For as long as I can remember, I've heard church folks cry out, "Lord use me; I'll do anything and sacrifice everything for you, everything I have is Thine!"   If only that were true. These are not evil people, they're just emotionally motivated people, zealous to serve the Lord. During a church service when the Holy Spirit is moving powerfully, it's easy to blurt out emotional expressions of gratitude, and say things we're really not prepared to back up. That doesn't make it right, but it doesn't mean these are bad people either. It is understandable how easily anyone can do that. The truth is, many would like to do something to serve God in some little ministry. But they fear getting into something from which they cannot easily retreat. What if it doesn't fit them? Some fear being stuck and overwhelmed. Sometimes they just don't know where to begin. I understand all of that.

For decades I've taught that big decisions should be approached prayerfully, deliberately, and in measured steps. Whether it's marriage, buying a house, joining a fellowship/congregation, or planting a ministry, these are each hugely serious decisions. I'm amazed how lightly some people take choosing a church; sorta like I would choose a restaurant. I don't mean to be critical or unkind, but that's nearly 45 years of experience talking. I've found that people who join a church impulsively tend to be exponentially more likely to leave impulsively. You know, like as soon as they discover the pastor's not perfect, just like that last one wasn't perfect (and the next one too). We should count the cost before we commit ourselves to a fellowship. We should first be ready to commit ourselves to the enrichment and edification of that local congregation; and to in no way impede its growth or purpose. We must also be submissive to the leadership of that congregation, within their sphere of godly authority. If we can't at a minimum commit to do those things, then we're not ready to commit to anything; nor are we yet committed, regardless of our words. Every facet of ministry is the same way. So it may actually be a sign of spiritual maturity that some move cautiously and prayerfully into such ministry related decisions.

Well I have an idea! It's simple, private, and anyone can try it on for size without obligation. No, this is not the start of an infomercial! My wife and I have practiced this for a long time, so I know it works. It's a ministry you can ease into at your own pace. You can opt out anytime you wish. You can take a sabbatical any time you need to. And you can do it all in the privacy of your own home. You probably won't need to buy anything, or give anyone your contact information. So I challenge you to take this ministry for a proverbial spin around the block, test drive her and see how she handles on the road.

Let me give you a couple of examples.

We love to watch a television "call in" show called "Your Health". It's a health information program from a Christian perspective. It's produced and hosted by Richard Becker, DO, and his wife Cindy Becker, RN. Often people call in who are in dire straits, emotionally, physically, and financially. When those extreme cases appear, we pray for them. If it's a really serious case, the Holy Spirit often leads me to add that one to my "Urgent Prayer List". That may sound insignificant, but it's not. If you could see what happens in the spirit world when believers pray, you would understand why the Apostle Paul instructed the church at Thessalonica to "pray without ceasing", 1 Thessalonians 5:17. You would understand why I place such emphasis on my "Prayer Cloth" ministry. It's not because of who I am, but because of what Jesus did for us in His public ministry, on the cross, and the power of His resurrection.

There are other live "call in" programs, and some who occasionally air their email prayer requests. The 700 Club is another good resource, and CTN has an excellent late night call in prayer program that was started by our dear brother Dortch. I believe DayStar, and other networks have similar live broadcast prayer lines. As the Holy Spirit leads, you can write the names of the people who call in, and hold them in your prayers, take them under your spiritual wing, and pray them back to health.

Here is another ministry that produces an unusually rich harvest.

When I login to the internet I search for people in dire crisis. I used to call it "evangelistic trolling".

Now I am forced to find another name for it since the devil has hijacked the term "troll" as it relateds to internet activity.

I meant it purely as a fishing metaphor,. I like to scan my server's homepage news headlines, emails, blogs, and where ever the Lord leads; in other words "fish where they're bitin'". I prayerfully scan the headlines and when I feel a pause in my spirit, I listen for His voice. If the Lord leads, I open and read the story.

That usually results in my adding the link to my daily "Urgent Prayer List" folder on my desktop. I try to make praying for each one
the first thing I do each day. I go through each one individually which for my list usually takes from 5-30 minutes. But mine is a list that has grown over a rather long time (you could start with just one or two people). Sometimes, with cases like end stage terminal patients, praying for the one case can last up to 6-8 minutes, and the Lord may lead me to pray for those cases several times each day, even throughout the night. But that is not the norm. You can take as few cases or as many as you are comfortable with. Anything will be helpful, and any prayer is vastly better than no prayer at all. I have a list of objectives: I pray for these people to be healed; delivered from their crisis; that they and everyone affected by their crisis will be saved; and that in everything Jesus Christ will be glorified. 

When the prayers are answered, I place them in the "Answered Prayers" folder. Sometimes, the Lord may lead me to contact someone for more personal intercession. If they affirmatively reject my offer, I honor their wishes 
and file them in the "Ceased Prayers" folder. If they do not respond to me attempt to make contact, I usually pray for God to bless them, and then file them in the "Ceased Prayers" folder. We don't want to impose our grace upon anyone who doesn't want it.

Most of the people on my "Urgent Prayer List" are people I've never met, and may never meet. But that doesn't, and shouldn't matter to anyone. Prayer is something I can afford to give them, and the rewards so greatly outweigh the effort. When my faith can help to move the Spirit toward them for a personal and much needed encounter, their lives will be changed, just like my life was changed. I want everyone to have at least one chance to enter into that change.

The enemy fights my doing this tenaciously. Think logically, the enemy doesn't have unlimited resources and he is a military tactician. So he doesn't waste strategic assets, nor is he stupid. Therefore, he only wages war on what he perceives as a threat. Some would be surprised at the results of this silent ministry. Many people's whole lives are affected, they find help; and hopefully they get saved, and Jesus Christ is glorified.

There are no sweeter words than when our Lord Jesus commands someone bound by the enemy to, "arise! thy faith hath made thee whole!" It's such a joy knowing your prayers had something to do with that. It's intoxicating and addictive! (and it has no negative side effects).

Another consideration is, some people are too young to have faith, such as innocent children who satan has attacked by disease. Sometimes the patient is too weak to stand alone in their own faith; like some late stage cancer patients. Many of these precious souls don't know Jesus Christ as healer; and many don't even know Him as Savior. Jesus challenged us to live by this principle, "whatever you would have men do unto you, do unto them". We often refer to it as "The Golden Rule". This ministry is a powerful way to execute The Golden Rule.

Through this private ministry you can pray for God to send people to those you cannot reach. For instance, many messed up celebrities are so insulated from the outside world, surrounded by people in the same mess, and non-celebrities can't get to them. Not to mention messed up politicians, and messed up celebrity preachers. Your prayer may be the only way to get help to any of them. Pray for God to send someone to them, and if they resist; pray for God to send them to someone.

There is no celebrity insulation the Holy Spirit cannot penetrate. I know whereof I speak.

So you can develop into this little private ministry as gradually as you wish. You can retreat for time to time and rest, just as I often do. But when you hear about that one who so desperately needs God's touch, you know you have exactly what they need. You can do for them what you would want someone to do
for you, your child, your spouse, or your  parent in similar circumstances.

Further, you are sowing a ton of good seed. The harvest may come back in the form of someone praying for, or ministering to one of your loved ones who may be lost or fighting for their health.

This ministry will also develop a strong faith in you. I've learned that the most effective way to ignite my faith is to enter into the need of a suffering person. I put myself in their shoes before I engage the enemy. Then as my dad would say, "go after 'em like you were raised on bear meat!"

This is one of the most enriching facets of ministry, with no strings attached. The only qualifications is to be a believer willing to pray and believe. This ministry needs no ceiling or walls. You can do this at your leisure, and the rewards are pretty cool. I challenge you to "commit to yourself" to try this for thirty days. You will only be accountable to yourself and to God. If it doesn't fit you, you're free to opt out at any time. But if you try it for a month and keep a journal, you may be amazed at the fruit it produces in the lives of others, and even more so in your own life. You cannot do this without growing your faith. Who knows, you may even find your ministry; or your ministry may just find you!

I highly recommend you try this!


Regarding so-called

Christian Television

One Essential Point I must Make!

When we were poisoned in our home over twenty years ago, as many of you know we lost our house, virtually all our possessions, and we were left homeless. 

Within a couple of weeks we were forgotten and abandoned by most of our church friends, except for maybe four or five brethren. 

I was my wife's sole care giver 24/7, for over four years. We were nearly a thousand miles from our nearest relatives, and again, left with less than half a dozen remaining faithful friends. 

The worst of our tribulation lasted seven years. It was a long lonely haul. 

But praise God He got us through it!

When we finally came up for air on the other end of it all, I realized some very important truths. 

  • Had it not been for TBN
we would have had no church.

  • Had it not been for Charles Carrin Ministries, Kenneth Copeland Ministries, the 700 Club, Rhema Bible Training Center, Oral Roberts University, Charles Capps Ministries, and Jerry Savelle Ministries,
we would have had no prayer.  

  • Had it not been for audio cassettes and video teaching aids, 
 we would have had no spiritual food.  

Think about that when you give!


- GERRY PHILLIPS - 1955-2015