By Lois J. Stucky
A good number of Herald readers have written to receive a prayer calendar for the 40 days of PrayUSA '98, scheduled for March 1--April 9. If you are among those somewhat "faint, yet pursuing" in observing these days, be encouraged by the thought of the others who have purposed in their hearts, also, that by God's grace, they will make this endeavor a priority and will give it their good, strong effort.
Thank God for all who sense at least in a measure, how crucial it is that our nation has earnest, sacrificial prayer. When the horrifying word "war" appears in the headlines of some newspapers and is spoken freely by some in our nation's capital, we are alerted that the situation is very serious indeed.
It is important to keep pure our motivation for prayer for God's merciful intervention in our land. Our main aim must be to get the will of God done in and through America, and not just that she be preserved and prosper that we may continue the pleasant living that we are privileged to enjoy in this land.
We express our gratitude to those outside our borders who are joining in prayer with us and for our land. We value your prayer help and feel great need of it.
So Many Needs!
A praying friend wrote us recently, "How can we pray for so many needs? They pile up like a mountain. In America, our churches and Christian organizations are in need, the church people, the missionaries, the countries not yet evangelized, our government, people in authority, the problem with Israel and Islam, the New Age, the cults, etc., etc. How can we pray efficiently for such a conglomerate of matters--to help some and rebuke others? I hardly know how and where to proceed. My prayer is just a drop in a vast ocean of need!
"The idea comes of applying God's Word. This will accomplish much...The Bible says, 'So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth; it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it' (Isaiah 55:11)."
Yes, it is easy in this hour of worldwide crises and worldwide needs to feel overwhelmed, to feel that the effort we can make is too small to count. Perhaps, as we pray on our knees alone, by faith we can picture ourselves as a member of a praying "battalion." In war time there are different fronts. Wars are made up of battles. No one battle wins the war and no one person wins the battle by himself. But uniting with a cluster of like-hearted warriors, victories are won one by one. God is burdening others. Together our prayers have a winning effect.
Also we must keep in mind that He who calls us to prayer is with us in prayer, and is leading us on. Oh, the wonder of partnership with God in prayer! (Romans 8:26). And as our friend suggests, using God's Word, holding it out as Moses' rod over the battle being fought in the valley below, has powerful effect. When we do not see immediate results, if we cast not away our confidence, the reward will come (Heb. 10:35).
Sister Moore, co-founder of Herald of His Coming, was a woman small in physical stature but she was all for God and she had spiritual dynamic. She urged us to "Hurl yourself into the battle!" Mean business for God! Go to your limits! Brother Castersen, also now with the Lord but for some years leader of the Herald prayer group, in fiery zeal for revival took up the cry-- "Hurl yourself into the battle" of prayer for revival! The prayers and tears of prayer warriors gone on before us, are surely in those "golden vials" in heaven (Rev. 5:8). Are ours being added?
Are we fulfilling our part in the battle of the ages? Our present-day easy living tends to unfit us to make a good showing alongside the warriors of yesteryear. They were better acquainted with self-denial, sacrifice, long hours of hand-wrought labor, extended times of prayer on their knees.
I have pondered something that struck me when I heard it read this week. A Chinese Christian leader who suffered unbelievably at the hands of the communists in China was taken on a tour of United States, visiting many churches and meeting many Christian leaders. When asked his outstanding impression of this country, his immediate reply was, "What you are able to accomplish without God!"
Americans have in great part been enterprising and industrious, with great resources at their disposal. Possessions and performance have become very important in America, and the American church has absorbed too much of this thinking. This has caused us to become too independent of God. Must we be reduced to extremities before we depend on God as we ought?
True fasting and prayer draw us back to dependence on God. How lasting can accomplishments without God be? When we depend on ourselves we get only what we can do. When we depend on God we get what He can do! Oh, how this should bring us to our knees before Him! We need God to send revival to our land! What we need can come only from Him.
A Herald reader from Britain tells us they are praying for revival in their land too--"a revival like the Welsh revival, or the Hebrides revival, when people were swept into the Kingdom of God, falling in the streets under conviction of sin, being born again, even very hard and drunken and selfish people being saved." "Oh, Lord, let it come again!" is her cry. Is not this the cry of many of us around the world?
Sister Moore frequently wrote, "The situation is desperate, but the saints are not." God help us to get as desperate as we need to be to bring God down in greater power! God help us to "hold on the last half hour" as the item printed elsewhere on this page exhorts. It is those who endure to the end who win. That kind of endurance comes through dependence on God.
Satan is a master at discouraging. He tempts us to feel nothing is being accomplished by our fasting-prayer effort. Why continue it, he suggests. Be prepared to resist his lies. Depend on God and get His almighty help! "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God" (Luke 18:27). "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17).
Let's unite in prayer together now!
* For God's extended mercies to this land.
* For His gracious willingness to hear and to answer prayer and to send revival as His people meet His conditions.
* That God's plans and purposes for Israel and the Jewish people will be accomplished and that all to the contrary will fail.
* That God will strengthen all participating in PrayUSA '98 and enable them to fulfill their purpose as a faithful intercessor.
* That God will cause this issue of Herald of His Coming to work effectually in readers who, as one wrote recently, "need constant stirring up and the rekindling of the fire of the Holy Spirit."
* That God will encourage and keep faithful those whose gifts provide support for the Herald ministry, and that He will add to their number.
* That God will prepare the hearts of all who will be participating in the "Heart-Cry For Revival" Conference in May.
* That God's people will not grow weary in well doing, but will be willing to join in fighting the good fight of faith wherever their help is needed.
* That God will intervene in world affairs and get His will done.
* For great outpourings of the Holy Spirit, to bring the church to purity and maturity and to bring multitudes more into His Kingdom!