Earnest Prayer

Brian Edwards hammers home the vital nature of prayer in revival:

“In the first month of the first year of his reign, [Hezekiah] opened the doors of the temple of the LORD and repaired them (2 Chronicles 29:3). That is not merely a statement about a piece of ecclesiastical carpentry, it is possibly the most significant statement in this entire account of revival. Hezekiah began at the temple because by reopening the house of the LORD he was making it a priority that the people should come into the presence of God. Unless they came to God in his way, through the proper sacrifices offered in the temple, there could be no access to their Creator. When the Hebrews entered the temple to worship that was their approach to God in prayer. Without this initial action by the king, the statement of 2 Chronicles 30:27 would be impossible: ‘The priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.’

“There are two periods of prayer implied here. The first was just before the work of revival began and the second was during the revival itself. All revival begins and continues in the prayer meeting. Before revival the prayer meeting is not always attended by many; sometimes only by a few, but someone is always praying. Then, when revival comes the prayer meeting is the first to benefit. Prayer has been called ‘the great fruit of revival’. The meeting that is so neglected by the church becomes the focal point of the life of the Christian community; Christians who have avoided a prayer meeting for years are now longing for the next occasion to call to God. Prayer is no longer a burden, though it may be a battle.” (Revival, p 140).

As Joy Cale, a dear old saint of our church, St Stephen’s Bellevue Hill, now gone to glory, used to say: ‘No Prayer, No Power. A Little Bit of Prayer, A Little Bit of Power. Much Prayer, Much Power.’

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