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“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:17-18, NKJV).

I was in prayer with our church youth group when I was baptized with the Holy Spirit. My friends told me that I was baptized with the Holy Spirit at about 9 p.m. and prayed in tongues until 6 a.m. the following day. It was a wonderful night that I couldn’t explain in words. All I can say is, “It was heaven on earth.”

As soon as I got home from the prayer meeting I was led to read Mark 16:17-18. These words told me that the Holy Spirit had empowered me to do the works Jesus did. I immediately started witnessing to my siblings, friends and everyone I met. When I discovered that my elder brother was to go through surgery for a hernia, I laid my hands on him and prayed for him. When my brother met the physician for surgery the following day, the hernia had disappeared.

In 1975, I started planting a church in a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka. I felt led to do a prayer walk around the potential area of the church plant. In prayer, I started pulling down strongholds and binding evil spirits that were keeping people under demon possession and witchcraft.

During my prayer walks, I made friends with people who were curious to know what I was doing. I shared the gospel and led many of them to the Lord. The prayer walks opened many doors to conduct prayer meetings. God began to heal the sick and do great miracles.

One day, as I was conducting a home meeting, about 20 people were gathered. The witch doctor of the area decided to attend the meeting to defeat the power I was working in. He decided to do it because his power was diminishing in the geographical area where he performed his séances. He walked in and started casting spells on me.

As I sensed the power of darkness approach to attack me, I bound its power, and the witch doctor fled. I was able to plant my first church here as a result of this victory. This church has been strong and reproduced many of its kind.

I have continued as a church planter since 1975, and with my colleagues, I have planted more than 1,800 house churches in Sri Lanka since 1981. We are moving aggressively toward shepherding and discipling a nation for Jesus.

Prayer Points

  • Ask God to help you meditate on His word and be filled with faith.
  • Pray that God will help you to incline your ears to hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
  • Ask God to help you take small steps to obey whatever the Holy Spirit prompts you to do.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is national leader of The Foursquare Church in Sri Lanka and co-chair of Foursquare’s Global Council.