The Glorious Privilege of Prayer

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Paul closed his intercessory prayer for these Ephesians, (and for every believer), with this grand and glorious doxology. He had already prayed that we would be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man. He had further prayed that Christ would dwell in our hearts by faith; and that we would be rooted and grounded in His astounding love for us! He continued on to intercede that we would be filled with all of the fullness of God. And having done that, the great Apostle began to break into passionate praises to our Lord and God who delights to answer the prayers of His beloved children.

Friend, as I taught ‘Christ-centered Evangelism’ to well over a 120 Indian pastors, church planters and Indian mission organization directors from 9 different states of the nation of India, my heart was overwhelmed with a similar doxology of praise, thanksgiving and worship to our God of amazing grace, marvelous mercy and astounding love! How can it be that a ‘formerly agnostic, arrogant, argumentative and nearly alcoholic’ rock and jazz drummer could be transformed into a follower of Christ? How is it possible that this ‘formerly thorough-going pagan’ would be sent out of our nation on over 190 foreign mission trips in 20 different nations? How could it be possible that a ‘formerly introverted person’ would be called to preach the Gospel and train pastors and church planters? The sole explanation is that the living God has done exceedingly, abundantly above all that I could have contemplated or even imagined! I can join in with the psalmist and proclaim, “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done.”


John Newton wrote,
“You are coming to a
Large petitions with
you bring;
For His grace and
power are such,
That you can never
ask too much!”

Perhaps, you are presently finding yourself in a situation in which there appears to be a spiritual drought. You may be experiencing the yearning heart of the psalmist, when he cried, “My soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.” But friend, I am here with great rejoicing, to report that our God is still saving sinners! Our Lord is still multiplying His truth into the lives of other spiritual leaders, who are being faithful to teach others also!


You may be presently praying for someone or some situation; and the answer appears to be impossible. Oh, but friend, this precious verse reminds us that we are praying to the God whose power is eternal, universal and absolute. We are seeking an answer from the Lord who has all authority in the heavens and on the earth. God’s power is an omnipotence that is supernaturally extraordinary and inexhaustible, in its ability to accomplish enormously above and beyond what we can conceive! We must remind ourselves that the Lord and God, whom we are addressing, is the Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent King of the universe. As John Newton as well said, “You are coming to a King; large petitions with you bring; for His grace and power are such, that you can never ask too much!”

Every born again believer is welcomed to bring their most daring petitions, their most impossible requests and their most incredible desires to our Lord! For our Lord and God is perfectly capable of accomplishing all that He wills. Furthermore, it is a certain fact that He will attain all of His plans and purposes. We must not lose sight of our Lord’s absolute and universal authority to fulfill His great mission in this world. As Charles Spurgeon has well said, “The very invitation to pray implies that there are blessings waiting for us at the mercy-seat.” We must see each personal challenge and each specific burden as an invitation to pray! Our God is still accomplishing immeasurably more than you can even conceptualize!


As I begin to contemplate on all of the other wonderful works that our Lord has carried out in and through this ministry, (since our last newsletter), I am both overwhelmed with thanksgiving, and simultaneously confronted with the fact that I am out of space to share it all in this newsletter! However, I want to take this opportunity for I must praise God for you, (our precious brothers and sisters), who join us on this great venture. We give thanks for how you are used greatly by our Lord, in both your intercessory prayer and financial support, undergirding the work that our God has given us to walk in! Just a few days ago, I concluded 3 months of study on “The Armor of God” passage. We have just sent the English version of the workbook, which I produced out of that study to Kenya, to be translated. Once again, our dear brother, Dr. George Wafula will translate this new workbook into the language of Swahili. Approximately 600 pastors, church-planters and some of their wives, from all over the nation of Kenya; East Uganda; and the Sudan will be in attendance, when I teach this new workbook in December, God-willing! Your loving prayers and financial support of this ministry will be an underlying infrastructure once again, for this upcoming meeting. The truths, that have been poured out through this earthen vessel (in the last 14 years of conferences at this Kenya institute), have been ignited by the Spirit of God, to produce an awesome work of illumination, application, renovation and transformation in the lives of hundreds of leaders and thousands of believers in East Africa! Dianne and I desire that somehow we can aptly convey to you what a great support and important co-laborer you are to everything that our God is doing and working out through this ministry! So naturally, our hearts overflow with thanksgiving and love for you; and we Him praise. We continue to thank the Lord for your heart to pray and give, so that the Good News of the gospel can go forth, and that saints can be equipped to carry out their work. So like Paul, we too, pray that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the calling that God has given you, fully pleasing Him and being fruitful unto every good work! 


On the 2nd and 3rd weekends of August, God graced me with the blessed opportunity to teach the ‘Christ- centered Evangelism’ workbook at Crawford Baptist Church, which is only 30 minutes from our home. Dr. Jay Robertson, who is also the Assistant Professor of Christian Ministries at the University of Mobile, is the Senior Pastor of Crawford Baptist. Some godly young men, who have a passion and purpose to rightly divide the Word of God, assist Pastor Jay, in that ministry! It was a tremendous blessing to my life; as well as, a time of transformation for many brothers and sisters, who attended the services, with such humble and teachable hearts!


I am so very thankful for the Lord’s saving power, which has been mightily manifested in the conversion of a number of men in recent weeks of evangelistic outreach! My heart is presently reminded of the recent testimony of the glorious conversion of a young dad named David. During my Sunday morning sermon, He came under profound conviction of the Holy Spirit, that his previous religious experience was a counterfeit conversion! The Spirit of God worked in his heart all afternoon and into the evening that day. On that Sunday evening, I preached to the born-again believers, and the Spirit was powerfully impressing on his heart and mind that, “This message is not for you, for you need to be converted to Jesus Christ”! During the hours following the evening worship service, this young man could not eat or sleep. He heeded the Sunday morning message, and began ‘seeking the Lord while He may be found and calling on the Lord while He was near to him in conviction and contrition’. After the evening worship service, the precious pastor of that local church had taken me, along with another dear brother and sister to have an evening meal. Near the end of that meal, the pastor received a phone call. It was David calling Pastor Allen. For friends, David is the pastor’s son-in law; and he is also the adult choir director of this local church! Oh friends, that evening David announced that he was gloriously born from above! The next morning, as I was driving back to our home in Mobile, my cell-phone rang. It was David! He commenced to share his testimony of how God had just worked exceedingly and abundantly in his ‘birth from above’! Pastor Allen has since called and testified to me that there have been other men who have been converted to Christ over the last few weeks, since our time together. God is truly working far more amazingly and abundantly than we could have conceived!

I am also rejoicing over the recent meeting in Baton Rouge, LA, in which I had the tremendous privilege to preach the Word of God in a ‘joint outreach meeting’ with Foster Road Baptist Church and Providence Baptist Church. One of the many highlights of that week was the precious opportunity, which was given to me, to preach the Gospel in Angola State Penitentiary! Angola is the largest maximum-security prison in the U.S., with an acreage that is larger than Manhattan! Pastor Mike Morris, pastor of Foster Road, conducts a weekly Bible study for 30 inmates in Camp D of Angola. Bro. Mike and Bro. Phillip, pastor of Providence Baptist, arranged an outreach evening at the chapel of Camp D. They graciously invited me to be the preacher. During their previous Bible study, they had urged the 30 inmates to invite their fellow inmates to this special outreach evening. Well friends, the chapel was almost entirely packed-out with men! It was one of those times, when you could literally sense the manifest presence and power of the Spirit of God, as He was mightily applying the message of the Cross! It was a blessed joy to be able to declare ‘the only message that can grace liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound under the tyranny of sin. We believe that many men were eternally affected by the Word of God that night, which came to them in the demonstration of the Spirit’s awesome power.


This was my first time, since my serious health issues over three years ago, that I have preached two consecutive ‘5-day Conferences’ in one foreign mission trip. It was very apparent to me that many of you were diligently praying for this outreach and for my physical condition. I can thankfully testify that our God did an extraordinary and superabundant work of grace, in giving me strength, which enabled me to carry out the work; and also in the hearts and lives of those 120 Indian pastors and church-planters from 9 different states of this vast nation. Both the pastors who attended in Goa, as well as, the pastors in Hyderbad, exhibited a spiritual hunger, humility and teachability. I can joyfully testify that the Spirit of God, once again, accomplished a profound ‘life-transforming and ministry-transforming’ work, by reforming both their message and their methods of evangelism. These precious brothers made a new commitment to do ‘God’s work of evangelism; using God’s ordained ways, for the glory of the Lord’. There were a plethora of glorious testimonies of the mighty work of God in our midst! I have previously shared, in other newsletters, that over the span of many years, there has been a subtle drift away from the biblical plumb-line of doctrinally sound practices of evangelism. This doctrinal drift has actually mirrored the same downgrade that has occurred within American evangelism. There has been a great need for a blazing return to the ‘God-ordained message and methods of evangelism; within the evangelical church in India! Dear friends, I can gratefully report that God answered your prayers, for we witnessed an awesome work of repentance in the hearts and minds of these pastors and church-planters. This initial testimony I want to share with you is from a key teacher in a national ministry called ‘Mission India’. He is just one of the 120 men, in whom the Spirit of God did a gloriously transforming work. He wrote the following note.

“I am R. Prakash, Seva Bharat, (Mission India). I am one of the participants of the very meaningful and fruitful seminar on ‘Christ Centered Evangelism’ in Hyderbad, India. I don’t know how to express my gratitude to God for sending you to India. I know that it was God’s divine plan for me to attend your sessions on ‘Christ Centered Evangelism’. I am a theological graduate with a Master of Theology degree. I have been teaching the subject of evangelism for more than 15 years. But the Spirit of God has used you to shatter many of my unbiblical opinions, beliefs and methods of evangelism. Your teaching was absolutely scripture based. Furthermore, I am sure that your teaching has brought a ‘sweet smelling aroma; to the Lord. I thoroughly cherished every hour of your teachings, for they have already been highly fruit bearing in my life and ministry. Every year, I train over 2500 church-planters across the nation of India for the ‘Mission India Ministries’. Undoubtedly, I will be using the material, which you have exposed to me, to train these leaders from many different states in the future. I have great confidence that God is going to multiply these tremendous teachings, through my ministry of ‘church-planter’ training, for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ! I am also so challenged with the truth that, in spite of your health issues, you are traveling around the globe. May the Lord continue to be with you and grant you the needed strength and good health for His mission. Praying for your ministry and family.” 

 Next, I want to share a precious testimony from Raj, our dear brother in Christ and my interpreter into the Hindi language, at the conference in Goa. “It was an amazing time that the Lord gave us, to sit under the ‘Christ-centered Evangelism’ teaching with you. You have been a constant support to me spiritually, mentally, and financially, to equip me for the work that God has been continuing through us. I would like to share a few things that I’ve experienced during your time in Goa. God has changed my life, my ministry and my teachings through the teaching of Christ-centered Evangelism. As you were teaching and I was interpreting, I experienced the divine unction of the Spirit of God in our lives. It was as if the fire of God was burning and blazing inside of my heart. I was granted the great privilege of witnessing the mighty work of the Spirit of God, as the pastors and leaders were being broken by the Word, and shedding continuing tears of repentance.

 Many came and testified to me that they have been guilty of attempting to do “God’s Work of evangelism in man’s ways’! But glory to the Lamb, they have repented of evangelizing with unbiblical messages and methods. They were joyfully willing to fully return to the instructional manual of the Word of God, and make a new commitment to do ‘God’s Work, God’s Way, for God’s Glory’! They were also all testifying that they are committed to bring these teachings to the rest of the Indian pastors and leaders. For many of their fellow pastors have adopted ‘man’s ways to attempt to do God’s work’. I have challenged them to teach these truths and multiply them in the lives of others. Altogether, I am thrilled to testify that this was a time of the powerful manifestation of God’s Spirit and His Truth. Bro. Ed, though you are weak physically, we can clearly see the strength of the Lord through your life, as you deliver these profound truths. We continually pray for your good health. We also pray for sister Dianne as she ministers to others. We are looking forward to flooding the rest of the nation of India with the ‘Christ Centered Evangelism’ message.