What the Church needs today is not human ingenuity but the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not work in proportion to human ability of organization. The Church consists of people called out by God. What the Church requires is people through whom the Holy Spirit can work, ie, the mighty men of prayer.
Prayers not only bring about the spiritual growth of a person, they account for the prosperity or downfall of a Church.
A preacher must be a man of prayer. He must have the likeness of God’s nature. Only through prayers can he obtain a God-like mind. Then only would he have the kind of zeal from on high to push his work through.
A preacher is not merely an author of sermons but an example for believers to follow. He need not be a man of great ability, a man of great learning, or a man with administrative skills, rather he must be pure in the sight of God. He should have faith, love, conscientiousness, and be able to endure hardships, to be greatly used by God.
A preacher must be a man of prayer to be greatly used by God. What he preaches he also puts into practice. Through prayers a preacher will be strengthened with the wisdom from on high and become strong. In the Church, prayers must be emphasized.
So, let us examine ourselves and remind the whole congregation to see how much lacking we are. The driving force of divine work is nothing but prayer.
Prayer is a privilege God has given to His children. Unless one belongs to Him, he cannot understand the value of prayer, nor obtain blessings therefrom. Hence, prayer is to those who belong to the Lord an absolute necessity but an unattainable blessing to those who do not.
Prayer is communion between man and God. Through prayers, we receive strength, help, comfort, and understanding. Unfortunately, many believers are unable to obtain these in their prayers. They have stumbled along the way and deviated to wrong paths. Some, lacking vigilance, fearful and weak, have been devoured by the Devil. They have all experienced spiritual rebirth but failed to reach the blessed end. The reasons for their fall may be many but all of which may be linked to prayer or the lack of it. Lacking in prayer summarizes all the reasons for failure. Having lost the strength of prayer, spirituality plunges and this spiritual journey will inevitably end in failure.
Our Lord who was the Word manifested in flesh set the perfect example by totally relying on prayer. Before His ministry, He went to the wilderness and fasted and prayed for forty days and nights to obtain strength to do the will of God. The Bible records that Jesus regarded prayer as something indispensable in life. He was praying at all times, for all things (Mk 1:35, Mt 14:23, Mk 6:46, Lk 11:1). He often prayed for many hour or all through the night (Lk 6:12, 22:39-46). Thus, He was able to overcome the Devil, perform great miracles, proclaim the gospel of the kingdom of Heaven, and finally sacrifice Himself. The saints of old also accomplished great tasks through prayers (Acts 13:3, 14:23). Many of the commandments and teachings of the Lord indirectly tell us to be vigilant in prayers in order to triumph in all ways (1 Pet 4:7, 5:7-8, Mt 26:41).
May the Lord move us to search our hearts as we pray before the Lord. May each of us pull down the barricade between man and God, clear the obstacles blocking the progress of the Church. For the sake of the whole Church, for the sake of our spiritual life, may the Lord help us to see our imperfections in prayers, granting us zealous hearts to build ourselves up with vigilant prayers.