Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
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The following article was provided to a church Newsletter about Lewis Turner, who has also been active with Pray.Network since it first started. Pastor Phil Miglioratti encouraged me to share it. My hopes in sharing it, is to encourage others to continue to seek the Lord.
The article which shares my testimony of how the Lord has led me into prayer work and the teaching of prayer. It would also be good to hear from others telling their story. If after reading it, you would like to become involved in the setting up of a prayer school focus on prayer ministry, please feel free to contact me.
I was asked by my church to introduce my self and share about my Christian walk and focus, including my personal interests, about my family, and even my hobbies.
In answering this question and other questions on this interview, I am using a journal format. First let me share that My wife and I have 4 children, who now have their own families. We have 11 grandchildren. All of them live in this region, and that is a blessing in being able to see them periodically.
Continuing, I would like to answer the other questions on this interview through sharing a relatively shortened journal of my life. Though I was born in Virginia, and my family was from Southern Virginia, I grew up here in Maryland. My home church is the Burtonsville Baptist Church in Burtonsville, Md. It was started in the 1950s by my father who was the head deacon. Before we had our church building, a prayer meeting was held in our home. It was my first introduction to seeing people pray.
Around 1960, my father changed jobs and we moved to Illinois. There I had an opportunity to take piano lessons from a hymn writer, Merrill Dunlop, who also wrote the music to the Awana theme song used in the Awana program. After High School, I attended Wheaton College and graduated in 1969. It was there I met my wife, and we were married in 1968 a year before my graduation.
After graduation, I entered the Military and was sent by the Army to Thailand for a year. In Thailand, I was introduced to Christian and Missionary Alliance Missionaries, several of whom personally kept contact with my wife and I for many years. It gave me a chance to see missions first hand on my days off. My wife reminds me that while I was there, the Lord sparked my interest in the subject of prayer. I do remember staying up with another GI at a missionary’s home and praying late into the night. I am not sure if I could do that today at my age. Oh, to be young again.
After the Military, my wife and I eventually moved to Maryland and I worked as a Dairy Inspector for the State of Maryland. On this job, the Lord provided some Christian colleagues who periodically were willing to pray together. What a blessing.
In the next few years, several things occurred. One, I sensed a call from the Lord to teach Prayer, around 1979—and because it was so unusual, I did some research, but could not find much written on the subject of prayer. Also, because that call being so unusual, I did not even tell my pastor about it. Normally a call from the Lord is a call to Preach—this call was not that. So, I quietly did not pursue it for a while.
My wife and I also around that time, sought for a church where the church had a children’s program. That is when we connected to FBC—it was at the time FBC moved to Walkersville.
Around that time, I also pursued my Master’s Degree from the University of Maryland in Food Science. I received that degree in 1984.
In 1985, I changed jobs and we eventually moved to Rhode Island where I worked in a Dairy for a little over a year in Quality Control. That job came to an end—but the Lord preserved my income and within 3 hours of receiving notice that I had lost my job at the Dairy (The Dairy closed a year later). The Lord opened the door to me to work full time for the Rhode Island National Guard. I was already a member of the Rhode Island National Guard. It is wonderful how the Lord provided.
While I was there, the Lord worked on my heart about clearing some issues on my former job in Maryland. I wrote a letter to my former boss—but—before it was sent, and I showed it first to my pastor. My pastor did not think it would be accepted. However, I still sensed the Lord wanted me to send it, and with the encouragement of my wife, I did. The content was written describing ‘how’ I received things—using ‘heart’ language—not accusations. The next event was only the Lord working. I did not seek to return to my former job in Maryland. About a year after the letter was sent, my former boss called and offered me the job back, it took a year to get everything in order to return—and it was the exact job that I had left. That was the Lord’s doing.
Once I returned to Maryland, a Christian organization that I was a member of, Officers Christian Fellowship sent me Henry Blackaby’s book, ‘Experiencing God’. On reading the book, I sensed God again telling me, ‘I have called you’. It was a call that I again pondered.
Later the Lord allowed me to go through some difficulties that pushed me to pray more again. As I was going through those difficulties, the Lord again impressed on me, ‘I called you to teach prayer.’ This time—I found more was written about Prayer in published books. I dug in reading-reading-praying and much studying various subjects related to prayer.
In 2001, I was asked to be a community prayer leader for the Frederick Evangelical Ministry Fellowship. Later, I also had an opportunity to lead the National Day of Prayer for about 3-4 years in Frederick County, Md. During that time, I worked with people committed to praying, and learned a lot, and saw the result of the lack of training. Over a period of 8-10 years of observation, taking notes, I pulled together and wrote a course on Praying Together’, with my wife’s help, which is a two-part course—the first part focused on building our relationship with God as a base for our praying, and the second part focused on the need to join together and pray together. This course has been taught online on Pray.Network, and I have also taught it at Fredericktowne Baptist Church, Walkersville, Md a few years back.
A few years after this course was put together, I retired from my job in 2010 and at the same time I have continued my studies on the subject of prayer and most recently searching out the original meaning of Hebrew words and Names of God utilizing early Hebrew letters. It has been a long-detailed study, a challenging one, that has reinforced what I have been taught about our Lord God. My study on the Names of God is now being edited, with the possibility of it being published in the near future. It is written in a Devotional format. That study has taken about 6 years of detailed research and seeking the Lord for help.
My work at Fredericktowne Baptist Church expanded when I was asked to be on the Church Missions Board. Being on that team was a good challenge and our team has helped bring our missions program together. It also did several things to help the church connect with our missionaries. That is an ongoing process. Our Missions board decided to have a Missions Conference that gave a chance to pray for our Missionaries together as a church. This Missions Conference started in 2017 and has continued yearly since that start.
In 2018, I also had the privilege of serving on the Pastoral Search Committee with about 9 other people. Part of my responsibility on the Board was to supply a prayer encouragement for the church during this time encouraging people to pray for the process in searching for a Pastor of this Church. God has answered our prayers for a Pastor, and we need to keep praying for our New Pastor, Pastor Timothy Allen.
I would like to share few more items, during the period when I was studying the area of prayer, and the calling to teach prayer, I have also researched my family’s historical involvement in education with a Religious College-the Randolph Macon College, which originally started in my family’s hometown of Boydton, VA, and the same facility later being used for a Bible Institute. (That Bible Institute was the Boydton Institute, which was a prep-school providing education in grades 1-7 for those who did not have an opportunity for education.) I have sensed a connection between the education work of those schools and the calling that the Lord has given me -In that, the Lord is leading me to be involved in the development a Prayer School, which is focused on Prayer Ministry. It is as if God wants this mantle of education to be picked up again. Following up on this leading, Wheatland Ministries, which is focused on the prayer ministry that the Lord has given me, will be holding a Solemn Assembly in the month of June 2019, on the site of those schools, and seeking the Lord for help in moving forward—with the eventual possibility of developing a school focused on the teaching of prayer—particularly-Prayer Ministry. Much prayer is needed after the Solemn Assembly, that the Lord will provide laborers to help us move forward as a team. I covet prayers to help this school to move ahead. We need people who want to see prayer training to join with us. Through prayer, we can train and disciple many to follow and be strong in the Lord.
The above account has focused on sharing what God has been doing, and my journey. I would like to share that I have enjoyed a hobby that the Lord allowed me to spend time on for diversion. I have enjoyed hybridizing flowers—that is working on developing new flowers with interesting beautiful traits that can be enjoyed. I believe God wants us to enjoy what He has given us. Jesus enjoyed the beauty of flowers. In Matthew 6:28-29 (KJV) He said: 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
I also have most recently restored some older toys—a peddle tractor, a vintage train, and a slot race car track for my grandchildren to enjoy. It took some work to restore them, but seeing the smiles of my grandchildren, it was worth the effort. It gave a chance to share something of value to me that I enjoyed, with my grandchildren. I believe our Lord wants us to enjoy what he has given us.
There is more that could be shared, but space and time limit us. I trust that this journal will encourage others.
In closing, I would like to share the following thought—no matter what you are involved with--Pray and Keep Praying, and consider Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Grateful for your dedicated-to-prayer life,