March 2003


By Lane Holland

There is an amusing story of a young Christian praying to be filled with the Holy Spirit. While on his knees at the altar an older saint yelled in one ear hold on at the same time another saint in the opposite ear yelled let go. Finally overcome by confusion he simply passed out! Of course the saints felt he received and they chalked up another victory!

Unfortunately, the church seems to send mixed messages on many occasions. I hope that you can use this rather humorous story to stir you to press further in loving the Father. He does call to “Hold On”, “Let Go” and our answer should be “Yes, Lord!”

We can hold on to faith in His word. We can be:
…Steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).

The Older saints also had a phrase that said, “Hold on to the horns of the altar until you break through.” There is a place in prayer I call the RIM. It’s those final moments before going through to victory. It is comparable to the last stage of labor before pushing the baby out. Maybe you who are mothers remember it is the most intense time of labor. But shortly after, a birth occurs. You must hold on in those last hours, or minutes, or days of agonizing prayer for it will bring a reward.”

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16b).


What shall we let go of? Let’s start with unnecessary weights.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty where with Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)
…Let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)

It appears the instruction to us is to really let go of any distractions, negative influences, and hindrances to our walk with God. Let go of thoughts and mindsets of doubts, fears and unbelief.

The easiest way to let go is to develop a desire to draw close to the Lord. There is a prayer that we can pray to stay in His presence.
On thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord…(Psalm 27:4).
Abide in me and I in you…(John 15:4a).

What a precious spiritual goal. To move away from emotions and feelings that can be misleading into a divine fellowship with the Lord. You must learn to lean upon the Lord.

My prayer is to have times of letting go and times of holding on. Times of going up higher and times of refreshing!”

When I read this humorous story I was reminded of an experience I had when I was a teenager. One summer day there was a knock at the door of the Church of God parsonage where we lived. Opening the door I greeted Elsie, a church member, and invited her in. My mother came walking up the hallway, and before she could utter a word, Elise exclaimed, “Sister Griffin, I am on a fast and will not eat again until Germaine is baptized in the Holy Ghost!”

Overwhelming fear struck the pit of my stomach, and I wondered what would happen to Elsie if it didn’t happen. Negative, distressing thoughts bombarded me all day. My mother, Elsie and I went to the church where we knelt at the altar.

After a season of intense praying my knees gave out and I sat flat down on the floor. My throat was dry, my “Glory’s” and “Hallelujah’s” trickled to an occasional croak, and I wanted to go home. Then in the quietness when all hope was gone, Elsie yelled, “Germaine, hold on,” my mother on the opposite side yelled, “Germaine, let go.”

Finally, with my hair plastered to my sweaty brow I laid my head over on the altar in confusion and defeat. Suddenly, a wind began to blow, my head shot up, and my hands were in the air. Hallelujah! I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, and to my great relief Elsie wasn’t going to die.

Today, I am grateful for this precious saint who obeyed God, and held on, not letting go of the horns of the altar until I surrendered to the Father of Lights. I believe that when we get to heaven, Mrs. Elsie Bell will receive a reward for every one who has been saved, encouraged and blessed by Word Ministries and the Prayers That Avail Much family books.

Pastor Lane Holland is the founder of Caring in the Name of Christ Ministries, Inc. She, also, is a co-laborer with us here at Word Ministries. For more information write to Lane Holland, 871 Magna Carta Drive, NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30318-6059. Email address is

Continue to pray the Prayers of Commitment from Germaine’s Prayers That Avail Much Commemorative Edition and ask to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.