A Passion Of Prayer
By Samuel Chadwick
If only the church of Christ could be impelled to prayer, today’s crisis would be met. If only the people of God could be baptized into a passion of prayer, spiritual life and power would quicken, miracles would return, and multitudes would be added unto the Lord!
Why do we not set ourselves to prayer? The remedy is sure and simple; the need is urgent and acknowledged. Why is it so slow in getting to work? What could be simpler than that? And yet the Scriptures speak of it as toil and labor.
Prayer taxes all the resources of mind and heart. Jesus Christ wrought many mighty works without any sign of effort. There was in His marvelous works the ease of omnipotence, but of His prayers it is said, He “offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears” (Heb. 5:7).
There was no strain in healing diseases, raising the dead, and stilling the tempest; but in prayer there was agony and sweat like blood (Luke 22:44).
Prayer is conflict – all who have shared His intercession have found it a travail of anguish. Great saints have always been mighty in prayer, and their triumphs have always been the outcome of pain. They wrestled in agony with breaking hearts and weeping eyes, until they were assured they had prevailed. They spent cold winter nights in prayer. They lay on the ground weeping, pleading and came out of the conflict physically spent, but spiritually victorious.
They wrestled with principalities and powers, contended with the world rulers of Satan’s kingdom, and grappled with spiritual foes in the heavenly sphere. A lost art! (Eph. 6:10-18).
Today, in the fellowship of believers, there is little power in prayer. There is a marked absence of travail. There is much phrasing, but little pleading. Prayer is no longer a passion!
The powerlessness of the church has no other explanation. The counselors of the church need seek no other cause. To be prayerless is to be both passionless and powerless.