Free Bible Study Magazine
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands (1 Tim. 2:8).
Men ought always to pray (Luke 18:1).
Praying always with all prayer (Eph. 6:18).
Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure. —D. L. Moody.
(This article reproduced by kind permission of Harvey Publishers. www.harveycp.com ISBN 1-932774-08-4. 128 Pages Price $6.00)
Everything is by prayer. I did not even read the Book of Acts in seminary. I had always considered it a historical document. When I got into it later, it was a brand new book to me. I discovered that the method of the Spirit of God in that book was a prayer method, and I started praying for a spiritual awakening. Prayer is not our message; it is the method of God for the message.
About that time I began to read everything I could find by Charles G. Finney. I discovered that his revivals were based on prayer, that the spirit of prayer is the spirit of revival.
Then I met an old Methodist lay preacher and through him I learned that in the early American revivals they used to major in prayer—nights of prayer, all kinds of prayer. The evangelists would preach on the subject. And as in the Book of Acts, they “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
So I came to have a kind of vision of prayer—not a picture vision, but an inward vision. I sensed that if God is going to do it, it has to be by prayer. Prayer is not just a good idea—it is His divine plan. . . .
Our generation has yet to see prayer as a ministry, and to take God at His Word on this subject. It is while we pray that God works, if we can but see Him—not merely before, or after prayer. Our idea is, “Let us pray, and then get on with the work.” But prayer is our real work. We so often think of prayer as a prefix or a suffix to an otherwise busy round. But God’s works are wrought as we pray, and while we pray.
It brings a revolution to any minister or Christian, once he believes God’s Word on this point. His works are done through prayer, for He always works out from His throne by intercession. It is not only His intercession, but ours too, for, by His Spirit, He not only prays for us, but in us. He gives us of His own great praying—and that is true praying indeed.
We are not just to imitate His praying, but to enter into it, receive it, and have it enter into us. That is how we enter into His works, become “laborers together with God,” and learn to cease from our own works. We learn in this way to work with Him, instead of for Him. Sons, and no longer slaves.
Then after we have prayed, we walk with the Lord Jesus into the works He has wrought in answer to prayer. Prayer is our real work. Working is drudgery. Even working for the Lord is dreary. But working with Him is delight.
In His Kingdom, it is those to whom He ministers who minister. The conquered conquer, and the followers of Christ lead others.—Armin Gesswein.
God does nothing but by prayer, and everything with it. —John Wesley.
Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.—D. L. Moody.
The Young Men’s Christian Association can be traced to the kneeling figure of a very young man, George Williams, who believed that by prayer he could influence his companions in the large draper’s establishment where he worked. Conditions among the young employees were dreadful, but he won them one by one and this is his own account of how he went about it: “The Lord having closed me in, I was enabled to plead, and I believe the Lord has given me . . .” (three names of assistants in the same business). “O Lord, now come down and let me plead with Thee until I prevail.” At the end of the year there were nine, and in a few brief years the whole establishment had felt the impact of this young man from the country who dared defy the wickedness in London, and claimed for Christ those whom Satan had captured.
This article first appeared in Living Word in October 2011.