Doug Johnson: Prayer gives one the power to bring change

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 5, 2023

I believe the most powerful weapon on earth isn’t a biological, nuclear, or atomic weapon.  It is the spiritual weapon known as: prayer.

Pastor Yonggi Cho passed away in 2021 at 85 years of age and he was known as a prayer warrior.  He pastored the world’s largest church: Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, Korea.  This church has close to 800,000 members and more than 50,000 deacons!  Several years ago, I had the privilege of seeing Pastor Cho in person and hearing him speak at Brownsville Assembly of God near Pensacola, Florida. I want to share with you a portion of what he taught us that night about prayer. 

Even though he pastored the world’s largest church, it wasn’t always that way.  In fact, he started with only 30 members in his church.  He said, “Back then, I did a lot of praying.  Not because I was so spiritual…but when you only have 30 members in your church, you have a lot of free time on your hands.  So I would pray four to five hours a day.  The first hour or two, I would do nothing but spiritual warfare against the devil.  Then I would feel a release in my spirit and the glory of God would fill the room.  The Lord Jesus gave me a vision of a large church that would turn Korea into a Christian nation.  He said if we would pray and believe, the vision would become reality!

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“In Yoido Full Gospel Church, our people had to learn to pray.  It was not easy.  We began with prayer meetings at 4:30 a.m.  We added an all-night prayer meeting on Friday night from 10 p.m. to 4:30 a.m….and then the regular ones would come at 4:30 a.m. and continue praying throughout the day.  There was always someone at the church praying. 

“Some grew quickly in spiritual dimensions; some grew slowly.  By coming together, we strengthened each other.  Fervency became an earmark.  Neighbors saw the changes.  Business associates saw the joy.  Sinners were attracted to the church.  As the Holy Spirit made the truth of our authority in Christ real, our church began to grow monthly by 10,000 members!  Our Christians now pray for requests from around the world.  Prayer changed Korean believers–and prayer is now changing the course of our nation!”

Powerful words, aren’t they?  When Pastor Cho finished his message that night, over 2,000 ministers and laymen came to the altar to pray and seek the face of God.  (I was one of them.) 

You may be thinking: “Well, that’s good and I believe God can do what you’ve said…but I don’t have four or five hours a day to spend in prayer.”  That may be true, but God is not interested in the quantity of your prayer time but the quality of it.  God instructs us in 2 Chronicles 7:14= “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”          

Set aside a certain time when you can be alone with your heavenly Father.  He wants to hear from you on a regular basis.  Remember: prayer is where you gain spiritual strength and where the real battles are fought.  God has placed the responsibility of our nation not upon the politicians or the Supreme Court…but upon the shoulders of His people.

That’s why churches in the Richlands, Virginia area are gathering together for a special Community Prayer Service at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13 to lift up the administration, faculty, staff and students of all local schools as they prepare to return this Fall.  

We will be meeting in the Richlands High School cafeteria at 7 p.m. for a time of corporate prayer and then break into a self-guided prayer walk of the three local Richlands school campuses.  

If you’re in the area, come and join us—Together, we can use the weapon of prayer and see our nation changed!

Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.