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Teach Us How to Pray

Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Renowned hymn writer, Phoebe H. Brown, wrote the following hymn entitled “Jesus, This Mid-Day Hour” for the 1857 Prayer Meeting Revival:

Jesus, this midday hour of prayer
We consecrate to thee.
Forgetful of each earthly care,
We would thy glory see.

We come thy presence to implore;
O teach us how to pray!
Impart us to thy Spirit’s power,
Thy saving grace display.

Baptize with energy Divine
The contrite soul afresh;
O bow the stubborn will to thine,
And give the heart of flesh.

Unite our hearts, unite our tongues,
In lofty praise to thee,
Accept the tribute of our songs
Thou Holy One in Three.

Today in twenty-first century America, we need to embrace the truths conveyed in this simple hymn.  We need to consecrate a dedicated, daily time of prayer for revival and renewal in our land.  We need to set aside earthly cares, and seek His glory.  We need to beg for God to guide our prayers, impart His power, and display His saving grace.  We need to be baptized with energy Divine, while yielding our stubborn wills to Him.  And, we need to be unified in our lofty praise to our Lord.

PLEASE PRAY FOR GOD TO GUIDE THE PRAYERS OF AMERICAN CHRISTIANS.  “We come thy presence to implore; O teach us how to pray!  Impact us to thy Spirit’s power, Thy saving grace display.”

And In Every House

Acts 5:42 “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 1:27 “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel”

Acts 2:46-47 “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.  Praising God, and having favour with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”

Though the prayer meetings were multiplying throughout New York City, across America, and around the world, there were those whose rigorous work schedules prevented them from attending any of the weekday meetings.  These workers had their mornings, lunchtimes, and evenings consumed with work requirements.  Yet in these cases, personal meetings allowed small groups of believers to meet together daily to pray as a part of the larger movement.  While they could not necessarily gather daily in the temple, they could do so in every house, continuing daily with one accord and singleness of heart.  As a result, they could stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel.  The larger meetings were powerful and potent, while the smaller meetings allowed connection to God through prayer for all believers at all times.

Our busy lives in twenty-first century America sometime crowd out our scheduled large cooperate worship that should be part of a properly prioritized life of faith.  Yet, we can always make time for daily prayer – by ourselves, with our families, or with those other believers who are around us.  Such distributed prayer meetings can be a powerful supplement to regularly attended church, and even the busiest believer can always make time to stop and pray.  Our prayers for our nation should originate from every house, as we continue daily with one accord and singleness of heart.  In this way, we can stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel.  Larger worship and prayer meetings can be powerful and potent, but such smaller meetings can allow connection to God through prayer for all believers at all times.

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO PERSONALLY AND CORPORATELY PRAY FOR OUR NATION AND OUR LEADERS.  May it be said of us that “daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”

Mighty Showers of Grace

Ephesians 3:16-21 “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love to Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world with end.  Amen.”

Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

An individual shared the following testimony during the Prayer Revival of 1857:

“I came from India, and I landed but yesterday.  I have come all the way from that far distant land to see for myself what the Lord is doing in America.  I am an Englishman by birth, but my home is in India.  We have heard of the glorious outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon your Churches, and we have rejoiced at it with exceeding joy.  We believe as you believe, that we stand in the first breaking light of a most eventful day – an era of greater displays of Divine grace in the salvation of sinners than the world has ever seen.  We need faith that is equal to the times.  We need confidence to ask great things of God, and we shall get great things.  Ask little things, and we shall get little things.  But ask mighty showers of grace, and they will be poured out like a flood upon us.”

This Christian came all the way from India to New York City to see the miracle of God for himself; a miracle that had been activated by prayer.  He saw the desperate need for a miraculous moving of the Spirit of God that demanded faith that was equal to the times.  He also provided a critical reminder to all of us on the importance of a confidence to ask great things of God and to avoid small faith that merely yields small results.  He yearned for mighty showers of grace that would be poured out like a flood upon them.

We desperately need a miraculous moving of the Spirit of God that demands faith equal to the times.  Today in America, we need confidence to ask great things of God because we yearn for great results while avoiding small faith that yields small results.  We need mighty showers of grace that would pour out like a flood upon us.

PLEASE PRAY FOR FAITH AMONG AMERICAN CHRISTIANS THAT IS EQUAL TO THE TIMES!  Oh that we would hear people say once again: “I have come all the way from that far distant land to see for myself what the Lord is doing in America.” 

ADMIN:  The testimony above comes from the Talbot Chambers book “The New York City Noon Prayer Meeting: A Simple Gathering That Changed The World”.

Our Primary Mission

I Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 22:37-38 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment”

In the midst of wildly successful revival meetings, there were strong pressures to make the 1857 Prayer Meeting Revival into something more, diverting them from their primary mission. Yet, Jeremiah Lanphier and the other leaders kept the focus on where it needed to be – a time for prayer, renewal, and evangelization. Specifically, they committed themselves to the following:

“The glory of Christ, the progress of his kingdom, the wants of perishing souls, the need of the Holy Spirit, the desirableness of greater consecration to the Master – these and kindred themes furnished sufficient occupation to mind and heart.”

This past week, we rightfully celebrated Veteran’s Day, honoring those who have sacrificially served our great nation. Yet, this day provided a chance to celebrate another set of veterans: those who braved the 66-day journey across the rugged northern Atlantic ocean in 1620 to come to the new world. On November 11th, these pilgrims found themselves within the safety of Cape Cod. Before setting foot on dry ground, realizing that there would come strong pressures that could divert them from their primary mission, they codified their mission statement in our nation’s first constitution – the Mayflower Compact. Similar to Lanphier’s mission, it started with the following reminder of the purpose of their voyage: “for the Glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country.”

PLEASE PRAY THAT AMERICAN CHRISTIANS WOULD REFOCUS OURSELVES BACK TO OUR PRIMARY MISSION FOR CHRIST. We are placed here in this land and this time to bring glory to Christ, progress His kingdom, meet the wants of perishing souls and the needs of the Holy Spirit, and to be molded for greater consecration to the Master. We are here for the Glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith. Any other focus prompted by the strong pressures around us is a diversion from our primary mission!

ADMIN NOTE: The quote about the 1857 Prayer Revival above is from the Talbot Chambers book “The New York City Noon Prayer Meeting: A Simple Gathering That Changed the World.”

Filled to Repletion

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Acts 6:7 “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”

Jeremiah Lanphier’s prayer movement faced challenges even apart from the economic downturn.  Just as the meetings were blossoming, they faced a substantial setback in the form of an unexpected death.  John Knox, a beloved and faithful pastor that was a key part of the prayer meetings, was found dead after a tragic fall.  It was a sorrowful event that threatened to halt the momentum of the prayer meetings while casting a shadow over the blessings seen up to that point. 

Yet, God was not through with the Prayer Revival.  Knox’s death provided a solemn reminder about the fragility of human life to the entire prayer community, and his funeral brought together believers to celebrate a life that had been respectfully dedicated to the cause of Christ.  Afterwards, the prayer movement exploded in New York City.  Pastor Chambers described it this way: “It was not uncommon at that time for all the rooms, with the halls and stairways leading to them, to be filled to repletion.”  The Spirit of God transformed their challenges into victory.

There are plenty of reasons to see societal setbacks in Twenty-First Century America as roadblocks to revival.  Yet, the Spirit of God can transform these challenges into victory if we bring them to Him in prayer.  He seeks to work things together for good, to reveal His glory in us, and to multiply His disciples. 

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO TRUST IN GOD’S POWER TO TRANSFORM OUR SITUATION FOR HIS GLORY.  In order to see God’s full power in our land today, our prayer closets must be filled to repletion.

ADMIN:  The Talbot Chambers quote comes from his book “The New York City Noon Prayer Meeting: A Simple Gathering That Changed The World”.

ADMIN 2: I will not be posting a PLUS devotion next Saturday, but will do so in the week to follow. Please do keep praying for our nation and our leaders!

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