Persistent, Prevailing Prayer Needed
  By George T. B. Davis
 

            D.L. Moody once heard a man say that the world has yet to see what one man, fully surrendered, can accomplish for God.  Moody said he would be that man, and he wrought great things for the Kingdom, and moved two nations Godward.

            A New York business man paraphrased that statement that stirred Moody’s soul, and applied it to the realm of prayer.  He said: “It yet remains to be seen what great things GOD WILL DO, in answer to the prayer of faith of any of His children!”

            This same principle of the unthinkably great results that can be achieved by the believing intercession of a single individual was expressed by Rev. Samuel Chadwick when he was principal of Cliff College in England.  He said: “The fervent supplication of one soul moved of God is an immeasurable force.”

            One of the most striking examples in the Christian era of the immeasurably great and far-reaching effects of persistent, long-continued prayer is found in the history of the Moravian Church.  Soon after the memorable outpouring of God’s Spirit at Herrnhut, Germany, in 1727, they began a prayer meeting which continued day and night for one hundred years.

            In speaking of the prayer meeting and its results, Bishop Hasse says: “Was there ever in the whole of Church history such an astonishing prayer meeting as that which beginning in 1727, went on one hundred years?  It is something absolutely unique.  It was known as the ‘Hourly Intercession,’ and it meant that by relays of brethren and sisters prayer without ceasing was made to God for all the work and wants of His Church.

            “Prayer of that kind always leads to action.  In this case it kindled a burning desire to make Christ’s salvation known to the heathen.  It led to the beginning of modern foreign missions.  From that one small village community more than one hundred missionaries went out in twenty-five years.  You will look in vain elsewhere for anything to match it in anything like the same extent.”

            Bishop Hasse has only touched the fringe of the results that flowed forth from this hundred-years-long prayer meeting.  The Moravian missionaries went forth as flaming, Spirit-filled messengers, seeing multitudes born again in the American colonies and in other lands.

            And it was the Moravian missionaries in England who led John and Charles Wesley into the full gospel of grace, and so had a very real share in the revival that swept over England and saved her from the horrors of the revolution that deluged France with blood… 

Today’s Urgent Need

            If ever there was a time in the history of our nation when continuous persistent, prevailing prayer was needed, it is right now.  I fully believe there are thousands of God’s children who are sorely grieved over present-day conditions, and who will gladly join in taking time for daily persistent intercession for our governments; for our schools and colleges; for our pastors and churches; for multitudes who have forgotten God; for unsaved relatives and friends; and for full surrender and revival in our hearts and lives…

            There are a number of prayers in the Bible that will guide us and quicken our faith in praying for our lands that have so largely forgotten God.  Read Exodus 32:7-14, and see how Moses prayed when the Children of Israel had disobeyed God and how the Lord hearkened to the voice of one individual and saved the nation from destruction.

            Read Nehemiah 1:4-11, and see how Nehemiah cried to God for the remnant of the captivity in Jerusalem that were in affliction and reproach, and as a result of his prayers and labors the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt, and the reproach was lifted from his people.

            Read Ezra 9:5-15, and see how this man, who loved the Word of God and was so grieved over the apostasy of the people, confessed to God the sins of the leaders and of himself, and how conviction of sin came upon the people, and the evil that would have ruined the nation was put away, and the people were brought back to God.

            Let us each one humble ourselves before God, and confess and forsake our own sins and the sins of the nation, and cry mightily to God and claim by faith the promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

            It was when hundreds of missionaries in India banded themselves together to spend thirty minutes daily in intercession that a great revival came to India a number of years ago; and so as hundreds and thousands throughout the world cry unitedly and continuously to God, may we not expect to see the windows of heaven opened, and gracious outpourings of God’s Spirit in the near future?

            It is suggested that one begin the daily prayer period with prayer for cleansing and power in one’s own heart and life.