Mobilizing For Prayer
By Lois J. Stucky
Frequently in the American media we are now hearing or reading the word "mobilizing." We hear of "reserves called-up" and of "troops deployed." We hear of ships putting out to sea. America is mobilizing, and that involves much. There is some pride in serving one’s country, and a sense of duty to do the necessary to put down wrong. But there are also fathers with sober faces cuddling a little one in their arms until the final word is given to depart, a young man with his arm around the sad-looking wife leaning on his shoulder, or a mother and father giving a long, lingering hug to a son or daughter. There are tearful good-byes. Hearts are torn. Plans are put "on hold." Families go home to an empty place that no one else can fill.
Oh, that there were peace on earth! But there isn’t. Some of America’s best young men and women are going into "harm’s way" as it is called nowadays. Although some of us are not intimately touched by the military mobilization taking place, we certainly have reason—strong, imperative reason—to mobilize for prayer. Our nation and the many lives being vitally affected by the mobilization need prayer. The whole world is in jeopardy! The whole world needs prayer!
Thank God for new volumes of prayer that have started ascending in recent years. An encouraging number of God’s people have heard His call to seek His face. He has raised up prayer leaders who hold conferences, seminars and retreats to encourage and instruct to prayer. There are also pastors and other church leaders who have re-instated the weekly church prayer meeting that had fallen by the way. Special all-nights of prayer are called. And there are lone praying saints who are endeavoring to revive their own prayer life, which has faded from blessed former days. God bless them all!
But are not we who are alive today living in an hour such as has never been before, an hour which desperately calls for a yet greater volume of prayer? Every true Christian needs to be mobilized for faithful, effective prayer. Might we each one take personally the Apostle Paul’s exhortation of 1 Timothy 2:1-4: "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
We can all contribute to a listing of the reasons why we see this as a very critical hour. To mention some reasons, sin and iniquity are abounding, and many people have hardened their hearts and are proud and stiff-necked, unwilling to repent and turn from their wicked ways. The cup of iniquity could well be nearing the brim when God’s full judgments will be poured out. There are indications that the day of our Lord’s coming again is drawing near and after that, the door of mercy is closed. Yet many in the Church are loaded with the cares and pleasures of this world and give little thought to Christ’s coming or to the lost about them. Revival is an urgent need, along with the salvation of lost souls. Think of the horrible weapons of war that could cause worldwide catastrophe, plunging multitudes into a Christless eternity. Anti-God, anti-Christ forces are becoming bolder and more violent. Many of God’s people are suffering persecution.
Church, Awake! Arise!
Arise to your calling, O Church! Arise to the challenge of living wholly for God in these critical times in which we find ourselves! We the Church are redeemed to worship our holy and wonderful God, and to make His name known throughout the earth. It is through His Church that God would get His will done on earth as it is in heaven. Oh, friend, even you and I who are not officers in the Lord’s Army but common foot soldiers—are needed to fill a place! Let us be sure the way is clear and kept clear between our soul and our Savior so we are on "praying ground." Then call out for repentance and returning to God. Let us pray that in today’s turmoil it be known, as it was in the drama between Moses and Pharaoh, that there is no one like the Lord our God. Pray His Name be declared and glorified throughout all the earth (Ex. 9:14,16).
Might no reader skip over the article on page 5. This article takes us into the heart of God’s Word for us, His people, the Church. It is an article very appropriate to this day. It is a good article to keep for re-reading, for correction, for instruction and for inspiration when prayer loses the place of priority it once had in our life.
The best place to start in advancing our prayer life, is, as both Dennis Kinlaw and Dave Butts encourage in their articles in this issue, in drawing nigh to God and being intimate with Him. When our hearts are warmed by fellowship with God in His Word and in prayer, when His gracious, caring love gently permeates our own needy hearts, how much more are we able to give in prayer and intercession! Our prayer life is made more than "form without power."
Maybe you have a burden to pray but do not know of a gathering where you can join in prayer with others. Why not ask God to help you start a prayer meeting in your home? Ask Him to give you a prayer partner with whom to begin. Then together, ask God to add to your number those whose hearts are in unity with the two of you. I know of a church where a weekly morning prayer meeting consists of three praying sisters in the church. They devotedly, courageously carry on although the number of praying sisters of former days has sadly dwindled. Persevering is an important quality. The great issues about which we must pray are not answered overnight. Prayer is evidence of our dependence upon God. Above every other effort we make, we need God to be present with us and to be leading us and protecting and using us—in our personal lives, in our homes and churches, and in our nations. Our hope and our trust must be in Him.
"I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears…This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him" (Psalm 34:4-8).