I was saved at the age of eight in El Paso Texas. There, I met my beautiful fiancé Bettina who got miraculously saved during the rainy winter of 1992. In August of 1993, Bettina and I married for life, moved to San Antonio, and joined one of the best churches in the North America. In loving Christ, we gave of our time, money, and attendance at every single meeting (and revival meeting) ever scheduled during our 18 year tenure. During this time, we became deeply involved in a Bible reading, street ministry, and a weekly rescue mission ministry.
While working in mechanical and software engineering, my passion was ALL for Christ; and, so I graduated from the pastor’s seminary and obtained my pastoral certification; then, God allowed me to plant a new church plant in Austin Texas. Bettina and I both labor in full time jobs, invest wages constantly to sustain the church, take no church salary, and work to evangelize souls in Austin Texas including the UT campus. The years passed, with painfully small gains, and little fruit.
After blustering about for two decades with “action” void of “unction”, I stumbled onto learning how to really PRAY. That’s right, prior to this epiphany, I labored to win souls, was fastidious in memorizing much of God’s Word, guarded my testimony, honored my devotions, was all supportive of Christ’s Church, and (in heart) long sought for the treasure of Christ Jesus’ very person. I DID NOT KNOW HOW TO PRAY, — In a sense, I really only “SAID PRAYERS.” I daily etched out my dry-eyed, fundamental, pastoral prayer (i.e. “Lord bless me and them” [adding respective names of course]; “Lord, save so-and-so, please;” “give us such and such a blessing, dear Jesus;” and, “here’s my list of needs…blah, blah, blah…dear Lord!”). All this trifle for maybe 20 minutes of a sullen span per day — sound familiar? Horrible!!!
Praise the Lord, His Word instructed me on a deeper, concerned prayer; He opened up many tears, and provoked me to love, and even travail, for lost souls. Now, I have seen a graceful work of revival kindling afresh in my spirit; Now, I sense a new awakening ignited within Christ’s church and ministry. Now, I have learned, that if the church (for which I have been entrusted) is to do her exploits, — she must first PRAY and “know” her “God” (Dan 11:32, John 17:3). Alas, fervent effectual prayer is now everlastingly etched on my soul; and so, the solemn ministry of the Word now rushes through me with His mighty fervor (Acts 6:4).
Dear Adam’s race, I am pressing on through Him, and for you: your eternal soul in prayer; and endeavoring to take thousands, and ten thousand with me, to the rest of heaven’s care; Alas, He’s waiting at the gate! Oh my dear soul, please come to Christ, before it’s everlastingly late!
(Inspired by Psalms 144:13)
I close with this history: The founder of the Salvation Army was General William Booth. Some of his salvation soldiers were sent into the ghettos of Los Angeles in the 1920s and after three years of no results, they sent Booth a telegram: “It just won’t work. We have tried everything. The gospel is just not being received here.” A couple days later they received a two-word telegram from General Booth that said, “Try tears.” They did just that, and revival ensued.
As always, speaking the truth in love! (Eph 4:15).
– Pastor Mark