The Church Must Get To Her Knees!
For fifty years I have had to mourn the glaring prayerlessness of God's people. All through my evangelistic ministry I have sounded the slogan: "No prayers, no conversions; no prayer, no power; no prayer, no church additions."
There is nothing more outstanding in the history of the church today than the glaring, conspicuous fact of the almost non-existent prayer meeting. It was both startling and painful to be told by one of the leading officers of a suburban church that they had forty activities going on every week, but not one prayer meeting.
For over forty years Dr. R. F. Horton tried to get his church to pray, and then he said: "In these strange, unpraying days, the task has become too big for me. The people will work; they will give; they will teach; they will organize; they will visit. But for prayer in the real sense of vital fellowship with God, prayer in the sense that our fathers understood it, wrestling with God, asking for the Kingdom of God to come – this I cannot get them to do."
Prayer in the church is dying literally a natural death, if indeed, it is not already dead. My long and constant connection with church and chapel has driven me to the solemn conviction that the prayerlessness of our churches is the cause of the awful apathy and deadness within the church, and one of the most outstanding causes of the many secessions from the church. It is unfair of the pulpit to speak angrily and contemptuously of those whom the paralysis of prayer has made deserters.
A church without a prayer meeting is like a brigade without ammunition. The pulpit is bound to be ineffective if there is not prayer in the pew. If the church is to conquer the world, she must get to her knees. She must not only produce brilliant scholars and preachers, but a host of praying men and women.