“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Importance of Prayer

PRAYER 

Mathew 26:41 – Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”.

Mark 14:38:39 – Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. And again he went away and prayed, and spake the same words”.

Luke 22:46 – “And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.”

The fear of potent prayer
I fear the prayers of John Knox more than all the assembled armies of Europe – Mary, Queen of Scots.

Quoted Bruce Atkinson, Land of Hope and Glory p57

The first sign of revival
When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is to set them a-praying. –

Matthew Henry, quoted by Arthur Wallis, In the Day of Thy Power, p112

Spiritual awakenings always begin by prayer
From the Day of Pentecost, there has not been one great spiritual awakening in any land which has not begun in a union of prayer, though only among two or three; no such outward, upward movement has continued after such prayer meetings have declined.

A.T. Pierson, quoted by Arthur Wallis, In the Day of Thy Power, p112

Prevailing prayer
Prevailing or effectual prayer is that prayer which attains the blessing that it seeks. It is that prayer which effectually moves God. The very idea of effectual prayer is that it effects its objects.

Charles Finney, quoted by Oswald J. Smith, The Revival We Need, p27

Pray for a revival
“Oh! men and brethren, what would this heart feel if I could but believe that there were some among you who would go home and pray for a revival of religion– men whose faith is large enough, and their love fiery enough to lead them from this moment to exercise unceasing intercessions that God would appear among us and do wondrous things here, as in the times of former generations.”

C. H. Spurgeon, Sermon: The Story of God’s Mighty Acts

Asking is the rule of the Kingdom
“Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom. If you may have everything by asking in His Name, and nothing without asking, I beg you to see how absolutely vital prayer is.”

C. H. Spurgeon

The scope of prayer
Through prayer, there is no problem that can’t be solved,
no sickness that can’t be healed, no burden that can’t be lifted,
no storm that can’t be weathered,
no devastation that can’t be relieved,
no sorrow that can’t be erased,
no poverty cycle that can’t be broken,
no sinner that can’t be saved,
no perishing that can’t be rescued,
no fallen that can’t be lifted,
no hurt that can’t be removed,
no broken relationship that can’t be mended,
no difference that can’t be resolved,
no hindrance that can’t be shaken,
no limitation that can’t be overcome,
no mourning that can’t be comforted,
no ashes that can’t be that can’t become beauty,
no heaviness that can’t be covered with the garment of praise,
no thirst that can’t be quenched, no hunger that can’t be filled,
no dry ground that can’t be flooded,
no desert that can’t blossom,
no congregation that can’t be revived,
no preacher that can’t be anointed,
no church pews that can’t be filled,
no church leadership team that can’t become ‘one,’
no community that can’t be Christianised and
no nation that can’t be transformed.

Anon. Cure of all Ills, Mary Stewart Relfe p.5 (slightly adapted Tony Cauchi)

Secret of the Welsh revival
Early in the Welsh Revival (1904) a Wiltshire evangelist visited the meetings at Ferndale. He stood up and said, “Friends, I have journeyed into Wales with the hope that I may glean the secret of the Welsh Revival.” In an instant, Evan Roberts was on his feet, and with an uplifted arm towards the speaker, he replied, “My brother, there is no secret! Ask and ye shall receive!!

From an unpublished account of the Welsh Revival, quoted by Arthur Wallis, In the Day of Thy Power, p112

The prayer that is answered
When the glory of the Father
Is the goal of every prayer:
When before the throne in heaven
Our High Priest presents it there;
When the Spirit prompts the asking,
When the waiting heart believes:
We know of each petition
Everyone who asks receives

Author unknown, quoted by Arthur Wallis, In the Day of Thy Power, p138

Moving the hand that moves the world
But there’s a power, which man can wield
When mortal aid is vain’
That eye, that arm, that love to reach,
That listening ear to gain.

That power is prayer, which soars on high,
Through Jesus to the throne,
And moves the hand which moves the world,
To bring salvation down.

J. A. Wallace, quoted by Arthur Wallis, In the Day of Thy Power, p139

Agonise in prayer
“Shall I give you yet another reason why you should pray? I have preached my very heart out. I could not say any more than I have said. Will not your prayers accomplish that which my preaching fails to do? Is it not likely that the Church has been putting forth its preaching hand but not its praying hand? Oh, dear friends! Let us agonise in prayer.”

C. H. Spurgeon

Pray with all your might
“You must pray with all your might. That does not mean saying your prayers, or sitting gazing about in church or chapel with eyes wide open while someone else says them for you. It means fervent, effectual, untiring wrestling with God…This kind of prayer is sure the devil and the world and your own indolent, unbelieving nature will oppose. They will pour water on this flame.”

General William Booth.

God will give you the best
“God will either give you what you ask or something far better.”

Robert Murray M’Cheyne.

God’s controversy
“God has no greater controversy with His people today than this, that with boundless promises to believing prayer, there are so few who actually give themselves unto intercession.”

“Wherever the Church is aroused and the world’s wickedness arrested, somebody has been praying.”

A. T. Pierson.

A spirit of grace and supplication precedes revival
Jonathan Edwards comments that when God has something very great to accomplish for His church, it is His will that there should precede it the extraordinary prayers of His people, quoting from Ezekiel 36:37 ­ “I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do this for them.” In Zechariah 12:10 it is revealed that, when God is about to accomplish great things for His church, He will begin by a remarkable pouring out of “the Spirit of grace and supplication.” It is the invariable constitution of the kingdom of heaven that blessings of great magnitude are not imparted except to prayers of the deepest urgency.

Errol Hulse.

Inspiration from past Revival pray-ers
Do we know a prayerfulness like that of Luther, who once said, “I have so much business to do today that I shall not be able to get through it with less than three hours’ prayer.” It is John Angel James who said: “we are weak in the pulpit because weak in the closet.” Edward Payson thus writes to a brother minister: “Prayer is the first thing, the second thing, and the third thing necessary for a minister, especially if he have revivals. Pray, then, my dear brother, pray, pray, pray.”

And Rev. Wm. Reid, in his admirable “Words to Winners of Souls,” speaks thus to his brethren: “Why is there so little anxiety to get time to pray? Why is there so little forethought in the laying out of time and employments, so as to secure a large portion of each day for prayer? Why is there so much speaking yet so little prayer? Why is there so much running to and fro, yet so little prayer? Why so much bustle and business, yet so little prayer? Why so many meetings with our fellow men, yet so few meetings with God? Why so little being alone, so little thirsting of the soul for the calm, sweet hours of unbroken solitude, when God and his child hold fellowship together as if they could never part? It is this want that not only injures our own growth in grace but makes us such unprofitable servants of Christ.”

Henry Fish, Handbook of Revivals, Chapter 19: Are You Revived?

Wrestling in prayer
We read in the biographies of our forefathers, who were most successful in winning souls, that they prayed for hours in private. The question therefore arises, can we get the same results without following their example? If we can, then let us prove to the world that we have found a better way; but if not, then in God’s name let us begin to follow those who through faith and patience obtained the promise. Our forefathers wept and prayed and agonised before the Lord for sinners to be saved, and would not rest until they were slain by the Sword of the Word of God. That was the secret of their mighty success; when things were slack and would not move they wrestled in prayer till God poured out His Spirit upon the people and sinners were converted.” (For Those Who Seek.)

Oswald J. Smith, The Revival We Need, p24

Satan trembles when we pray
The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.

Samuel Chadwick, unknown source

The place of prayer in revival
“It is God’s will through His wonderful grace, that the prayers of His saints should be one of the great principal means of carrying on the designs of Christ’s kingdom in the world. When God has something very great to accomplish for His church, it is His will that there should precede it the extraordinary prayers of His people; as is manifest by Ezekiel 36:37. and it is revealed that, when God is about to accomplish great things for His church, He will begin by remarkably pouring out the spirit of grace and supplication (see Zechariah 12:10).”

Jonathan Edwards, Thoughts on the Revival in New England – 1740