Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Paul Ratsara
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000418
00:01 Have you ever thought about what God thinks as
00:04 He looks down on today's society?
00:06 Let me share what Isaiah 59:15-16 says...
00:12 Says, The Lord saw it and it displeased Him,
00:16 He saw that there was no justice.
00:17 He saw that there was no man
00:20 and he wondered that there was no intercessor.
00:24 God wondered, he wondered why people
00:27 didn't love others enough to pray?
00:30 He wondered why people didn't have the faith
00:34 to believe in his power to deliver.
00:37 God wants to finish the work on earth,
00:39 we're part of it and prayer is an important part.
00:43 Please join us today for Issues and Answers.
01:12 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn and welcome again,
01:14 we're so excited.
01:16 I'm particularly excited that you're joining us today.
01:19 Whatever you're doing stop doing it,
01:22 sit down and watch this program.
01:23 Because I believe it will be life changing.
01:26 I'm serious this, there is such dynamic
01:30 information that's going to be shared today,
01:32 because you're going to see the power of God
01:35 and how it's released on earth.
01:37 Our very special guest is Dr. Paul Ratsara,
01:41 who is the President of the Southern-African
01:44 Indian Ocean Division
01:46 of the Seventh-day Adventist church.
01:48 Dr. Paul, so glad to have you here today.
01:52 I'm glad to be here.
01:54 You know, I was afraid that you weren't gonna
01:56 be able to fit this into your schedule
01:58 and I know that you had to really work hard to get here.
02:02 But I wanted you here specifically,
02:05 because we met two years ago at the ASI Adventist...
02:11 I remember that very clearly.
02:14 Adventist, you see,
02:15 I can't even think of the name of it.
02:16 The Adventist Laymen Services and Laymen's Institute.
02:21 Yes. Okay. And you and I shared an evening meal
02:26 with some others in the dining hall
02:27 of the convention room. Yes, yes.
02:29 And you shared some of the most amazing stories
02:32 that to me were life changing.
02:34 And so, we're going to share
02:36 those today about prayer. Yes.
02:39 But first, let me ask you this question.
02:42 How did you become a man of such passion about prayer?
02:50 Actually, if I think of my background,
02:54 I was not born in the faith.
02:58 Actually I was not born in the Christian faith.
03:01 I worship idols, pagan.
03:03 I was a pagan boy.
03:04 The family worship idols.
03:08 And I sensed that, that was not it.
03:13 And I was searching.
03:15 My life is, was like searching all the time.
03:19 And even though during that time,
03:22 I may be I didn't know that, that was prayer,
03:25 but I prayed deep down in my heart asking,
03:29 asking God to show me the way.
03:32 And that's why, to cut the long story short,
03:36 that's why the Lord guided me to know Him,
03:40 the true God and I became Christian.
03:43 So through prayer and I was looking also for truth.
03:50 And I remember very well when I became Christian,
03:54 I said, Lord, I, I really would like you,
03:57 I would like to worship you in truth.
04:00 So, I decided to study the Bible and to pray.
04:05 I remember very well, that for six months
04:09 I studied the Bible just to know the truth and
04:12 pray every night from 9:00 to 12:00,
04:17 just praying, Lord, show me the way.
04:20 So you're a new Christian
04:21 and you're praying three hours every night,
04:23 for God to lead you into understanding
04:27 His truths. Yes. Praise God.
04:29 So prayer is part of my journey right from
04:37 the beginning and the Lord
04:41 has shown me the truth from the Bible.
04:44 And now, He called me into ministry.
04:51 And that also it is out of prayer just to know
04:56 what do I need to do.
04:59 So, prayer is, is part of my journey...
05:02 Well, prayer's how we communicate
05:04 with the Lord and... Yes, yes.
05:06 And the more time we spend, you know,
05:08 just got through writing a new book on prayer.
05:11 You know, and you realize that sometimes
05:15 in our lives we have misplaced priorities
05:20 and would begin to neglect prayer. Yes, it's true.
05:22 And when we do that testifies to an
05:25 unsurrendered life, it's what it is. Yes, yes.
05:27 So, the idea was spending hours in prayer
05:31 is just pressing into God's presence,
05:34 that's different than just kind of rushing
05:36 in with your wish list and saying,
05:39 here's what I need Lord, and rushing out, isn't it?
05:40 Prayer, you know, Christianity
05:43 is a relationship. Amen.
05:44 And truth, of course, of God and us.
05:48 And you cannot think of relationship without
05:52 being together. Amen.
05:54 And prayer is, is just that.
05:57 If we rush all the time, the time you spend
06:01 with your friend then that friend start to wonder,
06:04 is he really my friend. Yes.
06:06 If he doesn't have time for me,
06:08 so it is the same thing and even more with God,
06:12 we need to spend time with God, with His word. Amen.
06:18 And listening to His voice and also opening our hearts.
06:24 And tell what is in our heart and listen to Him.
06:28 So prayer is vital and that's why the devil
06:33 sometimes is sending may be not necessarily bad
06:38 things to crowd our days.
06:41 So that, so that we will not have that time
06:46 to connect with God and we'll become weaker
06:50 and weaker and then he can attack us.
06:52 So, we need to protect that time,
06:55 we need to have our priority clear and set.
06:59 Amen, I believe that lot of us, you know,
07:03 have heard it said that prayer is like
07:06 our spiritual breathing, the respiration. Yes.
07:10 And a lot of us have just times of spiritual gasping,
07:14 we gasp for a little air with God.
07:15 But I want to specifically,
07:18 you have a huge division that you,
07:22 God has called you to oversee a very large
07:26 division, it's all of the southern part
07:29 of Africa, not only South Africa
07:31 but all of the southern part of Africa.
07:34 And then all the islands...
07:36 All the islands in the Indian Ocean.
07:37 In the Indian Ocean.
07:39 And God has laid such a responsibility upon you
07:45 and yet you know upon who you depend
07:48 and where your strength and your power comes from.
07:52 When the Lord brought you into this,
07:55 I know you shared a story with me of how you
07:59 were seeking God to see how the work could be
08:02 finished. Yes.
08:03 Please share that story again.
08:05 Yes, as I said, my life is like searching,
08:10 from being a pagan to a Christian
08:14 and then leading me into the truth.
08:18 So, I became a minister of the gospel
08:22 and I knew that there is this great commission.
08:27 And I was wondering what is the key to finish
08:31 the preaching of the gospel,
08:32 because I've three passions in life.
08:35 First, I just wanted to be like Jesus,
08:39 I know I'm still far but that is my goal.
08:42 The second passion in my life is that I want to finish,
08:47 I want to, to be part of the generation
08:50 to finish the preaching
08:51 of the gospel in this generation.
08:53 And the third one is, I want to alive when Jesus comes.
08:59 Of course that is the decision of God,
09:02 but if I given a choice
09:04 I just want to be alive when He comes.
09:07 So, because of that I, I began the searching again.
09:13 The method that I used, that the Lord guided me
09:17 to find the truth, to find a true God.
09:20 I started to study the word of God,
09:23 I started to pray and fast.
09:26 Lord, show me your divine,
09:30 the divine key to finish. What is it?
09:34 Because we don't want to prolong
09:37 our stay here on earth, we don't belong here.
09:41 Our home is heaven.
09:43 So I was praying and wrestling for a few years
09:48 actually, just to, while I was preaching,
09:50 I felt that God must have a key. Amen.
09:55 To, to finish, for the gospel to go faster.
09:59 And I read in the book, the book of Acts for
10:04 example, studied and after a while it was so
10:10 clear in my mind that the Lord has shown
10:16 the key for the preaching of the gospel.
10:19 And I was so happy, I said Lord thank you so much.
10:23 As you guided me, to you to worship you the true God.
10:29 And also to, you have guided me to,
10:32 to know the truth, the truth about
10:35 your commandments, about the true church.
10:40 Here again, after fasting,
10:42 praying and studying the word of God,
10:44 the spirit of prophecy, knelling down,
10:47 asking God guided.
10:50 In a nutshell, just to summarize,
10:56 it is actually to have the Bible,
11:01 the book of Acts of apostle
11:03 to be repeated. And what is...
11:06 So, you're praying for, and you believe God
11:09 wants to see the books of Acts repeated,
11:12 the books of the apostles and the books
11:14 of Acts repeated, is that what you're saying?
11:17 Actually, that is it.
11:18 Because it is, it is a promise that those sins,
11:23 those events will be repeated and Christ
11:26 Himself said in John chapter 14 verse 12,
11:31 that those who believe in Him will do the work
11:35 that he's doing and even
11:37 greatermeaning that is the key.
11:40 God, God did not change His mind.
11:44 Sometimes we are wondering oh,
11:45 what is happening, how come we don't see
11:48 what we are reading in the Bible.
11:51 The powerful things that we read in the,
11:54 in the book of the gospel and the book of Acts.
11:57 No, God, God is still the same and the promise
12:02 is still the same, the commission is still the same.
12:05 So, it is not because of,
12:08 this is what I've discovered.
12:10 It is not because of the message,
12:13 the gospel is still the same.
12:15 It is not because of the method,
12:17 but I realize that because of the
12:22 messenger, the messenger,
12:25 the messenger is the problem. Amen.
12:28 So, as long as we stay the same messenger,
12:33 lack of commitment and we don't pray, we don't,
12:37 we're not connected.
12:38 Then we'll see a smaller result.
12:42 But when we become the messenger,
12:47 filled with the Holy Spirit with prayer
12:50 then God will do it.
12:53 And we can illustrate to this,
12:55 we give an example in, you know a division,
13:01 we have many examples but I'm thinking of one
13:05 brother, who really illustrates this, this truth.
13:11 About the power of prayer,
13:14 the power of the Holy Spirit,
13:17 to finish the preaching of the gospel.
13:20 So, this brother who we're gonna use as an illustration.
13:23 And I already know the story.
13:24 But when, when the Lord prompted you to tell
13:29 your people to pray and fast,
13:32 that would help finish the work.
13:35 You told this division, is this the division
13:37 where there is only 253 members
13:39 and was he a member of that?
13:42 No, actually this brother,
13:46 the Lord also called him from a Non-Christian background.
13:51 And he answered the call of God
13:55 and he became so dedicated into the Lord
13:59 He was a trained science teacher. Okay.
14:03 But he decided to, to become a farmer.
14:07 A farmer to have more time,
14:10 almost into a full time preaching.
14:13 So, God, he knew God, a science teacher
14:16 knew God was calling him. Yes.
14:18 To be a preacher and he didn't have time
14:21 as a scientist or teacher so, he became a farmer.
14:24 Yes, and he is, he is of course he is supporting
14:28 also himself, he is still a lay person.
14:31 And, if we meet with him and,
14:36 and that is the way we're trying
14:38 and this is an answer to prayer.
14:41 Just to show that what the Lord has shown
14:47 as a key to finish the preaching
14:50 of the gospel is true.
14:52 I just want to summarize
14:54 what has happened to this brother.
14:58 He likes preaching,
14:59 but he spends a lot of time praying.
15:04 About a month ago just there are many things
15:07 actually through his ministry,
15:11 the Lord has used him to win at least 21,000.
15:17 Yeah, let's go back before because that is
15:20 such an amazing thing and I want to set this up.
15:22 This is one man... Yes.
15:25 Who as a farmer, became a farmer
15:27 and he went out to start holding campaigns. Yes.
15:31 And he went to an area where there were only
15:33 80 members right?
15:34 Yes, that is the most recent ones.
15:38 So, he went to this area only 80, it's,
15:44 it's a little town where only 80 members.
15:48 So, definitely before going to any
15:53 evangelistic campaign he spends a lot of time praying.
15:57 Seven, up to seven hours a day he is praying.
15:59 Yes, he is praying and getting ready,
16:02 studying the word of God and of course also
16:04 preparing the field, but he spent a lot of time
16:08 praying, asking the power of God,
16:11 the Holy Spirit praying.
16:13 And then he would emerge with this power of God
16:16 and, and goes to, to preach.
16:20 And this time he's just an done amazing thing.
16:23 He went there with this almost hostile environment.
16:28 A sterile environment?
16:29 Well, yes hostile, hostile environment. Okay.
16:32 Yes, an environment where normally,
16:35 humanly speaking... Hostile environment.
16:37 Yes, yes. I'm trying to figure out what you said.
16:38 Yes, yes, yes Okay. Yes.
16:39 A hostile environment.
16:40 Yes, under normal circumstances
16:44 you would not win many souls there,
16:46 but because of the power of God in four weeks,
16:52 the Lord just brought almost three thousand
16:56 souls, and he's not rushing people for baptism.
17:01 Because some of them he put them into baptismal class.
17:05 Right Before baptizing them.
17:06 Let me back up here,
17:07 'cause I want to say something.
17:08 This is a farmer who is now out preaching
17:11 in over a span of years, all over 21,000
17:15 people or nearly 21,000 poeple have come to the Lord.
17:18 Yes, more actually more More than 21,000? Yes.
17:21 Because of this man who is fasting and praying.
17:24 And most recently he went into an area where
17:28 there were 80 members and within four weeks
17:30 of preaching after, after emerging from this time
17:34 of prayer and fasting, within four weeks
17:37 they baptized three thousand people? Yes, yes.
17:40 And he turned some away who he didn't feel were
17:42 prepared? Oh, yes, yes.
17:44 That is the way he does it, he...
17:46 And because of his ministry 253 churches
17:51 have been planted as a result
17:52 of the outgrowth of his ministry.
17:54 No, not in this case Not in this but,
17:57 but before... Not in this case.
17:58 So, he actually because of his ministry it was 52. 52.
18:03 There were 52 churches that he planted.
18:05 Yes, he planted Oh, it's amazing Yes,
18:07 and now the good thing, I mean the unusual thing
18:13 about this is that he is not rushing people for baptism.
18:17 But still people are flocking and not only
18:21 that, we are teaching these people right away
18:26 to win souls, to win over for Christ.
18:29 Not only they stay but they become disciple makers.
18:35 This is what we call fishers of man. All right.
18:38 So let me repeat that to when,
18:40 what he began doing is once
18:42 these 3000 souls were baptized.
18:47 He immediately put them to work to become
18:50 soul winners to introduce Jesus? Yes.
18:53 It wasn't that you had to go to seminary
18:55 and learn everything, but go share your testimony and yes.
18:57 What you know about the Lord God.
18:59 And from that, recently from this fishers of men
19:04 is what they're calling this,
19:05 and it's now throughout the entire area.
19:09 From that campaign that just recently started
19:12 from those 3000.
19:13 You had a special baptism where you were
19:16 going to baptize the people Oh, yes.
19:19 Who were only won, at this baptism,
19:23 only won by new converse.
19:25 And how many people did you baptize?
19:27 And actually that one happened in Angola,
19:30 which is one of countries,
19:32 one of the countries in our division, Angola.
19:36 We, we said, he said in October last year,
19:41 we set a date.
19:42 That Sabbath will be only the Sabbath where
19:46 we are going to baptize those
19:49 who are won by the newly baptized.
19:53 Over 14,000 were baptized.
19:56 Yes. 14,000 people who were won
19:58 by brand new baby Christians.
20:00 Yes, yes Glory of God.
20:01 It was just an amazing, an amazing.
20:05 And this is how we are tying to do.
20:07 We, this is a new program,
20:09 we are still working on it.
20:11 But, throughout our division now we start to have this.
20:17 That's such an exciting thing.
20:18 To be intentional, every time someone,
20:23 someone is baptized.
20:24 We, we trained him or her.
20:28 Actually we, we're trying very hard not
20:31 to have what we call a baptismal kids.
20:34 A baptismal kids where we, we have, we start,
20:39 we start a new convent with a little library. Okay.
20:42 Make sure that it has a Bible.
20:44 Make sure that it has a hymn book.
20:47 And also a book, writings of Ellen G. White
20:50 like Steps to Christ. Yes.
20:52 And then we've a little booklet,
20:53 a book we call it, welcome to the family of God.
20:57 Praise God. It is like an orientation.
21:00 Orientation, how to be,
21:04 how to be a part of this family? Amen.
21:07 And also the, the study guide and how,
21:11 how to win souls for Christ?
21:14 Amen, Dr. Ratsara, this is so exciting now.
21:17 I want to add a quick story
21:19 and then I want to take you to the story,
21:21 our time is running out so fast Yes.
21:22 And there are so many stories you can tell.
21:24 But this particular farmer who has seen over
21:28 21,000 souls come just from fasting and praying
21:32 and being anointed by the Spirit and this has
21:34 happened in such a short time.
21:36 He did so, when you said hostile environment,
21:39 he's had people who tried to poison him
21:42 and through prayer the Lord brought the poison out. Yes.
21:45 He's had other attempts on his life.
21:47 There was someone who was murdered
21:49 and thrown into a river and they tried to blame
21:52 the murder on him. Yes.
21:54 And he prayed for the Lord to vindicate
21:56 his name and to vindicates God's name,
21:59 and the Lord after three days praying,
22:03 actually that body
22:04 that had a 40 pound stone tied to it. Yes.
22:07 Flooded to the top Float, yes, yes. God reversed.
22:10 God reversed Gravitational,
22:12 the law of gravity, I should say. Yes, yes.
22:15 And so he was vindicated and the whole thing is,
22:19 things are happening in your division
22:22 that are so exciting.
22:24 Because people are praying and fasting
22:27 and God is showing Himself to be the same God
22:32 as the God of Peter, the God of Elisha,
22:35 the God of Abraham. Yes, yes.
22:37 He is still in his throne and... He
22:38 is still the same God. He is the same, yes.
22:41 Now, we have just a few minutes. Yes.
22:44 Can you please share
22:46 because I know you're such a man of prayer.
22:47 But I love the story of your brother,
22:50 because we're talking about how God can take
22:53 a handful of people and see such incredible results.
22:57 But just, let's talk personally one on one
22:59 about your prayer for your brother.
23:01 Yes, yeah, you see I, my dad passed away in '92
23:09 and my mom passed away in 2003.
23:12 So, I'm one of those adult orphans.
23:18 And you know while sitting I was the first born male.
23:22 So became like the father of my brother.
23:24 So, this brother of mine, he loved the Lord,
23:30 yeah, he loved the lord and then after a while
23:33 he left the church.
23:35 He left the church and he drifted away.
23:39 And it was painful, but in 2008 that was,
23:46 that was August, it became so painful
23:51 and I said, Lord, here I am preaching the gospel to
23:55 thousands of people, and here my own brother
23:58 who will not spend eternity with you.
24:01 So, I was so sad and I even wept and cried
24:06 and Lord, and then I decided right there.
24:09 I said, Lord, I'm not commanding you,
24:12 I'm just, I'm just, just tenacious.
24:15 But I have this request.
24:18 Lord, by December, that was in August,
24:22 by December bring back my brother,
24:25 I'm not commanding it's, it's according to your will.
24:30 So I prayed, I make it short, I prayed.
24:34 That was August nothing happened,
24:38 September but I continued to pray,
24:41 October, November and I send a message.
24:45 Because I lived in a, I lived in South Africa,
24:48 he lives in Madagascar.
24:50 I send a message, my brother,
24:52 I'm coming can you meet with me,
24:55 I would like to spend some time with you
24:57 because we need to pray and act
24:59 and work at the same time.
25:02 I send that message, I did not get a response.
25:06 I have given him an appointment.
25:08 Finally it was the time to, it was the time to,
25:13 to board the plane and I took that plane
25:16 and I landed and I went to the place of appointment
25:21 with him and of course I, I was wondering.
25:25 I don't know if he would be there or not
25:28 and I approached that place,
25:30 I saw him waiting for me. I was so happy.
25:34 But I had to rush to a meeting and I said,
25:37 my brother, I would like us to, to share my room,
25:42 I would be alone, I will have this meeting,
25:46 after this meeting we will spend time together
25:50 and he went to my room and when I came
25:52 I started with my speech, like the prodigal son,
25:56 I was ready for my speech.
25:57 Started to, to talk to him about him coming
26:01 back and he interrupted me and rejected me,
26:05 you know what he said, something happened to me
26:09 about 15 days ago, there was this urge for me
26:14 in my heart to go back to God and he said,
26:20 I'm back to God now. Praise God.
26:23 I, I laughed a lot. I praised the Lord Amen.
26:29 I was so happy, all the burden in my heart just
26:34 removed and that was more than a year ago.
26:39 Now, he's strong in the Lord Praise God.
26:42 Winning souls, just to say that prayer is so
26:46 important. Amen.
26:48 One of the keys to finish the preaching
26:52 of the gospel is to allow God to use us
26:57 and we get that through prayer,
26:59 through the word of God, and through the,
27:02 the feeling of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
27:06 But we need to spend more time with God.
27:09 That is the key.
27:12 You know, so many things that you've said have
27:14 paralleled how the Lord led me,
27:16 it was when He brought me into really serious
27:20 seasons of prayer, that I knew he was calling me
27:22 to full time ministry.
27:24 And then he as I sought Him and ask Him, Lord,
27:27 what's important, you teach me what you want
27:30 me to teach, he did.
27:31 Dr. Ratsara, thank you so much for being here today.
27:34 I know we just barely touched across
27:37 the surface but we're very grateful
27:39 that you came to inspire us.
27:41 For those of you at home,
27:42 the way this work is going to be finished
27:46 is when we become like the early church.
27:49 When we become like this man who is praying six
27:53 and seven hours a day and going out and witnessing.
27:56 And God is calling us to greater prayer.
28:00 If we want to see greater results,
28:03 God will work greater results by his
28:06 Holy Spirit through our prayer.