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Herald International – Demonstrations Of Christ’s Presence And Power

 By Wesley L. Duewel (1916 – 2016) 

    In his book Touch the World Through Prayer, Wesley Duewel stresses the need for prayer for work going on in areas where other religions have been dominant for centuries.  He writes, “As in Bible times, when pagan religions were a major influence, demonstrations of Christ’s supreme presence and power are necessary before converts can be won.  Your prayer has a vital role in helping Christian workers in such difficult places.  Your prayer can join with theirs for the opening of the eyes of the non-Christians to the reality of Christ.  Your prayer can help bring those answers to prayer which will make the non-Christians willing to listen to the Gospel and believe.”  He goes on to give this teaching and encouragement regarding the need for displays of God’s power in these settings:

    In Egypt, when God’s people were living in bondage to the Pharaoh, the power encounter was between the magicians and gods of Egypt on the one hand and Moses and Aaron as the representatives of Jehovah on the other.  Using Moses and Aaron as His spokesmen, God sent ten overwhelming demonstrations of His power, the ten plagues, to prove that He was the only true and living God.

    …God knew that the Israelites needed tangible evidence of divine power to lead them out of the idolatry in which they had been ensnared.  The plagues were followed by supernatural manifestations of God’s power until Israel was settled in Canaan.  There was the miraculous parting of the Red Sea, the daily provision of manna during the forty years of wandering in the desert, the miraculous supply of water from the rock, the amazing revelation of God’s power at Sinai, the visible reminders of God’s presence with them in the pillar of cloud that led them by day and in the pillar of fire each night.  God condescended to meet the need of the children of Israel on their own level.  He knew that they needed miracle, and He gave it to them.

    Samuel, Elijah, and Elisha were validated as true prophets of God by supernatural demonstrations of His power.  Even in the time of the Old Testament kings, He did not hesitate to prove Himself the living God.

    In the time of Christ, God validated His Son by the voice from heaven and, later, through miracles performed by Jesus.  Jesus told His listeners that if they would not believe His words, they should at least believe because of His miracles (John 14:11).  In the New Testament church Jesus continued to confirm His reality by miracles as the apostles and Paul confronted pagan religions and demonic power.

    You and I may not need miraculous signs and wonders in order to believe the Gospel.  In our nation there has been a long history of Gospel light.  But the followers of other religions are in a completely different situation with which it is hard for us to identify.  Christ is prepared to come to them and validate His Gospel.  He does not hesitate to prove to needy people that He is the only true and living God.

    Brother Duewel concludes by suggesting these particular ways to pray:

    Place “power encounter” on your daily prayer list.  Remember each day those who are laboring in these difficult areas where there are few Christians and where serving and following Christ is costly.  Pray for all those facing challenges to prove that Christ is the loving God and that He answers prayer.

    Pray for Christ to be manifest in miracle power.  Pattern your prayer after that of the Jerusalem church:  “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable Your servants to speak Your word with great boldness.  Stretch out Your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:29-30).  When the people of that church united in praying this prayer, God’s power shook the place where they were assembled.  Your prayer can help shake spiritually untold numbers of people and places for Christ.

    Pray for God to keep the Christian workers spiritually victorious and empowered by the Holy Spirit.  Satan tries in every way possible to afflict workers in these pioneer ministries with discouragement and temptation.  They must stay very close to the Lord and live in the Spirit so that Christ’s power may rest mightily upon them.  This was the secret of Paul’s ministry, and it must be the secret of theirs also (Rom. 15:18-19; 1 Cor. 2:4; 2 Cor. 12:9; Eph. 3:7, 20; Acts 15:12; 2 Tim. 1:7).  Pray for God to clothe them daily with His Spirit.

    Pray for daily guidance for these Christian workers.  Pray for God to bring to their attention the people with the needs God wants to meet, and to open the door for their Christian ministry.  Pray for guidance in winning those for whom Christ exerts His miracle power.

    Pray for God’s protection for these Christian workers.  Satan becomes very angry with those God is using and makes them the special target of his attacks.  Pray for God to protect the workers spiritually and physically, to keep them free from fear of threats against them, and to guard their families.

    “Power encounter” is an important aspect of Christian ministry and spiritual warfare in many places.  Your prayer can empower those in front-line ministry.  Pray that the name of Jesus will be honored and that God will bring the harvest for which He died.

    – Quoted from Touch the World through Prayer by Wesley L. Duewel.  Copyright 1986.  Used by permission of the Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, IN.  Dr. Duewel’s books may be purchased by calling (317) 881-6755, Ext. 361.