Leading up to an evangelistic series campaign in April 2019, God led the Decatur, Ala., Church to focus on prayer and devotion to Him as a means of meeting greater success with their outreach efforts. This is something that is emphasized in the following quote: “The greatest victories gained for the cause of God are not the result of labored argument, ample facilities, wide influence, or abundance of means; they are gained in the audience chamber with God, when with earnest, agonizing faith men lay hold upon the mighty arm of power,” Gospel Workers, page 259.
Adjusting the church’s focus began when Robert Meneses, pastor, visited his family in Portugal earlier in the year. While there, an aunt gave him a little book in both English and Portuguese titled Steps to Personal Revival, by Helmut Haubeil. At the same time, his wife, Elida, prayer coordinator for the church, read a pastor’s testimony in Ministry magazine about reading the same book. After reading the book herself, she felt impressed that the church ought to read it as well. Amazingly, when she took it to the Sabbath prayer group, another member shared how a friend had just recently shared a positive review with her about the same book.
Preparing for the series, the church adopted several new activities. They started having united prayer time in the church sanctuary for 30 minutes every Sabbath morning. They also began utilizing inserts in the church bulletin to promote prayer, revival, and the work of the Holy Spirit. Two consecutive Saturday evenings, a video seminar on the Holy Spirit was presented at the church. Following the seminar, copies of Haubeil’s book were distributed, and the church was challenged to read it in six weeks.
Following that time, the church participated in the Ten Days of Prayer initiative from the General Conference. Members used this time to meet at the church and pray for revival and the Holy Spirit. The following Sabbath, a special service called “Praise and Prayer” took place, offering more time for testimonies and prayer than a standard service.
The festivities didn’t end there. Brian Danese, vice president for church development at the Gulf States Conference, came and presented a Gospel Weekend seminar, which the church followed by starting a 40 Days of Prayer weekly devotional. Short video clips from Dennis Smith, author of 40 Days of Prayer, were shown Sabbath mornings during the announcement time.
When April came and the evangelistic series began, the church had experienced revival and a deeper relationship with Jesus. As Meneses presented the sermons, and members attended each meeting, relationships with guests were established, and the Holy Spirit continued His work. After the series, 10 souls committed their lives to Jesus through baptism. The church views these results as a testimony to the power of prayer.
Gulf States | September 2019