Prayer Conference in Trinidad

I have just recently returned from Trinidad & Tobago.  This is country and a people I have  loved since my first ministry visit in 1994.  Like many of the opportunities that come  my way, this one came out of my relationship with Dr. Stephen F. Olford, who for 35 years, until his death in August, 2004, was a cherished friend and mentor.  In the providence of God I was allowed to walk in the shadow of one of the 20th century’s pulpit and preaching giants.

Dr. Olford was a “Keswick Speaker.”   Almost fifty years ago he was instrumental in starting a series of Keswick Christian Life Conventions in Trinidad & Tobago.  At his suggestion I was invited to be the speaker for a series of three Keswick Conventions in T & T in 1994.  Since then I have returned many times…always for ministry purposes.  I have conducted Preaching Seminars, Christian Life Conventions, Conferences on Prayer and Evangelistic meetings.

Over the years the people of T & T  have become like family.  In fact, in 1994, during my first visit to the country, I was heavily involved in ministry to the young people, all of whom called me “Uncle Roger.”   I have cherished this term of endearment and now have the privilege of seeing those kids grown and married and with their own children.  God is good.

In November I was in Trinidad to lead a Prayer Conference.  It was a blessing to me to see the hunger on the part of lay men and lay women for a deeper and more fruitful prayer life.  The conference schedule, directed by Pastor Mitch John, had in it times for cooperate prayer for specific prayer needs.  One of the sessions was spent praying for the President and the Prime Minister and all government leaders.  It was an awesome time.

When you pray, please pray for the pastors and church leaders in Trinidad and Tobago.  They are so faithful.  They do so much with so little.  Please remember them in your prayers.







The Holy Spirit and Preaching

I was recently in Whiting, New Jersey at America’s Keswick where I was speaking at a New Year’s Conference. For the past seventeen years or so I have preached at the Keswick Summer Conferences.  I have also preached at a fall event.  However, this was my first time to be in New Jersey in the winter time.  It was chilly say the least.  But as always, there was a spiritual warmth and a sense of the felt presence of God.

The CEO of America’s Keswick, Dr. Bill Welte, has become a dear friend and brother.  He is a man of God.  Bill walks with God.  He is a man of prayer. I often tell him that he reminds me of stories I read about George Mueller. Here is a good example.  During December Bill and his staff and friends of Keswick prayed for God to provide $250,000.00 to the ministry in order to close the year financially in the black.  God did, as I often see Him do at America’s Keswick.  He answered exceedingly, abundantly above all that we asked or thought.  Almost $400,000.00 was received.  God is good.  He still answers prayers.

Bill gave me a copy of Jim Cymbala’s book, Storm, Hearing Jesus for The Times We Live In.  Then he organized a Sunday trip up to Brooklyn and took me to Sunday worship at Brooklyn Tabernacle.  This was my second time to worship at BT.  Several years ago I attended the Tuesday night prayer meeting. I still remember talking to some friends at Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan about my plans to attend the 7pm prayer meeting and they told me I should arrive by 5pm.  I arrived a few minutes before 5pm and a line of people had already formed and was growing by the minute.  I waited two hours for prayer meeting… spent over two hours in a powerful prayer meeting…and sensed the presence of God.

Last Sunday I saw that line again.  This time for the noon service.  The first worship service is at 9am, the second service is at noon, and the third service is at 3pm.  Over 4000 people attend each of these services.  During the forty five minute wait for the service to begin we were directed to our assigned seating as special guests.  We were greeted by numerous greeters, ushers, deacons and deaconesses.  There was an army of friendly, genuinely friendly, servants of God moving through that vast theater auditorium shaking hands, handing out bulletins, chatting with folk and answering questions. The anticipation level increased by the moment. Then there was the choir….!!!!!!

Then there was the preaching.  But first let me say…I was taken by the fact that there were people from every race, color and culture in that building.  My heart danced.  Isn’t this the way church is supposed to look? The family of God…a little slice of heaven.  Now back to the preaching…, no, just one more thing.  I sat there in those pre-service moments keenly, soberly aware of the Presence of God.  I found myself saying to myself that this place is a place of prayer and these people are people of prayer.  I was enveloped in the results of praying people.  Why is BT like this?  What is the source of this life and energy and vitality?  God….in answer to prayer.  Now back to the preaching….it was simple, conversational and personal.  IT WAS ANOINTED. It appeared to be overflow of Jim Cymbala’s walk with God.  God was in the House.

In Cymbala’s book I mentioned above he wrote: “If pastors preach with the passion that comes from being with Christ, won’t the audience fall more in love with the Lord?”  I say yes.

Then he wrote this: “THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE PULPIT…One of the beautiful results of the Holy Spirit’s blessing is a changed pulpit with powerful preaching.  Today we suffer a distinct lack of the prophetic when it comes to preaching.”  Cymbala makes an observation that should cause every preacher to examine his heart.  “I must observe that too many of us pastors are satisfied to preach and lead church services without craving the Spirit’s help and blessing.”

I say….come Holy Spirit…come upon my life…my preaching….my ministry, for without your anointing it is all meaningless motion.FullSizeRender - Copy FullSizeRender (1) FullSizeRender (2)