Prayer has been foremost on my mind for quite some time. But recently, I seem to be bombarded with both the intense need for it, and my shameful lack of strength in this area! Yesterday, Pastor preached on not just praying, but Gethsemane praying! (Matt.26:36-46) He showed us the power of that prayer time which prepared Jesus for His last steps to the cross, and how important our prayer is in our Christian lives! It was certainly enlightening! Having read a little of E.M. Bounds, David Brainerd, and Spurgeon on the matter, how Billy Sunday never preached a sermon without first soaking it in prayer, it makes me look at the Bible with new eyes. Not just full of prayer, but full of events that occurred because of prevailing prayer, or because of the lack of it ...
I was teaching the teens last night about soul-winning again, and exhorting them to go out and witness. We had Teen Night on Saturday also, and I was longing for some teens to be there, some to get saved, and some to fall in love with the Lord and follow Him. I was left asking what drives me the way it does to serve the Lord, how can I point them to the Lord I love, How will they get convictions and desires of their own for spiritual things?
The answer for these things begins with prayer! I need to be "prayed-up" so I can love them with a Christian love. I need the power of the Holy Spirit when I preach to them. I need their hearts to be soft to the Word of God. I need to be close to God and right with Him if these things are going to be possible! Where does this leave them if I'm not doing that?
Let's not neglect this needful ministry, and utmost privilege to come boldly before the King of Kings!
How few of us can compare ourselves with Mr. Joseph Alleine. "At the time of his health," writes his wife, "he did rise constantly at or before four of the clock, and would be much troubled if he heard smiths or other craftsmen at their trades before he was at communion with God; saying to me often, 'How this noise shames me. Does not my Master deserve more than theirs?' From four till eight he spent in prayer, holy contemplation, and singing psalms, in which he much delighted and did daily practice alone, as well as in the family. Sometimes he would suspend the routine of parochial engagements, and devote whole days to these secret exercises, in order to which, he would contrive to be alone in some void house, or else in some sequestered spot in the open valley. Here there would be much prayer and meditation on God and heaven."