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Behold, I make all things new.
REVELATION 21:5 KJV
If your faith in Christ doesn't lead you to pray, then have nothing to do with it: get rid of it, and God help you to begin again.
CHARLES HADDON SPURGEON
Pray About It: The past year is over, the new year begins. As we think about the twelve months ahead, let's invite God to oversee all that crosses our path. Let's give Him charge over every aspect of our lives, including our prayer life.
Today, as we pray---perhaps feebly, perhaps with doubts and worries---let's begin again. If yesterday's faith didn't lead us to be effective prayers, let's be done with it, as Charles Haddon Spurgeon recommends. God is the God of today, not yesterday; God of the living, not the dead. His manna is always fresh and ready for the taking. His answers to our prayers are always right, always on His perfect timetable, and always for our good.
Lord Jesus, at the start of this new year, we ask for a fresh beginning. Wipe our sins away with Your precious blood. Cleanse our hearts of bitterness toward others. Help us to live each day in close communication with You, our true and faithful guide. CORRIE TEN BOOM
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you. PSALM 5:3 Prayer prevails. It brings power. It brings life. It brings God. Let us dare to be definite with God; let us dare to lay hold of the promises and to wait in faith until the answer comes. MRS.CHARLES E. COWMAN Pray About It: Not many Christians know the story of Charles and Lettie Cowman. This godly man and woman were both pray-ers and missionaries. But like many Christians, the most lasting work to come from their lives was to be after much suffering.
Mrs. Cowman, like so many others, found the secret to a successful life of service: a life of prevailing prayer. Each morning at 5:30, Mrs. Cowman woke up to have her time with God.
When Charles took sick, Mrs. Cowman prayed and nursed him. But during that time of suffering and praying and considering God's will, she pieced together a book of her favorite sayings and quotations. With the book she hoped to gain some small funds to help support the missionary work. Although Charles died, leaving Lettie a widow at age fifty-four, this woman of God would live another thirty years and fulfill the worldwide ministry God had prepared for her. It was to be the book that Lettie compiled during Charles's sickness that would be the unlikely answer to the couple's prayers. That book, still in print and a best-seller after seventy-five years, is possibly the best-loved devotional book of all time: Streams in the Desert. Dare to lay hold of the promises of God, as Mrs. Cowman did. She could never have guessed how God would do it---she only knew that He would. Wait in faith until the answer comes. The voice of agonizing prayer breaks the stillness of the morning. I have but little fear of the noise of praying Christians. The prayers of some of these precious people are heaven-moving, heaven-opening. What wonderful and striking types of men [and women]. What glorious Christians. CHARLES E. COWMAN
Call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.
[The following words are from George Mueller's journal entry for January 3, 1842.]
This evening we had a precious prayer meeting. When the usual time for closing the meeting came, some of us wanted to continue to wait upon the Lord. I suggested that those who had bodily strength, time, and a desire to wait longer upon the Lord, do so. At least thirty remained, and we continued in prayer until after ten. I never knew deeper prayer in the Spirit. I experienced an unusual near-ness to the Lord and was able to pray in faith, with-out doubting.
Pray About It: George Mueller was one of the most successful prayers in Christian history. Through faith in God alone, expressed through prayer, Mueller fed and clothed thousands of orphans in the five homes he opened in obedience to God.
It's no wonder that this man of God was partial to prayer meetings---he came to Christ in 1825 at such a meeting in a private home. Such prayer meetings among Christians were common then. Even up until recent years, many churches had weekly times set aside to gather for corporate prayer. Often this was Wednesday night. Though some churches still offer this mid-week service, far too many have abandoned the practice or allowed it to turn into simply another powerless church gathering. But as Mueller noted, and as many others have found, God will show up for prayer meetings, if only the people will.
Does your church have the kind of prayer meeting where the people are reluctant to leave? Is it possible that you could host a prayer meeting in your home? It's not necessary for there to be many in number. God will meet with just a handful.