I expected to conclude this series about the journey the Lord was taking me on to teach me to pray with last week’s article.
However, I spent a week in Lynch, KY with the Sentinel Group’s Fire Tour, hearing and seeing what God continues to do in transforming Southeastern Kentucky.
It does seem only fitting that this journey in prayer - that was launched out of Sentinel’s European Revival Heritage Tour - should receive a fresh boost on another revival tour.
Before I left, I prayed God would reveal something new, and meet me afresh in that sacred place. I will share the story this week, and the principles that are shifting my heart in the following article.
• The first step took place in a very innocuous manner as I completed a season of reading in the Old Testament for my quiet time. Feeling ready for a change, I determined to spend a season in the New Testament. I had no epiphany; I simply decided to read through the book of Hebrews.
When I arrived in Lynch, I had made my way to Chapter 3. I will circle back to that in a moment.
• On night two in Lynch, Lonnie Riley, the key catalyst in the Lynch revival (pictured below), shared his “theology” of prayer, as he had done when I was there three years ago. But this time, I heard it with a clarity and depth that was absent before. This was step two.
• Step three was a conversation I had the following morning with one of Lonnie’s staff. I made the mistake of saying, in passing, as we talked about living by faith, that I had hit a “ceiling” in my fundraising.
All the staff in Lonnie’s large ministry, including Lonnie and Belinda, draw no salary and trust the Lord for their provision. The staff member waved her finger in my face and declared, “There is no ceiling in God’s provision!”
She then went on to read to me from Oswald Chamber’s devotional that day about the unlimited provision of God. She came to me the next day with the same word, but this time from the popular devotional, Jesus is Calling.
“...all of Almighty God is ours in the Lord Jesus! And He will reach to the last grain of sand and the remotest star to bless us if we will only obey Him. Does it really matter that our circumstances are difficult? Why shouldn’t they be! If we give way to self-pity and indulge in the luxury of misery, we remove God’s riches from our lives and hinder others from entering into His provision.”
- Oswald Chambers
Meanwhile, I spent three days in Hebrews 3, and two days in Hebrews 4. The message of those chapters reflected and illuminated Lonnie’s teaching on prayer. How God orchestrates these things is mind-boggling, but when you are in the midst of it, it is hard to mistake the intentionality of the Lord to teach you and increase your faith.
Lonnie lives a life of prayer, and exhibits strength of faith unmatched by anyone I have ever met.
I know plenty of people who declare this and that, and parade their “great faith.” Lonnie does none of that. He and Belinda have an amazing range of ministries they oversee. What God has done through them takes my breath away, and the opportunities God is opening before them are staggering.
But in the midst of it all, I have never seen a man walk in the measure of peace this man does. Most of us fret over one bill we struggle to pay. Lonnie has lived by faith for 22 years, and all the ministries, staff, and facilities depend completely on supernatural provision.
Lonnie will smile and tell you, “That’s the Father’s problem, not mine.” He just rests in God’s faithfulness and God has never let them down – never!
This is not presumption. It is faith responding to God’s Word. It is a process of prayer that has become his lifestyle. Next week, I will share the principles he lives by. It is my next lesson in prayer. I am praying to enter that same rest of faith.
“Lead me, lead us, to that place, Father.”