A REVIVAL OF PRAYER NEEDED
by Jessie Penn-Lewis
“The prayers of the saints . . fire . . cast into the earth”(Rev.8v3-5)
“Ye have not, because ye ask not . .”( James 4 v2)
If there were a revival of prayer among the children of God, there would soon be a “revival” of blessing in the world outside the Church. We understand very little about intelligent prayer.
It is opening out to many as a very definite work, as much as a “work”of preaching. Turn then to James 5 v16 RV, “The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working”.
There is a work accomplished by prayer, but it must be the “supplication of a righteous man!” Not only righteous by imputed righteousness, but righteous in his attitude to sin, and in the personal life.
This is an absolute condition for the prayer that works! The one who prays must live in personal victory. The first question therefore is: if you want to understand and to know prevailing prayer, are you living in personal victory? Do you want to live in personal victory? Are you determined to live in personal victory? There are many who talk about victory who are not willing to fulfil the conditions of victory.
HOW ELIJAH PRAYED
Now observe how prayer worked in the example mentioned by James. The Apostle refers to Elijah and says: “Elijah was a man of like nature with us”, and then proceeds to show the effects of his prayer.
As much as to say, what is possible to Elijah is possible to you. “He prayed fervently that it might not rain; and it rained not.” This man had power to close the heavens, yet he was a man of ‘like nature with us’. The working of his prayer was such, that when he prayed that the heavens should not give rain, there was no rain.
To be able to pray so that the heavens close over a whole country is “work” indeed; we have not understood the possibilities of this work of prayer. Prayer to many is something to be done when there is a bit of free time, and even then but rarely. But prayer is a definite work, greater and vaster in its issues, and greater than any other service to be done on the earth, if the soul understood how to pray.
Elijah – a man of like nature with us – could thus pray, and accomplish such work by his prayer, that he could touch a whole country.
What we need is our minds open to the possibilities of such prayer, and to set ourselves to know God, so that we could pray like Elijah. Here is a tremendous possibility to any believer willing to learn.
If you could learn to know God, so as to know the mind of God when God wanted such and such a thing done, you could pray like Elijah. Elijah both knew God, and he knew the will of God so as to pray the prayer that worked for Israel. You, too, could touch the whole country, yea, the whole world in the same way, if you knew God’s will; for prayer according to the will of God “availeth much in its working”.
(to be cont.)