In the last few years, the Lord has impressed on my heart the prayerless state of the church. Here in America, the midweek prayer service has almost become a standing joke because so few come, and in many churches, prayer meetings have been discontinued.
I have been convicted that if no one else came for prayer in our church, I would be there. The excuses for not attending are always personal and selfish reasons. Francis A McGaw in his book Praying Hyde, points out some of the reasons why we struggle with this critical habit.
“It is self in some shape that comes between us and Him [the Lord]. So, self must be dealt with as He [the Lord] dealt with it. Self must be crucified, dead and buried with Christ. If not ‘buried,’ the stench of the old man will frighten souls away. If these three steps downward are taken as to the old man, then the new man will be revived, raised, and be seated. Then Christ will be lifted up in our lives, and He cannot fail to attract souls to Himself.” (page 62).
As we have continued to gather a few each Sunday morning for a half hour of prayer, we are seeing God answer our prayers in amazing ways. It was not a sudden revival of prayer, but a slow, gradual rise in interest and commitment. Numbers have increased, including some from our youth. We are very intentional about asking God to work in souls for salvation and discipleship growth. As we pray, God is doing the work in souls!
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