"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

With Eternity’s Values In View

By Lois J. Stucky

    In a recent newsletter, Dr. Stephen Olford writes helpfully about the need for persistence in prayer. Dr. Olford is a man of God who has ministered effectively through many years in many countries of the world, as pastor, author and teacher. He senses, especially since the September 11, 2001 happening, that the Church must engage in spiritual warfare as perhaps never before in history. The present worldwide situation "demands a worldwide Church on its knees," he writes. "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17) has become his 2002 motto.

    Dr. Olford quotes his teacher, W. Graham Scroggie, as saying, "Pray when you feel like it, pray when you don’t feel like it, pray until you do feel like it." This is the kind of prayer God expects of us in this hour. Dr. Olford points out that the command to pray without ceasing is preceded by "Rejoice ever more," and is followed with "In everything give thanks." Prayer is not to be routine nor drudgery. It is to be accompanied with rejoicing and giving thanks. This helps us to be persistent in prayer.

    However, persistence is still a struggle for us--"a life struggle to be fought each day," says Dr. Olford. He further states that prayer must become our daily lifestyle. A lifestyle of prayer demands discipline. To strengthen us for the struggle, we must read and meditate on God’s Word. God wants to develop us into stalwarts--stalwarts who can rule their own spirit, by God’s grace (Prov. 16:32) and who can rein in their interests and focus on what is most enduring.

    Co-founder of Herald of His Coming, Sarah Foulkes Moore, picked up a sentence which she presented to us workers over and over, and which some readers of Herald of His Coming might remember reading in the paper: "Put out of your life anything that halves your time for prayer."

    This brings us to a main thrust of this issue of Herald of His Coming--the stewardship of our time. There is no way we can maintain an adequate prayer life in this crisis hour if we do not make careful use of our time.

    In her article, "From Fruitless to Fruitful," Kim Butts speaks of avoiding that which "yields no eternal significance." What a consideration for each of us as we make many decisions every day about use of our time! God give us wisdom to make wise decisions! God help us to focus on the things of true priority.

    Mention has also been made in this issue of using time to be "productive." What a good word this is! It is much better than being merely busy. The way to be most productive is to be Spirit-directed, and the way to be Spirit-directed is to be prayerful and dependent on God. This is the age of the Holy Spirit. We absolutely must have His presence and power. The world, the flesh and the devil are dogging our steps with increasing determination. We must have the divine enabling of the Holy Spirit to accomplish what God has given us to do. And nowhere do we need the Holy Spirit’s enabling more than keeping pace in our prayer life with the mounting needs around us.


    If we have been lax in the use of our time, might we now purpose afresh to keep in mind eternity’s values as we press daily on the upward way. As Dr. Torrey writes, "Time is short!" This is not his appraisal, but God’s! There is too much to be done to waste the precious commodity of time. God does not expect the impossible of us, but He promises that He is able to do the impossible if we believe Him for it (Matthew 17:20). It is a marvelous thing that God has made provision for His divine power to be available to His people to do His work in His way. Let us then call upon God in faith, drawing upon His divine power. Let us not waste time in exhausting labors in the flesh that avail little or nothing. The Gospel of Mark is known to be terse and to the point. It was written first of all for the Romans, who were men of action. Mark quotes Jesus as saying, "What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch!" (Mark 13:37). Watch! Only one word, but there is purpose and force in that word. It means to keep awake and alert. Be vigilant and on duty. It is true that watch can mean to be only a casual observer, as when watching children at play. But here Jesus means for us to watch attentively. It is a good word for this urgent hour!