Monday, November 17, 2008
Got any Praying people here?
Habakkuk 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.
Habakkuk 3:1A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.
2 O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. 3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. 4 And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.
Psalm 63 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. 3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. 4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. 5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:
FRANCIS ASBURY: The sun was lowering and the air was like an oven when the stranger rode into town. With every step his horse kicked up little puffs of dust from the dry, powdery street. No one had seen the likes of him before. He was a stranger to these parts. no one knew for sure what to make of him. Leather creaked as he slid out of the saddle. The ground shook as the big man’s boots hit the street. He hitched his horse to the rail, looked around, stepped up on the wooden sidewalk and headed toward the saloon. When his lengthening shadow spilled through the swinging doors a hush fell over the crowd. The bartender stopped pouring. The dealer stopped shuffling. The bargirls stopped shmooching their marks. Even the piano fell silent. Chairs creaked, and necks craned as every eye tried to catch a glimpse of the stranger. "Got any praying people around here?"
Those were the first words that Francis Asbury (an itenerant Methodist preacher) asked when he rode into a new town. "Got any praying people around here?" That’s how the Methodists became the largest and most influential Christian denomination of the 19th and early 20th century. They knew that God’s work prospered when Christians prayed. "...GOT ANY PRAYING PEOPLE AROUND HERE?" Where are the praying people in this place?"
THE LAYMAN'S PRAYER REVIVAL OF THE 1880'S
Throughout American history there have been six major eras of widespread revival. Of these the Layman’s Prayer Revival is the most unique. It began prior to the Civil War, but continued unabated through the war and to the turn of the century. Estimates of conversions are listed between three hundred thousand and one million. Over one hundred thousand alone in the Confederate Army. That, however, is not the most unique feature of this revival.
The first startling feature was the dominance of lay leadership and the absence of the famous itinerant evangelists of previous eras. The second startling feature was that it began with prayer meetings rather than preaching services.
Distress over religious decline led to a stirring among religious leaders in the summer and autumn of 1857. Spontaneously, all over America, noon prayer meetings for businessmen, huge prayer gatherings of clergy, and extensive house-to-house visitation by lay people lead to a nationwide revival that some historians believe preserved us through the Civil War.
Interestingly, across the Atlantic ocean the very same thing ws happening in Northern Ireland. Some young men got together to pray at an old school house.
"This winter of 1857–58 will be remembered as the time when a great revival prevailed. It swept across the land with such power that at the time it was estimated that not less than 50,000 conversions occurred weekly."
Coincidentally, the very month that Jeremiah Lanphier began his prayer meeting in New York, four young Irishmen began a weekly prayer meeting in the village of Connor near Ballymena. This meeting is generally regarded as the origin of the 1859 revival that swept through most of the towns and villages in the north of Ireland and in due course brought 100,000 converts into the churches.
ASPIRATION IN PRAYER
Hab 2:1 will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
Faith vs Pride
Pride and the Pleasure mania
Pride and materialism Pride and false securities,
Pride and self assurance. Pride and self satisfaction.
Saviour Exaltation Psalm 69:3-5
ADORATION IN PRAYER
F. W. Faber caught the sense of the word in these lines:
How wonderful, how beautiful, the sight of Thee must be,
Thine endless wisdom, boundless power, and awful purity.
O how I fear Thee, living God, with deepest, tenderest fears,
And worship Thee with trembling hope, and penitential tears.
“I have known men,” said Thomas Goodwin, “who came to God for nothing else but just to come to Him, they so loved Him. They scorned to soil Him and themselves with any other errand than just purely to be alone with Him in His presence.”2
Worthy of praise from every mouth, of confession from every tongue,
of worship from every creature
Is Thy glorious Name, 0 Father, Son and Holy Ghost;
Who didst create the world in Thy grace and by Thy compassion didst save the world.
To Thy majesty, 0 God, ten thousand times ten thousand
bow down and adore,
Singing and praising without ceasing, and saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts;
Heaven and earth are full of Thy praises; Hosanna in the highest.
INTERCESSION IN PRAYER
From J Oswald Sander s Prayer Power Unlimited
"A young married woman [Mary Binnie, who in her later years was known to the author and whose granddaughter became his wife]. . had been converted in the Great Revival of 1859. [She] was a member of Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Edinburgh. Although this church had a noble history, it had fallen on evil days. Her heart was deeply burdened at the spiritual state of the church, and as she prayed, she received the clear conviction, from the Spirit of God she believed, that it was His purpose to send revival to the moribund Charlotte Chapel. She gave herself to prayer, and expectantly awaited the answer, little dreaming how many years would elapse before the promised revival came, or what was to be her part in it.
Then tragedy struck. Her husband was suddenly taken from her side, leaving her with three small children, and twins which were born shortly after his death. As she had few financial resources, her mother who lived in Kelso urged her to live with her. This she was loath to do as she felt she must be there when the revival came to the Chapel. At last circumstances compelled her to accept her mother’s invitation, and she took her little family to Kelso, but her intercessions for the revival were as urgent as ever.
At that time Kelso could boast no Baptist Chapel, so she set herself to pray that someone would be moved to build one. One day while walking down the main street of the town she was accosted by a wealthy lady who, in the course of conversation told her that God had laid it on her heart to build a Baptist Chapel in Kelso! The startling announcement did not at all surprise this woman of faith who had implicit confidence in the power of God to answer prayer.3
When the chapel was built, they called a young man recently graduated from the Glasgow Bible Institute, Joseph W. Kemp, Under his vigorous ministry the church prospered, and in due course he married one of the twin daughters of the godly widow.
But what of the promised revival at Charlotte Chapel? Through the intervening years “the importunate widow” had “not staggered at the promise of God through unbelief,” but had persistently pressed her suit at the throne of grace. It takes little imagination to picture her awe when an invitation came to her loved son- in-law to occupy the vacant pulpit of Charlotte Chapel. Was God at last going to answer the prayers of many years? Was He going to send revival, using as His instruments her own daughter and her husband? Then the long test of faith had been abundantly worth-while.
From the moment of the advent of the energetic young pastor, the tide in the affairs of the church turned decisively. The congregation of thirty-five at the welcome meeting quickly began to increase under the persuasiveness of his passionate preaching.
His life-long tendency to overwork began to affect Mr. Kemp’s health and his officers suggested a holiday, but he spent it visiting the Welsh Revival which was then at its height. There he saw scenes enacted before his eyes that filled him with a longing to see a similar movement of the Spirit in his own church.
On returning to Edinburgh, he shared his burden with some members of his church who were gathered in prayer. From that moment the flood-gates of blessing were opened wide. Night after night, week after week the meetings increased in numbers and intensity.4
One who was reporting on the movement wrote:
It is impossible to convey any adequate idea of the prayer passion that characterised those meetings. There was little or no preaching, it being no uncommon experience for the pastor to go to the pulpit on the Lord’s Day and find the congregation so caught in the spirit of prayer as to render preaching out of the question. For a whole year the church prayed on night by night without a single break.
The people poured out their hearts in importunate prayer. I have yet to witness a movement that has produced more permanent results in the lives of men women and children. There were irregularities, no doubt; some commotion, yes. There was that which shot itself through all prescribed forms and shattered all conventionality. But such a movement with all its irregularities is to be preferred far above the dull, dreary, monotonous decorum of many churches. Under these influences, crowds thronged the chapel which, only three years before, maintained a sombre vacuum.5
Writing of the movement, the pastor said that during the first year he had personally dealt with no fewer than one thousand souls who had been brought to God during the prayer meetings. Conversions took place at every meeting.
“At the end of the first year of this sovereign visitation,.. . it seemed as though the tide of spiritual fervour was on the ebb. The pastor made preparation for a course of teaching with a view to consolidating and conserving the wonderful work of the past year. But once again the Spirit of God intervened.”6
At a late prayer meeting, the fire of God fell. There was nothing, humanly speaking, to account for what happened. Quite suddenly upon one and another came an overwhelming sense of the reality and awfulness of His presence and of eternal things. Life, death and eternity seemed suddenly laid bare. Prayer and weeping began, and gained in intensity every moment. One was overwhelmed before the sudden bursting of the bounds. Could it be real? The midnight hour was reached. The hours had passed like minutes.7
The revival fires blazed for a second whole year, during which eight hundred more sought and found the Lord in the chapel. One elder wrote of the prayer meetings,
It has been my privilege to be at some of the wonderful early and late prayer meetings which have
marked feature of the revival. He has attended half nights of prayer and whole nights of prayer some of which will never be forgotten; but in no case has he ever seen anything like what has taken place in the past few weeks.
Here were men and women on their knees, many filled with an intense passionate longing, with strong crying to God; others in bondage yet longing to be free; some melted by love divine, whose eyes with tears o’erflowed. At times the spirit of prayer so increased that it seemed as if all were praying. At another time the soul gave vent in song as it overflowed in joy. The sense of God’s nearness and presence was at times overwhelming."
Chuck Swindoll, in his book Strengthening Your Grip, shares a conversation he had with General Duke about the Apollo 16 mission to the moon. Pastor Chuck asked, “Once you were there [on the moon], weren’t you free to make your own decisions and carry out some of your own experiments . . . you know, sort of do as you pleased—maybe stay a little longer if you liked?” He smiled back, “Sure, Chuck, if we didn’t want to return to earth!”
He then described the intricate plan, the exact and precise instructions, the essential discipline, the instant obedience that was needed right down to the split second. By the way, he said they had landed somewhat “heavy” when they touched down on the moon. He was referring to their fuel supply. They had plenty left. Guess how much. One minute. They landed with sixty seconds of fuel remaining. Talk about being exact!5
During this mission, these astronauts obviously had to abandon their own wishes, knowing that their lives depended on it. It was definitely in their own best interests to obey. They went out on this incredible mission knowing that everything had been planned out to such precise calculations that if there were any error, it could mean their deaths.
Now consider this: We don’t place our lives in the hands of human calculations, but every decision, even from our delegated authorities, is calculated and allowed by our Almighty and infallible God.