Seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness
It was 2008, the year of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. I had just become the new pastor of a church in Michigan when the global financial disaster touched our church budget, and it began bleeding thousands of dollars. At this rate I envisioned the church having to close its doors on my watch.
At our next prayer meeting, my members passionately expressed a desire to pray sacrificially. We agreed to come to the church every Sunday morning at four o’clock to pray for revival. Sunday morning the members came, and we prayed for two hours and claimed the promise that “a revival need be expected only in answer to prayer.”1 We prayed for a revival of primitive godliness and for us to be able to reach our community for Christ. We continued to meet each week to pray, although we eventually moved the time to seven o’clock in the morning.
In the upcoming months our congregation witnessed a transformation among our young people. They shared their faith with fellow students at the local state university with dramatic conversion results. A young, atheistic Chinese student studied the Bible with us and was baptized seven months later. A son of a Baptist preacher began Bible studies and was baptized into the church. A young student answered a knock at his door by a member, began Bible studies, and was baptized. This young man would go on to attend Southern Adventist University and is now a pastor in New York. The conversion stories kept coming.
As for our finances, every year after we began that early morning prayer meeting we ended the fiscal year with a positive surplus. Our tithe giving increased by 40 percent. Donors funded an increase to our church staff. The Lord also provided funding to completely renovate our kitchen and bathrooms and to upgrade our sound booth. Our members were astounded. It was clear that our prayer for revival through the Holy Spirit had indeed brought “all other blessings in its train.”2 —David Shin, MAHT, currently pastors the Hillside O’Malley Church, Anchorage, Alaska, United States.
1 Ellen G. White, “The Church’s Great Need,” Review and Herald, March 22, 1887, 177.
2 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Pub. Assn, 1940), 672.
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