Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12
The secret to a major breakthrough in any circumstance is to first breakthrough in prayer. When we add fasting to our praying we increase our effectiveness many times over.
There is not a preacher, a pastor, or a group of Christians throughout all Christian history who have achieved some great thing for God that have been able to say, prayer was not part of it. Not just ordinary prayer either, but prayer that breaks through. Prayer and fasting bring breakthroughs that nothing else can. Even Jesus told his disciples some things cannot be achieved without prayer and fasting, (Mark 9:29).
Saying a prayer is not the answer. We are not here to be appropriately religious. We are here to change people and circumstances. Therefore we must be able to pray so that we effect changes. These changes are wrought in prayer.
Was it William Carey the great missionary to India, who originated the much-said statement, ‘God does nothing but in answer to prayer’?
On Prayer Mountain in Seoul, Korea, a property owned by the largest church in the world, Full Gospel Central Church, at any given time, up to 10,000 people can be found on the mountain locked away in small caves and holes in the hill, crying out to God for their church, their city, their country, their Pastor and his team. They have around one million members in their church.
It’s difficult to argue with that kind of success.
Jashil Choi, Pastor Yongii Cho’s mother in law, committed herself to extraordinary prayer and fasting in the early days of that church, locking herself in a hole in the ground, determined that either God would bring blessing or else she would die.
David Yongii Cho the Pastor of this largest Church in the history of the world, says that he prays no less than three hours, sometimes five hours daily.
Martin Luther of Germany, possibly the most pivotal man in the entire Reformation of the 15th Century said, ‘I have so much work to do, that I cannot get along without giving three hours daily of my best time to prayer’.
Jonathan Edwards the man God used for the Great Awakening in America in the 17th Century records, ‘When I was a boy I used to pray 5 times a day in secret, and to spend much time in religious conversation with other boys. I used to meet with them to pray together. So it is God’s will through His wonderful grace, that the prayers of His saints should be one great and principal means of carrying on the designs of Christ’s Kingdom in the world’.
R.A. Torrey preached, ‘Prayer is the key that unlocks all the storehouses of God’s infinite grace and power. All that God is, and all that God has, is at the disposal of prayer’.
Ralph Herring says, ‘Prayer is a summit meeting in the very throne room of the Universe’.
Leonard Ravenhill writes, ‘One might estimate the weight of the world, tell the size of the celestial city, count the stars of heaven, measure the speed of lightening, tell the time of the rising and setting of the sun – but you cannot estimate the power of prayer. Prayer is as vast as God is, because God is behind it. Prayer is as mighty as God is because He has committed Himself to answer it’.
E.M Bounds says, ‘A prayerless minister is the undertaker for all God’s truth and for God’s church. He may have the most costly casket and the most beautiful flowers but it is a funeral, notwithstanding the charmful array. A prayerless Christian will never learn God’s truth; a prayerless ministry will never be able to teach God’s truth. Ages of millennial glory have been lost by a prayerless church. Hell has enlarged herself and filled her dire caves in the presence of the dead service of a prayerless church. If the preachers of the 20th century will learn well the lesson of prayer, and use fully the power of prayer, the millennium will come ere the century closes. If the 20th century will get their texts, their thoughts, their words, their sermons in their closets, the next century will find a new heaven and a new Earth. The old sin stained and sin eclipsed Heaven and Earth will pass away under the power of a praying ministry’.
The power of God lies untapped until we begin to pray.
The church without prayer is Samson without hair. The good thing about hair is that it can grow again. The great thing about prayer is that it can be grasped again. It can be revived. If prayer is revived, revival comes. The two are inseparable.
Prayer has no ‘ifs’ in it. The only ‘If’, is whether or not we will pray. Once we pray God will answer.
A wealthy gentleman called Count Von Zinzendorf of Moravia led a community in Hernhutt, on his estate in the first half of the 18th Century. The community was called ‘the Lord’s Watch’ and they committed themselves to a prayer meeting that would be continual. This prayer movement actually lasted nearly one hundred years. It is not difficult to trace the large bulk of missionary activity to that prayer meeting. It was Moravian Brethren from Hernhutt who influenced John Wesley to a real relationship with Christ. They also had a deep impact on George Whitfield. Great things come out of great prayer.
From Abraham pleading with God for Sodom and Gomorrah, to Moses standing upon the mountain over the warring armies, to King David rising morning, noon and night, to pray, to Daniel opening his windows to Jerusalem three times a day, to Elijah bowing in intercession for the drought to break, to Jesus Christ Himself, spending entire nights in prayer, and rising early every day to seek His Father, to the 120 in the Upper Room, to the Apostles unwilling to abandon the practice of prayer in order to administrate the church, to Peter seeking God on a roof top, and receiving the revelation of the salvation of the Gentiles, to John the beloved disciple receiving an entire revelation of the end times on the Isle of Patmos when he was in prayer on the Lord’s Day.
In all of these prayer is the secret. And it is no secret. It is a well documented key, available for anyone to unlock the great doors of the Kingdom of God.
Ps Phil Pringle
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