“For I desire and delight in dutiful steadfast love and goodness, not sacrifice, and the knowledge of and acquaintance with God more than burnt offerings.”  Hosea 6:6 Amplified Version

Hosea speaks of God’s desire to have a deep relationship with us, rooted in God’s love and not in sacrifice made by an individual.  To truly know God means to have that deep relationship with Him, and not merely know about Him.  Prayer is a characteristic of that love.  In fact, it is impossible to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Great Command–Luke 10:27) without an ongoing relationship that is rooted in prayer.  It is not enough to say “I know God will always be there for me.”  While that statement is true of our God who says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” such an attitude buries the essence of God’s desired relationship with us.  Prayer provides for that ongoing communication with the Father.  As we listen to the voice of the One who sent His only son to die on our behalf, our desire should be to respond with a heart of service and love.  Desire His love.  Desire a close and ongoing relationship with the Father.  That is His desire for us.


“Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38 Amplified Version

The word “pray” as used here in the Greek (deomai) literally means a prayer with urgency. It reflects perseverance and is based on a deep heartfelt need. It is not a casual ask. Likewise, the Amplified Version reflects that urgency by using the Greek word ekballō, meaning to “force out” or “thrust”. As such the prayer is for the Lord to move hard and with urgency on the hearts of believers to force them out into the harvest field. It reflects more than just a casual ask of the Lord to send workers.

Many of us would rather someone else be called into the harvest field to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). But the harvest field is ripe. Time is getting short. Are we praying this prayer? Are we praying with urgency? Are we praying with a listening ear? In Isaiah 6:8, the prophet Isaiah heard the Lord asking, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? Isaiah replied, “Here am I; send me.”

The harvest field awaits. Are we listening? Are we willing to answer the call?

“By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.”  I John 4:13 ESV

God’s desire to know us and for us to know Him is great.  His way is simple and yet we often miss deep times of communion with Him because we neglect the Holy Spirit whom He has given us.  It is through His Spirit that we know we live in Him and He in us.  It is the Holy Spirit who will lead us away from the things that separate us from God and into His presence if we will let Him.  But we cannot be led by the Holy Spirit unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and we cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit unless we are willing to spend time with Him in prayer and in listening to His still voice.  A Spirit filled life is a life of power.  That power is a reflection of our prayer.

The hunger for the Lord’s work in lives and nations was witnessed by us in a recent trip to Burundi.  We currently have three teaching groups of pastors and leaders in this tiny nation and will soon be adding a fourth.  One of our teaching teams represent youth leaders from throughout the nation.  In June, we gathering in Bujumbura for a two day training.  We were amazed when we discovered that three of the youth leaders had ridden their bicycles nearly 220 km over mountainous terrain to reach us.  Their travel was on old one speed bicycles through hot weather and dangerous passes.  They came hungry for the Word of God and to be trained as pastors and Christian leaders.

We know the Holy Spirit led them to us.  They had heard His still small voice saying, “Go,” and they responded.  So great is their love for Christ and for His Word that they were willing to persevere through major obstacles and hardships to reach us.  Our prayers are with each of these and for those many others who traveled many hours on matatus (minibuses) to be taught the Word of God.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV

Rwanda Breakthrough

For over a year we have been praying for a prayer team to cover Grace Extended Ministries International in Rwanda.  The Lord has spoken to our hearts on several occasions reminding us to wait until a prayer team has been extablished in each country where we have been called to do extensive ministry before we proceed with the Lord’s long term call for us in that nation.  The reason is that the spiritual warfare is too great and the pushback too strong.  We know that to operate in the Lord’s plan but away from His timing and in his steps will lead us to unnecessary hardship and struggle. 

We have been waiting to extablish a teaching base in Rwanda similar to the teaching bases we have in several other east Africa nations.  After months of prayer by our intercessory prayer teams, we recently received word that not one but two prayer teams had been formed in different parts of the nation, with two more on the way. 

God has blown us away with this breakthrough in Rwanda.  He not only heard our prayer but multiplied the blessing.  Obviously there is much work to be done in Rwanda through Grace Extended Ministries International.  We are seeking the Lord for next steps while praying for our existing intercessory prayer teams and the two on the way.

Building the Foundation

“For everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words and does them, I will show you what he is like.  He is like a man building a house, who dug and went down deep and laid a foundation upon the rock;  and when a flood arose, the torrent broke against that house and could not shake or move it, because it had been securely built or founded on a rock.  But he who merely hears and does not practice doing My words is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation, against which the torrent burst, and immediately it collapsed and fell, and the breaking and ruin of that house was great.”  Luke 7:47-49

God is earnestly calling His people to prayer and to hear His voice and to respond to His instructions.  Many of us claim a deep desire to experience God, but few of us are willing to take the time listen to His voice and follow the Lord’s leading.  Our prayers are often more like an invitation to God to come and be a part and bless what we are doing.  Listening and then reacting to God’s voice in following Him is the prescription to building a strong foundation.  The Bible tells us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spririt.  If we truly believe that, we will want to give that temple a strong foundation.  That foundation is found in listening and obedient prayer. 

In this world we have been told that we will have tribulation (John 16:33).  The question is how will we stand?  Will we stand on the foundation of the rock which is rooted in prayer, or will we seek to stand on our own strength and get blown away by the disrupting torrents that come?  God tells us to listen to His voice and respond to His call in His way.

Grace Extended Ministries invites you to “Take 5.”  Take 5 involves three major components, but you may discover more as you pray.

1.   List 5 people who don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Savior and personally commit to pray for them each day until they ask Jesus into their lives.  Take five minutes each day (one minute for each person) and pray for them.  Ask 5 of your friends to do the same.

2.   Take 5 minutes each day and pray for God’s Holy Spirit to mightily move upon the area in which you live in the weeks and months ahead.  Ask 5 of your friends to do the same.

 3.  Take 5 minutes each day and be silent before the Lord, listening to His heart as He speaks to yours.  Then follow His direction for your life.  Ask 5 of your friends to do the same. 

 As we Take 5 together, our efforts will multiply exponentially.  God is eager to move mountains.  He’s waiting for us to respond to His call.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”  Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)


On August 5, I was taken to the hospital with severe abdominable pain.  A CT scan revealed an enlarged and infected cecum.  The doctors talked to me about a possible surgical proceedure to remove the cecum which would result in a reroute of the bowel.  It didn’t sound good.  Because I had just returned from Africa, the doctors were willing to wait on surgery in the event this could be a bacterial infection.  I was put on IV antibiotics and admitted into the hospital.  I was to be given 24 hours for improvement before surgery.  An urgent prayer request went out over several intercessory prayer teams.  I found out later, people all over the world were praying for me, including many I didn’t know.  If you were one of those praying people, thank you so much.  You gave me a treasured gift. 

At the conclusion of the 24 hours, I pleaded with the doctors to give me more time.  I felt certain I would see improvement and avoid the knife.  The second night, in the midst of my pain, I cried out to God repeatedly.  I knew people across the oceans were interceding at the same time.  By the morning, I was better.  Later that day, I was able to go home. 

The next three weeks were filled with much pain and I had trouble sleeping.  On several nights, I sat in my favorite chair into the early morning hours and communed with my heavenly Father.  These were precious times.  God spoke to my heart over the hours each night.  There is something special about night time listening to the Lord.  I find I can hear the voice of my Father so much clearer when the noise and distractions are taken away.  The night was Jesus’ favorite time to be alone with His Father as well.  Luke 6:12 says, “Now in those days it occurred that He went up into a mountain to pray, and spent the whole night in prayer to God.”

The bacterial infection is still having residual effects that I am told will continue for weeks and months.  There are still occasional nights of pain.  But with those come nights of solitude with my Father. 

God has shown me some special and intimate moments in my night time prayers.  I’ve learned it’s a great time to listen to the still small voice of His Holy Spirit and commune in a special way with my Lord.

“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  Mark 11:23-24  NIV

Can prayer move the mountains of resentment and unforgiveness in Burundi?  Esther and I had the privilege of traveling to Burundi last June to teach on prayer, reconciliation, and evangelism.  We discovered a prayer movement in progress.  Many Christians in Burundi have a passion for the Lord I have seen only rarely.  This is amazing, especially when one considers their civil war of 20 years ended only last year.  This is a people who have very little in the way of material possessions.  Burundi is rated as one of the 10 most poorest nations in the world.  The number of orphans and widows following the civil war is staggering.  However, they possess a deep faith rooted in prayer and the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Grace Extended Ministries has been asked by a large church in Burundi to mentor, train, and equip their leaders in prayer, reconciliation, and evangelism so that they might further the gospel in Burundi and neighboring countries.  They know the hope of the future of Burundi lies in Jesus Christ.   Our plans are to return to Bujumbura, Burundi in April and then again in August to begin this process.

Please pray for Burundi and for us as we come alongside the Christian leaders of this nation in an effort to reach Burundi for Christ.

One Voice Conference

This past year, Michael met with the then executive director of More Than Gold and shared a vision for prayer and evangelism for the 2010 Winter Olympics that would have major impact on Vancouver, B.C. and beyond. 

 The intertwine of prayer and evangelism has been lacking in much of our evangelistic efforts worldwide.  We have come up with wonderful evangelistic ideas over the years and ask the Lord for His blessings.  In many cases, little time is spent before the throne of God seeking His will and agenda.  The result is prayer efforts to ask God to bless our efforts.  We wonder why so many do not meet our expectations. 

 Evangelism is a battle field.  The enemy does not want people coming to saving grace in Jesus Christ.  As such, we must keep in mind at all times that the battle is fought in the heavenly realms.  (Eph 6:12) 

 For effective evangelism to occur, we must yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  He is the general, and ultimately it is He who brings people to saving faith in Christ. 

 Training and equipping for an evangelistic endeavor such as the Olympics must necessitate the coming together of prayer and evangelism.  As a result, Michael proposed a major two day conference in one location that would bring the laity of the church together in training and equipping on the intertwine of prayer and evangelism. 

 After Michael and Esther met with the More Than Gold prayer working group in Vancouver in December of 2008, the blessing was given to go forward with such a conference.

 By January, 2009, the Lord had raised up Karen Braun, the national director for Breakthrough Ministries of Canada www.breakthroughprayer.com to head up the team.  Grace Extended Ministries has remained in place as a key part of the core planning and mentoring team.  Michael works closely with Karen and other team members in preparing for this unique conference.

 The “One Voice” prayer and evangelism conference will be held at Glad Tidings Church in downtown Vancouver, B.C. on October 23-24.  It will feature 35 workshops and 4 plenary sessions.  It will be for all generations.  Information can be found at www.onevoiceconference.org

 For this conference to come together this late is a miracle.  Obviously, God’s hand is in it.  Each week a group of intercessors from throughout Canada and the US gather by conference call to seek the Lord for His direction and leading with One Voice.  Obviously this conference is His and we want to keep it that way.

 Prayer and Evangelism is at the core of Grace Extended Ministries International.  Mountains are moved through prayer.  People come to Christ as more and more Christians truly understand the Great Command and the Great Commission.

 Seven members representing Grace Extended Ministries will be leading workshops and Michael will be speaking at one of the plenary sessions. 

 Grace Extended Ministries is blessed to be able to work alongside such a great Canadian team.