I was neck deep in graduation planning, party planning, government issues and meetings, counseling, speech writing, shopping and more, and I still had to fit in housecleaning before Friday. I was stressed. I was nervous about my baby girl graduating, and I was tired. So, when Tuesday evening rolled around, and we were experiencing severe weather, I began to consider skipping the jail service.
The ladies would have understood with all I had on my plate. They probably wouldn't even expect me in the severe stormy weather. After all, what if the jail lost power? We wouldn't be able to have the service. Not to mention, I had a stress headache that would not relent. It would have been a good evening to go home, rest and focus on the remainder of my extremely long to-do list.
But I couldn't do it. I knew from past experiences that when I really don't feel like going, and especially when the enemy's influences start giving me excuses to stay away—something big is going to happen. So, I loaded up the projector, my laptop, speaker and Bible and off to the jail I went. It was going to be a sacrifice, but I know God honors our sacrifices.
I signed in and went into the auditorium to set up, and I waited ... and waited ... and waited. No one was coming. What was going on? I waited at least 30 minutes, and still no one came. Had I driven an hour to get here to find no one to minister to? Finally, I pressed the button and asked if any of the ladies were coming to church. The reply came back, "Yes, we are getting them ready right now."
Finally, that familiar buzzer sounded, the door opened, and in they came. A bigger group than the previous week, but still not a big group—maybe 10? I began by greeting the new ladies, and we started the worship service. The whole time I was praying and asking the Holy Spirit to lead me and give me the words to speak. I had no idea what I was going to speak on, but I knew He knew what the ladies needed to hear.
And He never fails. I began to preach by the power of the Holy Spirit, and before I knew it, women were weeping. I gave an altar call to accept Christ, and six ladies responded. We prayed, and they repented and asked Jesus to be the Lord of their lives.
But this was just the beginning of a powerful move of the Holy Spirit that night. Find out what happened next by reading the rest of this article on Donna's blog here.
To hear more from Donna, check out her podcast, Navigating Life in the Spirit, on the Charisma Podcast Network.
Donna Sparks is an Assemblies of God evangelist, podcast host and author of the popular books Beauty from Ashes: My Story of Grace, No Limits: Embracing the Miraculous and her latest book, The Masquerade: Deception in the Last Days. A sought-after speaker for women's conferences and revivals, Donna travels extensively to minister in churches and other venues. She also leads a vibrant and fruitful women's prison ministry, through which she has seen God perform countless miracles in the lives of the ladies to whom she ministers. Donna boldly shares the Bible's unchanging truths with an intense desire to equip and encourage others to step forward into the things God has planned for them. She has been married for 33 years to the love of her life, Bryan, and they have two lovely young adult daughters. Donna and her family reside in Lexington, Tennessee. Learn more at donnasparks.com.
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