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“A congregation without a prayer meeting is essentially defective in its organization, and so must be limited in its efficiency”
~ J. B. Johnston
“A dynamic praying church must be built from the inside out, employing all four levels of prayer: the secret closet, the family altar, small group praying and finally, the congregational setting.”
~ Richard Burr
“All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers”
~ Acts 1.14
Acts 4:31 says, “And when they prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” God shook them physically and spiritually. I believe that our churches today could use a good spiritual “shaking.” The early Christians prayed, God shook them by filling them with the His Spirit, and then he shook the world as they witnessed boldly for Christ.
God ministered to through them to perform mighty miracles. There was no way to they were going to keep silent. They had “seen and heard” too much from their Lord. Their lives had been radically changed. It all began with prayer! Perhaps if we would pray as they did, we too would be “shaken.” We just might “see and hear” more from the Lord then we do presently (p.24).
“A congregation without a prayer meeting is essentially defective in its organization, and so must be limited in its efficiency.”
~ The Prayer Meeting and Its History, J. B. Johnston
by Alvin Reid
When do you think the following observations were made?
- Ministers today seem more concerned with political power in society than spiritual fervency in the church, while pop culture contributes to the moral decay among the youth.
- While marked by an increasing ethnic diversity and various religious beliefs, the nation’s established religious groups –– particularly Protestants –– demonstrate a sterile spirituality. One pastor bemoans the obsession with gambling and rudeness, while churches are attended at convenience.
- College campuses teem with students chasing after the latest philosophies, the more unbiblical the better. The more educated a person you find, the less likely you are to discover a Christian. Meanwhile, churches are filled with people who listen to pastors preach then contradict the sermon by the way they live.
You may think these descriptions came from the blog of some concerned Christian commenting on our time. But the first one comes from Great Britain just before the preaching of John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, and others who were used by God to lead a great revival there. The second comes from the American colonies prior to the First Great Awakening. The final came around 1800, with college campuses in the newly formed United States influenced by Voltaire, Rousseau, and others, at the dawn of the Second Great Awakening.
Ours is not the first generation to recognize the spiritual declension among us, or to see the need for God to awaken his church and touch our land. From the saints of the Old Testament to leaders in our time, prayer for revival has marked believers who understand the need for the Spirit surpasses our ability and intelligence.
“History confirms the truth that wherever evangelical and vital religion flourish, there lives
the earnest gatherings for social prayer.”
~ J. B. Johnston, The Prayer Meeting and Its History
“Revivals begin with God’s own people; the Holy Spirit touches their heart anew, and gives them new fervor and compassion, and zeal, new light and life, and when He has thus come to you, He next goes forth to the valley of dry bones… Oh, what responsibility this lays on the Church of God! If you grieve Him away from yourselves, or hinder His visit, then the poor perishing world suffers sorely!”