The Altar is a special place, where God does some marvelous things in the lives of hungry individuals. What takes place around the altar is crucial to their experience, good or bad, and we as counselors have a great deal to do with that experience. Think for a moment, 99% of those who pray around the altar are greatly encouraged or discouraged by PEOPLE!!! Remember back when you first came to the altar, did you save someone there to pray with you and to help, or did you find the Lord all by your self? I dare say that almost without exception someone was there for you as you prayed.
What we want to do, as counselors, is to be a help and not a hindrance, To make their stay at the altar a profitable one, and to lead them to all that God has for them IN THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY!
Altars are a place where…..
1. Man communicates with God. These altars are places Where God deals with us. It could be in our heart. etc.,…
2. God Communicates with Man. God needs to be able to speak and direct us. ITS A VERY, VERY, VERY, important PLACE!!!
There are four (4) basis types of people that need help at the altar.
What is the Need?
1. FEARFUL of the unknown.
This is all new to them and it can be a fearful experience and intimidating.
2. IGNORANT in what to do
They have never prayed often times, and don’t know how to pray or what to say in prayer to receive the Holy Ghost.
3. GUILTY OF SIN and wrong that
They feel the weight of their sin and past life but are unaware God is faithful to forgive them of any wrong doing. They need to take that first step of REPENTANCE! They need to confess their sins to GOD and not YOU.
4. WOUNDED by Satan’s darts.
These people have been attacked by the enemy of their soul and they need to feel the victory through praise, as they overcome the scars that he has inflicted on them. They need to be healed by the power of God. NOTE: These people will not always be unsaved,
1. Be alert to those AROUND you.
We need to praise the Lord, worship God and receive the Word for ourselves when we enter the doors of the church, BUT WAKE UP!! While these things are important to God, we must be alert to the fact that we need to minister to others as well as being ministered to We will have very limited response and results by having a selfish church. Beware of who sits around you,
A. Pray for them that God will open their heart to the Word.
B. Pray that God will make you sensitive to their needs so you can lead them on into what God has for them.
2. ENCOURAGE them to the altar.
The most important words you’ll ever learn as a counselor is “WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO AND PRAY”?
3. Demonstrate SENSITIVITY.
4. ENQUIRE about their need
Don’t be nosey or pushy, but show a concern for their need.
5. Share the SCRIPTURES
Don’t just tell them its in the Bible, show them!
6. Pray WITH them.
Don’t pray for them, pray WITH them.
7. Lead in WORSHIP
MAKE A POINT OF CONTACT
Mark 16:17-18 Acts 8:17
(Laying on of hands.) This does two (2) things.
A. Transference of Power
B. A Source of Love and Assurance
Don’t Let this get out of hand. Must be kept to a minimum.
ASCERTAINING THE SITUATION
It is very important that you as a counselor, not just assume where this person is in God. They may be going to the altar for several different reasons, because God, through a message, deals with people in different ways for different reasons.
HANNAH : Was desperate to have a child and she went to the temple to
pray and Eli, the man of God, assumed that she was just drunk. He did
not ascertain the situation properly.
1. GATHER around them.
Show that you are supporting them in prayer. They are not going through this by themselves.
2. Encourage them to SURRENDER.
When I have a need in my life, I need to give it to the Lord
3. QUOTE encouraging promises.
He is a strong and mighty Tower etc.,.
4. Make a point of CONTACT.
It’s not a good idea for ladies to put tier hand on the men and rub them and vise versa.
5. Let them PRAY.
Sometimes they just need to be left alone to PRAY.
DAVID: He committed a horrible sin and needed to repent and ask God to forgive him.
1. Encourage CONFESSION.
I John 1:9
2. Pray WITH them.
(Phrases) “Oh God forgive me, Lord I’m sorry for what I’ve done”
3. Let them POUR OUT their soul.
They need to pour out their soul and break through. “Come on and just open your heart to the Lord”.
4. Lift up their HANDS.
Get out of the repenting mode and get into the praising mode, After they have been given time to repent.
5. Lead them in THANKSGIVING.
NOW its time for them to receive their victory. Get them out of the pits and into the joy of the Lord.
PRODIGAL SON: There are those who have lost out with God and have backsliden, They feel like a creep and don’t know how to approach God.
1. Share the SCRIPTURES.
2. Encourage CONFESSION.
I John 1:9
3. Pray WITH them.
4. ASSURE them of God’s love,
God would not be drawing on them if he did not love them.
5. Lift up their HANDS.
Sometimes its good to ask them if they feel God has forgiven them of their sins, and once they acknowledge that he has then you need to tell them to raise their hands and thank God. Get out of one mode into another.
6. Lead in WORSHIP and THANKSGIVING.
Ps 100 “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise”. They need to get all that God has for them!
DISCIPLES OF JOHN: People that come to our church and really believe that their saved. Don’t discredit their experience. READ Acts 19:1-6
QUESTIONS THAT NEED TO BE ASKED!
1. Have you ever GIVEN YOUR LIFE to GOD?
2. Do you feel a need to AGAIN?
Make a new commitment.
3. Have you ever RECEIVED the Holy Ghost with tongues?
4. God wants you to EXPERIENCE this!!!
5. Open your Bible and read; Acts 19:1-6
NOW SAY: “And God wants you to have that experience” Don’t say anything! The next one to talk loses. THIS IS A SAMPLE OF WHAT CAN BE SAID!! PUT IT IN YOUR OWN WORDS. Now I’m going to begin to pray with you, and as we pray you’re going to
feel the presence of the Lord, even stronger than you do right now, and when you begin to feel something bubbling up inside of you wanting to speak out, you need to just BOLDLY speak out that new language as God gives it to you.
After a few minutes of prayer you need to reach out put your hand on their head and ask God to fill them with the Holy Ghost. Don’t destroy what they have add to it!!!
MIRACLES OF HEALING/DELIVERANCE
1. Identify the problem.
You need to know what to pray for, so you can pray with the understanding. Speak to the mountain.
2. Demonstrate AUTHORITY.
3. BIND the problem.
4. RELEASE a miracle.
Acts 3:6-7 Command that thing to leave in Jesus Name. Release healing into that situation.
5. WORSHIP with thanksgiving.
6. Admonish to go ACTING IN FAITH.
When the doctor gives you a shot he says, “In an hour you’re going to start feeling good”. We need to say God’s going to make things right. Now if God chooses not to do it, don’t be discouraged. God didn’t tell me to heal that situation, He just needs a vessel of obedience to do our part and to exercise faith, the healing is God’s business, and he’ll do it in His time.
This is an area, that if you expect to be effective your going to have
to have a lire of prayer.
AS A COUNSELOR YOU NEED…
1. A Working knowledge of the Word of God.you need to understand some things about the Bible. Its one thing to be able to quote the word, but its another to understand what you quote.
As you enter the house of God you need to prayerfully become concerned about those who are in need. There’s no room for a selfish heart.
“0h God I’ve been here three minutes and there’s nothing to show for it.” It’s going to take time and your commitment to get the job done.
You need to be able to feel where they are, and not have a heart of condemnation. “Well they deserve what they’re getting”.
5. A WALK WITH GOD.
A prayer life, and some consistency. You can’t come down to the altar and have to pray yourself through first before you can work with someone else. “We walk in the Spirit”. Don’t just come to church to get something for yourself, but come so that you may be a blessing to someone else.
THE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM
1. It is a promised gift. You do not have to beg God for it.
2. It was received quickly and easily. On the day of Pentecost they were tarrying, not to receive the Holy Ghost, but for the Day of
Pentecost to come. In all other instances they received it quickly and easily. So relate this as you counsel with people.
THEY PROMISED IT
John the Baptist–MT 3:11
So not only did people promise it but……
THESE RECEIVED IT
Apostles & Disciples—Acts 1:15, 2:4
Cornelius Household—-Acts 10:44-46
Disciples of John——Acts 19:1-7
Paul——————-I Cor 14:18
We’re not waiting on God. God is waiting on them. The Holy Ghost is being poured out and we have Bible evidence of those who received it.
WHAT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM
1. It is the seal of God’s promise. Ephesians 1;13When a ruler would sign a document they would seal it with their ring in wax. God puts his seal of approval on us with his Spirit.
2. Indwelling Comforter. Jn 16;7, 14:18
3. Being Born of the Spirit. Jn 3:5-6
4. Result of Believing on the Lord. Jn 7:37-39
HOW IS THE SPIRIT BAPTISM EVIDENCED?
A. High Emotions. Acts 2;14-15
B. Gladness. Acts 2:46
c. Boldness. Acts 4:31
But always with TONGUES…Acts 2:4, 9:6 & 10:46
GOD’S SECRET POWER/THE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM
on ANYONE. It’s for everybody. Race, Creed or Color
in ANYPLACE. Pews, cars, boats, planes, etc….
at ANYTIME. God is open 24hrs a day. ”
in ANY POSITION. Standing, Sitting etc…
in ANY STYLE. Yelling, Quiet, Happy, Tearfully etc..
HOWEVER, YOU CAN’T…..
EARN it. Nobodies good enough.
LEARN it. Learn to speak in tongues.
BUY it. One man tried and God almost killed him.
FORCE it. Someone has to want it.
MEN CAN’T GIVE it. As good as some people are we can’t give it to
anybody. But people are experiencing it everywhere.
GOD IS READY TO POUR OUT THE HOLY GHOST! But are they ready to receive it.
STATE OF THE HEART
Usually after the Word is preached the heart is ready and prepared to receive what God has to offer. But sometimes we have to help. There are six (6) things that must be present for the heart to receive anything from God.
1. SURRENDER Acts 9:4-6 Paul on road to Damascus. Hard to kick against the pricks. Lord what will thou have me to do? He surrendered.
2. CONFESSION and REPENTANCE I Jn 1:9 II Peter 3:9
3. A PERSON MUST ASK 11:9-13 Good scripture for Baptists.
4. BELIEVE (Imagine) Mk 11:24 They must believe that God can and will fill them. Otherwise unbelief will dominate. Have them imagine, or visualize God filling them with the Holy Ghost.
5. DESIRE Mt 5:6 They have got to want it BAD!!!!! Hungry!!!
6. WORSHIP and PRAISE PS 100:4 It brings us into the presence of God. Attitude of Worship and Praise can be brought on by you worshipping and praising.
We sometimes, when we first come into church, don’t feel like worshipping or praising. We had an argument, bad day etc.. but as song service goes on we feel better, what happened? The State of the Heart changed. During worship sinners hearts are being prepared as well, and this is a great time to be aware that someone could receive the Holy Ghost during song service. Look around! Go over if someone is crying and pray with them. You don’t have to go through the motions.
PRAYING WITH THE SEEKER
How many have ever felt the need to pray with someone but you were to nervous and didn’t really know what to say, so you didn’t? It happens all the Time!!
YOU REALLY FEEL SOMETHING DON’T YOU??? The best thing you can say to a person who is feeling conviction.
You need to read the Bible to them!
A. Acts 2:37-39
1. PRICKED in their heart.
2. MEN & BRETHREN what shall we do?
B. Peter’s Response
1. REPENT/Confession I JN 1;9 After you feel they have really repented, then go on.
2. BAPTISM/Burial Rom 6:4 Ask them if they have ever been baptized, and how they were baptized.
3. Receive the HOLY GHOST/Promise Act 2:4 (evidence) I Cor 14:2 (speaking to God and not to men) Its an unknown tongue and I won’t understand you because you’re speaking to God,
DOES THAT MAKE SENSE TO YOU??? Sometimes people don’t always receive it as fast as they should. Usually there is a problem with the State of the Heart. If so go to
C. FAITH TO RECEIVE
1. Mark 11:24
2. WORSHIP in the Spirit
3. ACKNOWLEDGE the presence of the Holy Ghost and encourage speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance.
PLEASE: This needs to be practiced. No one becomes an expert overnight. I’II make a mistake SO WHAT the only way God will use you is if you continue to make yourself available. God will use you to lead others to the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Be CONCERNED for visitors,
Find out their NAME.
Check Out Their EXPERIENCE.
Use a BREATH MINT.
GATHER around them.
Dispel their FEARS.
Read the SCRIPTURES.
Help them UNDERSTAND.
Create an Atmosphere of WORSHIP.
Vocalize Your FAITH.
Acknowledge Genuine TONGUES.
Se EXCITED with them,
But Don’t Ever….. (READ)
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