The prophet Hosea wrote, “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground. FOR IT IS TIME TO SEEK THE LORD, till He comes and rains righteousness on you” (10:12). Spurgeon stated, “Whenever God determines to do a great work, He first sets His people to pray.” He was also asked the reason of his marvelous power in the ministry. Pointing to the floor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, he said, “In the room beneath, you will find three hundred praying Christians. Every time I preach they gather there, and uphold my hands by continuous prayer and supplications. It is in that room that you find the secret of the blessings.”
In James 5:16, we read, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” The word “effective” comes from a Greek root word that means “a fixed position.” It is suggestive of an unmovable, unshakeable mindset. “Fervent” speaks of boldness, built on solid evidence and absolute proof, that supports our prayers. Taken together, we have the exhortation to stand on God’s proven evidence that He will hear and answer when we pray. William Cowper was correct when he said, “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.”
A sincere lady questioned, “Pastor, I have sought a deeper experience with God all these years and I don’t have it. I have read books. I have read what to do, and all the rules, but I am nowhere yet. Does God have favorites?” Her pastor replied, “No, my dear, God does not have favorites. But he does have intimates.” Hebrews 10:19 tells us that we have “boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus.” “Boldness” indicates complete freedom of speech, without any reservation whatsoever. Someone wrote, “Prayer is the openness of the soul to God; the out-looking, up-looking of the soul to God; the humble sense of self, the silent and the spoken cry for the light and help of God.”
A new organ was installed in a New York City church. The first Sunday it was used, the electric current that was required to operate the console went off at a point early in the service. A hurried call for help brought a mechanic. Soon a note was sent up, and handed to the pastor. The note said, “After the prayer, the power will be on!” A prayerless church is a powerless church. A church that prays will do exploits.
Romans 13:11, 12, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”
“There have been revivals without much preaching, but there has never been a mighty revival without mighty praying” (R. A. Torrey).
(by David Arnold)