Pastor Mensah Otabil, Founder and General Overseer, International Central Gospel Church, has urged Christians against paying others to pray and fast on their behalf.
It was wrong for Christians, he said, to seek to buy the power of God – money for power, influence, access and opportunities for greatness.
They should not be like Simon, the sorcerer, according to the New Testament account in Acts of the Apostles 8:9–24, who after becoming a Christian, offered to purchase from the Apostles Peter and John the supernatural power of imparting the Holy Spirit.
He was condemned by the Apostles because his heart was not right for the Ministry of Christ as he sought the power for personal and financial gain.
Dr Otabil was delivering a sermon to open the 2023 Experience Conference of The Maker's House Chapel International, (TMHCI), at the Destiny Arena, in Accra.
Addressing the topic, 'How Do You Work the Works of God?’, alongside the theme of the Conference: “Jesus the Miracle Worker”, Dr Otabil emphasised that believing in Jesus, as the son of God, was the only way to godly success and miracles.
“Some of you men, who are very well positioned in life, sometimes you feel you can buy your way to God's glory and grace,” he explained.
“Some of you have got all kinds of boys and girls who we call prophets and prophetesses, and they are yours.
“You purchase them, you pay them, you feed them, they pray in your house. Once you are working, they pray all day and night for you.”
The General Overseer reminded the faithful that it was not possible for one to outsource his or her spiritual life.
“It does not work that way. So, if you think somebody you pay can pray for you for God to hear, you need to check your whole thinking process,” he advised.
It was imperative that every Christian had his personal encounters with God through Christ.
Many in the bible, he said, received their miracles upon believing in Christ as the Godsent son.
Jesus emphasised this in an answer to some of his followers who wanted to do the works of God, having been impressed with his miracles of feeding the 5,000 and walking on water.
Sharing some of his teething experiences in ministry, Dr Otabil advised Christians to operate in their unique gifts of the Holy Spirit but not be counterfeits of other men of God to become fruitful.
They should also aspire for excellence in Ministry, their professions and every endeavour of life.
He, therefore, lauded Dr Michael Boadi Nyamekye, founder and senior pastor of the TMHCI, for his visionary leadership and also their state-of-the-art worship centre to the glory of God.
He said the world-class edifice should motivate the members to distinguish themselves in every area of their lives.
He prayed for God's grace to make the eight-day conference an impactful and life transforming programme.
The Conference, which is resuming after the 2019 break over the COVID-19 pandemic, will see the ministrations of leading charismatic ministers of Ghana and beyond.
They will take turns to preach, pray, heal and impact the participants with their diverse giftings.
They include Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams, the Presiding Archbishop and General Overseer, United Denominations of Action Chapel International, Archbishop Charles Agyinasare, the President, Agyinasare World Evangelism, and the Rev. Dr. Ebenezer S. M. Markwei, the Founder and General Overseer, Living Streams International.
Others are the Presiding Archbishop and the Founder and General Overseer of the Charismatic Evangelistic Ministry (CEM), Dr Steve Mensah, General Overseer of the Global Revival Ministries, Rev. Dr Robert Ampiah-Kwofi and the Founder and Senior Pastor of All Nations Church in Atlanta, Georgia and General Overseer of the Living Springs International Churches, Dr Frank Ofosu-Appiah.
Leading gospel artistes will also minister alongside the host choir and artistes.