Are You Filling Your Place In Prayer?
By Lois J. Stucky
"We live in a day when no one who can pray should be silent, and no one who ought to be in this battle should be out of action," writes a stalwart prayer warrior of a bygone generation, F. J. Perryman. "This is the ‘evil day’ which Scripture predicts (2 Tim. 4:3)," he continues. "Every one truly born from above ought to be in the firing line somewhere, either standing, withstanding or overcoming as a victor on the field. The call to prayer is persistent. The cry is loud and clear! The need is urgent – even desperate! There is a decisive battle on. It is a climactic battle – the battle of the Ages. It is our battle. It is a battle for the government of the world. The Apostle Paul in his day took up the cry of the Hebrew prophets and cried to the Ephesian saints – as we need to cry today to all Christians: ‘Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light’ (Eph. 5:14)."
The Church must awake to the greatness of her calling in this hour – a calling to pray in fellowship with God, according to His Word, to help bring to pass His eternal purposes. None of us would deny that this is an "evil day." Sin is becoming exceedingly sinful. Satan is vehemently active. But it is also a day with the prospect of a great move of God’s Spirit. Yet many Christians are asleep as far as filling their place in prayer to bring it to pass is concerned. "While the bridegroom tarried, they [the ten virgins] all slumbered and slept" (Matt. 25:5).
But thank God, there is a stirring and a stretching. There is a prayer movement in the earth today which David Bryant speaks of as being one such as has not been seen in the history of the Church. Oh, that it might gain greater momentum! And might it focus on the vital points and the significant issues of this hour. Certainly there is prayer needed for personal grievances and needs. Might we deal with these swiftly and decisively. Then let us follow our Lord into the thick of the spiritual warfare which faces the Church at this time. Jesus taught His disciples to pray that His Father’s kingdom come and His will be done on earth as in heaven. Oh, the vast need for the expansion and the upbuilding of the heavenly kingdom throughout the earth, while it is yet the day of grace!
In the lead article in this issue, David Bryant sets forth in a strong and inspiring way the supremacy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in His victory over Satan and in His exalted position of rulership at the right hand of the Father. Christ has fulfilled His part nobly and perfectly and at tremendous cost. And wonder of wonders, He has given the Church an important part with Him in bringing all things into submission to Himself. Is it not us, the Church, which is the weak link that allows evil the great liberty it has today?
From the writing of T. Austin-Sparks on page six, we find the secret of a victorious Church. It is provided by God through Christ. The Church is privileged to pray in Christ’s Name, the Name of Him with whom she is seated in heavenly places. Only as believers press into this inheritance can we fulfill that to which God has called us. It is the only way through which He can be fully glorified in the Church. It is the only way the mission of going into all the world with the Gospel will be accomplished.
Who can express the wonder of this calling? The Apostle Paul speaks of the "high calling of God" into which he pressed (Phil. 3:14); and again he wrote of the "holy calling" (2 Tim. 1:9). And no one need feel excluded from the call, for we read that "not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble" are called, but God often chooses to use the foolish things of the world, and the weak and things which are despised and things that are not, "that no flesh should glory in His presence" (1 Cor. 1:26-29).
We take Christ as our all in all. "Not I, but Christ" writes A. B. Simpson. This calls for death in us, but oh, the glorious prize of His possessing us and abiding in and with us! It is joy divine! It is also great privilege and responsibility to be a co-intercessor with Christ.
The Purifying Blood of Christ
As T. Austin-Sparks also points out, human efforts can never merit nor achieve that seat with Christ in the heavenlies. The way to the heights is down, in humble submission and obedience. Even as Christ descended to death on the cross, so must we be low at His feet in contrition and repentance, trusting His grace to lift us up into the heavenlies, to abide in the meek and lowly One and to have Him abiding in us.
Only the cleansing of the purifying Blood of Jesus Christ can fit us to enter and to abide in His presence. "Unto Him [Jesus Christ] that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood…be glory and dominion for ever and ever" (Rev. 1:5-6). "Thou [Lord Jesus] wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests" (Rev. 5:9-10). We must avail ourselves constantly of the precious flow that makes our garments white before Him, and admits us into His presence as joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17).
Might we together bow lowly at the feet of our God who has planned such a high and holy calling, and at the feet of Jesus, who provided it through painful Calvary, and before the Holy Spirit, by whose power this life becomes a reality in us. Oh, the fullness of God’s redemption! Let us not stagger at the promises of God to His people, through unbelief but like Abraham, be strong in faith, believing that what He has promised He is able also to perform (Rom. 4:21). Let us aspire to be a faithful one in the ranks of the glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but holy and without blemish (Eph. 5:27), "in order that" our Lord be greatly glorified.
Pressing the Battle Together
We are very thankful for all friends who participate in Herald of His Coming ministry by sending financial support, by praying, by distributing papers, etc. The Herald staff is dedicated and faithful, but without the part that you take, the ministry could not exist. We thank God very much for putting it on your hearts to be partners in the ministry. We are equally thankful for the local volunteers who come to prepare the monthly mailings. Please send up a prayer for God to bless them in a special way for their great help so graciously given.
And the good number of volunteers who helped us make the move from the former location to the new location has been remarkable, a most wonderful display of Christian love. It lightened our load of work immeasurably, so the staff could continue at our usual work stations without long disruption. Thank God for His bountiful provision of willing-hearted and able helpers!
Please pray also with us for God’s mighty blessing on this issue of Herald of His Coming, that readers will be greatly encouraged to take their place in prayer. There is much in the long leading article for meditation and study. We invite you to write us for copies to share with your prayer group, Sunday school class, etc. that you might study it together. Or you may write us for copies to hand out to praying friends for their personal reading.
Let us pray for the prayer movement that is in the earth, that it will grow wider and will deepen. It is time to be done with that which is shallow and superficial and to deal with bedrock kingdom issues crucial to this day and hour.
Ask God to help us His people to deal radically with any sin and not gloss over it. Might our lives be holy like He is holy. This is vital if we would have unhindered access to the Throne of Grace.
Thank God for the degree to which His people are uniting to pray together regardless of doctrinal differences, as long as there is agreement about the essentials of the faith. Thank God different races and nationalities are learning to blend in one united prayer voice. Let us pray for the perfecting of love in God’s people so it is truly, "All one Body we" – all devoted to the same glorious Head and loving one another, as an effective testimony to the world that we are children of the God who is love.
Please pray that God will make each believer strong to wield the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, as we give ourselves to prayer. Thank God for homes and churches or communities where the twos and threes or the dozens meet. Jesus is in your midst (Matt. 18:20)! Do not think of giving up, of laying down your "sword" in surrender to the evil one who fights prayer viciously. If you are not now involved in praying with others, if you are able, join a prayer group, or gather one or two with whom you can pray.
Let us be part of that great, concerted cry from the heart of God’s people all over the world: "Come, Lord Jesus!" – come in saving, sanctifying, reviving power in this hour, and come quickly from the heavens in glorious power, when every eye will see You and every knee will bow before You!