Pt. 2 A REVIVAL OF PRAYER NEEDED by Jessie Penn-Lewis
BINDING AND LOOSING PRAYER
There are two aspects of prayer mentioned by James in connection with Elijah, to which Christ made reference when He was on earth, i.e. the binding and loosing of things on earth by prayer (Matt. 18 vI8).
Elijah closed the heavens, and he opened the heavens. Speaking of this power of prayer, the Lord Jesus said, “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”. The context clearly shows this to be the binding and loosing of prayer, for the Lord went on to say, “If two of you agree . . . it shall be done”.
We have come to the point now in service, where as workers for God we must get to a place of knowing God, and knowing this kind of prayer. We have not yet reached the prayer-point that will meet today’s need.
“He prayed that the heavens should not give rain, and it rained not for three years.” Then, simply it is said, “And he prayed again, and THE HEAVENS GAVE RAIN. This is all that James says about such a tremendous thing. He does not say, “What a wonderful Elijah!”
There is no excess of language in the Bible, but sober statements, with no exaggeration, but a calm, majestic omnipotence. When God does vast things, He does them quietly, just as He did in answer to the one who “prayed, and the heavens were opened, and gave forth rain”.
From this brief glimpse of Elijah, let us look at another picture of this work of prayer, or rather, the prayer that “works”. Let us glance at Moses, and his “binding and loosing” work in Exodus 16.
Israel was in desperate need of water, and in that need they began to reproach Moses, saying, “Moses brought us out of Egypt, now let him give us water”. Moses just went to God. “He cried to the Lord” for the needs of the people, and then the Lord told him what to do.
He was to go to a certain rock, and then “I will stand before thee there. . . thou shalt smite the rock and there shall come water out of it” (v 6). Moses did it, and there was water. In this aspect of prayer to meet the people’s need, note especially Moses’ cry, and God’s response.