On our first Sunday in Philly, the pastor of our church here (In the Light Ministries) reminded us in his sermon that the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power (1 Corinthians 4:20). This has been a theme for me these three weeks as I have been challenged to trust in Gods transformative power in the lives of the people we have met in these neighborhoods. Weve seen a lot of hopelessness and sadness in peoples homes and stories, but Ive also heard faith-building testimonies in the church and in the community. Ive been challenged to pray big prayers and trust that God hears us and is responding in His perfect timing.
On Friday, our group started praying for salvation for the whole block. When one of our group members declared this in prayer before starting that day, Ill admit that I doubted that God would grant it – I had seen so much brokenness, so many who reject the Gospel and choose to continue living with sin and its consequences. After this prayer, we talked about our expectations for God, and I realized that Gods arm is not too short to bring salvation to the whole block.
He also answers my prayer to increase my faith. That day we spent most of our outreach time in two houses: Our first visit was with an elderly woman of God who was lonely and saw us as angels who came to encourage her, and the second visit was with a young woman whose faith journey began with a nun who prayed with her daily for four months when she was abandoned and raped at the age of nine. This woman experienced Gods overwhelming peace through the nuns prayers, and God continued to send Christians in her life to bless her at her lowest points. She saw that God was pursuing her, and we encouraged her to trust Jesus with her life that afternoon. As she prayed, declaring her trust in Jesus to guide her life and save her soul eternally, I thanked God for showing His power to me. God is mighty to save. Our words, arguments and service to others will not bring people to Christ on their own because the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. Praise God that the Holy Spirit is working in North Philadelphia and we can participate in Gods process of salvation for the whole block.
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