[u][b]God Calls You To Prayer[/b][/u]
By Wesley Duewel
God has a wonderful plan by which you can have worldwide influence. This plan is not just for a chosen few. It is for you. Let me tell you about it.
Through prayer you can stand beside an evangelist as he preaches in crusades anywhere in the world. You can strengthen him, bless him, lift him up at the very moment he is bringing the Good News to thousands. Through prayer you can accompany any missionary to remote reaches of the earth. Through prayer you can walk through crowded bazaars, minister in steaming jungles, feed millions of starving men, women and children, hungry for bread for their bodies and for the Bread of Life.
Through prayer you can contribute to the ministry of any pastor or evangelist in a church or Gospel hall anywhere in the world. Many a time I have felt that through prayer I was at the side of some man or woman of God. Through prayer you can take a suffering infant in your arms. Through prayer you can touch a fevered brow in any hospital, mediating the healing love of Jesus. God has given you a way to make your presence count, a way to be a true partner in His kingdoms work, if you really want to be.
True, there have been outstanding praying saints over the centuries. By no means do we forget them or the tremendous history-changing role they played through prayer. Thank God for James, the half-brother of Jesus, who spent the latter years of his life praying for the churches God was raising up. When he died and his body was prepared for burial, it was found that his knees were so calloused from hours and hours of kneeling that they almost resembled the knees of a camel. He became known as "Camel-knees." Thank God for Savonarola in fifteenth-century Italy, who prayed down revival in that corrupt age. Thank God for Brainerd, missionary to the American Indians, and his life of prayer and tears. Thank God for "Praying Hyde," the missionary to India, who was perhaps the greatest prayer warrior of the twentieth century.
But God does not depend solely on a few staunch saints. He has planned for ordinary Christians like you and me to become mighty in prayer for the blessing and salvation of people and the reaping of Christs harvest among the nations today.
There is no reason in the world why you cannot become so steadfast in your personal prayer life that Christ will count on you to help build His Church and advance His kingdom in many parts of the world. Beginning with your family, your church, and your community, you can play a significant part through normal daily prayer that will make a difference, even in distant lands.
Again and again God has used persons like you and me to help Him meet special emergency prayer needs on a particular day or occasion. When He calls on someone for this special and temporary role, He usually selects one of His children who has been praying faithfully and consistently.
You dont have to spend hours each day to qualify for Gods prayer army. Thank God for those who can and do pray like that. But He knows the limitations of your own situation, your schedule, your home and employment responsibilities. His plan is intended to add a whole new dimension to your prayer life. Whether you are a business executive or a housewife, a factory worker or a student, a layman or a minister of the Gospel God desires for you to begin a thrillingly new and more effective life of prayer.
I do not claim to have a magic formula to transform you into a spiritual giant overnight. But I do want to point out that you can have new power and effectiveness in prayer. You can play a significant part in Christs plan. You can be the praying person God wants you to be you can, if you will. Will you try?
Gods Wonderful Plan for You
God has great expectations for you and me. He has every right. The average person has more ability to influence others today than ever before. This is especially true for Christians. Billy Graham has said he would rather be alive today than to have lived when Jesus was on earth. I fully agree. The average Christian can have a greater influence for God than the average Christian of any previous generation.
This is an exciting time in our history. More believers are living today than at any other time. Christs church has spread into more areas of the world, praises God each week in more languages, and is witnessing to or is in contact with more people than ever before. There are more Gospel workers, more local churches, more Bible training institutions, more Christian organizations, and more missionary societies.
Through the tremendous media of radio, television, and literature we have the facilities to speed up Gods work beyond anything we have yet known. We can reach the farthest nations more quickly, we can present the Gospel in more languages, and we have the means to recruit and guide prayer for the whole world more efficiently. We can reach our world, if we will. The greatest lack today is not people or funds. The greatest need is prayer. Without increasing the number of Christian workers or their financial support, we could see multiplied results if we would only multiply prayer.
Prayer is the greatest resource of the Church. It is the most effective means of preparing the way of the Lord available to us as Christians today. You yourself can influence more people for God and have a greater role in advancing Christs cause by prayer than in any other way. It is not the only thing you must do. But it is the greatest thing you can do. It has often been said,
The Devil trembles when he sees
Gods weakest child upon his knees.
If that is true, think what could happen if every Christian really took his/her prayer role seriously and began to pray regularly and specifically, uniting with thousands or millions of others, all praying for the same priority needs around the world. Are you willing to be a part of such a prayer army?
The Urgency of Your Prayer Now
Gods timetable of the ages may be rapidly nearing the countdown toward Christs return. Gods great plan, for which He created the world and man, has been delayed and frustrated by the long reign of sin and Satan since Adams fall. But according to the Bible, the delay of Christs return is not so much because God is patiently waiting for the world to repent as because He is patiently waiting for us to lead them to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9). This is further emphasized by the fact that, of all the conditions and signs that must precede Christs coming, perhaps only one remains to be fulfilled: "This Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come" (Matt. 24:14).
We do not know what in Gods view constitutes adequate witness to the comparatively unreached nations, but by means of radio we are today able to beam the Gospel message to practically every corner of the earth. Millions unreached by resident missionaries have access to the Gospel through missionary radio. Virtually every province and village in China has been covered in this way. Millions of others in Russia, Albania, and the Muslim lands are known to be listening to Christian messages, broadcast in their own language or in one that may be understood in part.
It is always far more effective when people can hear the Gospel in their mother tongue. Although it has been reliably estimated that 95 percent of the people of the world now have available to them some portion of the Scripture printed in a language known to them, may God speed the efforts of those giving their lives to completing the task of putting Scripture into all remaining dialects and languages. In addition, Gospel Recordings reports that Christian messages have been recorded in more than 5,687 of these dialects and languages for nonreaders.
Delivering the Gospel message to every human being is not enough, however. The crucial factor is assuring that the message will be understood and accepted. Prayer is the answer. The Holy Spirit is given as Gods people ask (Luke 11:13). Undoubtedly this is not only true when we ask for ourselves, but also when we ask for others. So the effectiveness of present mission efforts depends on our prayer, enabling the Holy Spirit to work in power.
In other words, the key to world evangelization, thus clearing the way for Christs return, may be your prayer and mine. If the main delaying factor is lack of prayer, do not be surprised if God makes special provision for prayer to be more effective today than ever before.