The heart of the Reformation
I was six and she was three. I noticed her at church and said to my sister, “I like this girl; I am going to marry her.” From that moment on I was in love. In the seventh grade I sang in the church choir. I sat in the back row, right side. She sat in the front row, left side. During the sermon, instead of facing the pastor, I was looking at her. I would memorize her features so that when I got home I could still remember them. I watched how she walked, how she talked, and then I began talking with her. Some may call it stalking; I call it extreme love.
I dreamt about being with her and prayed about it. I wrote poetry for her. When we would meet, I was at a total loss for words. I would just stare at her and even forget my name. Eventually, I told her I intended to marry her. We dated for more than 3 years and, almost 32 years ago, Daniela and I got married. As time has passed, our love has grown deeper. We pray and study together and talk openly about everything. I cannot function well without her. There is no other joy than to be with her.
That brings to mind the verse from Psalm 27:4 “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” (NIV).
It is easy to say or think that we love God. But, do you desire Him so much that you start dreaming of being with Him? Real relationships are based on quality time spent together. When you are with Him, are you thinking only of your needs, or is there a deep desire and passion for His presence? When you pray, do you seek answers, or do you seek Him? Eternal life is to know Him (John 17:3), to have a continual, intimate relationship with Him, to be happy in His presence.
Love is about the heart. God promises that if we seek Him with all our heart, He will let Himself be found (Jer. 29:12–14). Throughout the Bible, God emphasizes His desire to communicate with His people. There is no transformation without prayer. “We may be assured of this, that the secret of all failure is our failure in secret prayer.”1
All major revivals have started with and been based on prayer. Human power and wisdom alone cannot do God’s work. Revival and reformation is not a new phenomenon. It was manifested through Martin Luther in the great Reformation five hundred years ago, and it continues today. Luther said, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”2 He began and sustained the Reformation through prayer, and today’s Christians should do the same.
Articles in this issue deal with how the principles of the Protestant Reformation, such as righteousness by faith and the priesthood of all believers, are continued and deepened in our lives in very practical ways, especially through our proclamation of the three angels’ messages. Yet we are reminded, “If we would accomplish the great work before us, it is essential that we present to God fervent and effectual prayer; for it availeth much.”3
As the new editor of this wonderful magazine, I need your prayers and help. There is no power or wisdom on earth that can accomplish God’s work, except through prayer. “Those who do not learn every day in the school of Christ, who do not spend much time in earnest prayer, are not fit to handle the work of God in any of its branches.”4 This is no time for anemic Christianity. We need prayer, real prayer. “The time has come for a thorough reformation to take place. When this reformation begins, the spirit of prayer will actuate every believer, and will banish from the church the spirit of discord and strife.”5
I pray that Ministry will be a wonderful blessing to your heart and a significant tool in your hands; that it will continue the Reformation in our churches and will help us finish our mission.
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