As I look back over many years, working and teaching in different churches all around the world, the one thing that grieves me the most is the lack of prayer. The greatest revivals started through believers expressing their deep burden for the lost and for revival in the Church in prayer.
Leonard Ravenhill said, “The Church has many praying men, but few men of prayer. How often have we given prayer the leftovers of our time, or waited until there was no other way out? “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours…he prayed fervently…then he prayed again” (James 5:17-18)”
Paul shows clearly the place and purpose of prayer in the Church; “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:1–2). He wanted Timothy to teach this to the Church so that prayer would have a high place on its life and agenda.
E. M. Bounds says of this verse, “First of all,” before all things, the Church of Jesus Christ was to be a praying church…to pray for all men” (Complete Work of E. M. Bounds on Prayer, page 544). Is prayer your “First of all” and do you “urge” others to make prayer a habit?
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