My Creed leads me to think that prayer is efficacious, and surely a dayís asking God to overrule all events for good is not lost. Still there is a great feeling that when a man is praying heís doing nothing, and this feeling makes us give undue importance to work, sometimes even to the hurrying over or even to the neglect of prayer.
not we rest in our day too much on the arm of flesh? Cannot the same wonders
be done now as of old? Do not the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout
the whole earth still to show Himself strong on behalf of those who put
their trust in Him? Oh that God would give me more practical faith in Him!
Where is now the Lord God of Elijah? He is waiting for Elijah to call on
James Gilmour of Mongolia
The more praying
there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces
against evil everywhere. Prayer, in one phase of its operation, is a
disinfectant and a preventive. It purifies the air; it destroys the
contagion of evil. Prayer is no fitful, short-lived thing. It is no voice
crying unheard and unheeded in the silence. It is a voice which goes into
Godís ear, and it lives as long as Godís ear is open to holy pleas, as long
as Godís heart is alive to holy things.
God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. The lips that uttered
them may be closed in death, the heart that felt them may have ceased to
beat, but the prayers live before God, and Godís heart is set on them and
prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them; outlive a generation,
outlive an age, outlive a world.
That man is the
most immortal who has done the most and the best praying. They are Godís
heroes, Godís saints, Godís servants, Godís viceregents. A man can pray
better because of the prayers of the past; a man can live holier because of
the prayers of the past, the man of many and acceptable prayers has done the
truest and greatest service to the incoming generation. The prayers of Godís
saints strengthen the unborn generation against the desolating waves of sin
and evil. Woe to the generation of sons who find their censers empty of the
rich incense of prayer; whose fathers have been too busy or too unbelieving
to pray, and perils inexpressible and consequences untold are their unhappy
heritage. Fortunate are they whose fathers and mothers have left them a
wealthy patrimony of prayer.
The prayers of
Godís saints are the capital stock in heaven by which Christ carries on His
great work upon earth. The great throes and mighty convulsions on earth are
the results of these prayers. Earth is changed, revolutionized, angels move
on more powerful, more rapid wing, and Godís policy is shaped as the prayers
are more numerous, more efficient.
It is true that
the mightiest successes that come to Godís cause are created and carried on
by prayer. Godís day of power; the angelic days of activity and power are
when Godís Church comes into its mightiest inheritance of mightiest faith
and mightiest prayer. Godís conquering days are when the saints have given
themselves to mightiest prayer. When Godís house on earth is a house of
prayer, then Godís house in heaven is busy and all potent in its plans and
movements, then His earthly armies are clothed with the triumphs and spoils
of victory and His enemies defeated on every hand.
God conditions the very life and prosperity of His cause on prayer. The
condition was put in the very existence of Godís cause in this world. Ask of
Me is the one condition God puts in the very advance and triumph of His
Men are to prayóóto pray for the advance of Godís cause. Prayer puts God in full force in the world. To a prayerful man God is present in realized force; to a prayerful Church God is present in glorious power, and the Second Psalm is the Divine description of the establishment of Godís cause through Jesus Christ. All inferior dispensations have merged in the enthronement of Jesus Christ. God declares the enthronement of His Son. The nations are incensed with bitter hatred against His cause. God is described as laughing at their enfeebled hate.
The Lord will
laugh; The Lord will have them in derision. ďYet have I set My King upon My
holy hill of Zion.Ē The decree has passed immutable and eternal:
Ask of Me is the
condition a praying people willing and obedient. ďAnd men shall pray for Him
continually.Ē Under this universal and simple promise men and women of old
laid themselves out for God. They prayed and God answered their prayers, and
the cause of God was kept alive in the world by the flame of their praying.
Prayer became a settled and only condition to move His Sonís Kingdom.
ďAsk,and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be
The strongest one in Christís kingdom is he who is the best
knocker. The secret of success in Christís Kingdom is the ability to pray.
The one who can wield the power of prayer is the strong one, the holy one in
Christís Kingdom. The most important lesson we can learn is how to pray.
Prayer is the keynote of the most sanctified life, of the holiest ministry. He does the most for God who is the highest skilled in prayer. Jesus Christ exercised His ministry after this order.