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“The coming revival must begin with a great revival of prayer. It is in the closet, with the door shut, that the sound of abundance of rain will first be heard. An increase of secret prayer with ministers will be the sure harbinger of blessing.”
“It is the tragedy of this hour that many people seem to think that if they know the mechanics of serving God, that is all that is necessary. May this thought be far removed from your minds. No service is acceptable unto God unless it is rendered upon the wings of prayer. Therefore, may we withdraw ourselves to the secret place and there pray until we have an answer.”
“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
“Prayer can never be in excess.”
~ C. H. Spurgeon
Mark 2:1–4 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.
I never fail to be moved by this account. I am moved by the desperate condition of the paralytic. I am moved by the friends who refused to be stopped by anything in bringing their friend to Jesus. And I am moved by the wonder of Christ’s responses. He is completely uninterested in how they damaged His home in order to get their friend in front of Him. He refuses to only deal with the man’s paralysis, but incudes the eternal issue of his sin. And He is undaunted by the naysayers who balked when He displayed His authority to forgive sins – which only God can do. Everything about the account is worthy of contemplation and rejoicing. It is an astounding display of our Savior’s love, compassion and courage.
Take just a moment to look more closely at the nature of the Paralytic’s friends. For in their actions and attitudes, they give us one of the best expositions of what it means to “intercede” for someone in the Scriptures.
Here we learn an extraordinary lesson: Our faith greatly affects others, when by virtue of it, we bring men to Him – either in the sense of giving them the Gospel, or bringing them to sit under the preaching of the Word, or even in prayer – that they might be touched by Him.
The friends here, invest their time and energy in bringing this man to Jesus’ attention. And what more is prayer? It is our bringing others to the attention of our Lord that He may touch them. But for such faith to have legs, we have to act upon it. They could not gather for coffee and discuss what Jesus could do for him, if only… . They brought him to Jesus. And this is what it means for us to pray for others. To bring them to Jesus.
“Hell is larger today than it was yesterday, because many of us have failed to pray.”
~ David Smithers
Did I mean “hours”? Yes.
“I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it.”
By William Wilberforce (1759 – 1833)
William Wilberforce, the great English social reformer, understood the social benefits of religious faith. His convictions motivated his (eventually successful) campaign to ban the slave trade. In this extract, he argues that the Church is more than simply moral leaven. On the contrary, God rescues nations where the Church repents and prays.
Let true Christians pray continually for their country in this season of national difficulty. We bear upon us but too plainly the marks of a declining empire. Who can say but that the Governor of the universe, who declares Himself to be a God who hears the prayers of his servants may, in answer to their intercessions, for a while avert our ruin and continue [to extend] to us the fullness of those temporal blessings which in such abundant measure we have hitherto enjoyed . .
[I]t would be an instance in myself of that very false shame which I have condemned in others if I were not to boldly avow my firm persuasion that to the decline of religion and morality our national difficulties must both directly and indirectly be chiefly ascribed; and that my only solid hopes for the well-being of my country depend not so much on her fleets and armies, not so much on the wisdom of her rulers, or the courage of her people, as on the persuasion that she still contains many who, in a degenerate age, love and obey the Gospel of Christ, and on the humble trust that the intercession of these may still prevail and that for the sake of these, heaven may still look upon us with an eye of favor.1
|1||William Wilberforce, A Practical View of . . . Real Christianity, in English Spirituality in the Time of Wesley (1994; reprint, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 516-517.|