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If My People Will Humble Themselves

Ariel Hempel



On the last weekend of October 2010, seventy youth came together to train as teen leaders for the second annual Ozark Teen Prayer Conference, held on the campus of Ozark Adventist Academy. After a day of training, more than 300 additional youth arrived for the conference entitled “Teach Us 2 Pray.”

The teen leaders and conference attendees came from different academies, church schools and home schools. Many arrived distracted, indifferent, and with little desire to be there. But they left with thoughts of revival, reformation and the soon return of Jesus Christ. They also left with a spirit of unity. The transformation didn’t occur without major challenges, however.

I was one of the students chosen to attend the teen leader training before the main event. As human beings, just holding the title “teen leader” brought out our natural tendency to struggle for control. Most of us didn’t even realize the struggle was occurring. God rebuked us through our brothers and sisters in Christ, reminding us that the only way we were going to be united was if the Holy Spirit—and only the Holy Spirit—was leading us. It was not until we fell to our knees in surrender and humble worship, seeking the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, that we became united.

Through much soul searching and prayer, nearly 400 teenage strangers from completely different schools and backgrounds experienced true unity at the Ozark Teen Prayer Conference. God poured out His Spirit without measure upon all present. Hundreds gave their hearts to Christ, and fifty individuals committed or re-committed their lives to Him through baptism.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God says, “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.” We experienced that promise firsthand—and were amazed at the power and glory of God. We saw the campus of Ozark Adventist Academy turned upside down. A fire was lit in young people’s hearts that could soon turn the world upside down.

When we completely surrender to Christ, emptying ourselves and committing our lives to His service, He is able to work through us, both as individuals and as a whole. That’s when true unity occurs—through much prayer and soul searching, and through complete surrender to the Holy Spirit.

As Seventh-day Adventist Christians, we value our special calling to preserve Biblical truth and present it to the world. In the process, we can develop unhealthy attitudes when it comes to things like spirituality or Biblical knowledge—even with regard to which schools, academies or colleges our children attend.

In Acts 10:34, we read that “God is no respecter of persons.” If we are to be transformed to reflect His character, we must lay aside our rivalries in order to be completely united as the body of Christ under the head of Christ.

In the body of Christ, as in the human body, the foot is no more important than the hand, and the hand is no more important than the neck or shoulder. Each part has a different size, shape and function, and some can do things that others cannot. Yet each is vital, and each must be subservient to the bidding of the mind of Christ.

An army of youth, rightly trained, completely committed, on their knees and surrendered fully to Him can hasten Jesus’ second coming. With revival such as this, it won’t be long. Maranatha!