Saturday, 23 May 2009
Prayer changes everything!
D.L. Moody once said, "When I see young men by the thousands going in the way of death, I feel like falling at the feet of Jesus with prayer and tears to come and save them."
John Knox constantly carried the burden for his land. Night after night he prayed on the wooden floor of his hideout refuge from Queen Mary. When his wife pleaded with him to get some sleep, he answered, "How can I sleep when my land is not saved?" Payne reports that often he would pray all night in agonizing tones, "Lord, give me Scotland or I die!" God shook Scotland; God gave him Scotland. God respects such a passion for souls.
John Wesley, as he exhorted his pastors upon whom the future of their revival movement depended, urged, "Let us all be of one business. We live only for this, to save our own souls and the souls of those who hear us." Again, Wesley cried, "Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen, such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth."
James Caughey said it similarly: "Oh, to burn out for God! All, all for Him! Jesus only! Souls! Souls! Souls! I am determined to be a winner of souls. God help me."
John Smith (English soul-winner) said, "I am a brokenhearted man; not for myself but on account of others. God has given me such a sight of the value of precious souls that I cannot live if souls are not saved. Give me souls or else I die."
George Whitefield prayed, "O Lord, give me souls or take my soul." It is said his face shone like the face of Moses when he sobbed that prayer.
When William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, was asked by the king of England what the ruling force of his life was, he replied, "Sir, some men's passion is for gold, other men's passion is for fame, but my passion is for souls."
John Hyde ("Praying Hyde"), so mightily used in salvation and revival in India as the Apostle of Intercession, often cried out, "Father, give me these souls or I die!" he alternated in agony of intercession and joyous praise, receiving tremendous answers to prayer and by the end of his missionary service was averaging more than four souls a day, largely won through prayer.
Powerful stuff! Passion and purpose. Do you long to be a person of God with such a passion for souls that God begins to add a new dimension of fruitfulness to your leadership? Dare you believe that God will give it to you if you ask? Not everyone is called to be a Whitefield, a Billy Graham, or a Praying Hyde. But every one of us is called to reach people with the amazing love of Jesus - with a passion.
There is no greater joy than to lead a person to a transforming experience of Christ. The more you taste this joy, the more you want it.
So, I hear you ask, how can you increasingly find this joy in your own experience?
I certainly don't have all the answers but here's a few things that helped me along the way...
1.Become more passionately committed to Jesus Christ than ever before. The more personal your daily fellowship with Jesus is, the more naturally and eagerly you will speak about Jesus as you share with others. You need personal love for Jesus so real that you overflow with love for Jesus. Then you will not be able to keep silent.
2.Specifically ask God to give you a passion for people. Make it part of your daily prayer to ask God to help you lead people to Christ.
3.Ask God to give you a sensitivity to others. Ask Him to give you eyes to see and ears to hear those about you. Ask Him to help you discern the hurts, heart cries, and needs of those you meet.
4.Ask God to make you spiritually radiant (I love this one!). Each day ask Him to make you Christ-like, overflowing with joy in the Lord, and anointed by the Spirit in all your contacts. Ask Him to put something of His presence and glory so evident in your face and in your actions so that others will be attracted to Him.
5.Ask God for boldness. Ask Him for a loving, caring spirit of initiative to make you recognize open doors. Ask Him to make you alert to seize strategic moments for the Lord.
6.Ask God to make you confident and positive. He will gladly deliver you from fear. The more you speak to others about Christ and about their personal spiritual life, the more confident you will become and the easier it will become for God to use you.
7.Put constant priority on prayer (I can't emphasise this enough). Put priority on both communing prayer and interceding prayer. Prayer is the key to your personal spiritual radiance. Prayer is the key to guidance in your contacts and witness. Prayer is the key to the anointing of the Spirit on your life and efforts. Prayer is the key to God's power clothing you so that there is a divine dimension in your soul-winning efforts. Prayer is the key to a passion for people and to all your spiritual life. Put priority on prayer.
What do you think?