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Someone once wrote that “A church is never more like the New Testament church than when it is praying.” Worship is important. The teaching of God’s Word is crucial in every church. So is fellowship and evangelism. The Bible is also clear that every church must be committed to prayer. Colossians 4.2 says: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Prayer is to be like breathing for the follower of Jesus!

Praying is a means from God to sustain us even in the darkest of times. Prayer is essential for the power and presence of God to be evident in our lives and the life of the church. If we do not pray, then we are essentially dead in the water. Often prayer is something we do after we have exhausted our own resources, but as Oswald Chambers wrote, “Jesus wants us to pray before we do anything at all.”

Jesus is our example of individual prayer. Luke 5.16 says that “Jesus would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” Not only are we to pray privately like Jesus, but we are to place an invested emphasis on praying together as a church Corporate prayer was an essential activity of the first church. D.A. Carson wrote, “Prayer meetings were the arteries of the early church. Through them, life-sustaining power was derived.” We absolutely must pray together—or God will certainly pass us by.

Charles Spurgeon wrote…

The condition of the church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings. So is the prayer meeting a grace-ometer, and from it we may judge the amount of divine working among the people. If God be near a church, it must pray. And if He be not there, one of first tokens of His absence will be slothfulness in prayer!

~ Bryan

 

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12.11: Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit. 

What does it mean to be “fervent in spirit”? Vance Havner once defined it in a sermon…

To be “fervent in spirit” is to be “boiling in spirit,” and to boil we must be near the Fire. How shall we obtain the burning heart? Jeremiah said it was God’s Word that did it and it was Jesus expounding the Scriptures that did it and it was while listening to Luther’s exposition of Romans that Wesley’s heart was warmed (Vance Havner, Hearts Afire, MCMLII, 12).

There you go! The key to possessing a fervent spirit is the reading, listening, studying and meditation on God’s Word.

Are we fervent in spirit?

“He (Jesus) commands us to pray for our daily bread so that we’re reminded that every last gift is from God”

~ John OnwuchewaPrayer, 57.

“When Jesus built the church, he built a praying congregation.”

~ Armin Gesswein

“Salvation comes through a cross and a crucified Christ.”

“The church of Jesus Christ was birthed as a world-changing force at a prayer meeting. In that upper room in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, as the small group of disciples was gathered to pray continually and wait on God to send the gift of the promised Holy Spirit” (Acts 1.4-5; 14).

~ Andrew M DavisRevitalize,94

“And as we see Him pray, and remember there is none who can pray like Him, and none who can teach like Him, we feel the petition of the disciples, ‘Lord, teach us to pray,’ is just what we need.” 

Andrew MurrayWith Christ in the School of Prayer(12).

Image result for Jesus praying

“We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first”

~ Oswald J. Smith

Copyright © 1998 by Michael D. Clarke, used with permission.

“Revival begins in the individual’s heart. Let it begin with you on your face alone before God. Turn from every sin that might hinder. Renew yourself to a new devotion to the Savior.”

 

“Some men, not content with [Christ] alone, are borne hither and thither from one hope to another; even if they concern themselves chiefly with him, they nevertheless stray from the right way in turning some part of their thinking in another direction. Yet such distrust cannot creep in where men have once for all truly known the abundance of his blessings.”

~ John Calvin (1509-1564)

May 2020
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