Step 5: Look to the Word Day and Night

Kenneth Copeland » Six Steps to Excellence in Ministry

Looking to the Word will produce several effects on your ministry that you cannot get any other way. You will obtain God’s favor. You will increase your faith as well as your understanding of how to use your faith. Luke 11: 49 refers to the Word of God as His wisdom. Proverbs 4: 5-9 reads, Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

The ornament of grace Solomon referred to is being clothed with the favor of God. It is the result of seeking God’s wisdom by exalting his Word on divine favor. The wisdom of God places a crown of glory (God’s grace or favor) upon a person’s head.

That grace, or favor, is available to every person on earth without exception, for God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10: 35). Favor cannot be earned; it is the gift of God. You do not merit it. You receive it. Although it is free, God’s grace is not automatic. It must be appropriated by the believer through faith.

We already know that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10: 17). The basis for receiving God’s favor is through faith. Therefore, you obtain God’s favor through His Word.

God created the heavens and the earth through a combination of His faith, wisdom and understanding (Prov. 3: 19; Heb. 11: 3). In Mark 11: 22, Jesus exhorts His disciples, Have faith in God. The marginal note in the King James Version reads, Have the faith of God. Another version puts it this way, Have the God-kind of faith. The faith that is in us is exactly the same faith that is in God. He gave each of us the same measure of faith (Rom. 12: 3)

If God could create the entire universe with His faith, then why are we so limited in our ability to bring things to pass using the same force. Why is God so much more successful than we? Because He has the wisdom and understanding to use it to its fullest capacity.

Wisdom is the ability to use knowledge. First Corinthians 1:30 tells us that Christ Jesus is made unto us wisdom. He is our wisdom. We have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2: 16).

Whenever you think of God’s wisdom or knowledge, you are thinking of the Word of God. God said, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. So shall my Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isa. 55: 8, 9 & 11).

In other words God is saying, “Even though I think higher than you think and My ways are higher than your ways, I will give you my Word so that you will be able to think like I do and conform to My ways.

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Step 4: Strip Away the Things of the World

Kenneth Copeland » Six Steps to Excellence in Ministry

Just before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed a special prayer for His disciples. He said, They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth (John 17: 16,17)

To sanctify means “to separate unto.” We are in this world but not of it. So to have excellence of ministry, we must strip away everything of the world from our lives until there is nothing left but the Word of God.

 One of the first things that must be rooted out is our sin. We must cease confessing our sin consciousness and stop preaching that we are “just old sinners saved by grace.” We were old sinners; but since we have been saved, we are now made the righteousness of God. For He (God) hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5: 21).

Stop seeing yourself or other Christians as “reformed” sinners – all are now the very righteousness of God. Look at yourself and other believers that way. Emphasize your right-standing with God. When you minister to your congregation, teach them who they are in Christ and what a glorious inheritance they have right now because of what He has done for us.

Second, strip away your negative confessions. Don’t confess that you are sinful, needy, weak or sick. Find out what God has said about you and confess the truth. You are what the Word says you are.

You are redeemed from the curse of the law. Make Galatians 3: 13,14 your constant confession to yourself and to your congregation. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us… That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ.

What is the blessing of Abraham? Health, prosperity, success, wisdom, righteousness. (See Deut. 28: 1-14.) Confess these things!

Jesus said, For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle Word that men speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matt. 12: 34-37).

Learn to control your speech. Watch out for verbal expressions and clichés like “I was scared to death.” “that tickled me to death.” “I could have died.” Do it out of respect for Jesus. You of all people ought to know that you can have what you say. Besides, it is simply not true. You were not scared or tickled to the point of dying; you were not at all on the verge of death.

When you have grown to the point in your spiritual life where you have confidence in the integrity of your own Word, you won’t have any difficulty believing that God’s Word is good. Then, you will eliminate those “idle words.”

As a minister of the Gospel, you set the example; you must make absolutely certain that what you say is true and honest. If you want God to bless what you preach, you will have to put away exaggeration and telling stories that are just not so.

I am speaking from experience. We have heard this type of “evangelistic talk” at one time or another. That is the same kind of “trade puffery” used by Madison Avenue in every radio and television commercial we hear. Never be guilty of sounding like used car salesmen and carnival barkers.

When we say that we had “better’n eight hundred” in a meeting, many times that means there were only 450 in attendance. When a handful are saved, we say that we had a “landslide of souls brought into the kingdom.” A man of the Word dares not engage in such self-delusion. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matt. 12: 37).

Step 3: Follow the Leadership of the Holy Spirit

Kenneth Copeland » Six Steps to Excellence in Ministry

In ministering, never follow the path your mind wants to take. Don’t lean to your own understanding. Learn to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit within you. He is there inside you to lead you.

I remember when I started the ministry. I had been preaching for about two years in various churches, usually in ones in which no one else would preach.

Then one day the Lord spoke to me to get out of those churches and start holding some meetings of my own. I prayed about it, and the Lord led me to Wichita Falls, Texas. I rented an old abandoned drugstore building and some folding chairs.

On one particular Wednesday night, I remember that the anointing was really strong. I preached on the Reality of the Righteousness of God. I was going great, and I was having the time of my life. But just as I built my sermon up to its climatic moment and God was just coming forth with the finish, a woman in the audience suddenly burst forth in tongues.

I felt like someone had stood up and doused me with a fire hose. I said, “Lady, hold that until I finish.” She got a little louder. I shouted, “In the name of Jesus, shut up!” She grew louder still. By this time the service was in shambles. I finally just stood back and let her go on and on and on. It seemed to me that she went on for an hour and half. Then she shifted over into English. “Yea, yea, saith the Lord…” She never said anything intelligible.

This continued on for what seemed like an eternity. After a while, everyone was squirming around in their seats. They looked like they were about ready to wring her neck. Finally, when she hushed, I looked right at her and I said sternly, “Well, we’ve already lost what we were studying anyway, so I am going to teach you something. You wouldn’t have the nerve to interrupt me in English while I was preaching, so why would you do it in a language you don’t understand?”

About that time, a man sitting next to her spoke up and said, “Brother Copeland, she is stone deaf. She didn’t hear a Word you said.”

What do you do when faced with a problem like that? Whatever you say can and will be held against you. What is there to say anyway?

I found out later that someone had planned the whole thing. They had already run half a dozen preachers out of town with the same trick. She was being used by some very selfish people. It was set up that when the man next to her punched her with his elbow, it was “her turn” to prophesy.

During times like these, your decision to meet the needs of the people must rise to the surface. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth and that His sheep would know his voice. I was determined that no demonic spirit would run me out of town.

Step 2: Singleness of Purpose

Kenneth Copeland » Six Steps to Excellence in Ministry

Our single purpose as ministers of God is to meet the needs of the people. James 1: 5-8 tells us why single-mindedness is so important, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways (verse 8). The Amplified Bible says, [For being as he is] a man of two minds – hesitating… What happens when you hesitate? Your adversary takes the first step. You find yourself on the defensive with Satan ahead of you beating you at every turn. If you are not single-minded about your purpose for being in the ministry, you will not have any definite direction. You will always be wondering what you are supposed to do.

Don’t hesitate to Step Out on Your Faith

Do you remember when you felt the first symptom of a cold or flu strike you and you waited around for two or three days before you picked up your Bible and prayed about it? Then, later on you wondered why you waited until you were sick before you acted. Your hesitation gave the sickness an opportunity to get a hold on you. Hesitating is not a quality of a single-minded person. It is …a man of two-minds – hesitating, dubious, irresolute

“Irresolute” means indecisive, a man who has not thoroughly resolved things in his mind and settled them once and for all. …[he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything (he thinks, feels, decides) (James 1: 8, Amplified Bible)

If a man is of two minds, then the decisions he makes are split. When you get into an area of indecision, you are at a standstill. You won’t go either way.

A double-minded man is one who tries to live by faith and protects his fear at the same time. He talks both ways. His faith proclaims, “I believe God is going to heal you someday.” Then his fear whispers, “but I wouldn’t want you to say that you are well just yet.” Inconsistency is hazardous. If you are hesitating in stepping out on your faith in ministry, your adversary will always be one step ahead of you. You will never see the power of God work through you to heal anyone.

The eighth chapter of Luke records an event in the life of Christ which illustrates the danger of instability and hesitancy. Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples:and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep:and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water:and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him. (Luke 8: 22-25).

Jesus stated when they first entered the ship, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake (verse 22). There was enough power in those words to have gotten the disciples all the way across the lake. Yet they became afraid and ran to waken Jesus crying, Master, master, we perish (verse 24). Here is a perfect illustration of double-mindedness. They were speaking death to the Author of life. They were speaking fear in the very presence of faith personified, the Son of the living God. They were consumed with the problem while the Solution Himself slept in the vessel.

We perish didn’t sound unstable to them, but to Jesus, it was a direct contradiction of what He had stated. When Jesus said to them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake, He knew without a shadow of doubt where they were going. The disciples should have known too. They should have stood in the bow of that ship and shouted out, “The Son of the living God, the Christ, has told us to go over to the other side. Now, peace, be still!” If they were not capable of exercising such faith, Jesus would not have the right to rebuke them after he stilled the storm. Why are ye so fearful? How is that you have no faith? (Mark 4: 40)

Step 1: Dedication – It’s your Decision

Kenneth Copeland » Six Steps to Excellence in Ministry

The first step to excellence in ministry is dedication. True dedication is a decision of quality – a decision where there is no turning back.

True dedication simply makes a decision based on one’s commitment to God, not on feelings or emotions.

The difference between operating on a decision for dedication as opposed to operating by your emotions can be illustrated like this.

Many people pray and beg God to give them a burden for souls, an overwhelming feeling that will make them win the lost. Such praying is foolish in light of the teachings of the New Testament. Nowhere are we told to pray this way. We are, however, commanded by Jesus Christ Himself to go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16: 15). The very fact that a person prays for a burden is evidence that he already has a heart to win souls. All he has to do is obey the commandment. If Jesus told us to do it, it should be sufficient motivation whether we feel like it or not.

The Bible says that Jesus was moved by compassion. What is compassion? It is love. Likewise, God is love. Therefore compassion is a Person. If Compassion told us to go, then we should be moved by Compassion and pursue the task. We should be moved by what God has said, not by feelings.

Just as a marriage union is solidified by a commitment of faith instead of emotions, the stability of your ministry does not depend on your feelings. A decision for a ministry of excellence is a deep, firm resolution which men cannot alter and circumstances cannot change.

True commitment can be compared to a pilot in a single engine airplane. If the engine fails in midair, the pilot is committed to landing his aircraft. He has no choice, his feelings of fear, doubt or inadequacy are of absolutely no consequence whatsoever. He will land his plane one way or the other. If he has committed himself to flying, he will take control and land the best he can and spare his life as well as the lives of his passengers.

A time will come in your life when you will face commitment. How you handle it now may well determine whether you succeed or fail and even whether you live or die.

If you are not willing to face commitment, in spite of emergencies and opposition, do not pursue the ministry any longer in that condition. Take the time to get before God and study His Word until the Holy Spirit and you deal with your willingness to be committed. Philippians 2:13 tells you that God is at work in you to both will and do His good pleasure. He is faithful, and He will create in you the power and the desire to make an uncompromising decision.

When you finally make a full, no quit, no turn back, forever commitment to God, fulfilling your calling will be the most exciting thing you’ve ever done. But until the issue is forever settled in your mind and heart, you will have hell on earth. Satan will torment you unmercifully.

Don’t be afraid to accept the responsibility of making a decision. God has provided the power, furnished the weapons and equipped you with everything you need. It is the same as experiencing the new birth. Once you made the decision, God did the rest. His power, His Spirit and His Word performed their functions, and you were born again. A decision was all it took. All you must do is determine in your heart to obey your calling, and God will do His part.

A man once asked what I did for a living. I answered, “I am a preacher.” “Oh,” he replied, “yes, I had an uncle who was in the ministry. My, it’s a difficult life and a high price to pay.” I said, “No, frankly I am having the time of my life.”

Never be deceived by thinking that being in the will of God is expensive. The most costly thing on this planet is being out of the will of God. You cannot afford it.

Saving impressions

Charles G Finney » Power from God » Saving impressions

(From the book ‘Power from God‘, Whitaker House, Page 17)

The apostles and believers received it on the Day of Pentecost. What did they receive? What power did they exercise after that event? They received a powerful baptism of the Holy Spirit, a vast increase of divine illumination.

This baptism imparted a great diversity of gifts that were used for the accomplishment of their work. It clearly included outward things. The power of a Holy life. The power of a self-sacrificing life. (The manifestation of these must have greatly influenced those to whom they proclaimed the Gospel.) The power of a cross-bearing life. The power of great meekness, which this baptism enabled them everywhere to exhibit. The power of a loving enthusiasm in proclaiming the Gospel. The power of teaching. The power of a loving and living faith. The gift of tongues. An increase of power to work miracles. The gift of inspiration, or the revelation of many truths before unrecognized by them. The power of moral courage to proclaim the Gospel and do the bidding of Christ, whatever it cost them.

In their circumstances, all these gifts were essential to their success, but neither separately nor all together did they constitute the power from on high that they manifestly received. What they manifestly received as the supreme, crowning, and all-important means of success was the power to prevail with both God and man, the power to fasten saving impressions on the minds of men. This was doubtless the thing that they understood Christ to promise. He had commissioned the church to convert the world to Himself. Everything that I named before were only means, which could never secure the end unless they were vitalized and made effective by the power of God. The apostles, no doubt, understood this, and laying themselves and their all upon the altar, they entreated the throne of grace in the Spirit of entire consecration to their work.

They did, in fact, receive the gifts before mentioned; but supremely and principally, they received the power to make saving impressions on men. It was manifested right on the spot. They began to address the multitude, and wonderful to tell, three thousand were converted the same hour. However, observe, no new power was manifested by them upon this occasion, except the gift of tongues. They worked no miracle at that time, and they used these tongues simply as the means of making themselves understood.

Please note that they had not had time to exhibit any other gifts of the Spirit that I have named above. They did not at that time have the advantage of exhibiting a Holy life or any of the powerful graces and gifts of the Spirit. What was said on the occasion, as recorded in the book of Acts, was said with a new power; otherwise, it could not have made a saving impression on the people.

This power was not the power of inspiration, for they only declared certain facts of their own knowledge. It was not the power of human learning or culture, for they had but little. It was not the power of human eloquence, for there appears to have been but little of it. It was a power from on high – God in them making a saving impression on those to whom they spoke.

Power That Cuts to the Heart

This power to make a saving impression stayed with and upon them. It was no doubt, the great and main thing promised by Christ and was received by the apostles and early Christians. It has existed, to a greater or lesser extent, in the church ever since. It is a mysterious fact often manifested in a most surprising manner. Sometimes a single sentence, a Word, a gesture, or even a look will convey this power in an overcoming manner.

To the honor of God alone, I will say a little about my own experience in this matter. I was powerfully converted on the morning of the tenth of October. In the evening of the same day and on the morning of the following day, I received overwhelming baptisms of the Holy Spirit, which went through me, as it seemed to me, body and soul. I immediately found myself clothed with such power from on high that a few words dropped here and there to individuals were the means of their immediate conversion. My words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls of men. They cut like a sword. They broke the heart like a hammer. Multitudes can attest to this. Oftentimes, a Word dropped, without my remembering it, would fasten conviction, and often result in almost immediate conversion.

Sometimes, I would find myself, in a great measure, empty of this power. I would go out, visit, and find that I made no saving impression. I would exhort and pray with the same result. I would then set apart a day for private fasting and prayer, fearing that this power had departed from me, and would inquire anxiously after the reason of this apparent emptiness. After humbling myself and crying out for help, the power would return upon me with all its freshness. This has been my experience throughout my life.

I could fill a volume with the history of my own experience and observation with respect to this power from on high. It is a fact of consciousness and of observation, but it is a great mystery.

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Six steps to excellence in ministry

As Christians, we demand excellence from our heavenly Father. We expect nothing less than total dedication, commitment, reliability and success from a Holy, righteous God. We are not looking for failure in God. Divinity and fallibility are incompatible.

We have every right to expect the very best from God. He, himself has set the standard of excellence for us. He is our ultimate example of complete success. Since we expect excellence from God, we should also be willing to demand that same excellence from ourselves.

Just as the Lord called us into Christian ministry and service, He also called us to reach for perfection in our vocation.

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matt. 5: 48).

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called (Eph. 4: 1)

We are also required to demand excellence from those placed in our charge.

If you are a pastor, you are required by God to demand excellence out of your congregation as well as those who work with you in your ministry. As a minister called out on the field, you will demand excellence from the people who work for you and from the congregations you serve.

You must be willing to demand the highest form of excellence from the ministries we are involved in.

The apostle Paul recognized the gravity of his calling. He knew that the Gospel was committed into his trust. According to the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust (1 Tim. 1:11). Paul took the training of his disciples very seriously because he realized that they were handling the mightiest power in the universe. He wrote, For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth (Rom. 1:16). The Gospel is the power of God! The Gospel is not only the power by which a person is saved from hell, it is also God’s unlimited ability to save, heal and deliver.

As ministers of the Gospel, we are entrusted with God’s strength and might. We are therefore faced with two responsibilities:

  1. to develop and maintain excellence of ministry and
  2. to deal with Satan.

Excellence in ministry absolutely will not tolerate unbelief, failure or “taking the easy way out.” A ministry of excellence will pay whatever price it takes to get the job done God’s way. Our ministries represent Jesus Christ to the world. Ours is a sacred calling. It must be executed with dedication and integrity. We are expected to demonstrate absolute honesty and commitment. Without a firm decision to succeed with God’s help, we cannot hope to maintain the measure of maturity and perfection which our ministry must command.

Having acknowledged the call and anointing of God upon your life, we pose a serious threat to Satan. In his eyes, we have become the most dangerous living things on this globe. Our second responsibility is to contend with him.

Satan is not worried about God. He is postponing that inevitable confrontation as long as he can. But since we represent God’s divine power and authority in this world, the adversary must reckon with us. If a person were to die now, the devil would not care whether he went to heaven or hell. Either way, he would be forever removed from the field of battle and out of his way. What Satan does fear is a person who is alive, one who has God’s divine nature in his spirit. Only such a person can wield the sword of the spirit – the Word of God – with accuracy. We are dangerous to him, and we will have to resist him.

When we strap on the full armor of God (Eph. 6: 11), we must be prepared and determined to use it. The evil one will certainly attack us with all the forces of darkness. At the same time be prepared for victory! All the combined forces of hell are not powerful enough to defeat us!

The armory of the devil and of his cohorts is restricted to that which is common to man (1 Cor. 10:13). He cannot go back into knowledge of spiritual warfare and make use of supernatural weaponry. His power and his arms are limited! Satan has no secret tactics to call upon to prevail against us if we will stand firm. The God-given weapons of our warfare are powerful through God to the pulling down of strongholds (2 Cor. 10:4). He is limited. We are not. The victory is ours! First John 4:4 and 1 Corinthians 15:57 guarantee it. …greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the following pages, I have outlined six basic steps to assure excellence in ministry. Read and study them prayerfully. Learn them. Live by them. Your success will be assured. You have my Word on it. But most importantly, you have God’s Word on it because His scriptural Word is the authority on which it is all based.

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Why do people fall under the power?

Kenneth E Hagin

Electricity has been here since God created the universe, but men didn’t know it for thousands of years. Even after they discovered it, they didn’t know how to harness it and put it to work. That took more years of work and discovery. Today we enjoy results of those discoveries – yet that power was always here.

Electricity is God’s power in the natural realm – He is the author of everything in the natural. The Holy Spirit is God’s power in the spiritual realm.

I’ve gotten hold of God’s natural power, electricity, and it shook me till my teeth rattled and my hair seemed to stand on end. A few times it knocked me down; I didn’t have any choice about it; I just fell on my knees. I had gotten hold of an unseen power. It was not unfelt – but it was unseen and unheard.

In the Spirit realm there is a supernatural power of God which is unseen and unheard. Do you suppose it is any less powerful that electricity? No, it is not.

Why do people fall under the power of God? When the natural comes into contact with the supernatural – something has to give.

Church history records that in every great move of God’s power and Spirit – people fell. Half the New Testament is written by Paul, a fellow who fell under the power.

At times in the meetings of John Wesley, founder of Methodism, hundreds of people would “fall under the power,” as it came to be known. I read his account of the first time he ever saw this manifestation. Right in the middle of his sermon, a woman sitting next to the aisle on the front row suddenly pitched out of the pew face forward onto the floor. Wesley thought she had fainted. Stopping his message, he said, “Is there a doctor in the house?”

Three doctors came forward and examined her. “There is something peculiar about this,” they concluded. “It doesn’t seem to be a physical thing. Her heart, her pulse, her respiration are normal, but she seems to be under some kind of power or spell.”

At this, a hypnotist asked permission to examine her. “I gave him leave,” the Englishman Wesley wrote. But after trying unsuccessfully to bring her around, the hypnotist said, “I don’t know what this is. It isn’t hypnotism, but it is some kind of spell.”

Some of the congregation began to ask, “Is it the devil?” And others asked, “Is it the Lord?”

“I don’t know,” Wesley said, “but when she comes out of it, whoever did it will get the glory.”

So they waited. Wesley did not resume his sermon. They just waited. After about 45 minutes, she began to stir. The first thing she said was, “Praise the Lord! Glory to God!”

“It’s the Lord! It’s the Lord!” Wesley shouted, and the Lord got the praise for it.

When the woman regained her composure, she told them Jesus had appeared to her and taken her to heaven. She recited all she had seen, and all were blessed and praised God.

In Charles Finney’s autobiography, he tells of the first time it happened in his meetings. He was Presbyterian at the time. One Sunday afternoon in Utica, New York, he had been preaching about 15 minutes when people started falling off their seats unto the floor. They fell like dead men. In a little while, 400 people were on the floor under the power of God. Finney learned later those people were unsaved – but they all got saved that day.

George Whitfield was a co-laborer with John Wesley. When he would preach, the power would fall and people would fall. This is a historical fact.

Consecration, Prayer, Supplication

Charles G Finney » Power from God » Consecration, Prayer, Supplication

(From the book ‘Power from God‘, Whitaker House, Page 10)

How will we get power from on high? Christ expressly promised it to the whole church and to everyone who has the duty to labor for the conversion of the world. He admonished the first disciples not to undertake the work until they had received the outpouring of power from on high. Both the promise and the admonition apply equally to all Christians of every age and nation. No one has, at any time, any right to expect success unless he first obtains this outpouring of power from on high. The example of the first disciples teaches us how to obtain this outpouring. They first consecrated themselves to this work. Then they continued in prayer and supplication (see Acts 1: 14) until the Holy Spirit fell upon them on the Day of Pentecost, and they received the promised outpouring of power from on high. This, then, is the way to get it.

The council desired me to say more upon this subject. Consequently, on Sunday, I took for my text the statement of Christ that the Father is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him than we are to give good gifts to our children. (See Luke 11: 13)

I said that this text informs us that it is infinitely easy to obtain this outpouring of power from the Father. I also said that this outpouring is made a constant subject of prayer for many people. Everybody prays for this repeatedly, and yet with all this intercession, how comparatively few are really clothed with this spiritual power from on high! This need is not being met. Lack of power is a subject of constant complaint. Christ says, “Every one that asketh receiveth” (Matthew 7: 8), but there certainly is a great gulf between the asking and receiving that is a sizable stumbling block to many.

The truth and prayer

Charles G Finney Quotes » Principles of prayer » The truth and prayer

(From the book ‘Principles of Prayer‘, Edited by LG Parkhurst, Page 18)

There are two kinds of means requisite to promote a revival: one to influence men, the other to influence God. The truth is employed to influence men, and prayer is employed to move God. When I speak of moving God, I do not mean that God’s mind is changed by prayer or that his disposition or character is changed. but prayer produces such a change in us as renders it consistent for God to do as it would not be consistent for Him to do otherwise.

When Christians offer effectual prayer, their state of feeling renders it proper for God to answer them.

Truth, by itself, will never produce the effect without the Spirit of God, and the Spirit is given in answer to prayer. Sometimes it happens that those who are most engaged in employing truth are not the most engaged in prayer. This is always unfortunate. For unless they have the spirit of prayer (or unless someone else has), the truth, by itself, will do nothing but harden men in impenitence. Probably in the Day of Judgement it will be found that nothing is ever done by the truth, used ever so zealously, unless there is a spirit of prayer somewhere in connection with the presentation of the truth.

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