Prayer

Did you know that God answers prayer?  He does.  In fact, God tells us that our prayers are powerful, effective and worthwhile (James 5.16).  Without prayer, we cannot move with power and expectation in our Christian life.  We need constantly to "check in" with God.  It is our chance to tell him what we are thinking, but more importantly to find out what he is thinking.

We encourage praying alone at home, in your office, or anywhere else you can find even a moment to interact with the creator of the universe.  Equally important is gathering together to pray with fellow members of God's family.  We make opportunities for prayer during our services, but most of all during our Community Groups and at Prayer Services.  Check out our Community Groups here and be on the lookout for Prayer Services on our calendar.

Know that it would be our privilege to pray for you as well.  Whether it's a private prayer request for the pastor, or a prayer request that you'd like the congregation to be aware of, we invite you to send us a message through the Contact page with your prayer needs.

Has God answered your prayers?  Share a testimony here.

Encounters With God's Power Thru Obedience & Prayer...

God had been speaking with me for almost a year now to attend the Wednesday night prayer meeting. I resisted mainly because I work Wednesday night and we were/are struggling financially as it is without losing what would amount to $50 every Wednesday in order to be obedient to God. On the surface, $50 may seem like a small price to pay to be obedient to what God is telling you to do but in practice $50 is an enormous amount in our budget which is already running at a deficit coupled with the reality that we are human beings who can often be stubborn in holding tightly to the wheel rather than to allow Jesus to simply take it. Well, what started as a gentle nudge, then a whisper in the night as I struggled to fall asleep, became a loud knock, followed by urgent, incessant pounding, and finally God just decided to kick the door in and broke through to my heart and soul.

Thankfully, I decided to listen and be obedient to Jesus. I'll try to be brief in sharing but it is hard to contain the power of what happened in a few words. After the 1st prayer meeting, God started to cover the provision piece. The very next day when I went to pick up my paycheck there was an extra bonus check for $350! That’s 7 Wednesdays covered right off the bat. The day after that the next meeting, I received a profit-sharing check for $162! 3+ more Wednesdays covered. Financial provision is inspiring but not as inspiring as God’s miraculous power being released and moving powerfully.

During a recent AWESOME time of prayer, we let out a heart and soul cry for the souls of the unsaved. Specifically, we prayed that God would create opportunities to witness in my workplace. There was one 19-year-old young man, Jose, in particular that God had put a burden on my heart for. However, we are forbidden by my company from any discussion of religion in the workplace. The problem seemed insurmountable for me, but not for Jesus. Again, the very next day the fireworks began. I was exhausted near the end of a long, stressful night as usual. I looked up from my scrubbing to see my former youth pastor who I had not seen in almost 30 years walking toward me glowing, with his arms wide open to embrace me.

For those of you who have not heard part 1 of my testimony (I have an audio file if you’re interested) this man was powerfully used by God to bring Jesus into my life when I desperately needed him. He had been going door to door in the project I lived in. He knocked on our door and told my Mom that the Lord had placed a burden on his heart for a young boy that lives in this house that needs to come to youth group and receive Jesus. That day began a process of God using this man through scripture, music, and agape love to break though to my young heart and soul. I accepted Christ and was baptized in his church. Jesus worked through this man to change/save my life at a time when I was living with an abusive alcoholic Father and circumstances that were literally breaking me. We embraced as tears of joy flowed. I told him what he had meant to my life. He told me that God had put me heavy on his heart recently. He said one word kept coming to him in reference to me: SHINE. He said that it was my time to shine for Jesus.

All of this was witnessed by my co-workers, especially Jose. Jose came to me afterwards and asked what that was all about. Praise be to Jesus I was able to tell him. Jesus had created an opportunity. Prayer answered. It would have been miraculous and I would have been so thankful if there was no more fruit to come, but God wasn’t done. 3 days later, Jose was struggling to carry a large piece of glass (approx. 50+ lbs). I moved quickly toward him to help him but it was too late, he dropped the glass right in front of my face. Glass exploded into my eyes, nose, mouth, all over me. When the dust settled I checked myself out and found that I was unharmed. I told Jose that God had protected me, that in itself would have been another testimony to how God’s power is real, but Jesus had so much more in store. We spent the next 40+ minutes trying to clean up the glass that was literally everywhere. The store manager approached looking angry. He came to me saying that our cleaning job was not good enough and I may have to stay late to make sure the cleaning met his expectations. I then shared with him that we were doing our best and that he should also understand that people were also impacted by the glass not just focus on the clean-up. He then exploded on me saying things to me that I can not repeat here. He took me in a back room yelling and screaming, pointing his finger in my face, and threatening my job.

It broke my heart, but I took it. Jose also witnessed this and was amazed at the way I handled it. Again, this would have been another great testimony of God’s power in action, but Jesus had more. The next day I was called into my boss’ office. He closed the door and began weeping and pouring his heart out to me. His life was in turmoil and he was falling apart. He said that sometimes when you explode emotionally you do it to someone who seems safe, and often the least deserving of it. He said he knew that based on the man he saw me to be over the 1+ year he worked with me he knew how I would respond. He genuinely apologized. He seemed to think I could not forgive him or would think differently of him. He hoped that somehow the whole thing would work for our good. I shared with him that I had already forgiven him. Yes, I was hurt last night and did not sleep well, but when I woke up this morning I did the only thing I knew how to do when I am hurting: I prayed to my Jesus. I also told him that it was my prayer while praying for him in the morning that the incident would be used by God for our good. The very words he used. I told him that it says in the bible that God can take a situation intended for our destruction and turn it around for the good. I shared that I had been through every imaginable heartache in my life and that talking to Jesus about it was the only thing that brought comfort and healing. I asked him to simply start a conversation with God and see what happens.

He was blown away that I was not angry and vengeful. How could I show him love and mercy in the face of what he had done? He saw that there was something different about me. At that moment, he got called to his other managerial duties but he said let's talk further in the future.

There are many lessons to be learned from what I have shared here. What I want to shout to you today is that Jesus indeed lives! His power is real and accessible today. Miracles do happen when we believe. Obedience not only demonstrates our love for Jesus to Him, but also releases God’s awesome power especially when coupled with prayer. God has put a burden on my heart for the FBC family to pray not only individually but as a body. In particular, the men of FBC (I do not want to offend anyone, and I certainly want all the ladies involved too) and I spoke this to my self first and foremost, come to the prayer meeting on Wednesday night! I don’t want to be the only man there. Ask yourself what it is you’re holding onto that is keeping you from going. For me it was financial, but I can assure you that whatever it is when measured against an encounter with the power of the almighty it pales in comparison. I’ve committed to every Wednesday. I challenge you to give at least 1 Wednesday a month in obedience to Jesus to pray with your church family. See what God can do when you live his word rather than just read it or have knowledge of it. What I have shared is in love. I pray it blesses you as it has me. I love you all :)

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