Friday, 29 May 2009

The Prayer Imperative

Our campaign runs under the title, ‘Doing Something More For God.’

It is interesting to note that when word “more” is used in New Testament, it often relates to prayer. For example, in:

Matthew 20:31: “And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, Thou Son of David.”

Luke 22:44: “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

If you are asking the question, “What can I do to help this project along?” we can provide no better answer than to direct you to offer more prayer.

No work of God is ever accomplished without earnest and intense prayer.

• Brownlow North, one of the preachers who became a favoured instrument in the hands of God during the 1859 Revival, wrote a series of ‘Six Short Rules For Young Christians.’

Significantly, his first rule is: “Never neglect daily private prayer; and when you pray, remember that God is present, and that He hears your prayers (Hebrews 11:6).”

• When a few young men from Connor Presbyterian Church were stirred by their minister Rev. J. H. Moore to, “Do something more for God,” they commenced a Sunday School, followed by a Bible Class for the parents of the children, and then a prayer meeting that became the harbinger of the 1859 Revival.

These young men (James McQuilkin, John Wallace, Robert Carlisle and Jeremiah Meneely), majored on three truths when they met in the Schoolhouse in Kells and prayed for revival:

- the Sovereignty of the Holy Spirit,

- the sufficiency of the Holy Scripture,

- and the secret of Holy Supplication.

They were greatly encouraged by what God had done through the prayers of George Muller; in fact James McQuilkin encouraged his companions to persist in prayer by issuing this challenge,

“Why may we not have such a blessed work here, seeing that God did such great things for Mr Muller, simply in answer to prayer.”

Reading what was available of George Muller’s book at that time, ‘The Narrative of the Lord's Dealings with George Muller,’ they too learned the secret of true intercession and, “the Spirit of God came pouring into this newly-opened channel. ‘Christ and the Cross’ became the one absorbing theme of the gathering ... .”

Soon their prayer meeting was thronged and many new ones were established. So many people were converted in that district that by spring 1859 there were an average of 16 prayer meetings each night of the week in Connor parish alone. With tremendous speed the Spirit of God spread His power to Kellswater, Ahoghill, Dramaul, Portglenone, Ballymena, Broughshane and Ballyclare. Before long, almost the whole of Ulster was caught up in the visitation of grace that ultimately resulted in the conversion of 100,000 souls.

Let us give ourselves to prayer for this venture in 2009, pleading such promises as are found in Ezekiel 36:37-38:

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD.”