“For a prayer life that grips the attention of the heavenly throne room is not built beneath calm, sunny skies but shaken during dark, sorrow filled nights. A serious prayer life is hammered out on the anvil of pain and anguish, desperation and despair, when hope hangs on a tattered thread and all human resources are gone. There and only there does the answer to the request come. Here is where the vital prayer life commences which gains the cupped ear of the Almighty as he leans over to listen more intently to the pathetic sobs and anguished heart cries which in desperation reach out for his robe of righteousness to grab hold of and not let go until the answer is attained. To become a person of prayer is to be a shrill, holy note which continually rings the ears of angels and rattles the gates of glory.
Listen, friends, a true prayer life is not borne out of comfort and prosperity, but through trials and adversities. In your leanness, you will learn to lean upon him. Through your rolling on stormy seas, you will learn how to effectively storm heavens portals for deliverance. When friends fail, disappoint and desert you, you will seek and find favor with your faithful friend Jesus. A desperate life of prayer shakes the gates of hell and influences our generation all for the glory of God. Do you believe that? I do. A strong prayer life will make you fear God and not man.
Oh friend, I beg you to fall to your knees and confess your lack of prayer to God. Be honest with him and ask him to help you redeem the time in your generation to show you the foolishness of your favorite pastimes and the wasted time consumed on them. It is time to put away our idols and lay hold of God for this lost and perishing generation of hell-bound sinners and hell-bound unconverted church members.
Dear brother pastor, if you want power with God and influence over man, go to your knees and stay there. Ask God to make your very bones afire for him to where you can ignite others with your holy life of prayer and powerful preaching. This is a call to the pulpits in our land to take back this land for God and for our children and our grandchildren. Go to your knees, church, fall on your face, beg God above heaven and earth on our behalf and pour water upon this dry, thirsty land of ours today.
Let us pray…
O Great God, you are the Ancient of Days. You are Holy and your are worthy to be praised. Give us the grace, O Lord, to seek thy face in desperate and prevailing prayer. Give us the power of your Holy Spirit to pray in the Spirit so that kingdoms will be shaken for thee. O Great God, forgive us for our selfish enterprises, our wasted time spent on useless things, things that don’t matter, things that you see as dust in light of eternity.
Help us, Lord Jesus, to be persons of prayer. Mighty persons of prayer that you empower to perform your purpose. Help us to shake the very gates of hell with such power that we push back the darkness in our communities and usher in your presence in a Holy Ghost revival that will grip this nation with the awful solemnity of your presence.
Come, O Lord, and take the field in a great revival of religion, I pray. Come pour your Spirit upon this dry and wasted land. Come save our children. Come save our grandchildren. Come, Lord Jesus, and once again permeate our sanctuaries with your presence and your preeminence. I pray in the strong name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
(from a sermon by E. A. Johnston)