Why We Must Pray !!!
By Evan Wiggs
(Num 14:19 NASB) "Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to the
greatness of Thy lovingkindness, just as Thou also hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now."
(Num 14:20 NASB) So the LORD said, "I have pardoned them according to your word;
(Num 14:21 NASB) but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD.
Prayerlessness pervades the modern Christian scene. The prayer closet is filled with cobwebs and dust. The Christian is busy with Church events, meetings and social agendas. The Church is trying to reach the lost with "seeker friendly" events and services. Mega Churches are offering health clubs, 24-hour childcare, restaurants, etc. to induce the lost to at least darken their doors. The service is "enriched" with multimedia snips from popular TV and current movies. There are Christian "marketing" companies who will tell you how to "grow" your church by offering better services than a neighbor church. These marketers will tell a particularly charismatic pastor to sell himself with billboards with his image placed around a city. Churches grow not so much with the lost but with the movement of growingly disenchanted and restive church members.
I know a man in another city who goes to a mainline evangelical Church that is now two years old. They have grown in members very fast and now need three services. Their worship is lively, their programs are active and their youth group is growing. They present a very good image to the world. My friend, sensitive to the Holy Spirit, has viewed this image and has asked the hard question: "Does my Church even deserve to exist?". When he asks this of members of his Church he gets blank stares and questioning looks. He looked at me with eyes softened with compassion and said, "Almost all our growth in the last two years has been people from other Churches coming to ours. We reach so little of the lost.". There are thousands of Churches out there like that.
Do we have intercessors like Moses? Look at the verse above. This is an astounding word. Look at what God says. I have pardoned them according to YOUR word. It is God who is compassionate and merciful.
(Lam 3:22 KJV) It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
Yet God honors Moses WORD!!! God loves compassion and mercy in his people. A compassionate and merciful Church is what he desires. The man who is full of compassion and mercy has the Fatherís ear before he even speaks. His heart is molten with love from the Fatherís heart.
E. M. Bounds, for the last 17 years of his life, spent from 4:00 AM to 7:00 AM in prayer every morning without fail. He published eight books on prayer that are still the most profound and challenging books on the subject of prayer even though they are almost 100 years old. What kept him in his prayer closet all those years?
In 1727 The Moravians under Count Zinzendorf experienced an outpouring of the fire of the Holy Spirit in a revival. The Moravian brethren started a 24-hour prayer meeting after God came and set their souls flaming with compassion for the lost. That prayer meeting lasted over 100 years. Thousands of Moravian brethren went out to the farthest reaches of the globe, suffered unspeakable hardships, toil and death to bring Christ to the lost. What fueled this remarkable outpouring of zeal and compassion?
Count Zinzendorf so eloquently stated: "Our method of proclaiming salvation is this: to point out to every heart the loving Lamb, who died for us, and although He was the Son of God, offered Himself for our sins Ö by the preaching of his blood, and of His love unto death, even the death of the cross, never, either in discourse or in argument, to digress even for a quarter of an hour from the loving Lamb: to name no virtue except in Him, and from Him and on His account, -to preach no commandment except faith in Him; no other justification but that He atoned for us; no other sanctification but the privilege to sin no more; no other happiness but to be near him, to think of Him and do His pleasure; no other self denial but to be deprived of Him and His blessings; no other calamity but to displease Him; no other life but in Him."
In 1732 the first two Moravian missionaries left the Copenhagen harbor bound for the Dutch West Indies. John Leonard Dober, a potter and David Nitschman, a carpenter, were both willing to be sold into slavery to reach the slaves of the West Indies. The cry of the Moravian brethren was: "May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering.
Christians today look at these examples (and there are thousands more) with incredulity and wonder. Most prayer today is out of duty and is dry and tasteless a mere talking with the air. Did E. M. Bounds and the nameless Moravian brethren who spent hours on their knees do it out of duty alone? No! They had touched the center, they had connected with a love and compassion so deep they could not plumb the depths. They found a place of rest, refuge and joy. They did not go back in duty but in a joyous love of whom they met in the prayer closet. Their passion for the lost came from a passion for Jesus that sprang from the prayer closet.
I took a spiritual assessment test several years ago. One spiritual component this test was to let us know we possessed was mercy. If asked, I would have said I had an adequate amount of mercy active in my life. Others around me might have had a different opinion. I took the test and was shocked to the core of my being when the test revealed that I was merciless. Absolutely zero, nada, zilch.
At that time I was just beginning a sort of intellectual revival in my life. I had discovered the material that is in the section of my page entitled "For the Technically inclined". This was invigorating to me as it answered some long-standing questions in my life about the nature of God. However I was arrogant and merciless with many and I trod with rough feet through many lives.
But Bless my Lord, God saw something in me to salvage and work with. I had some very profound experiences with the Lord where He has filled me up with compassion as I prayed. I have wept before the lord for the lost and the sick. I have seen people healed as a result of Godís compassion as it ran through me like a tornado. My prayer life took off as I began to understand just whom I was dealing with. Jesusí love melted my heart and the prayer closet became a place of beauty. But God is not through with me and I learn daily about prayer.
Now look at this interesting story in Matthew.
(Mat 9:35 NASB) And Jesus was going about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.
(Mat 9:36 NASB) And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.
(Mat 9:37 NASB) Then He said^ to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
(Mat 9:38 NASB) "Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."
(Mat 10:1 NASB) And having summoned His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.
Jesus operated in compassion and mercy every time he saw the people. When he healed and cast out demons he operated in compassion. Now we see Jesus looking upon the lost sheep with compassion and them telling the disciples to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send workers. He did not directly send workers but asked us to pray for Lord to send workers. We pray and the Lord sends. The Lord will not send unless we pray. Beloved the harvest is ripe today and the Lord has his chosen workers in the wings waiting for the prayers of the saints. Yet the saints are not praying because they have not met the lover of their souls in the prayer closet.
Thousands are entering hell today because of our prayerlessness. God holds us accountable for our lack of prayer. It is time for the intercessors to rise, for those who will stand between God and sinful man and plead for God to send the merciful and compassionate workers of the harvest. Let God into your lives and make your heart hot and passionate with His love and compassion. Let your heart beat with the same beat of the Fatherís heart, let your eyes see with His eyes that see not like man.
(Jer 29:12 NASB) 'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
(Jer 29:13 NASB) 'And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Beloved we need to cry out in the Churches "LET THE PEOPLE OF GOD ARISE!". We need to start to PRAY.