Exhortation

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  1. Rev. Dr. Paul Jinadu

    There is a tendency in most of us to read a bible text or promise and immediately go on to believe it has become part of our experience. We follow the teaching of ‘confession brings possession’, which doesn’t actually work in transforming lives. It mostly works with acquiring material things.

    Soon after my conversion I went to a prayer meeting which was preceded by a bible study. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my bible with me, so I shared one with an elderly lady next to me. I noticed the letters TP written on the margins of her bible. At the end of the meeting I asked her what those letters stood for. ‘TP’, she replied, ‘stand for tested and proved. I write them in the margins next to the passage of scripture I have tested and proved to be true in my experience.’ We are not transformed by quoting scriptures, but only when the Holy Spirit applies them into our experiences.

  2. Rev. Dr. Paul Jinadu

    New York Bows in Prayer

    Within six months 10,000 businessmen (out of a population of 800,000) were gathering daily in New York City for prayer. In January 1858 there were at least twenty other prayer meetings going full tilt in the city. Many of them were sparked by the Young Men’s Christian Association. Other cities had them too.

    Eyewitness Describes Meeting

    The Fulton Street prayer meeting may well be the model for effective prayer meetings today. How was the early meeting conducted? Why did it have such power? Fortunately, an eyewitness account, published in 1858, has come down to us. You feel that you too are there as you read: We take our seat in the middle room, ten minutes before 12 o’clock noon. A few ladies are seated in one corner, and a few businessmen are scattered here and there through the room. Five minutes to 12 the room begins to fill up rapidly. Two minutes to 12, the leader passes in, and takes his seat in the desk or pulpit. At 12 noon, punctual to the moment, at the first stroke of the clock the leader arises and commences the meeting by reading two or three verses of a hymn.

    Each person finds a hymnbook in his seat; all sing with heart and voice. The leader offers a prayer— short, pointed, to the purpose. Then reads a brief portion of Scripture. Ten minutes are now gone. Meantime, requests in sealed envelopes have been going up to the desk for prayer. A deep, solemn silence settles down upon our meeting. It is holy ground. The leader stands with slips of paper in his hand.  He says: “This meeting is now open for prayer. Brethren from a distance are specially invited to take part. All will observe the rules.”

  3. Rev. Dr. Paul Jinadu

    It was exactly 12 noon on September 23, 1857. A tall, middle-aged former businessman climbed creaking stairs to the third story of an old church building in the heart of lower New York City. He entered an empty room, pulled out his pocket watch and sat down to wait. The placard outside read: “Prayer Meeting from 12 to 1 o’clock—Stop 5, 10, or 20 minutes, or the whole hour, as your time admits.” It looked like no one had the time. As the minutes ticked by, the solitary waiter wondered if it were all a mistake.

    For some three months he had been visiting boarding houses, shops, and offices, inviting people to the eighty-eight-year-old Old Dutch North Church at Fulton and Williams streets. The church had fallen on slim days. Old families had moved away. The business neighbourhood was teeming with a floating population of immigrants and labourers. Other churches had gotten out. Many thought that Old Dutch should throw in the towel. But the trustees determined on a last-ditch stand. They decided to hire a lay missionary to conduct a visitation programme. The man they picked was Jeremiah C. Lanphier, a merchant who had no experience whatsoever in church visitation work.

  4. Rev. Dr. Paul Jinadu

    It's 70 years since the Hebrides Revival took place. RT Kendall reflects on what lessons today's Church might learn from what took place 

    This year is the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Hebrides Revival. I was recently invited to the Hebrides Revival Conference in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. The purpose of the conference was to thank God for that wonderful era. Of course people prayed that God might be pleased to do it again. And God may yet do it again! I certainly hope so.

    The epicenter of this revival was in Barvas, some twelve miles from Stornoway. The main person associated with the move of God was Rev Duncan Campbell (1898-1972). But Duncan Campbell did not bring the revival; it was already in progress when he arrived. By “revival” I do not mean a planned, orchestrated series of meetings. True revival is a sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. So, it was in the Hebrides in 1949. The Holy Spirit was the architect and sustainer of this extraordinary event.

    Here are some observations that gripped me while I was in Stornoway last weekend, having asked all the questions I could think of.

    1. Salvation

    The Hebrides Revival was all about people being saved – converted. There is no doubt that Christians were “renewed”. But the stress was on the need for people to be saved.

    2. Eternal destiny

    The pervading assumption in people’s minds was their final destiny – heaven or hell. Duncan Campbell used a phrase, “hell-deserving sinners” – the sort of expression one doesn’t hear often these days. Most people nowadays feel that they are entitled, or that God owes them something.