By Kenneth F. Haney
We are brothers and sisters of like precious faith. This movement must be filled with much love and appreciation for one another. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). We share a profound revelatory truth that our forefathers were greatly despised for and it is not shared by the religious world of tradition, for it is anchored in the Word of God: the Mighty God in Christ Jesus and baptism in His name!
Many of us have come out from traditional Christianity and now we are going to propagate this truth all over the world. This can only happen if we are bonded together with love. We have only one Lord and King! There should be no big and little or important and non-important people among us. I want to make it perfectly clear that we as God’s people, who make up the church, are all of great importance. I want to hear your thoughts or opinions whether you are an older or younger minister. We are brothers and sisters: young, middle-aged and old, with different personalities and gifts, but ONE BODY, ONE CHURCH and ONE MESSAGE for ONE WORLD that Jesus died for. We have ONE VISION: to bring the gospel to every person. What an awesome task!
It is the business of Satan to keep us from fulfilling this mission. If he can ever divide us, he will succeed. He will try to get us to major on our differences rather than our common bond of truth, but we have much more in common than the things that divide us.
As your general superintendent, I have asked God to help me to lead this great movement into this latter day harvest. The preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ must be accompanied by the supernatural acts of God, and by the spirit of true holiness.
Where does the supernatural come from or begin? It all starts with the power of God; therefore, the church must get in contact with God as never before. This is done through prayer and meditating on His Word.
When the disciples were unable to operate in the realm of the supernatural, they asked Jesus why. Jesus answered them in Mark 9:29: “And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” By nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
Without prayer the church will dry up in the spirit; they will refuse to give themselves, their time or the finances to further the gospel. It is prayer that gives people the inspiration to go beyond themselves. Jesus gave a warning concerning the last days in Luke 21:34-36: ‘And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
Jesus gave the answer on how the church can be alert and ready for His coming: WATCH and PRAY ALWAYS!
Programs are good and necessary but NOTHING can take the place of prayer! Jesus declared in Luke 18:1: “Men ought ALWAYS to PRAY, and not to faint.”
There is the word “always” again. In 2002 I am asking the pastor of every church, whether small or large, of the UPCI to organize a daily or weekly prayer group on a consistent basis to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send forth laborers into the harvest field that is ripe. Think of the power that will be generated.
`And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; It is imperative for the church to watch and PRAY always! and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31
We already have the powerful Network of Prayer that is reaching around the world, and everyone should become a part of this. Every church should plug into the Network of Prayer. I encourage the women to be involved in the powerful Daughters of Zion network of prayer, which is already in many nations. This is the time to get involved and pray as Jesus instructed us to do!
When James was giving instructions to the church on how to overcome worldliness, he wrote: “Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep. . . . Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:9-10).
How do people afflict themselves? It is not in the cutting of the flesh; it is in the humbling of the soul. Ezra proclaimed a fast at the river of Ahava, “. . . that we might AFFLICT ourselves before our God, to seek of Him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance” (Ezra 8:21). WE AFFLICT OURSELVES TO SEEK HIM.
“The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him. So we FASTED and besought our God for this: and he was entreated of us” (Ezra 8:22-23).
Seeking God is done through PRAYER, FASTING, and studying the WORD. The men and women of the Old Testament knew that when prayer was accompanied with fasting, something happened.
When Jehoshaphat, king over Judah, was surrounded by enemies, Jehoshaphat proclaimed a FAST throughout all Judah. And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD” (II Chronicles 20:3-4).They not only sought the Lord through prayer and fasting, but God spoke to them and gave them instructions how to win the battle against their enemies.
The Old Testament is filled with examples of those who sought the Lord through prayer and fasting. Jesus also gave instructions on fasting, and the early church followed His example and direction.
Jesus assumed they would fast and told them how to fast in Matthew 6:16: “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, That they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”
Fasting is not to be done to impress people or show how spiritual one is, but it is important in humbling oneself in seeking after God.
There is a dimension in the Spirit that can only be attained when prayer is coupled with fasting. Jesus referred to this in Mark 9:29: ‘And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”
Jesus was the great example in preparing for His ministry. He fasted forty days and nights. He never would have practiced anything that He did not want His followers to follow.
The early church practiced this in the Book of Acts. `And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away” (Acts 13:3).
We do wrong when we think we can operate in the realm of the Spirit without following the practice of the early church. They PRAYED, FASTED, WITNESSED, DID MIRACLES and were full of ZEAL, proclaiming the GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!
The above article, “The Supernatural” was written by Kenneth F. Haney. The article was excerpted from chapter seven in Haney’s book One God, One World, One Church, One Vision.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.