Where Are The Godly Leaders Who Can Teach The Saints How To Pray?
By E. M. Bounds
Only glimpses of the great importance of prayer could the apostles get before Pentecost. But the Holy Spirit, coming and filling on Pentecost, elevated prayer to its vital and all-commanding position in the Gospel of Christ.
The call now of prayer to every saint is the Spirit’s loudest and most urgent call. Sainthood’s piety is made, refined, perfected, by prayer. The Gospel moves with slow and timid pace – when the saints are not at their prayers early and late and long.
Where are the godly leaders who can teach the modern saints how to pray – and put them at it? Where are the apostolic leaders who can put God’s people to praying? Let them come to the front and do the work, and it will be the greatest work which can be done.
Nothing but a specific effort from a praying leadership will avail. The chief ones must lead in the apostolic effort to firmly establish the vital importance and fact of prayer in the heart and life of the church. None but praying leaders can have praying followers!
Praying Apostles Will Beget Praying Saints
A praying pulpit will beget praying pews. We do greatly need somebody who can set the saints to this business of praying. We are not a generation of praying saints.
Non-praying saints are a beggarly gang of saints who have neither the ardor nor the beauty nor the power of saints. Who will restore this breach? The greatest will he be of reformers and apostles, who can set the church to praying.
We put it as our most sober judgment that the great need of the church in this and all ages is for men of such commanding faith, of such unsullied holiness, of such marked spiritual vigor and consuming zeal, that their prayers, faith, lives and ministry will be of such a powerful and aggressive form as to work spiritual revivals which will form eras in individual and church life.
Men Who Can Set the Church Ablaze for God!
We do not mean men who attract by a pleasing entertainment; but men who can stir things, and bring revival by the preaching of God’s Word, and by the power of the Holy Ghost – revivals which change the whole current of things!
Natural ability and educational advantages do not figure as factors in this matter; but capacity for faith, the ability to pray, the power of thorough consecration, the ability of self-renunciation, an absolute losing of one’s self in God’s glory, and an ever-present and insatiable yearning and seeking after all the fullness of God – men who can set the church ablaze for God; not in a noisy, showy way, but with an intense and quiet heat that melts and moves everything for God!
God Can Work Wonders If He Can Get a Suitable Man!
Men can work wonders if they follow God’s leading. The full enduement of the Holy Spirit – that will enable men to turn the world upside down – would be eminently useful in these latter days!
Men who can stir things mightily for God, whose spiritual revivals change the whole aspect of things – are the universal need of the church!
The church has never been without these men. They adorn its history. Their example is an unfailing inspiration and blessing. An increase in their number and power should be our prayer!
That which has been done in spiritual matters – can be done again, and be better done! So Christ taught. He said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father" (John 14:12).
The past has not exhausted the possibilities nor the demands for doing great things for God. The church that is dependent on its past history for its miracles of power and grace is a fallen church.
God Wants Elect Men
God wants men out of whom self and the world have gone by a severe crucifixion, by a bankruptcy which has so totally ruined self and the world – that there is neither hope nor desire of recovery; men who by their insolvency and crucifixion have turned toward God perfect hearts.