Reinhard Bonnke, one of the greatest generals of evangelism the world has ever known, has gone home to glory—but not without leaving us many lessons for life and ministry.
Bonnke told me he went from "zero to hero," which is an accurate portrayal of the youngest son of a preacher from a small village in Northern Germany. His life is a model for generations of preachers to come and his story should inspire Christians to preach the gospel without compromise.
Bonnke taught me how to deal with misunderstanding and rejection in life and ministry. He told me:
"I learned quite early in life to bless those who hate you. I've learned that one basic thing. You need to always forgive others if you feel that you are being wronged so that [your] own channels to heaven will remain open. Many times in the middle of the night, I jumped out of bed, and my mind was full of things of what some people had said about me.
"I didn't like it because it was a bunch of lies, and I was walking up and down for hours at night in my little home, and I prayed, 'Lord, I bless them that curse me, I bless them that curse me, I bless them that curse me.' And then after maybe an hour or so, heaven just pierced my heart and crept into my soul. I had blessed them all, and I had my channels open to heaven, and the next meeting, I saw great results. I think that is a true key point. If we start to defend ourselves and respond to every little rumor, we are actually paralyzing ourselves."
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Jennifer LeClaire is senior leader of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founder of the Ignite Network and founder of the Awakening Blaze prayer movement. She is author of over 25 books. Find her online at jenniferleclaire.org or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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