The Constitution Sacred Charter of Our Rights and the Power of Prayer
Andrew D. Urshan
Independence and the determination to put into effect the great ideals of a government of the people, for the people and by the people, that produced that group of statesmen of great physical vigor, strong mentally, thorough knowledge, practical wisdom, farsighted vision, and moral courage, who assembled in Philadelphia in 1787 and, after months of earnest discussion and deliberation, produced the Constitution which provided for the Republic of the United States of America.
Thorpe in his great work on “The Constitutional History of the United States,” speaking of the men who framed the Constitution says:
“Profound knowledge of all the early plans of government of which history has record, prepared them to take up the arduous civil problem before them.”
William Pitt, the noted statesman who was a friend of the struggling colonies during the Revolutionary war, after he had read the Constitution of the United States, exclaimed:
“It will be the wonder and admiration of all future generations, and the model of all future Constitutions.”
It has often been said that the writing and adoption of our Constitution was unquestionably the greatest and most important human achievement in the political history of the world, and many eminent men, in the spirit of humble reverence have expressed their belief that it was an inspired document touching upon this very sentiment, Atwood in the booklet entitled, “Keep God in American History,” relates the following:
“That marvelous body of men met day after day for four weeks and had not agreed on a single sentence or a single word. On the last morning of the fifth week, in the midst of a very heated discussion, they were about to adjourn and abandon the great purpose for which they had met, when Benjamin Franklin, perhaps the wisest man in the convention, mature in years, ripe in wisdom and consummate in tact, arose, and, addressing George Washington in the chair, spoke as follows:
“Mr. President, the small progress we have made after four or five weeks’ close attention and continual reasonings with each other, our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ayes, is, I think, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the human understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running all about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government and examined the different forms of those republics, having been originally formed with the seeds of their own dissolutions, now no longer exist; and we have viewed modern states all around Europe, but find none of their constitutions suitable in our circumstances.
“In this situation of this assembly, groping, as it were, in the dark to find political truth, and scarcely able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understanding?
“I have lived, sir, a long time; and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it possible that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmily believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political no better than the builders of Babel; we shall be divided by our little, partial, local interests, our project will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages. And, what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing government by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war, conquest.
“I therefore beg leave to move:
“That hereafter, prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.”
“And from that moment they began to make progress in the framing and adoption of that frame crowned document, which Gladstone asserted was ‘the greatest piece of work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.’ ”
The Great Need of Praying and Christ’s Practice of Prayer
1.Prayer, to our Lord, was more important than teaching and healing, for great multitudes came together to hear and be healed, but He withdrew Himself into the desert and prayed. Luke 5:15,16.
2. Prayer, to our Lord, was more important than rest, for “in the morning a great while before day, He rose up and went out and departed into a desert place and there prayed.” Mark 1:35.
3. Prayer, to our Lord, was more important than sleep, for “He went out into the mountain to pray and He continued all night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12.
4. Prayer, to our Lord, was more important than the working of miracles, for instead of working a miracle to deliver Peter He said: “I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” Luke 22:23.
5. Prayer, to our Lord, was more important in securing workers than either money or machinery, for He said, “Pray ye the Lord of the harvest that He send forth laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:38.
6. Prayer, to our Lord, was more important to be taught than preaching, for He taught men to pray, but we have no record that He ever taught them to preach. Matthew 6:5-15.
7. Prayer, to our Lord, is more important than all other ministries, for “He ever liveth to make intercession for us.” Hebrews 7:25.
The earthly ministry of our Lord was begun in prayer (Luke 3:21), continued in prayer, and ended in prayer (Luke 23:34).
The heavenly ministry of our Lord was begun in prayer (John 14:16, “I will”), and is now continued in prayer (Hebrews 7:25).
Prayer a Duty and a Privilege
Luke 18:1. “Men ought always to pray.” Every word in this text is significant. Each word has a message and a meaning of its own in connection with the great subject of prayer for it tells us, in the first place, that men ought to pray.
Men ought to pray because they are the only creatures of God that can pray. Of all the things God created, man, is the only one who can hold communion with the Eternal and keep in touch with the infinite. To man and man alone has been given the great privilege of prayer a privilege which he does not take advantage of as he should. To cease to pray is to cut one’s self off from the base of spiritual supply, the source of heavenly power.
In the second place this verse teaches the great duty of prayer. Men ought to pray. This is a duty which man owes to himself and to God. God can never accomplish his purpose for our lives, unless we keep in touch with him through prayer, and desire to know his will through this means of communion. The Church of prayer is always a Church of power.
This text also tells us about the circumstances under which we ought to pray. Men ought always to pray. Not under some of life’s circumstances but under all of life’s circumstances we ought to pray. It is easy to excuse ourselves these days because we are so busy; but Luther and Wesley both taught us that the more we have to do, the more we need to pray. We need to pray in the time of prosperity lest success leads us away from God. We need to pray in adversity lest disaster makes us forget God. There is no time in our life, and no circumstances under which we live when we can do without prayer.
Finally we are made to realize the value of prayer, knowing that through it we can talk to God and while we wait in worshipful silence before his holy throne God can speak to us. We must not fail to realize that the progress of God’s Kingdom depends upon the prayer of God’s people. It is still true that “more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”
The Secret of John Knox’s Power
John Knox was a man famous for his power in prayer, so that bloody Queen Mary used to say she feared his prayers more than all the armies of Europe. And events showed that he had reason to do so. He used to be in such agony for the deliverance of his country that he could not sleep. He had a place in his garden where he used to go to pray. One night he and several friends were praying together and as they prayed, Knox spoke and said that deliverance had come. He could not tell what had happened, but he felt that something had taken place, for God had heard their prayers. Soon came the news of Mary’s death Prevailing Prayers.
The Missionary Intercessor
Paul besought the Christians at Rome, “for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me,” and what missionary’s letter is not burdened with that same entreaty, “Pray for us?” The missionary knows his utter dependence upon God, and he knows the power of prayer. It is his daily experience to be conscious that he is encircled and upheld by the power of prayer offered on his behalf: strengthened in time of trial, and kept cheery while plodding in. Some great difficulty arises and vanishes, and the missionary finds long afterwards (perhaps never finds) that just then God had laid it on the heart of some home helper to pray. The missionary intercessor is burdened to uphold some missionary and the missionary learns of some great danger which until it was safely past, he had not known: The missionary goes to his meeting and as he preaches, he is inspired by an atmosphere of prayer, which he knows is not created by the audience thousands of miles away there is someone striving with Him on bended knees.
The true missionary intercessor the one who makes it a regular business to wrestle in prayer for the brethren in the Field may be used as literally to the saving of souls, the strengthening and building up in the faith of believers, and the winning of victories on the Foreign Mission Field, as if he were there in his labours, but God does answer his prayers in a measure far more glorious than he had ever asked or thought.
There are more things wrought on the Mission Field by prayer than the home helpers can ever realize. One has to become a missionary, and enter the struggle with the Powers of Darkness in the lands where Satan holds unlimited sway, to know the great work that can be, and is done, by the prayer helper at home.
Prayer is the great spiritual weapon with which we may all fight. It is not hampered by distance, and it is not limited by age or qualification.
It links us to the source of unlimited and absolute power, and though all the forces of evil be arrayed against us, the victory is certainly ours. It is a wonderful privilege which we can never overstep, and which we dare not neglect.
The Joy of Intercession
“Helping together by prayer.” II Corinthians 1:11
I like to feel that though on earth we never meet, Yet we may holdheart-fellowship at God’s dear feet. I like to feel in all the work Thou hast to do, That I, by lifting hand of prayer, may help Thee too.
I like to think that in the path His love prepares, Thy steps may sometimes stronger prove through secret prayers.
I like to think-that when on high results we see, Perchance thou wilt rejoice that I thus prayed for thee!
Prayer Can Girdle the Globe
It came to me yesterday, what a great work even the humblest of us can do by prayer. In our Mission work, the strongest and the most talented even can touch but a small number of people, comparatively, with their influence, but with our prayers we may each one girdle not only India but globe. Strange how dense we are we cannot see this, why should we place greater value on our own feeble puny effort than upon reaching up and “moving the Hand that moves the world.” When we think of such promises as “Call upon Me and I will answer, and will show thee great and mighty things,” it is a very simple conclusion that the reason we do not see “great things” is because we do not “call.” What else can it be in the face of such a promise? I believe the world has yet to see what can be done by patient, preserving, prevailing prayer.”
No Time For God
You’ve time to build houses, and in them to dwell, And time to do business—to buy and to sell, But none for repentance, or deep, earnest prayer: To seek your salvation you’ve not time to spare. You’ve time for earth’s pleasures, for frolic and fun, For her glittering treasures how quickly you run, But care not to seek the fair mansions above, The favor of God, or the gift of His love. You’ve time to take voyages over the sea, And time to take in the gay worlds’ jubilee; But soon your bright hopes will be lost in the gloom Of the cold, dark river of death, and the tomb. You’ve time to resort to woods, mountain and glen,
And time to gain knowledge from books and of men. Yet no time to search for the wisdom of God: But what of your soul when you’re under the sod? For time will not linger when helpless you lie; Staring death in the face, you will take time to die! Then what of .the judgment? Pause, think, I implore For time will be lost on Eternity’s shore.
“The ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.”
— Psalms 1:5.
The above article, “The Constitution Sacred Charter of Our Rights and the Power of Prayer” was written by Andrew D. Urshan. The article was excerpted from the book The Supreme Need of the Hour.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”