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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : Thoughts on prayer

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Joined: 2008/5/23
Posts: 611
Monroe, LA - USA

 Thoughts on prayer

A few years ago I was reading a book written for Baptist preachers. It had a section about prayer meetings, and how to conduct them. It noted that the prayer meetings that were discussed were common amongst all evangelical denominations of that day (it was written in the late 1800s). It told about a prayer meeting for temperance. The writer discussed the HORRIBLE situation of alcoholism here in the United States which was robbing homes of fathers . . . robbing children of food . . . robbing society of good men.

When I read it, I was smitten with conviction. In that day, they were DEEPLY grieved about problems that were "small" in comparison to the moral chaos that we live with every day in our nation. I don't want to be "accustomed" to the horrible degeneration of my generation. I want be one to pray the price to see something done about it!

Several years ago, God gave me a poem regarding the change in our prayer habits in this country. At times I look at it again to remind myself of what I want God to do in OUR generation. I'm posting it here in case it could be a help to anyone else:


Oh, those treasured saints of yester-year,
How they prayed, and prayed, and shed many a tear.
Hour upon hour, and often entire days
Were spent in desperate supplication for men to change their ways.

And, change their ways men did, you see,
From the strangling death-grip of sin, many wretched hell-bound souls
were set free.
Drunkards got converted, night-clubs were even shut down.
The saints just kept on praying, and turning the world upside down.

Some of the cruelest of men, and the hardest of hearts
Were transformed within, and given new hearts.
Sick bodies were healed, blind eyes were opened,
Impossibilities were made possible, because the All-Powerful God was consulted!

They depended on God for every little thing.
They always prayed through before attempting anything.

But, as time went on, thorns began to grow.
The cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches
Slowly began to replace the desire for the True riches.

Life styles began to change, everything was different.
Society was stepping up with modern new inventions.
Automatic lights, instantaneous cool and heat,
Faster ways of cooking and washing the dishes after you eat,

Time-saving inventions for almost everything,
Just simply push a button and leave it to the machine.
Cars for transportation, washing machines for clothes,
And so many other things to save us time, yet,
where did all our time go?

First the radio, then the TV,
Telephones, cassettes, videos, etcetera. . .
We’re in the computer age you see.
A fast-paced world is what we became,
With very little time for the really important things.

No time to study God’s Word, no time to share the Gospel,
The hours and days of pleading prayer were soon to be forgotten.
God didn’t respond as fast as our machines,
And we had no time to wait, so we simply stopped our praying.

The very life line that brought such victories,
The hours of prayer before God’s throne
that had changed the course of history
Were now abandoned and considered out of date:
“No one wants to pray tonight, we can’t stay up that late”.

With the lack of prayer came a lack of power,
And churches failed to meet the needs of the hour,
So deceivers arose to replace the lack of power
With exciting new ideas for a generation of religious cowards!

“And there arose another generation after them
which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which He had done”

No fear of God, no respect for Christianity,
A wild and wicked generation headed for eternity,
Eternity without hope, never having known
A real move of God to change the heart and soul.

Dark, and hopeless days, and getting darker still,
Where once was a flame of revival is now a terrifying death chill.
Will this generation die without a ray of hope?
Can’t somebody pray the price and throw out a life rope?

Stop all the commotion! Get down on your knees!
Oh, please, church, stay there, until God sends the victory!

When the pastor gives the altar call,
Stay down there till the power falls!
Don’t be satisfied without a move of God!
If you do, we’ll have to change our name to ICHABOD!

Michael Strickland

 2008/5/23 15:11Profile

Joined: 2006/8/1
Posts: 370
West Monroe, LA

 Re: Thoughts on prayer

Brother Michael: I don't want to be "accustomed" to the horrible degeneration of my generation. I want be one to pray the price to see something done about it!

Good post, and may God "do it again".

I am glad you have joined SI.


Clint Thornton

 2008/5/24 20:25Profile

 Re: Thoughts on prayer


Lordoitagain wrote:
The saints just kept on praying, and turning the world upside down.

Some of the cruelest of men, and the hardest of hearts
Were transformed within, and given new hearts.
Sick bodies were healed, blind eyes were opened,
Impossibilities were made possible, because the All-Powerful God was consulted!

They depended on God for every little thing.
They always prayed through before attempting anything.

James 5:16-20
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

The most righteous man that every to walk the earth was the God-man, Jesus. The second Adam that made by God. God needed someone who would be obedient unto death to save the product of the fallen first Adam.

Jesus did pray this prayer for all of us and it has avialeth much. We can also availeth much, as long we do it in His name and purpose. The Holy Spirit is our intercessor in prayer. Just as Jesus prayed not for His will but the will of the Father so go it when we pray in Jesus name. Anything out of the will of the Father, it would not be inappropriate to pray I Jesus name. James says when we do it is amiss and for the wrong motives and that why there are times when our prayers are not answered.

Jesus’ prayer for the disciples in the first of the passage.
John 17:1-11
17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
6[b] I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.[/b]
10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

Interestingly in was the same prayer, Jesus kind of separated those disciples with the ones who come through their Word He had given them and to made the prayer to be inclusive of those came through the written Word.

John 17:19-18:1
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20[b] Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;[/b]
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

 2008/5/25 0:04

Joined: 2008/5/23
Posts: 611
Monroe, LA - USA

 Re: More thougts on Prayer

Several years ago I heard a good illustration by SI member "broclint" regarding interceeding in prayer. People who have done track running can understand it even deeper. In the first part of a race or jog, there is great difficulty, but then, the runner reaches a place where somehow his body (or perhaps subconscious mind) takes over his breathing. Runners refer to it as "second wind". Even though the runner has struggled and run a long distance, something about that "second wind" makes it easier in some aspects of the running. It even gives him more hope of winning the race.

Similarly, when we come before God's throne to interceed on behalf of sinners who ignorantly and blatantly throw down the Savior's priceless sacrifice in the streets as a vain thing, we feel SUCH a death-struggle! We are running on in prayer with the weight of the whole lost world on our hearts, feeling totally incapable of the grand task of interceeding for the lost. Then, in the midst of our desperate struggle, our God who knows our human limitations comes upon us and again fulfills his precious word:

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. -Romans 8:26

After struggling in prayer, doing the best that we can, His Spirit gloriously takes control of our feeble efforts, and accomplishes what we humanly cannot. We don't understand this wonderful operation of divine communion, but in yielding to it, God's will is accomplished, and He sends out laborers into His harvest which we many never know about until we get to Heaven.

That illustration inspired another poem regarding prayer:


Running down the track,
The opponent at his back,
Struggling, each breath is hard to take,
But every runner knows,
There’s a hope inside that grows:
The breathing soon will come with greater ease.

Second wind! It gets him through the race!
Second wind! He’s got to get first place!
As the body takes control, his mind can see the goal,
And the victory then he knows he then can take.

The greatest race of all,
The electrifying call
To pray and intercede for dying men,
The struggle feels like death
As it seems to take your breath,
Then the Holy Spirit comes and prays through you.

Second wind! The prayer that wins the race!
Second wind! A picture of God’s grace!
As you struggle on in prayer, the Lord will meet you there,
Such communion that His Spirit prays through you.

Michael Strickland

 2008/5/26 12:02Profile

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