[b]EXAMPLES of GREAT PRAYER WARRIORS[/b]
[i]by E.M Bounds[/i]
"The act of praying is the very highest energy of which the human
mind is capable; praying, that is, with the total concentration of
the faculties. The great mass of worldly men and of learned men
are absolutely incapable of prayer." -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
BISHOP WILSON says: "In H. Martyn's journal, the spirit of prayer,
the time he devoted to the duty, and his fervor in it are the first
things which strike me."
Payson wore the hard-wood boards into grooves where his knees
pressed so often and so long. His biographer says: "His continuing
instant in prayer, be his circumstances what they might, is the
most noticeable fact in his history, and points out the duty of all
who would rival his eminency. To his ardent and persevering
prayers must no doubt be ascribed in a great measure his
distinguished and almost uninterrupted success."
The Marquis DeRenty, to whom Christ was most precious, ordered
his servant to call him from his devotions at the end of half an hour.
The servant at the time saw his face through an aperture. It was
marked with such holiness that he hated to arouse him. His lips
were moving, but he was perfectly silent. He waited until three half
hours had passed; then he called to him, when he arose from his
knees, saying that the half hour was so short when he was
communing with Christ.
Brainerd said: "I love to be alone in my cottage, where I can spend
much time in prayer."
William Bramwell is famous in Methodist annals for personal
holiness and for his wonderful success in preaching and for the
marvelous answers to his prayers. For hours at a time he would
pray. He almost lived on his knees. He went over his circuits like
a flame of fire. The fire was kindled by the time he spent in prayer.
He often spent as much as four hours in a single season of prayer
Bishop Andrewes spent the greatest part of five hours every day in
prayer and devotion.
Sir Henry Havelock always spent the first two hours of each day
alone with God. If the encampment was struck at 6 A.M., he
would rise at four.
Earl Cairns rose daily at six o'clock to secure an hour and a half
for the study of the Bible and for prayer, before conducting family
worship at a quarter to eight.
Dr. Judson's success in prayer is attributable to the fact that he
gave much time to prayer. He says on this point: "Arrange thy
affairs, if possible, so that thou canst leisurely devote two or three
hours every day not merely to devotional exercises but to the very
act of secret prayer and communion with God. Endeavor seven
times a day to withdraw from business and company and lift up
thy soul to God in private retirement. Begin the day by rising after
midnight and devoting some time amid the silence and darkness
of the night to this sacred work. Let the hour of opening dawn find
thee at the same work. Let the hours of nine, twelve, three, six,
and nine at night witness the same. Be resolute in his cause.
Make all practicable sacrifices to maintain it. Consider that thy
time is short, and that business and company must not be
allowed to rob thee of thy God." Impossible, say we, fanatical
directions! Dr. Judson impressed an empire for Christ and laid the
foundations of God's kingdom with imperishable granite in the
heart of Burmah. He was successful, one of the few men who
mightily impressed the world for Christ. Many men of greater gifts
and genius and learning than he have made no such impression;
their religious work is like footsteps in the sands, but he has
engraven his work on the adamant. The secret of its profundity
and endurance is found in the fact that he gave time to prayer. He
kept the iron red-hot with prayer, and God's skill fashioned it with
enduring power. No man can do a great and enduring work for
God who is not a man of prayer, and no man can be a man of
prayer who does not give much time to praying.
Is it true that prayer is simply the compliance with habit, dull and
mechanical? A petty performance into which we are trained till
tameness, shortness, superficiality are its chief elements? "Is it
true that prayer is, as is assumed, little else than the half-passive
play of sentiment which flows languidly on through the minutes or
hours of easy reverie?" Canon Liddon continues: "Let those who
have really prayed give the answer. They sometimes describe
prayer with the patriarch Jacob as a wrestling together with an
Unseen Power which may last, not unfrequently in an earnest life,
late into the night hours, or even to the break of day. Sometimes
they refer to common intercession with St. Paul as a concerted
struggle. They have, when praying, their eyes fixed on the Great
Intercessor in Gethsemane, upon the drops of blood which fall to
the ground in that agony of resignation and sacrifice. Importunity
is of the essence of successful prayer. Importunity means not
dreaminess but sustained work. It is through prayer especially that
the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by
force. It was a saying of the late Bishop Hamilton that "No man is
likely to do much good in prayer who does not begin by looking
upon it in the light of a work to be prepared for and persevered in
with all the earnestness which we bring to bear upon subjects
which are in our opinion at once most interesting and most necessary."
"The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer that
fetched the angel." --Thomas Watson.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon