Why Revival Tarries: Prayer Grasps Eternity
By Leonard Ravenhill
“No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. The pulpit can be a shop-window to display one’s talents; the prayer closet allows no showing off.
Poverty-stricken as the Church is today in many things, she is most stricken here, in the place of prayer. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few prayers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.
The two prerequisites to successful Christian living are vision and passion, both of which are born in and maintained by prayer. The ministry of preaching is open to few; the ministry of prayer-the highest ministry of all human offices-is open to all. Spiritual adolescents say, “I’ll not go tonight, it’s only the prayer meeting.” It may be that Satan has little cause to fear most preaching. Yet past experiences sting him to rally all his infernal army to fight against God’s people praying. Modern Christians know little of “binding and loosing,” though the onus is on us-“Whatsoever ye shall bind…” Have you done any of this lately? God is not prodigal with His power; but to be much for God, we must be much with God.
This world hits the trail for hell with a speed that makes our fastest plane look like a tortoise; yet alas, few of us can remember the last time we missed our bed for a night of waiting upon God for a world-shaking revival. Our compassions are not moved. We mistake the scaffolding for the building, Present-day preaching, with its pale interpretation of divine truths, causes us to mistake action for unction, commotion for creation, and rattles for revivals.
The secret of praying is praying in secret. A sinning man will stop praying, and a praying man will stop sinning. We beggared and bankrupt, but not broken, nor even bent.
Prayer is profoundly simple and simply profound. “Prayer is the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try,” and yet so sublime that it outranges all speech and exhausts man’s vocabulary. A Niagara of burning words does not mean that God is either impressed or moved. One of the most profound of Old Testament intercessors had no language “Her lips moved, but her voice was not heard.” No linguist here! There are groanings which cannot be uttered.”
Are we so substandard to New Testament Christianity that we know not the historical faith of our fathers (with its implications and operations), but only the hysterical faith of our fellows? Prayer is to the believer what capital is to the business man.
Can any deny that in the modern church setup the main cause of anxiety is money? Yet that which tries the modern churches the most, troubled the New Testament Church the least. Our accent is on paying, theirs was on praying. When we have paid, the place is taken; when they had prayed; the place was shaken!
In the matter of New Testament, Spirit-inspired, hell-shaking, world-breaking prayer, never has so much been left by so many to so few. For this kind of prayer there is no substitute. We do it–or die!
Spending Time Alone With God
By Don Hazelwood
I just returned from a spiritual retreat, alone in a cabin in the mountains. It was a wonderful time of rest, recharging my spiritual batteries, and reconnecting with God in a powerful way. It’s something we have to make a special effort to do—especially when we’re so busy—but I recommend it to everyone. Why should you consider it? Here are a few reasons:
“After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone…” (Matt. 14:23)
“After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land” (Mark 6:46-47).
Jesus withdrew again to a mountain by himself… (John 6:15).
If Jesus’ example isn’t enough, consider this:
God called Jacob to become Israel when he left everyone in his camp for some time alone (Gen. 32).
Moses encountered God when he was alone, in the burning bush (Ex. 3) and on Mt. Sinai (Ex. 19).
God called to Samuel only when he left Eli and was alone (1 Sam. 3).
Elijah couldn’t hear God’s soft whisper until he was separated from other turmoil (1 Ki. 19).
John received his great Revelation when he was alone on Patmos. (Rev. 1)
Is it time for you to set aside a period of solitude so that you can hear God’s voice?
Taken from Why Revival Tarries, by Leonard Ravenhill. Copyright 1959, Leonard Ravenhill. Published by Bethany House Publishers.