Tag Archives: Prayer

Friends

Jesus was a friend of sinners. I like how the New Living Translation puts it: “Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!” (Luke 15:1–2, NLT).

Jesus was a friend of “notorious sinners.” If Jesus cared for objectionable people, so should we.

But as Christians, we sometimes get caught up in our own little bubble. We watch Christian TV. We send our kids to private Christian school. We listen to Christian radio. We do business with Christians and have Christian friends—the whole time never associating with the world around us. We can get so caught up in the me-and-my-three syndrome that we fail to reach out to our neighbors, friends and co-workers.

Once, as I taught on this passage at a church, I asked the group, “Who in your city could be labeled a notorious sinner?” I wasn’t looking for a public response, but someone shouted out, “The mayor!” The county in this area had been a dry county and had just turned wet, and the mayor had played a big part in that decision. So I encouraged the church to become friends with the city officials!

There’s a scripture in Jude I like that illustrates how we are to respond to sinners: “Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives” (Jude 1:23, NLT). We are supposed to hate the sin, but not the sinner. We aren’t to condemn or judge sinners—we are to love them. John 3:17 says, “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world but to save the world through him” (NLT).

I was speaking on this subject in a small town in Texas. After the teaching, teams of students and leaders went to the streets to apply what we had been learning. I had brought with me a few people from our ministry to help with the training, and one of our ladies rode with the associate pastor and his wife.

As they drove, this lady noticed a man digging in a dumpster. “Stop the car! Stop the car!” she called out. The pastor stopped, and the woman jumped out and ran over to this guy. She began to tell the man how much God loved him and that the Lord had a great plan for his life. She shared the Word of God with him—and that man prayed to receive Jesus.

When the teams came back to the church, I asked for testimonies. The associate pastor came forward and shared what he had seen. “Every day,” he concluded, “we see this guy walking down the street, digging in dumpsters.” Tears began to flow from his eyes. “But we’ve never even thought about where he might spend eternity.”

Let’s not be so caught up in our own world that we lose sight of those whom Jesus came to save.


It Really Is All About the Numbers

Note: The following blog is adapted from Riley’s book It’s All about the Numbers, Newark, TX, 2009.

I have a confession to make. I hope you’re sitting down. If not, grab a chair.
This may come as a shock to you. Are you ready? Here it comes: I confess that I’m “in it” for the numbers!
That’s right — I do what I do for the Lord for the numbers. I want to see people by the millions coming to Jesus before He returns! I want to see “numbers” of people from every race and religion and from every nation on this planet saved! It’s God’s will that all be saved! Not everyone will accept his or her salvation, but the harvest of souls that God desires to reap represents large, large numbers!
Let’s be honest. We’re all “in it” for the numbers. It just depends on what our “it” is. Your “it” might be your job. At the end of the week when you get your paycheck, the “numbers” reflect the hours you worked and the compensation you receive. If you’re an accountant, a pollster, or a math teacher, you’re in it for the numbers. And if you work for the IRS, you’re definitely in it for the numbers!
Think about someone who’s on a strict diet. Their “it” is calories or pounds. They count how many calories they can have, and they definitely count how many pounds they lose!
A runner counts how many miles he has run. A businessman will let you know how many years he has been in business. A good businessman will set a goal every year as to how much money he wants to make by year’s end.
Some businesses advertise right on their sign the date they were established — so people can see how many “numbers” of years they’ve been in business. This usually gives them more credibility.
What about churches? They do the same thing. They record the “numbers” in attendance. They plan annual budgets for programs based on the “numbers.” Also, a church will evaluate the success of a meeting based on numbers.
Did you know that God is in it for the numbers too? He wrote a Book in the Bible called Numbers! Let’s face it: Numbers are important to God! In John 21:11, the Bible says Peter caught 153 fish! God thought “numbers” were so important that He recorded the number of fish Peter caught that day. So let’s not get “all spiritual” when someone sets a goal for souls! God’s desire is that people come to Jesus by the thousands! As believers, we desire to see all of our family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances pulled from the flames of hell (see Jude 23)! These people represent “numbers.”
One of my favorite quotes says, “We count people because people count.”
Christians have said to me, “Now, brother, you shouldn’t count the number of people you led to the Lord. You shouldn’t make it look like you’re putting another notch on your Gospel belt.”
“Thank you for saying that!” I always reply. “I want my ‘Gospel belt’ so notched up with souls who give their life to Jesus that you can’t even tell anymore that it’s a belt!” My goal is to see as many “numbers” of people go to Heaven as I possibly can! This goal has been the driving force of my ministry. Some have assumed that I’m only it in for the numbers. And do you know what? They’re right!
I once heard a respected minister say, “The only thing you do in life that will matter when you die is what you’ve done for the Lord.” That statement had a profound effect on my life — it still does to this day.
What about you? Do you share the dream for souls? Do you share a desire to love what God loves — the “precious fruit of the earth” — the harvest of men’s and women’s souls (see James 5:7)? If you do, I bet you’re a number-lover too. It really is all about the numbers!


2008 Soul Winning Was Great!

november-08-0331

Just a few of numerous testimonies:

 

 “I had the privilege of going out with you, we are actually kicking off our first street evangelism on August 16, 2008, next week Saturday.  We are taking to our church the simplified method introduced by yourself to our church and are going to go into our communities and bring people to Jesus…”Numi P.  Torrance, CA 

 

“We just had a Youth Conference for another church in our area and had 100 people make a decision for Christ. This is so great!” – George H. Rowland Heights, Ca

 

“In July 2008, while in attendance of the West Coast Believers Conference I had the opportunity of watching a video that stirred up a fire inside me…”Eddie A. Glendale, Arizona

 

 “I have been “attending” your excellent online seminars all week.  Finally, today, Friday, I put a Soul Winning Card in my pocket before we went on errands…” – Christine C.

 

“I have been saved all my life and have been afraid to witness.  I now have a BOLDNESS to share my faith! It is so easy all fear is gone!” – Eric B. Fort Worth, TX

 

“I used the system of soul wining that you have taught and today I lead a person to the lord I should have been doing it this way for ever, I am Glad God told you how to do it and that you taught others what God has shown you.” – Chuck N.

  

PASTOR BOB FROM SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

 pastor-bob

      

 

He drove 18 hours to come to the soul winning training in Long Beach. He had been looking for a way to reach his community. He had discovered that debating theology and doctrine does not work! His heart to reach the people compelled him to come to Long Beach His goal for the week: to read from the “Pocket Reference for Soul Winning Card” to prove that it either works or doesn’t. Pastor Bob comes from an engineering background and he believes that something must be tested to see if it works After experiencing such frustration in witnessing in Utah, he was looking for a better way. After one day of soul winning in Long Beach, Pastor Bob led 38 people to the Lord. He commented, “This card works! The Word of God speaks to a person’s spirit man and he gets saved! I am taking this back to Utah and we are going to reach our community for Jesus Christ!” 

Pastor Marie said, “Going out today has caused me to see people different, each person has a soul. Everyone needs Jesus.”  

   

 BO AND SINGI FROM OKLAHOMA CITY

bo-and-singi     

 

Bo and Singi came from Oklahoma City to learn how to win souls! Singi (in black top and white shorts) came from a Buddhist background. In fact, when she became a Christian years ago, her family disowned her. The one desire of Singi’s heart was to see her mother saved. After witnessing to many, many people on the streets of Long Beach one day, Singi made a very important phone call to a Christian friend who lives in the same town as her mother. With the “Pocket Reference for Soul Winning Card” in hand, Singi read from the card with tears streaming down her face. She told her friend to translate the card into her mother’s language and go to her mother’s house immediately. You see, Singi’s mother is dying. Singi wants to see her mother in Heaven some day. About 30 minutes later, Singi’s phone rings. It’s her Christian friend. She says, “Singi, your mother prayed the prayer to ask Jesus into her heart.” We all rejoiced with Singi, as the angels in Heaven were rejoicing!

 

SHAWN FROM SACRAMENTO, CA

shawn 

   Shawn came from Sacramento, California, to become a more on-fire soul winner! As he walked the streets of Long Beach, the Lord used him to minister not only salvation, but also healing! He is taking the compassion of the Lord and the fire for souls back to his church in Sacramento. Glory to God!

 

Shawn shared, “In Mark 16, the Bible says that he who believes shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. Do you have any pain in your body?” The gentleman said that his leg was in pain. Shawn reached down and laid his hand on the man’s leg. Afterwards, the man began moving his leg and said the pain was gone! Hallelujah!

 

“I’ve been crying out to God for over the past few years for supernatural outlets to preach the gospel and win the lost for Jesus Christ…Through Riley’s ministry, God has allowed me to pray for other’s to receive their healing as a result. By simple BELIEVING and quoting what the word says, God’s word cannot return to us void.” Shawn Hardesty – Antelope, Ca

 

 

 9-YEAR-OLD ADONEI

 adonei

 

 

This 9-year-old girl ran throughout the streets of Long Beach talking to every person she saw. She would say, “Excuse me. I have a few questions to ask you.” Every person stopped to hear what this young girl had to say. As she shared the scriptures from Romans, each person’s heart opened to hear the Gospel preached from this little girl. Old and young people gave their hearts to the Lord! She kept saying, “I want to share this card with everyone!”

 

 

 

After this woman prayed to ask Jesus into her heart, Adonei asked, “Do you have any pain in your body?” The woman said, “Yes, my stomach has been bothering me.” Adonei reached out her hand and laid it on this woman’s stomach. Then she began to pray, “Thank you Lord Jesus for healing this woman’s stomach. Amen.” Afterwards, this woman said, “The pain is gone!”

 

 


Prophetic Evangelism

As we were driving downtown, we passed Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant. Riley said, “Let’s stop there.” We turned the bus around and a few of us went in. Riley walked up to the manager and asked if we could say a prayer over the troops while everyone is eating. She said, “Sure!” Riley addressed the crowd, “Hello, everyone, my name is Riley and I am a minister at EMIC. While you’re eating, I’d like to say a quick prayer over our troops.” Everyone in the restaurant bowed their head. Riley began, “Lord, I thank you for protecting our troops. . . I thank you for these wonderful people here in this restaurant. If anyone here does not know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you would go to heaven if you died tonight, repeat this prayer after me: Lord Jesus, come into my heart . . . .” Several people in the restaurant prayed that prayer. We turned around to face the manager and a few employees. Riley asked the manager, “Did you pray that prayer?” She said, “Yes.” Then he asked another employee, “Did you pray that prayer?” She said, “Yes, and I don’t normally pray prayers. But I did this time!” Glory to God!

 

When we got back on the bus, Allison said, “Riley, as we were waiting on ya’ll, we turned the bus around. As we did, I looked into the windows at the end of the shopping center. There is a Bingo Hall with TONS of people!” Riley said, “Let’s go!”

 

We walked into the Bingo Hall; there were at least 200 people in there! Hallelujah! We found a large fishing hole! Riley walked in and went up to the person in charge. As he was talking to her, a few of us were gathered around the door. An employee walked up to me and said, “Do you want to buy a bingo card for $1?” I said, “No, thank you. We are here to pray a prayer for the troops.” She said, “Oh, they will never let you do that!” As I spoke to her and shared the Word with her, she prayed the prayer to ask Jesus into her heart. Then she said, “Maybe they’ll let you pray!” She was changed! When the current bingo game was over, Riley got on the microphone and said, “Lord, I thank you for our troops that are protecting our country. Lord, I thank you for the troops fighting so we can be in peace here.  And I thank you for these wonderful people. . . if you are not certain that you would go to heaven when you die, repeat this prayer after me:

 

Lord Jesus, come into my heart . . . if you have pain in your body, say: pain, go in Jesus Name. I am healed! Now I pray for ya’ll that you would win the bingo game! Amen! If you prayed that prayer to ask Jesus into your heart, raise your hand.” Hands went up all over the room! At least 65 people prayed with us for salvation! Glory!

After the Bingo Hall, we headed downtown and prayed with more people there!

 

For the evening, we prayed with a total of 206 people! Hallelujah!

 

http://www.rileystephenson.com


You Are Loved!

God loves you! Love never gives up! God’s love for you endures through every circumstance—no matter what you have done in the past. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:19 that God is no longer counting people’s sins against them. When God sent Jesus to die on the Cross, He paid the price for our sin.You are forgiven! The only sin that will keep you out of Heaven is not believing in Jesus. All you have to do to know you will go to Heaven when you die is: Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, and you will be saved (Romans 10:9).

Pray this prayer: Heavenly Father, I believe that Jesus is Your Son. You sent Him to pay the price for my sin. I believe you raised Him from the dead and He is Lord. Today, I make Him my Lord. Jesus, come into my life! AMEN