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After the Altar Call

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Shulanda J. Hastings

Ambassador Shulanda

Ambassador Shulanda

Shulanda J. Hastings is an inspirational writer, Christian counselor and an ambassador to the faith-based community; helping them break mental health barriers. She is the author of the Beauty of My Thorns novel series and of the memoirs, Keeping My Faith While Saving My Mind.

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So……Yesterday,

You thought about going to church.

You went to church.

Right now, you might be regretting that you did.

Why?

Aren’t you a God-fearing Christian Believer? Well, then you did your faithful duty by attending church service and fellowship with other Believers as the Bible instructs (ref. Hebrews 10:25). So why are you feeling as though you didn’t go to church at all?

Because you left the same way you came.

Broken and Bitter.

Distressed and Depressed.

So………you decided to press your way to church; the healing center for Believers, in spite of the fact that you were physically exhausted and mentally drained.

Not to mention you might have had to press your accelerator and pray that your car would get you to your destination and back home!

You got issues.

I know what that feels like.

I know what it feels like to be holding on to Faith while Fear is pulling you down. I know what it feels like to call on Friends out of desperation and they start acting like Foes. But somewhere in between disappointment and despair, you manage to give your mind permission to think about a promise.

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

You start to remember other promises that God has made to you and you become hopeful about your expected end. You are motivated by televangelists, radio broadcasts or pastors marketing their sermons on social media and you continue to push through your issues and get to God’s altar.

After being motivated by praise and worship songs and the preached Word, you respond by taking the journey down to the altar and request prayer.

Afterwards, you felt as though everything was going to be okay.

Until…..

Sunday night came. You had to come home to your issues. Before long, anxiety started to kick back in.

Why?

Did God not hear your complaint at the altar? Did you not do something right at the altar? Did the minister not pray correctly?

If you need proof that God hears all complaints, just visit the book of Job. As for your personal role at the altar, you have to understand that God’s altar is wherever you want it to be. Honestly, you didn’t have to leave your house to visit it.

You do have to surrender everything to God and trust Him to keep His promises.

As a minister, when I am offering intercessory prayer, I take my role very seriously. And I hope all ministers do. But even so, the ministers role is to encourage you, to remind you of God’s Word and to agree with God’s Word with you.

Ministers are not the ones that have the power to change your situation.

You do.

After the altar call, you should expect a minister to follow up with you and offer you spiritual counsel and resources.

After the altar call, you have to move from being just a believer, to a knower. You become one who knows that God can because you become a doer of His Word. God spoke to your situation at the altar. Situations don’t change themselves. It is how you approach them and apply what you have learned and what you believe.

Years ago, I recall being at the altar not as a minister, but as a seeker. I was seeking healing, joy, restoration and more. I did everything you probably did and went home just like you probably went home. But the cycle was broken when I started digging into the preached text a little further by studying it for myself. The cycle was broken when I started speaking God’s Word to myself and out loud. I had to get the enemy out of my mind so I preached him out. Then I started speaking God’s Word to my situations.

Adversity came. Temptation came. But I resisted by praising God when I would feel depressed and speaking His Word when I was told something opposite. Right now, your altar call experience can change too. I encourage you today, that when you are faced with your problems and even when they seem to increase, speak God’s Word. Go into a solitary place and praise God. Do what you can do about your problems and trust God to do the rest.

Prayer still works!


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