Gods clarion note, calling His people to prayer, is now heard in the heart. But multitudes are failing to respond. They do not appreciate the vast possibilities of a life of prayer. Persistent, prevailing, believing prayer will free Gods infinite power till the cry of awakened sinners will be heard everywhere.
The ability to do this carries with it a tremendous responsibility. What if we do not use this key? The ceaseless, tireless efforts of the enemy to destroy the souls of men demand that we use it. Multitudes are maddened by sin, and utterly indifferent to the claims of Jesus Christ upon their heart and life. A sin-convicting revival will alone awaken them to their need of Christ.
Give Yourself to Prayer
God is calling His people to give more time to prayer. But we must not only agree to pray but also agree to get the answer!
The apostles gave themselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word. They gave themselves! (Acts. 6:4).
Too many are waiting for a spirit of prayer to possess them before they pray, with the result that their prayer life is a failure. Ponder this! God "saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor" (Isa. 59:16).
Moreover, the Word of the Lord says, "There is none that calleth upon Thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee" (Isa. 64:7). It is the taking hold the holding on and never letting go that causes God to bare His arm.
Satan does not want us to pray. He makes it his business to choke down the spirit of prayer in every possible way. Especially would Satan hinder us praying for God to interpose, to intervene in our national and international affairs, and send upon us a deep and genuine moral and spiritual awakening!
This extraordinary age requires extraordinary praying, and why? Because the powers of darkness are greater today than ever before. Satan knows his time is short, and so all the hosts of hell are arrayed against Gods children, to harass, to discourage, and as far as possible to defeat them in their purpose of heart to promote revival!
Eternal issues are at stake, the souls of men must be freed from Satans grip, the powers of darkness must be shattered. Hence the necessity of camping before the courts of Heaven until we break through and prevail with God!
Faith and Boldness in Prayer
How marvelous and important is the salvation of a single soul! Do we believe this? If so we will demonstrate it, and do everything in our power to win eternity bound souls to Jesus. But the enemy does not easily relinquish his hold upon men, and oftimes a strenuous policy must be adopted.
One mother had three daughters who were unsaved, and utterly indifferent to every entreaty to yield themselves to Christ. In sheer desperation the mother said to her worldly minded girls: "I am going to shut myself in my room and pray and fast until you give yourselves to the Lord."
They laughed, saying: "Mother, it will do no good." But she began, and when the hours wore away to almost a day, a knock came to her door, and one of the girls said: "Mother, I am ready to give my heart to Jesus," and she was saved. The other girls thought they would be brave, and not give in, but at the end of the second day of prayer and fasting one of them could hold out no longer, and going to her mothers room she wept her way through to God.
It was on the third day that the last one broke down and surrendered all, accepting Jesus as her personal Savior. This mother doubtless thought she was believing God for the salvation of her girls, but when faith was directed through the channels of prayer and fasting, quick results were achieved.
Now what is true individually, is also true collectively. If, individually speaking, to get results it is necessary to offer intercessory prayer again and again, then how much more necessary does it become when the local church, or community, is in view!
It is our right to "come boldly" not timidly "unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16). We may storm the throne of God, and by violent seizure, take the kingdom of the Heavens both for ourselves and others. (Matt. 11:12, Weymouth translation).
With the promises of God before the saints, the whole congregation may cry out: "Do as Thou hast said" (2 Sam. 7:25), until the flood gates of salvation are lifted and many precious souls are watered with the life-giving stream!
Gods standard is unceasing prayer. No matter how much we pray, the text to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thes. 5:17) is always just ahead of us. The situation demands that we never lower the colors. To rescue men from a burning building, or a watery grave, or any calamity which has overtaken them, is our bounden duty.
How much more our duty to rescue men from hell! To this end Jesus came "to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). This is the Saviors platform for the entire church age. To what extent is His purpose ours?
"If we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him" (1 John 5:14-15).
Our prayers offered in faith do not fail, they "avail!" John Knox bore all Scotland up on the wings of his faith. He cried: "Give me Scotland or I die," and Kirkton says: "the whole nation was converted by lump."
Prayerlessness Is a Sin to Be Repented Of
Do we long to see revivals break out? Then what are we doing to bring about revivals? We may not all be called to preach, but we can all pray, and "as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children" (Isa. 66:8).
Here is a natural law in the spiritual realm. As physical pain precedes the birth of physical children, so spiritual pain precedes the birth of spiritual children. Thus those brought under conviction through the preaching of the Gospel are brought into the experience of the new birth through intercession.
For, mark you, it is one thing to pray, but another thing to pray as an intercessor; it is one thing to pray, but another thing to pray with groanings too deep for utterance! (Rom. 8:26). It is one thing to pray, but another thing to pray on until one is sweetly conscious that the victory is won, and the answer is on the way!
With Moses diverting Gods threatened judgment upon Israel; and with Esther saving her life, and the lives of her people after her call for a three days fast had been obeyed; and with Daniel who prayed, and fasted, for twenty and one days until his whole strength was spent; and with Jesus praying in the garden until "His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22:44); and with the apostles praying until God sent an angel to Peter, and an earthquake to liberate Paul and Silas we say with these as well as with multiplied other instances, we have abundant proof that prayer is a spiritual law that cannot be evaded if Gods infinite power is to be freed!
Seeing that this is so, we must look to God to give us more intercessors! We need men and women who will be as persistent in prayer as sinners are in the making of money; conducting business; looking after the welfare of the home, children, etc.
To lack a spirit of prayer is more than a fault, or a mistake, or mere negligence. It is a sin! "God forbid that I should sin
in ceasing to pray
" (1 Sam. 12:23).
Prayer Brings Victory
We pray because prayer is our battleground. "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds" (2 Cor. 10:4). "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph. 6:12). We, then, are warriors, engaged in a fierce battle against Satan, the common enemy of our souls.
It would be folly to participate in this battle without the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18), and it is very significant that this armor is not complete without persistent prayer! It is persistent prayer that baffles the enemy, and breaks the spell of his power over the souls of men.
Whatever else we may have on of Gods armor, if we lack the spirit of persistent prayer we are disqualified to fight. Days and nights of prayer and fasting will weaken the enemy. Verily there is no short cut to power!
As we pray, God works. As we pray, sinners become alarmed over their condition. As we pray, revivals are promoted in which souls break through to God. As we pray, God sends forth laborers into His harvest (Luke 10:2).
As we pray, God loosens up gold for the support and spread of the Gospel. As we pray, tired missionaries out yonder on the firing line are refreshed and encouraged to go on!
As we pray, problems are solved, difficulties removed, and Gods power, in whatever way it is needed, is sweetly, and blessedly, and marvelously manifested!
"This is the way, walk ye in it" (Isa. 30:21). Let nothing turn you from this path. Be faithful in prayer. The lack of secret prayer spells the lack of public power!
Be not negligent to take hold now in prayer and be not forgetful to hold on, and steel your heart never to relinquish your hold till the answer comes!
Be Urgent in Prayer
Finally, may this message be written in "the fleshy tables of the heart" (2 Cor. 3:3). In your sincere response to this message, it is not mental but heart-assent that is sought.
With this we entreat all who read this article to unite daily in a relentless drive against the forces of unrighteousness at war in the earth today.
Plead with us for immediate divine intervention in the tides and affairs of men.
Wrestle with God for mighty outpourings of the Holy Spirit, calling all Heaven to your aid!
Implore the Lord to bring the people to real conviction of sin, and a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Entreat the Lord to send a moral and spiritual awakening to this land that will call the people back to God!
Supplicate, intercede daily for all in authority, that a just and efficient rulership may facilitate the spread of the Gospel and the work of God in every land.
Daily, hourly, untiringly invoke Gods blessings upon our homes, our children, our schools and colleges.
And last but not least be importunate, be urgent in prayer, in this hour of the Lords returning, for the immediate evangelization of this lost world through world-wide revival!
With holy and steeled determination let Christians everywhere now powerfully focus prayer upon these strategic world battlefronts, knowing that where prayer is relentlessly focused, power falls, and victory awaits our persistent efforts!
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon