The Two Altars Fire and Prayer

In our evangelistic meetings we have found the use of an altar a very effective aid in making two special calls.

FORDYCE W. DETAMORE, Evangelist, Texas Conference

In our evangelistic meetings we have found the use of an altar a very effective aid in making two special calls.

Pastor Roger Holley had an altar made out of plywood. It is collapsible and is painted so as to give the appearance of being made of rocks. We use this altar two nights in our three-week series.

The Altar of Fire

We advertise that on a certain night the burning altar of fire will be featured. The ser­mon that night is on practical Christian living and the need of getting rid of all sin if we are to be saved.

The altar is erected on the floor level in front of the pulpit and before the evening meeting a pail full of burning charcoal is placed on the top. Slips of paper are passed to all in the au­dience before the service begins.

At the end of the sermon an appeal is made thus: "I wonder how many here tonight are troubled with some specific sin or temptation and would like to get rid of it? Would you like the Holy Spirit to purge it out of your life? Would you like to lay it on the altar and have it completely consumed? If so, write out your sin or special temptation on the slip of paper that has been given you, fold it up tightly, bring it forward, and lay it on the altar where it will be consumed. Your weakness may be improper reading, impure thoughts, Sabbath breaking, tobacco, or bad temper, et cetera. No one here will know what you have written, but God will, and He can and will deliver you from your dif­ficulty."

As people walk down to the front, Pastor Turner sings "A Clean Heart" or "Is Your All on the Altar of Sacrifice Laid?" Meantime Pastors Holley and Flory place themselves on either side of the altar. The audience response is immediate, spontaneous, and touching. Real victories are gained.

When all have had the opportunity to come forward and lay their papers on the fire and have returned to their seats, we ask the congre­gation to remain standing with heads bowed during the special closing consecration prayer. This is a beautiful service not easily forgotten.

The Altar of Prayer

This altar is featured on another night, but this time it is the altar of prayer. As before, the altar is placed at the front, below the pulpit, and is covered over with a richly colored cloth. Above this is placed a large open Bible.

At the end of the evening's sermon, which is on prayer, all are asked to write out any special prayer requests they may have (names are not signed on these requests), and bring them for­ward and lay them on the altar and then return to their seats.

The response is almost unbelievable.

As Pastor Turner sings an appeal song on prayer, people throng to the front. Pastors Hol­ley and Flory again stand by the altar as peo­ple lay their folded slips of paper on the open Bible.

When all have returned to their seats, all ministers present are asked to gather around the altar. A few requests are read, and then audience and ministers kneel while two or three of the ministers lead out in special prayer.

The pastor takes all the unread pray er re­quests and divides them among the ministers. They take these confidential prayer requests with them and make them a special subject of intercessory prayer.

The opportunity this gives the audience to present their many specific requests for prayer, and the challenge it presents to ministers to in­tercede on behalf of the petitioners, brings in a true spirit of fervent revival and a sincere seeking after God.

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FORDYCE W. DETAMORE, Evangelist, Texas Conference

December 1958

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