ Telephone: +91- 2222150654 / 22189036 Email: email@example.com Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are taken from the New International Version of the Bible. Articles featured in Momentum reflect the opinion of the authors and not necessarily those of Momentum or GMI family of churches - Editor
editorial | nov 2016
‘devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful’ Colossians 4:2
Prayer influences God greatly. The great movements of God have had their origin and energy in and were shaped by prayers of men. John Wesley is quoted of saying “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer” Jesus said, ‘Men ought always to pray and not to faint’ (Luke 18:1) As I pen these few lines for this issue of Momentum, I know that like me, most of you readers are on a journey of learning to pray effectively. None of us can preach or teach on prayer without feeling woefully inadequate as there are so many expressions of prayer, yet unexplored. God’s greatest riches are discovered by saints who yearn for the enjoyment of intimacy and oneness with the Father’s heart. Martin Luther said “ To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing” Prayer movements have changed the course of history. We have heard of the great move of 18th Century when the Moravians under Count Zinzendorf sustained a chain prayer for over a century, giving great impetus to New frontier Missions. We have read of the prayer move started by Jeremiah Lanphier in 1857 in New York that resulted in over 10,000 businessmen meeting at noon every Wednesday and seeing over two million people accept Christ as their Saviour within a short span of two years. There is now a fresh wind blowing through the church and increasingly people of all ages are turning to prayer, with greater intensity, as never before, using new prayer patterns. The 24/7 Prayer Room is one fascinating pattern of prayer that has swept through churches and it is revolutionising homes and individual appetites for prayer. We read of prayer changing homes, churches, the workplace and many other spheres of influence. The kingdom of God is truly advancing as saints take to desperate prayer. In this issue we share stories and articles from within the GMI family on how prayer is becoming a movement that can truly see revival sweep our land. Declarative prayers, Prophetic prayers, prayer walks, extended times of worship, seasons of fasting and all the new prayer patterns are the taste of new wine.The church of God is moving. May this issue be the catalyst for a mighty move of God in our Churches. Even so, come Lord Jesus! James 4:8 promises us, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you."
Mohan Varghese pastors the Grace Tabernacle Ministries and oversees their churches. He is married to Sareeta and they have three sons, a daughter-in-law and two delightful grandchildren.
WRESTLING Spiritual Warfare has become a popular topic in the light of the increased number of books and movies depicting super natural occurrences from the world of evil. Spiritual Warfare is perceived by many as a “close quarter wrestling” with dark forces to overcome them. This article seeks to show that Spiritual Warfare is not merely wrestling or grappling with the enemy but, it is also “wrestling with God.”
Arthur Thangiah has a graduate degree in Computer Engineering from IIT Kharagpur and a doctorate in Urban Transformational Leadership from Bakke Graduate University. He is overseeing the Tamil churches since 1976 and involved with Sahaara since 1995. He is married to Blossom and they have two children –Victor and Cheryl.
WRESTLING WITH MAN: The verb "wrestle" or "wrestled" occurs four times in the Bible. Genesis 30:8 says "With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister and have prevailed". The Hebrew word used here for "wrestled" is "pathai" which means "to twist" and essentially involves twisting or manipulating to get one's way, and it speaks of wrestling with our fellow human beings. Galatians 6:7 says that a man reaps what he sows, and a lifestyle of figuratively wrestling or manipulating others would result in the manipulator being manipulated. If this is a part of our lifestyle, we need to cut it off. WRESTLING WITH SATAN: In Ephesians 6:12, we are told that we
wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places. The word for “wrestle” here in Greek is “pala” which means “the victor is able to hold his opponent down with his hand upon his neck.” The subsequent verses speak of how we wrestle with the powers not as in a shootout or speaking negative words or curses against the enemy. Instead by holding on to character values, of truth, righteousness, faith, peace and hope, which will keep us in the victorious position in which Christ has positioned us i.e. holding our opponent down with our hand upon his neck. WRESTLING WITH GOD: In Genesis 32:24 and again in 32:25, we read of how Jacob wrestled with God. The word for “wrestled” here in Hebrew is “abaq” which has two root meanings “to float away as vapour” and “to pound to make small.” Wrestling with God involves a desperate yearning to “float like vapour” i.e. to know the full blessing of God as He takes us wherever He wills, as easily as the floating of the vapour. It also involves a complete 4
arthur thangiah | yielding to God to allow Him to “pound us” to make us “floatable.” Wrestling with God implies a realisation that we are in desperate need for a blessing from God to go to the next level of anointing and usefulness for God. We can learn the following lessons from Jacob’s experience of wrestling with God. Even after Jacob’s’ hip was dislocated and he was in great pain, he cries out, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Genesis 32:26. A painful experience does not drive him away from God but throws him into the arms of God for a greater blessing. As beautifully expressed in the words of Matt Redman, “When the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say, blessed be the name of the Lord”.God is delighted with such a stand and tenacity to hold on, and He responds with a life changing blessing. “Your name shall be called Israel (prince with God), for you have striven with God and men and have prevailed.” Jacob did not expect a dislocation of his hip, but it was God’s way to make him more dependent on Him. The question that arises is, “What is the blessing that you are seeking from God?” When God puts a desired blessing into your heart, remember the words of Winston Churchill, “NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP.” As you hold on and do not let go, until you
have received the desired and promised blessing, you will be changed into His likeness from one degree of radiant holiness to another 2 Corinthians 3:18 (Weymouth New Testament). And that is the greatest blessing. Some examples of others in the Bible who have “wrestled “with God and prevailed are: -
Moses asking to see the glory of God. (Exodus 33:18) Joshua asking for the sun and the moon to stand still and for the Lord to fight for Israel. (Joshua 10:1214) Esther, with her maidens and all of the Jews, ( “wrestling“ with God in fasting and prayer for three days and three nights against the decree of the king calling for destruction of all the Jews. (Esther 4:16) Paul asking God three times for his “thorn in the flesh” to be removed, but each time God replies, “My grace is sufficient for you,for my power is made perfect in weakness.” ( 2 Corinthians 12:89) Jesus, just before his crucifixion praying, “Father, glorify your name”, and a voice from heaven saying, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” (John 12:28)
HAVE YOU WRESTLED WITH GOD IN PRAYER?
How family prayer shaped my prayer life… I am grateful and amazed at how God has enabled us as a family, to maintain our daily ‘Family Prayer Time’. Irrespective of how tiring or difficult the day was, this was a one hour slot, post dinner, that was set apart for prayer. There was singing, reading the Bible, reading ‘Our Daily Bread’ devotional, memorising and reciting Bible verses, seeking God for direction and celebrating God’s faithfulness. While many a time we did it as a routine, there have also been times where we have passionately sought the Lord, and enjoyed His presence. It was during such a time, that my siblings and I accepted Jesus and were filled with the Holy Spirit. Our “Family Prayer Times” have built in me an increased passion to pray and worship God. It has enabled me to exalt God in times of trouble, and to seek Him in times of despair. In times when I though I was far away from God, His Word drew me back to seek Him again. - Swaroop
DEVELOPING THE HABIT OF PRAYER
David Selvan has been associated with GMI since 1981 and has been the pastor of Union Church, Coonoor for the last 17 years. He is married to Debra and they have two daughters Anna, Arpana and a son Jonathan. Anna is married to Kavindran. Arpana is married to Rishanth.
My grandfather, in his spare time, would repair clocks and watches. Though interested, I could never learn that skill. Later in life, when on board ship, I had a senior who fixed watches as a hobby. I was amazed by his ability to open and fix wrist watches with their minuscule parts. He offered to teach me the skill, so I became his apprentice. My enthusiasm waned when, on my first attempt, I could neither hold the tiny screw driver nor the watch repairer’s magnifying glass within my eye socket lids. Even after getting a grip on that, synchronizing the screw driver tip, screw head and the lens was unmanageable. Frustrated, I wanted to quit. I asked my senior for his secret. His reply was profound – just practice, practice and more practice! How do we cultivate a personal prayer life? The answer is simple; by praying, praying and praying. We do not become prayer warriors overnight. Just like the daily habits we have developed from our young age, prayer must become a habit.
Unless we get into the discipline of praying, we cannot develop a prayer life. Let’s look at a few practical steps to develop a habit of prayer. Fix a time for prayer "Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees." - Corrie ten Boom Praying, only when we feel like it, will not mould us into a praying person. Self-discipline means deliberately aligning our energy with our values and priorities. We can forget to pray because of our busy schedule. Instead of saying,“I have much to do, so don’t have time to pray”, we must say, “I have much to do, so I need to pray.” One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer - at three in the afternoon. - Acts 3:1 Notice “at the time of prayer”. If we seriously desire to cultivate the habit, we must fix a time.
david selvan | A few tips to fix a prayer time. • Link it with normal activities of the day. - Immediately after we wake up - Before retiring to bed - Before a meal • Follow a weekly pattern - Monday: Family - Tuesday: Workplace - Wednesday: Church leaders/Members - Thursday: Local area/ City/Nation - Friday: Persecuted church - Saturday: Sunday service/ Missions, etc. FIX A DURATION FOR PRAYER
“......he found them sleeping.“Could you not keep watch with me for one hour”- Mt 26:40 Though we cannot derive “a one hour doctrine”from this conversation of Jesus, we realise its importance. “John Wesley spent two hours daily in prayer, and Martin Luther said, “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business; I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.’
or un-frequented boat decks would be my prayer place. In Coonoor, I look for the right place to pray. Similarly, each one of us can discover our own place of prayer. It helps us to intentionally move to such places at a particular time without jeopardising our prayer time. PREPARE A PLAN FOR PRAYER There are different types of prayers -from flash prayers to extended days of fasting and prayer. If we want to grow in our prayer life, we must set goals and work towards it. - Daily – one hour at a fixed time and interval. - Weekly – one fixed day fasting and prayer. We must pray more on the day of fasting, otherwise it will just be‘dieting’! - Monthly / quarterly – one day for an extended time with God. - Annual – mark a slot in our diary for a 3/7/21/40 days of different levels of fasting and prayer, as the Lord leads. - Allot a schedule for a personal midnight prayer, all night / half night prayer, early morning prayer, a season of prayer, etc. PREPARE A PRAYER LIST
Fixing a time and duration of prayer helps in setting aside time with God. We fix the duration even if it is ten minutes, based on where we are in our prayer life today. FIX A PLACE FOR PRAYER
“....Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer- at three in the afternoon”. - Acts 3:1 Peter and John chose to honour the designated time and went to the temple. “...Daniel...went home to his room upstairs where the windows opened towards Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt and prayed, giving thanks to God as he had done before.”- Daniel 6:10 Daniel had a fixed place, a pattern and a time for prayer. ‘Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives and his disciples followed him’ - Luke 22:39 Jesus had designated place for prayer. We note the word ‘as usual’, implying Jesus had a fixed place to be alone with God. Therefore, at the most stressful time of his life, he knew where to go.
Keeping a prayer journal will help develop a consistent prayer life. In the Pauline letters, Paul requested prayer for him and his fellow workers in a specific way. Our prayer book can have a prayer and praise list. Updating positive developments against each point will boost our faith as we see God work. USE DIFFERENT PRAYER PATTERNS Prayer is not a shopping list. There are different prayer patterns available which help us to focus the prayer beyond our self. We can use scripture portions like Psalms 1, 23, 91, 121,etc. and pray them. Praying through the scriptures, anchors our prayer in God’s word and will.
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In the different ships I served, I had to hunt for a secluded place to pray to the Lord. Unused office space 7
LEARNING FROM THE
Many of us use prayer as a last resort and miss out on the sustaining strength of an intimate relationship with God. For me personally, it has been a journey of learning intimacy with God my Father. Prayer is the expression of a child’s desire to know and spend time with the Father. It is admitting that none can meet our needs, except God. That is why Jesus prayed so often. We are called to follow His example. (Hebrews 5:7-8). In my early years as a Christian, spending time with the Father seemed a chore, but over the years it has become my delight.
Sareeta is married to Mohan Varghese and they have 3 sons, a daughter-in-law and two delightful grandchildren. She is passionate about prayer and building value into people. Sareeta has inspired many by her poise and trust in God, during her recent journey with cancer.
Jesus invites us to continual prayer, driven by faith that God hears us and will respond. He does not suggest that we overcome God’s reluctance to act on our requests. He is not distant, but always hears our cries. Jesus teaches that prayer should be a lifeline, as it was His. Prayer should come naturally to a Christian for it is pivotal to our spiritual lives. Jesus instructed that “men ought to pray at all times and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1). I have had my moments of desperation, at crucial times in life, as
I prayed for the salvation, or deliverance, of one of my close family. It often seemed like a lost cause or dead end. It was faith and reminder of earlier battles that kept me crying out with tears and deep groanings till the answer came. I continue to agonise in prayer for issues that seem so impossible, but I know my Father and I believe He will answer in His time Jesus warned His disciples against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees or allowing even genuine good works to distract one from wholehearted devotion to God. He modeled devotion as a matter of developing an intimate relationship with a living God, and drawing near to His Father heart. WHAT THE GOSPELS TELL US ABOUT THE PERSONAL PRAYER LIFE OF JESUS Luke is the Evangelist of prayer. Besides the personal prayers of Jesus, Luke’s Gospel presents twelve teachings on prayer. Early in Jesus’ ministry, there were frequent withdrawals to desert places for prayer (Luke 5:16). He gravitates towards solitude, because he 8
sareeta varghese | delighted in being alone with His Father. He willingly spent the whole night in communion with God (Luke 6:12). He came out of every time in prayer, ready for decisions and actions, such as naming the Twelve or revealing His identity (Luke 9:18). Prayer was the heart of His life, where events like the transfiguration took place, according to Luke, “while He was praying” (Luke 9:29). When that hour of darkness came, Jesus continued to find His strength in union with the Father. His prayers in Gethsemane and on the Cross were the bitter dark nights of the silence of God (Luke 22:39-46; 23:34, 46). Jesus personalised prayer by introducing an intimate filial note, addressing His Father as ‘Abba’. JESUS AND HIS PRAYER LIFE The best example of a daily pattern of praying is set by the Lord Himself. We, too, are invited into intimate prayer. “But when you pray, go into your most private room and close the door, and pray to the Father.” (Mat. 6:6). This kind of secret prayer pre-supposes right motives (Mat. 6:5), a right relationship with God as Father (Luke 11:11-13), and overcoming pretentions (Mark 7:6, 7). Jesus does not criticise public prayer, but condemns pretentious prayer that attracts attention, and stressed on prayer that avoids meaningless repetitions. Luke 5:16 says, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed”. We too, need to value praying and spending time alone with God. Sometimes, Jesus spent all night in prayer (Luke 6:12). This was His source of strength, and can be ours too. In our packed daily schedules, finding solitude seems a luxury. Yet, I have found the early morning hours and being within my bedroom, gave me much needed privacy and time for intimacy. I soon realised that I had to fight for this time and when I slackened, I lost my ability to hear God or enjoy His presence. JESUS PRAYED REGULARLY Luke 11:1 reads, “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of the disciples said to Him “Lord, teach us to pray”. It is obvious that Jesus prayed regularly. In the Gospels, whenever we read of Jesus and His times of prayer, we see how natural, and regular it was, even though He had long, tiring days. Jesus did not neglect His time of prayer.
JESUS’ PRAYERS WERE HEARTFELT Jesus’ praying was not formal, cold or distant, but heartfelt supplication, with impassioned pleas, demonstrating genuine love for God and the importance of His relationship with the Father. John 17 is a wonderful example of this. Jesus prayed from His knowledge of the truth of who God is. Heartfelt prayer will enable us to understand who God is and what He has revealed to us through His Word. JESUS TAUGHT PERSISTENCE IN PRAYER Jesus encouraged His disciples to pray and not give up. Prayer, especially persistent prayer, should become a necessary habit in our lives, because prayer directs our thoughts towards God, towards His power and His solutions to our problems. Persistence can be translated into boldness, shamelessness and importunity. The adjective ‘importunity’, describes a plea that is annoying. In Luke 11:5-10, the three imperatives ‘Asking’, ‘Seeking’, ‘Knocking’, are in the Greek present tense denoting a continuous asking, seeking and knocking. CONCLUSION The Gospels do not give us a detailed account of the life of Jesus, but they do offer us captivating glimpses into His prayer life. Such was Jesus’ prayer and intercession for us. If His Word is not working in us in a life-changing way, we cannot become like Him. These things don’t come naturally but have to be learnt from Jesus, who modeled prayer. We need to believe and be confident that God answers prayer. The first step to praying like Jesus is to believe in the incredible power of prayer. Jesus demonstrated that prayer is hard work but it always pays off. My recent journey with cancer drew me into a more intimate relationship with the Lord. I have heard Him speak to my heart, sensed His presence and experienced his tenderness and love. He was with me every step of the way and removed every fear and dread of cancer. I thank My Father who has given me a taste of heaven on earth. In His presence there is fullness of joy, even in the darkest nights of the soul. He is altogether wonderful!
HOW TO BUILD A
CONSISTENT PRAYER LIFE In the early ’80s, at Bombay Baptist Church, we experienced a minirevival. After much agonizing in prayer, 19 of us got baptised in the Holy Spirit in ONE day! There was so much excitement amongst us – to worship, to pray, to operate spiritual gifts – we were unstoppable in our desire to experience more of God. We were fired up from deep within. Church meetings did not seem long and none of us wanted to miss any meeting. God was amongst us. It was during those days that I developed an afternoon prayer time which became a habituated part of my life. I enjoyed being in God’s presence, feeling His warmth, hearing Him personally, growing in spiritual gifts and discovering everything God has for me.
Esme is married to Stanley Mehta. They have two married daughters Priscilla and Lydia, a son named Titus and two adorable grand children - Hudson and Hadassah. Stanley and Esme live in the city of Bangalore and they continue to keep an open home and live very active lives.
We all know much about prayer and how important it is. We have heard innumerable messages, attended innumerable retreats and seminars on prayer, and yet somehow prayer gets relegated to being a spare wheel – put into place when we experience a flat tyre in our lives. Why are our least attended meetings, the prayer
meetings? And yet, all of us desire to see miracles. There seems to be a mismatch. This reminds me of one of Stanley’s many stories – the crab story. When the chief crab gives a command, “Forward march!”, the whole battalion of crabs move sideways. That’s how it is with our prayer life. We say the right things, we believe the right things, but we do just the opposite. Our prayer life intensifies only when we face a crisis. Let’s look at some reasons for this. MOBILE PHONES:- Our phones are always with us, and our day begins by first checking for messages we might have missed overnight. From messages, it goes to a short video clip and then there’s Facebook. You may say you also watch sermons on YouTube or listen to worship songs, but the truth is that time is wasted and there is no time to pray effectively. BUSYNESS:- We seem to be working endlessly. Even ministry demands much of our time, space and energy. We are busy entertaining
esme mehta | or talking to people over the phone. We have packed schedules to meet and endless programmes that somehow prayer time gets cut short or neglected. Like Martha, who was concerned about many things, we also become busy doing things rather than being still in God’s presence. Jesus commended Mary for choosing to spend time in his presence. PRE-OCCUPATION WITH DREAMS AND DESIRES:Myriad thoughts invade our minds when we sit down to pray. It appears to others that we are seated quietly in prayer but our minds are travelling at the speed of a Japanese bullet train. Before long, our preoccupation with our thoughts, results in no prayer at all. Sometimes, our prayer posture is so relaxing, that we soon are fast asleep. CONFLICTS:-We often desire to forgive others when we pray, but our thoughts re-live the pain and hurt caused and we feel depressed and angry. The desire to pray or forgive, evaporates. ANXIETY:- We start worrying and thinking about our future, jobs, exams, home, kids and all the zillion things that need to be done. We hardly pray, because we are busy trying to decide how to handle these issues. LEISURE AND PLEASURE:- Today peoples’ thoughts are consumed with leisure and pleasure more than Kingdom purposes. In today’s culture, there is no time for agonizing in prayer as Jesus did throughout His ministry. But instead, like coffee, we like the instant version, the quick-fix mentality. WRONG PRIORITIES:-We are not burdened to pray for the things of the Kingdom, as long as our own comforts, career and convenience are our priority in life. We are in danger of losing our love for God. Matt 22:17 reads, “Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind.”A quick test is to check what breaks our heart? Is it the same thing that breaks the heart of Jesus or is it something that is a selfish end for us? Let’s consider ways we can overcome these distractions: • DECISION:- Make a conscious decision not to get disturbed. Find a place where no one can see you. Then decide to take your thoughts captive and make it obedient to Christ. Decide to “cast all your cares upon Him because He cares for you”. Decide to turn off your mobile phone while spending quality time with God. Keep all distractions away.
• DISCIPLINED AND CONSISTENT:-Keep to your timetable. Be consistent in following it till it becomes a routine. To keep our prayer invigorated, try a few prayer themes - like thanksgiving, adoration, supplication, reading the Word, the Lord’s prayer pattern, concentric circles pattern (where you begin from the smallest circle praying for yourself, then family, church, nation and the world), the apostles’ prayer, praying in tongues, etc. • JOURNALING:- Wait to hear from God. Prayer is not a wish list to satisfy our need or greed. Instead enjoy communion with God. We must allow Him to adjust our character so that we respond appropriately to situations and become more like Jesus. It is important to obey when God reveals areas in our lives that need to change. When we hear God speak and obey, it matures us and gives us a hope and a future. • UNDIVIDED ATTENTION:- Keep your focus on God. Look to Him. If some important thought comes to mind, then just take a notepad and write it down immediately, so that you can deal with it later. This helps keep your attention focused on prayer. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, for He is the Author and Perfector of our faith.”Hebrews 12:2 • KNOW YOUR ETERNAL PURPOSE:-“Set your hearts on the things above where Christ is seated on the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things above and not on earthly things.”Col 3:1b,2. Our goal should be to know God and His Kingdom purposes. Prayer is a wonderful way to understand God’s heart. Spending time in His Presence opens our heart to understand eternal truths, as the Holy Spirit reveals them to us. Even before you realise, there is a deep connection with God and you begin to love this time and want more of it. • BE ACCOUNTABLE:-Being accountable about our prayer life and Bible meditation, makes us hear God better as there is someone you can check with. We enrich others through the practice of sharing whatever God puts on our heart while reading His word, or any prophetic word we receive during prayer. This increases our desire to spend time in prayer. May Christ alone captivate your heart and its affections as you seek to build a consistent prayer life.
• ORGANISE:- Organise your daily routine. Plan ahead for the day, so that you are in control of your time and schedules. 11
happenings in the GMI family |
Santosh + Sylvia
Manish + Sonakshi
Martin + Divya
Mahendra + Sunitha
Pradeep + Manorama
Ashrit + Genevieve
Asher + Cinderella
happenings in the GMI family |
YALT 2016 Graduation (GT Vizag)
YALT 2016 Graduation (CCC Hyderabad)
Prayer Room @BBC Colaba
Prayer Room @GT Vizag
All India Best Teacher Award presented to Dolly Gavin
YLPT 2016, held at Coonoor 13
CALL TO BE AN
INTERCESSOR Fervent prayers to move mountains, require the commitment of the whole person. The person who aspires to be an intercessor needs to be totally involved, willing to give his/her whole mind, emotions and will in the pursuit of seeing God work.
Jaya Abraham is a woman with a contagious passion for God and people. She is actively involved in training leaders through Lead Like Jesus as well as other training modules. Despite their very busy schedules, she and her husband Abe, find time to keep an open home.
H E A R T: I t t a k e s a humble and compassionate heart, filled with confidence in God, to pray for the needs of others.. Unless one’s heart is filled with love, compassion, mercy, faith and with joyful anticipation, prayer would be dry and meaningless. Power in prayer is not possible unless one is willing to lay aside one’s own concerns and be steadfast in seeking the Lord on behalf of others. A praying heart, will not judge or find fault with the difficult situations others face but will wait patiently on the Lord for words of knowledge and wisdom as it intercedes on behalf of others and also seek to encourage and comfort those who face hard times. HEAD: Prayer is not meant to be just an
emotional cry or the venting of feelings. Effective prayer needs understanding of the issues involved and the use of the principles of prayer. We are to be alert all the time because we are at war! We need to be observant and be able to discern all that is happening around us. We are to be sensitive to the signs of our times. As we engage in intercession, we must allow the Holy Spirit to renew our minds and be refreshed by the Word of God. This is necessary if we are to be attentive and sensitive to the real needs of those for whom we pray. Unless we pray with insight, we may not be able to see what God is releasing from the heavens HANDS: Prayer is active involvement in changing the course of events and seasons. It requires the willingness on the part of an intercessor, to toil on behalf of others. This type of praying is showcased powerfully and vividly when the intercessor demonstrates unconditional love, is prepared to do good to those for whom they pray and bless them in prayer. Active 14
jaya abraham | prayer means going into the thick of battle – at times taking a stand against injustice, unrighteousness and every evil scheme originating from the kingdom of darkness. This is the wrestling of Kingdom centered prayer An intercessor also has the privilege of imparting and influencing the prayer life of new believers (novices) – training them to pray for issues they have faith to pray for and as they grow in faith, to encourage them to pray for others needs till one day they mature to wrestle in prayer till God’s will is done on earth. HABITS: We discipline ourselves in the habit of intercession. We build our spiritual sharpness in our times with God. We make
it our practice to learn every pattern and strategy of prayer and use them effectively. As those called to pray for others, we fall in love with the Word of God and read it with much attention. And one of the priorities of the one who prays for another, is to memorize the Word of God. When we use His Word and pray, there comes assurance with His hope and promises. When we pray His Word, His peace that transcends all human understanding, guards the heart and mind of the other whom we continue to uphold in our prayers. CONCLUSION: He who has called us for His work says “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” - 2 Pet 1:3
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DEVELOPING THE HABIT OF PRAYER Adopt different postures while praying ‘He withdrew at a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed.’ - Luke 22:41
negligent one, "Brother, the grass grows on your path." - Today in the Word, June 29, 1992.
Ensure consistency. ‘.. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to God as he had done before.’ - Daniel 6:10 Daniel and Jesus knelt and prayed. Jacob wrestled with God. Solomon stood before the Lord, spreading his hands towards heaven and prayed. Elijah sat under a broom tree and prayed. We can choose any posture -sitting, standing, walking, kneeling, leaning, lying face down, etc. as appropriate to the theme and intensity of our prayer.
Choose an accountability partner Sharing our thoughts and goals with others will make us vulnerable and help us grow.It keeps a healthy habit growing. Early African converts to Christianity reportedly had a separate spot in the thicket where each would pray. Over time, the paths to these places became well worn. As a result, if one of these believers began to neglect prayer, it was soon apparent to the others. They would kindly remind the
We need to take note that a habit takes time to form. Once broken, it is difficult to revive. We can lose the fervour to pray when we do not see any result after a long period. ‘Pray continually ...’ - I Thes. 5:17. Pray without ceasing. As a junior, I was to assist my senior to carry out maintenance on a large sea water filter unit. I learnt how repeated blows with a sledge hammer could help loosen and open the nut, with ease. I had to keep on hammering blows till the nut came loose. We should know that every prayer of ours is a blow to open locked-up situations and one of them will open it. Probably the next blow may be the one that causes the breakthrough. Therefore let us not stop praying but cultivate a strong personal prayer life and promote a corporate prayer culture in our spheres.
FASTING & PRAYER TO CHANGE SITUATIONS
The Power of fasting and prayer to change situations Fasting is commanded by God. Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD. Joel 1:14(NIV) Jesus fasted for 40 days.
Thomas Ouseph oversees several Hindi speaking GMI churches in Mumbai, as well as in Jammu, Punjab, Chandigarh and Nepal. Thomas is a man of faith who has seen God do many miracles in healing and deliverance. He believes that nothing is impossible with God. He is married to Lissy and is father to Steve aged 24 years and Sophia aged 15 years.
Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.”Matthew 4:1- 2(The Message) Jesus taught His disciples on fasting. “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full”.Matthew 6:16 (NIV) Fasting taught as a practice in the Old Testament and New Testament So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.Ezra 8:23 (NIV)
One day as they were worshiping God—they were also fasting as they waited for guidance—the Holy Spirit spoke: “Take Barnabas and Saul and commission them for the work I have called them to do.”So they commissioned them. In that circle of intensity and obedience, of fasting and praying, they laid hands on their heads and sent them off.Acts 13:2-3 (The Message) Benefits of fasting -
When we fast, we humble ourselves before God to seek his face for his divine help.
It is a simple way to increase our faith and press into the presence of God.
Fasting strengthens our prayers and breaks demonic strongholds in our lives and in the lives of others too.
Fasting, when enhanced by prayer, will bring down the super natural power of God and healing.
Fasting is done to obey God. It thwarts Satan and his hosts, and it helps others.
Story from book of Esther During the reign of King Xerxes, the Jewish people were in exile in a 16
thomas ouseph | foreign land. Haman, a noble and high official wanted to destroy the entire Jewish community. Haman planned and got a decree issued by the king to destroy all Jews living in the kingdom. Hearing this news, Queen Esther a Jewish girl by birth, asked Mordecai, her cousin and confidant, to declare a three day fast for her to find favor in the sight of the king. In Esther 4:16, we read that, as the Jews in exile fasted, Esther found favor in the sight of the king and the end result changed. The king’s
decree to annihilate the Jewish people in 127 provinces was cancelled. Haman, who was the enemy of the Jews, was hung on the gallows made by him to destroy Mordecai. The Jewish people in the kingdom were delivered from annihilation for generations to come. May you experience the presence and power of God in the days to come as you fast and pray.
How family prayer shaped my prayer life… I grew up with the knowledge that prayer is a way of communicating with God, but I had no real experience of being close to God in my prayers. Well, I have had my teenage phase; and in my walk with the Lord, I went as far from Him as I possibly could, and prayer was not a part of my life, nor did I cherish a relationship with God. A few years later, the powerful effect of prayer became real to me, when my parents told me of how their prayers were the reason I was alive and well today! Since then, I have realised that there is immense POWER IN PRAYER. I have made a decision to never allow guilt or shame to keep me from praying to a God who ALWAYS responds when we pray! - DEBORAH PRABHAKAR
Since my early childhood, my most vivid memory is of the daily family prayer times at night. Here all our thanks, praise, needs, pains and burdens were brought to our Heavenly Father. Every morning, we were made to pray before we did anything else. But all this was just a ritual for me. However, after I accepted the Lord, my view towards prayer completely changed. My mother’s tears for her unsaved family members and the sick, taught me to come boldly into His presence, with all reverence, and pour my heart out to Him. I am grateful for the encouragement and influence of family prayer times in shaping my prayer life. What started as a formality, in the daily routine, has become fuel to the engine of my Christian life. -‐ ABHISHEK GEORGIE JOHN
PATTERNS O F P R AY E R Prayer as a lifestyle has many forms or patterns. Jesus taught us the Lord’s Prayer, but we also see Him pray different kinds of prayer. In fact, the Bible provides us a glimpse of the myriad ways in which we can approach God through prayer. In this brief article, we present just four of these, and pray that they will change your prayer life even as it has for our family. Clear Format for Participatory Prayer (CFPP) CLEANSING PRAYER Biju Joseph works as Senior Dock Master with Mumbai Port and has been married to Meena, an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering, for over 29 years. They have been worshipping at BBC Colaba since 1990. Their sons Suraj, Anoop and Swaroop, all young professionals, have been an integral part of the life of the church and enjoy serving people. Biju and Meena have been faithful prayer warriors and play a key role in running the Foundation course.
Job 1:4-5 His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom. We see the concerned heart of a godly parent who wants the well-
being of his children. He translates this concern into intercessory prayer and worship before God. Job’s children (may have been adults) were hosting feasts in each one’s home by tur n. He was alert about the temptations and their vulnerabilities as they partied. We pray for our children daily that they will be forgiven of their sins; that they will not sin; and that they will fear and revere God in their talk and walk. We bring the particular needs and weaknesses of each of our children to God as did Job. That which is most essential and necessary in our families, is that our children walk with God. They can have all the possessions of the world, all the education of the world, but that which they truly need is a heart devoted to God. FINDING GOD’S WILL AND PRAYING IT THROUGH Acts13:2-3, 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they
biju joseph | placed their hands on them and sent them off. Many times as we wait on God, He reveals His will to us. It is for us to pray it through and receive it. Some years ago, while praying and asking God, He revealed to us that my wife would study in a particular premier institute. This was confirmed through prophecy and dreams. Logically, there was no way to get in there as a part-time student. We continued to pray and seek God. After being repeatedly prompted by the Holy Spirit, one day we drove around that institute and prayed. God miraculously opened the door and granted her admission. She joined as the first part-time student of that institute. PERSISTENT PRAYER Parable of the persistent widow Luke 18:1-8“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who n e i t h e r f e a re d G o d n o r c a re d w h a t p e o p l e thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think,5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” In this parable, the widow represents us and unjust judge represents God. Persistence in prayer and faith in God will bear fruit because He is the loving, just God.
We, as a family, have kept on praying for all our family members (extended family too) and over a span of three decades have seen many of them coming to the Lord, obeying the Lord in waters of Baptism and being filled with the Holy Spirit. PROCLAMATION PRAYER 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (AMP) The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ. Proclaiming the Word, Thanksgiving and Praise are great tools in our hand. Matthew 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Great power is released by proclaiming the Word of God with boldness and unwavering faith. Through prayer,the power of God is released into our lives for His glory. We as a family proclaim God’s Word and claim it. Isa 54:13 All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace. Over the years we have seen God’s faithfulness in bringing His words to pass.Hallelujah!May we pray with all kinds of prayers, to walk and live our daily lives effectively.
Prayer plumes the wings of God’s young eaglets so that they may learn to mount above the clouds. Prayer brings inner strength to God’s warriors and sends them forth to spiritual battle with their muscles firm and their armor in place. | Charles Spurgeon Notice, we never pray for folks we gossip about, and we never gossip about the folk for whom we pray! For prayer is a great detergent. | Leonard Ravenhill Prayer at its best is the expression of the total life, for all things else being equal, our prayers are only as powerful as our lives. | AW Tozer
INTERCESSION & SPIRITUAL WARFARE Intercession and Spiritual Warfare In the Navy, we were governed by a code of ethics when it came to warfare. Our training emphasized protection of the vulnerable by gender and age. However, warfare today is seldom governed by ethics. The success of warfare is so vital that collateral damage is high, as many innocent lives are lost and many abused. As children of God, our values and ethics come from the heart of God and the Word of God even as we engage in warfare with an unscrupulous enemy.
Ashok Kumar has had a distinguished career in the Navy before he joined his current organisation as Director of Investigations. He believes in excellence and trains and inspires people to move in faith. He is married to Suni and they have a son named Anugrah and a daughter named Mahima. Ashok & Suni planted the Zamorin Church in 2011 and they currently lead the Neon Family Church at Bangalore which they established in 2015.
The Bible says â€œDo not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with goodâ€?. This is impractical in modern day warfare as everyone believes in settling scores. But, believers, who are children of God, are expected to fight our enemy (Satan) through Intercession. I will briefly share some principles of Intercession (spiritual warfare) which we as a family have employed, resulting in breakthroughs. PRINCIPLES OF INTERCESSION ( a ) C o m p r i s e s o f a n A r m y. Although God is able to save by many or by few, intercession involves
two or three praying in harmony. No warfare is against households or businesses or individual people, but against principalities and powers that rule in heavenly places with an intention to destroy the good order and peace that God has put on His earth. We have witnessed God move as Baal Perazim, The Lord of the breakthrough (2 Sam 5:20, I Chron 14:11), when intercession was carried out by teams of more than three in number (Mathew 18:19-20, Eph 6:12). Application: Form intercession groups of 2 or 3 or more, who move in harmony and start praying for people suffering due to sickness, property issues, marriages, children, leadership, financial breakthroughs, etc. As you continue wrestling, you will see a breakthrough. God moves when His people pray together, in one accord. (b) Consistency in Seeking. In spiritual warfare, once we are convinced; that what we are seeking is in the will of God, it is absolutely vital to remain consistent in praying (Asking) without ceasing. God looks for consistency as we seek Him. (Luke 18:1-8, I Thes 5:16-18).
ashok kumar | Application: The Intercessory Team should pray that the will of God be done and must continue to pray till the breakthrough comes. Consistency in praying is the key to winning Spiritual Warfare. (c) Confidence to Approach. The enemy’s tactic is to destroy our confidence to approach the throne of God. He projects our sins, our fears, our medical reports, adversity, and logic as weapons to dissuade us from approaching God with confidence. Many have lost the battle of intercession in their minds. Our God is a God of break-through and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Paul says, In Him and through faith in Him we approach God with confidence and freedom (Eph 3:12, I John 5:14). Application: The Intercessory team should approach the throne, robed in Christ’s righteousness. They should remember that our confidence is always and should always be in the righteousness of Jesus and His blood, shed for the remission of our sins. (d) Converse with Holy Spirit. Intercession is ineffective when the team is not in constant communion with the Holy Spirit. It is very important to know what the Holy Spirit is revealing; He speaks with groanings that cannot be explained, unless one has been baptized in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:26,). Application: The Intercessory team which is engaged in Spiritual warfare needs to be able to pray in tongues. Often times the Holy Spirit reveals the next stage of our battle and makes us understand the plans of God.
(f) Calling (proclaiming) our War Cry. Every regiment and battalion in the Armed Forces utters a War Cry before, during and after the assault, with all their might and strength. The children of the Living God need to know the War Cry of heaven and Earth is “Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords”, which rises to the heavens as praise. The powers, principalities and darkness dread this War Cry. The team engaged in warfare, needs to proclaim the believers War Cry from every rooftop. This is the source of victory and deliverance. (Rev 19:16, Philip 2:9-11) Application: The team engaged in warfare should keep declaring aloud to the principalities and powers of darkness that Jesus bears the title above every other title and we belong to that regiment. Like in the Armed Forces, the war cry is always before, during times of engagement and at the end of the assault. Prayer Walks. Prayer walks are synonymous to regimental troops carrying out war patrols. The purpose is to Claim, Conquer and Control the area, people, and property from every evil influence. In my opinion, every spiritual battle has to include Prayer walks at some stage prior to the victory. Prayer Walks establish the government of God in every place our feet shall tread. It is important to be clear whether the territory we are claiming in prayer is actually in God’s plan, because at times we may control a territory without any plan for its utilization. The Key: Every prayer walk is coupled with a War Cry. (Joshua 6)
(e) Corners of Difficulty. The intercessory team should know how to negotiate through tight corners. Daniel and his team were a group of intercessors engaged in Spiritual Battles. However, there were two tight corners (Fiery Furnace and the Lions’ Den). The intercessory team will have to go through tight corners pertaining to health, family, career, finances, untoward instances, attacks, accidents, breakdowns, untimely deaths, etc. We need to know that our enemy is a roaring lion and will do everything possible to disrupt our focus on the battle. Daniel and team continued to engage in the battle in prayer, to negotiate difficult corners (1 Pet 5:8, Dan 3 and 6).
(g) Claiming the Promises of God. The Intercessory team should be very clear and well versed with the promises of God. We often forget that we fight from victory. Every warfare has three main ingredients namely, Mission, Objectives & Aim. Paul said “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better”. The capture of Jericho is an example of a clear aim, mission and objectives. The Bible says that all the promises of God are Yes and Amen in Jesus Christ. It is not our ability, but His will, that makes things happen (Eph 1:17-21, Josh 6, 2Cor 1:20).
Application: The Bible tells us to be alert and of sober mind. It is important for the team to be on guard and pray. Nehemiah held a sword in one hand while restoring the walls of Jerusalem. It is important for the team engaged in spiritual warfare to put on the full armour of God and be ready.
Conclusion. Suni and I, as a family, have been engaged in many spiritual battles and the above principles have helped us often to stay on course in the battle without becoming a casualty. However, remember, He that is in us is greater than He that is in the world.
THE YLPT STORY CS Lewis once wrote, “History is a story written by the finger of God”. I would take it one step further and say, “The YLPT is a story written by the finger of God”. Every story is so powerful; it could actually transport you to another place. Please read as I narrate the YLPT story.
Karan Thomas pastors the New Bridge Community Church, Pune. He is married to Esther and they have recently been blessed with a lovely daughter Aria. Karan loves long drives and weekend getaways.
It all started in 2012 with about eight youth leaders from various GMI churches across the city of Mumbai. Most of us had been in church long enough to know how to run things with a push of a button. We’d handled many events, dramas, skits, treks, picnics, and camps in our local churches to know the drill. But we knew that nothing really worked the way prayer did. We knew that prayer could move mountains. We’d sung songs about it, even preached about it, but we did not really have our own story to share. Until then, prayer had been an 'event'. We had the Tuesday evening Intercession times and our quarterly combined prayer meets. But we knew that there had to be more to it. Almost all revivals in church history
were birthed out of people praying. Any large Christ-centred movement visible today, had its roots in years of persistent prayer. Even the growing success of BBC and GMI has been a result of much prayer in days gone by. We have held on to many of the values that had been passed on to our generation. However, we felt we had been lacking in the value of spending time with God. So, we decided to meet often to spend time in worship, prayer and to share a meal. We did this once in three months. That’s all we would do – worship, pray and share a meal. In the course of these informal, yet spiritual interactions, we started expressing ourselves to God like never before. We started to enjoy praying and interceding. There was a sense of unity developing amongst us. Our love for God, and love for each other started to grow. We would pray for just about anything; be it families, churches, youth, nations, etc. We were looking for reasons and excuses to meet and pray. God was at work in us personally and also corporately. We prayed like this for
karan thomas | almost two years. We continued to sense a need to grow in the area of prayer. We unanimously agreed that we needed to learn more about Prayer and Intercession. In the light of this, we agreed to have a “YOUNG LEADERS’ PRAYER TRAINING (YLPT)” for all the GMI churches across the country. Initially, we were not sure how many youth would consider themselves as prayer leaders. However, we started sending the word across to the churches. GMI has had many different training programs in the past, but this was to be the first time we were conducting something like this. The first YLPT was conducted in April 2014 for which 38 participants from five cities registered. It was a power packed weekend with immense enthusiasm and excitement! Young people were on fire to pray. We made bold prayers, we claimed nations, and we were expecting revival like never before. This had to be God. As a result of the first YLPT, many young leaders went back to their local churches in various cities and initiated prayer movements with the help of their local pastors and leaders.
We conducted the second YLPT in April 2015. This time the numbers grew to 65 participants. Our highlight was a half night of prayer in a pub. A few months later, the pub changed their name to “LIGHT HOUSE”! In May 2016, we conducted the third YLPT. The numbers increased even more. We had 85 participants register who came from nine cities. YLPT gained momentum. We experienced a mighty move of the Spirit. We witnessed young people cry out to God. There were cries of desperation and also shouts of proclamation. There were tears of repentance and also tears of joy. These were scenes we had only dreamt of but now a visible reality of God at work. As a result of this YLPT, many young people are full of faith, and are learning the joy of being in the presence of God, interceding for the things that break the heart of God. The young leaders have gone back to their churches and been the catalysts to initiate chain prayer, 24x7 Prayer, month of prayer, prayer walks, fasting and prayer, weekly intercession and much more. The Church of God is moving. Truly, we were born for such a time as this.
How family prayer shaped my prayer life… My home shaped my prayer life. Seeing my dad during family prayer and secretly in a little closet;or go down on one knee just before he left home, had a tremendous effect on me. Seeing my widowed mom kneel near the kitchen sink and pray in tears very early in the morning was another instance. As a child, being encouraged to pray about every little thing, is another memory I cherish. My parents made God a real person to me. They went to Him in prayer whenever they faced tough situations and needed help. Nothing impacts a child more, than to see a parent go to God in prayer. Their prayer life taught me that God was dependable. Answered prayer and the resultant joy and praise showed me that God can be depended upon in every situation.Prayer changes things. Consistent family prayer taught me to pray, not in a routine manner, but in a way that’s more personal- a one on one conversation. Family prayer also helped me to deal with unanswered prayer or adverse situations in life. Seeing my parents’ posture when prayer is not answered, taught me that God knows what He is doing. I need not know. My job, as a child, is to go to him for help and wait patiently for him. Psalm 115:3 says “Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.” Family prayer, for me, demonstrated surrender to God, an overwhelming sense of Gods greatness, and His right to do His will in my life. 23
& BRIDGES BUILT
NEW STRATEGIES FOR PRAYER
REGULAR TIMES OF MEETING TO PRAY AS A BODY
TEACHING ON PRAYER
interviews with > Sangati -The Fellowship > Glory Ministries Trust > Lighthouse Ministries > Zoe Ministries > BBCâ€”Tamil > Grace Tabernacle > Bombay Baptist Church > Springs of Life Ministries > PV Simon > Union Church
> Living Community Church > Living Streams Ministries > Jeevan Jal Fellowship > Victorious Community Church
gmi prayer stories | UNION CHURCH, COONOOR Though India had received the gospel in the first century, the Indian church has not done much to take the gospel to the east. This fact stirred our hearts and we began to pray and look East during early 2000. We had no clue how this was going to happen. But we believed God could do anything and we continued praying. We were led to pray to send a professional to a large nation in the east. One engineering student responded to the call but we had no idea, expertise, influence or financial resources to consider such a mission. We prayed to God for a sign within two weeks, in order to confirm these were not just our dreams. The following week, his uncle offered to take him on a tour to that nation for a week. He went and stood in important places of that country and prayed. We were overwhelmed with joy over this sign and began to apply for a scholarship for higher studies. Within six months, God answered our prayer and he was given full scholarship to do higher studies with a four years visa. Praise God that he continues to serve God in that nation with his wife. Nothing is impossible for God.
SANTOSH JOHNY, ZOE MINISTRIES Around ten years ago, God miraculously led a young man Umesh to seek Him and in the next few weeks he was gloriously saved and he even led his family to the Lord. He had a burden to be an influence at his work place. We would all pray that God would open a door for the gospel to penetrate the 60 odd staff at the fine dining restaurant where he served as the manager. His faith in God to do mighty things is amazing.It led him to pray for his staff. In 2015, we began the Hindi service at Chembur, and Umesh invited his staff to come and taste the Jesus who had changed him. In the last 6 months, we have had 20 of his staff regularly attending church and worshipping the Lord Jesus. They are going through the foundational teaching and we are trusting God for their salvation. During the ZOE family camp, Umesh and his family missed the Sunday service. His joy knew no bounds when he got the report that all 20 of his staff attended church to worship God. His conclusion –“They love JESUS and go to church for Him, not for me”
MEENA JOSEPH, BBC COLABA I had inherited an ancestral property, situated in Chennai. Little did I know, there were legal hurdles, documentation hassles and non-cooperative tenants veiled behind this inheritance. It was all a mess. So I decided to sell this property in ‘white’, which is humanly impossible, especially when things are in a mess. We contacted many buyers and brokers, who all refused to pay in white, and warned us that we would get a price far below fair value if we insisted on ‘white’. During this time, we claimed Psalm 125 – “The scepter of the wicked shall not remain over the land allotted to the righteous.” After 26 long years, a buyer contacted us and agreed to buy the property for the price we negotiated, in ‘white’, and readily took the initiative of getting its documentation done. The deal was closed in 2015,before the deluge in Chennai. God foreknew everything and though we had to wait, He was Sovereign over all.
GYAN LAMA, KIF, NEPAL Even before we moved from BBC, Colaba to Nepal, our eyes were on a place named Thamel. We wanted to live in this area and start work there, but it was too expensive and no property was available to rent. So we just lifted our hands and hearts to the Lord in faith for an opening and continued meeting at home for fellowship. The Lord connected us with a person who became a channel for us to make more contacts,and helped us move into a Café closer to Thamel. After one and a half years of persistent prayer, the Lord brought another person to the church who owned a restaurant, and he opened up his terrace where we now worship every Saturday. During the last 5 years, ,we have had many things that have brought us to our knees - earthquakes, economic crisis, the birth of our third child and countless other moments, but through it all, God has enabled us to move forward. Recently, Chumla renounced her Indian citizenship to pursue the kingdom dream for Nepal.
gmi prayer stories | JOHN THOMAS KOSHY, VASHI Six years ago, God showed me in a dream that we would have twins. He also gave me the names of the children.Though it seemed impossible, on May 19th, 2015 through a USG scan, we came to know that we were going to have twins. We were elated but soon came to know that there were complications. We met 3-4 obstetricians and all advised abortion as it was a very high risk pregnancy and the incidence is 1 in 10,000 twins in the world. Still, with prayer and fasting, we continued and met a very good doctor. She eased all our concerns. On 02nd Dec 2015, our miracle baby boys Enoch Thomas John weighing 1.43 kg and Keith Samuel John weighing 2.19 kg were born. However, problems persisted. Enoch was so small, fragile and he developed jaundice in the NICU. The neonatologist said that Enoch's liver had multiple issues and that there was no treatment for it.Again through prayer and fasting, we dedicated our son to God for His purpose and asked for healing. God spoke to us through a prophecy that he wanted our eldest son for His work, and that He wanted us to fast and pray for 3 days every month for Enoch's healing. Even though he got an attack of severe pneumonia, he recovered in a couple of weeks. Today Enoch is 9 months old and almost the same weight as his brother. He is close to 8 kg now and there is no sign of sickness or liver issue. All praise to God our Father for teaching us to trust Him fully.He is still teaching us His ways. We are blessed and honoured to have the boys in our lives.
KHANING, DWARKA COMMUNITY CHURCH, NEW DELHI In May 2011, I was diagnosed with liver cancer, a lump measuring 9x11x10 cm. The tumor was so big that the doctor had advised a liver transplant as the best option. We could not afford it, and hence opted for liver resection, but there was no assurance that the surgery would be possible or successful. In spite of this complex situation, we refused to get disappointed and claimed God’s healing. A chain prayer was called for me during the treatment by my local Church, BBC and the GMI churches. As a result, we experienced the intervention of God in various ways. During the 8-hour long operation, no extra blood was required. After the surgery, I was taken to the normal ward and not in ICU, because all my parameters were in a perfect condition. I was discharged from the hospital after the 4th day of surgery, which is a record time. And there was no need for chemotherapy either. We experienced God’s divine peace throughout this journey. Though I go for tests regularly, I am totally healed from this terminal sickness. All praise and glory to Jesus!
gmi prayer stories | THOMAS OUSEPH, MUMBAI 1. In Amritsar, on the 28th of January 2016, I met a Sikh gentleman whose family was going through a few difficult situations. His wife was not able to see with one eye for two years. His daughter was tormented by an evil spirit, had become obese and had stopped going to college. While praying, the lady’s sight was restored and the daughter was delivered from the evil spirit. Within 6 months, a church began in their home, the girl received healing and deliverance and joined a Bible college in Chandigarh. 2. Sangeeta, a partially blind girl and an ex-beneficiary of Sahaara, lives in Ulhasnagar and attends church nearby. In the fifth month of her pregnancy, the doctor found complications in the baby, as one kidney was absent. The doctor suggested an abortion but Sangeeta refused. She was referred to a hospital at Parel where she received the same report. We were informed and went to her home and prayed for the miracle-working power of God to touch her. After 2 weeks, her sonography report revealed that the kidney was present but not in its right place. So again, the doctor suggested abortion of the baby. We prayed with her for a miracle. The next sonography report came clear and she later delivered a healthy baby. 3. 62-years-old Dr. Krishna, living in UAE, was suffering from blood cancer, diabetes and was almost blind. The three surgeries done on his retina yielded no result. While on a visit to Mumbai to meet with his relatives, we were contacted through Sujit and Maya of Jamshedpur church. On the 24th of April, he was brought to the Andheri church. While praying, Jesus touched him and his sight was restored and he could read big letters. Glory to Jesus! 4. Gladys lives in Scotland and is the sister of Nancy from the Andheri church family. She was diagnosed with Rectum Cancer in an advanced stage. During surgery, the cancer could not be fully removed as she developed heart complications. After chemotherapy, she was given 6 to 8 months to live. She came down to Mumbai to meet her family and to rest. While praying with our leaders, the power of God came upon her. Three months after the prayer, she went for a test and no trace of cancer was found in her body. It is now more than 3 years since God healed her and she has no cancer. She is healthy and praising God.
GMI VISION It is the dream of a place where the hurting, the depressed, the frustrated, and the confused can find love, acceptance, help, hope, forgiveness, guidance and encouragement. It is the dream of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with hundreds of thousands of residents in and around Mumbai It is the dream of welcoming 10,000 members into the fellowship of our church family-loving, learning, laughing and living in harmony together. It is the dream of developing people to spiritual maturity through discipling and bible studies, small groups, seminars, retreats and a Bible school for our members. It is the dream of equipping every believer for a significant ministry by helping them discover gifts and talents God gave them. It is the dream of sending our members on short- term mission projects and as missionaries & church workers into major cities of India, to different states within India, to our neighboring countries and ultimately to other nations of the world. It is the dream of planting daughterchurches in every local language. It is the dream of becoming â€œSalt and lightâ€? in the community, thereby influencing every sphere around us with the Kingdom values, namely sphere of families, education, judiciary, arts & entertainment, Media, politics, business, industry, economics, social services, etc.