11 April 2015


By John Ollis

It is one thing to know something in theory, it is sure different in practice. It seems many things can only really be learnt through painful experience. It has been said some people keep on making the same mistake year after year, and never learning. I trust that I have learnt from many painful experiences, and want to continue to be teachable in the experiences of life, so that I as both a person and a ministry can be better in every way.
It is now 63+ years since I became a Christian and I am going to blog over the next few weeks the things that I have learnt especially in relation to ministry over the years. Sadly, I have been slow to learn at times, and had to experience the testings a number a number of times “before I got the message!!!

  1. A successful ministry is NEVER instant, (many seeds are planted, first tiny shoots, it needs to be fed, watered, nurtured, then can come a reaping and harvest. It is built up over the years as I have learnt these principles.
  2. In my personal private life I have endeavoured to:
  1. Develop a deep appreciation of the grace and mercy of God. Where would any of us be today, but for the grace of God. I have learnt God’s grace (His unmerited grace and mercy) is given to me for me to live a holy and victorious life. In every generation there comes a fresh emphasis on the grace of God, and sadly some of it is extreme and unbiblical and gives believers a licence to sin.
  2. Learn to keep short accounts with God and man, like Adam and Eve  human nature is to run and hide, (as if God does not know and see everything!!!!) when we can come “boldly to the throne of grace and find grace and help in time of need”. To learn to say sorry on the horizontal is even harder than saying sorry to God, but the longer we put it off, the harder it becomes, there may be times when your apology is not accepted, you have done your part, and must now leave the results to God, and not let the enemy rob you of peace.
  3. Understand that “Repentance is the joy filled life” repentance is not something we do once when we come to Christ, but it needs to become a lifestyle. In grass bowls the ball has a built in bias that takes the ball in a different direction. We have a bias, it is called a sinful nature, and every day, we must choose to repent, the word mean to change and to turn ,  we need a :Change of attitude Change of affection.
  4. Basilea Schlink a Lutheran nun wrote a book with the title “Repentance the joy filled life”, Remember in Psalm 118:27 the Psalmist says if we have sin in our hearts God is not listening. The result of repentance always is the joy and peace of the Lord.
  5. Change of mind
  6. Change of direction
  7. Develop a STRUCTURED, SPONTANEOUS and INTIMATE prayer life.  So many believers because of lack of discipleship and understanding do not know there are at least “8 essential ingredients to daily prayer”.

As in human relationships we must work hard at keeping our love life spontaneous and intimate. This is a skill that takes time to learn.  So many Christians cannot really sing “I keep falling in love with Him over and over again” but instead become religious and just go through their spiritual exercises as a duty and are very unfulfilled. So what are the 8 essential ingredients to daily prayer?

  1. Repentance & Confession Psalm 118:27, Psalm 51
  2. Reaffirming the Lordship of Christ, Constant surrender makes your Christian life really worthwhile.
  3. Thanksgiving Psalm 100:4 Make a list and daily “count your blessings”.
  4. Praise Psalm 100:4 Praise again make a list of all the Lord does for you spiritually.
  5. Worship loving adoring, bowing down before our Saviour & Creator
  6. Intercession Make a list of all the people you should and need to pray for
  7. Petition Your personal needs you want Him to meet in your life.
  8. Listening, prayer is a 2 way conversation, let us not be so busy talking to Him,that we don’t stop and listen to what He wants to say to us. The main way God speaks to us is through His Word. We need to:Study it
  9. Meditate (chew over every word asking the Holy Spirit to speak to us). When He does (and He wants too daily) it becomes a sword in our hand to deal with every issue that comes up in our lives. Eph. 6:17.
  10. Read it

If I am to have a long term ministry, prayer must become the intimate communication between two lovers.
More next week, I trust the above encourages and challenges you to keep on moving forward in Him.