Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Prayer & the Parting of the Ways

“Listen! We have come—you and I—once more to the parting of the ways. All our past failure, all our past inefficiency and insufficiency, all our past unfruitfulness in service, can be banished now, once and for all, if we will only give prayer its proper place. Do it today. Do not wait for a more convenient time” (35).

This is the clarion call of the third chapter of The Kneeling Christian (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids: 1971). Our anonymous author had earlier stated that he was setting out to do the impossible in this chapter, namely, to exhort Christians to a life of prayer by relating stories about answered prayer. He thought this task impossible, “For if men will not believe, and act upon, our Lord’s promises and commands, how can we expect them to be persuaded by any mere human exhortations?” (29)

But he quickly pointed out that even the Lord once urged his followers to believe in him on account of his works if indeed they were unwilling to believe on account of his person and words (John 14:11). Thus, our author set about to relate a number of stories of answered prayer, most of which, by the way, took place in India.

The story that perhaps moved me most was of a young fifteen-year-old woman. She was a student at a boarding school who had converted to Christ from Hinduism, and had recently gone on a missions trip of sorts within India. One evening a missionary who was supervising the group noticed some light coming from the girls’ tent and thus went to rebuke them. But when she arrived she found that the light was emanating from a candle in the corner of the tent where this young woman was bowed down and praying for 500 unconverted souls, lifting each name before the Father.

Oh how I pray that we will have ears to hear: a fifteen-year-old young woman denying herself sleep in order to pray for 500 souls. Perhaps we would see more people coming to Christ at Glory of Christ Fellowship if we would sacrifice less to pray for only one or ten or twenty.

The point is not to pressure God’s people to prayer by means of guilt but to wake us up to the reality that we can accomplish much more by praying that we can by working or worrying, for when we pray we move the heart that rules the world.

Longing with you for a Spirit of intercession to descend on us,

Pastor Charlie

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