The prayer meeting started strong. The prophetic intercessor cried for a fresh touch from God. As the praise was rising I quietly bowed my head in worship. The worship leader was singing exactly what was in my heart. The unity of the Spirit was established right from the beginning. This is a great privilege for any preacher, to have the ground prepared, ready for sowing…
I am so grateful Lord…
Then I invited everybody to call on the Holy Spirit. I said that without the Holy Spirit we cannot continue this meeting. We do not have plan B. We can’t preach without the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Everybody was praying, some seating, some standing and some kneeling. Then the Holy Spirit pointed Brother Emmanuel to me. He was just what I needed. He looked troubled, in pain but hungry for God in the same time. That is the perfect combination, like dry wood to catch fire. I called him to the microphone and I told him to call on the Holy Spirit. From the moment he opened his mouth, his love came forth. Each word was filled with longing for a fresh touch from God. He forgot himself and continues praying in English and tongues. Then the worship leader started singing quietly at the background: “I need Thee Lord I need Thee, every hour I need Thee. Bless me now my Savior, I come to Thee”. This combination of prayer and worship is heavenly! Revival is at hand…
I could feel the breeze of the Holy Spirit blowing on my cheeks. Soon it became a mighty rushing wind. The congregation bent under the weight of God’s glory. We were so grateful for the coming of the King. O… Such a relief… Such a refreshing…Such a honor…
Then the worship team started singing a simple Nigerian chorus that instantly became loaded with anointing:
“I never knew You will honor me this way…I never knew You will honor me this way…Thank You Jesus! Thank You Jesus!”
Finally, I was free to preach the sermon I prepared. It was titled: AMAZING GRACE

“When my life was ebbing away
I remembered You Lord
And my prayer rose to You
In Your holy temple

Those who cling to worthless idols
Forfeit the grace that could be theirs

But I, with a song of thanksgiving
Will sacrifice to You
What I vowed I will make good
Salvation comes from the Lord!” (Jon 2:8, 9)

Jonah was a true child of God. He was a true prophet of Jehovah. But he was backsliding. God sent him to preach to the wicked citizens of Nineveh. He decided to run away from God, hoping that God will forget about him. He went to the port of Joppa to take a ship in the opposite direction. He paid his fare and he entered.
Lesson: if you rebel against God’s plan for your life, you have to pay your ‘transport’. But if you obey God and go to where He sends you, God will pay your bills. The question is this: who pays your bills?

The storm was raging. All the sailors were unbelievers.
Lesson: if you rebel against God’s plan for your life, you will always be lonely, an island in the midst of unbelievers. Many people will suffer because of you. But if you obey God, the believers will come and encourage you. Look around, who are your neighbors? Who are your friends?

Jonah was thrown into the water. The storm stopped immediately. God sent a big fish that swallowed him alive. In the belly of that fish, face to face with death, Jonah remembered God and he prayed.
Lesson: God will never leave you and not forsake you. He will cage you in impossible circumstances where you shall be forced to pray. All the worthless idols that captured your heart for so long will be rejected. The Spirit of prayer and supplication shall arise in you. Dying, you shall discover a new strength to pray desperate prayers that will open the heavens for you. Do you really pray?

Jonah discovers the value of grace, the unmerited favor of God. Jonah was rebellious. God could have killed him many times for his sins. The ship could have drowned and the fish could have digested him. But against all odds, Jonah survived the ordeal and miraculously was given a second chance to ministry. That is grace!
Lesson: God deals with us only thru grace. We do not merit any blessing. We do not merit salvation, prosperity, health or even life. Do you remember, how many times God has saved you from death?

Serving idols is useless. Their worship will bring you to a place where the love, grace and mercy of God become too weak to help. Salvation is of the Lord! Think of it this way: God is in charge! He is like a very rich King who organizes a wedding party for His Son. He knows exactly who is invited and who is not.
Lesson: No man is saved by mistake. No man can creep into heaven. Even the ones who deceive men and lack the proper garment of imputed righteousness, God will expose and punish at last (Mat 22)

The Word of God comes to Jonah the second time. He is given a second chance to do ministry. The grace of God washes away the disgrace of rebellion.
Lesson: The God of grace is the God of second chances. Jesus came full of truth and grace! Praise His Holy Name!

“I never knew You will honor me this way…I never knew You will honor me this way…Thank You Jesus! Thank You Jesus!”

In Christ I declare:
I am saved by grace alone thru faith in Jesus Christ!
Salvation is of the Lord!
In Jesus name

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