PRAYER - THE FOUNDATION OF EFFECTIVE MINISTRY
Volume 9; Issue 1
Gospel ministry in America today has achieved a level of proficiency unprecedented in the history of the church. We have million dollar facilities with the latest technologies, marketing strategies that rival Madison Avenue, and unlimited number of programs to meet every conceivable need of the spiritual consumer. We have become so proficient. We are strong in technology, strong in facility, strong in programs and strong in presentation. But I fear that what is our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness.
R.T. Kendell wrote, “If the Holy Spirit were taken completely from the earth today, ninety percent of church work would go on as if nothing at all had happened.”
My fear is that we have become so proficient in our own ability that we no longer rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. We’ve become so proficient we can do it without Him. We no longer need Him, we no longer seek Him, we no longer pray.
Any novice Bible student knows that the most important meeting of the New Testament church was the prayer meeting. Unfortunately, today, it’s also the least attended meeting.
It’s true. Today we have no problem filling the church for fellowships and social events, but where is the prayer? We have no problem gathering people for potlucks and chili cook-offs but where is the call to fast? In the words of David Wilkerson, “We love the supper room, but avoid the upper room.” And unfortunately, the church will never penetrate this godless culture and make true converts to Christ unless we fall in love again with prayer.
More than a century ago, Andrew Murray said, “The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution in history to world evangelization.” Likewise, Leonard Ravenhill declared, “The man who can get believers to praying would, under God, usher in the greatest revival that the world has ever known.” In the early 20th century, Dr. R. A. Torrey wrote, “The devil is perfectly willing that the Church should multiply its organizations and its deftly contrived machinery for the conquest of the world for Christ, if it will only give up praying.” Torrey further wrote, “Satan laughs as he looks at the church of today, and says: ‘You can have your Sunday schools, and your children’s programs and your Men’s Clubs, and your choirs, and your music, and your preachers, and even your revival efforts even—if you do not bring into them the power of Almighty God, sought and obtained by earnest, persistent, believing, mighty prayer.’”
But how does a church become a praying church? How do a people become a praying people? The answer is found in three simple words: A PRAYING LEADER!”