Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. – Colossians 4:2
Another sign of a successful church is it’s prayer life. The pattern that we find in the Early Church is that They prayed and prayed often. In Acts 4, Peter and John were in Prison. And while they were there, the Church Prayed. When the Leaders got in trouble, the Church called a Prayer Meeting. Not a Business Meeting to dismiss the leadership, but a Prayer Meeting to Pray for the Leaders. Now, I would love to hear of a church in the absence of its Pastor, calling a Meeting Just To Pray!
Charles Spurgeon, the 19th century London preacher, learned what it was to cooperate with God and see His power transform many thousands of people over several decades. People often travelled to his church to learn the secret of his success. When visitors would come to Spurgeon’s church he would take them to the basement prayer-room where people were always on their knees interceding. He called this prayer-room the powerhouse of the church. “If the engine room is out of action,” Spurgeon explains, “then the whole mill will grind to a halt. We cannot expect blessing if we do not ask.”
In Spurgeon’s eyes the prayer-meeting was the most important meeting of the week.” It is here many of us find ourselves in conflict with dear Mr. Spurgeon. We love our meetings for preaching and praising and yet sadly neglect those set aside for praying. One of Spurgeon’s greatest concerns was that his people learn to truly pray. “He taught his people to pray, doing so far more by his example than by any preaching. People heard him pray with such reality that they became ashamed of their own mere repetition of words.” Throughout his entire ministry many hearers remarked that they were moved by his preaching, but yet still more affected by his praying. D. L. Moody after his first visit to England, being asked upon his return to America, “Did you hear Spurgeon preach?” He replied, “Yes, but better still I heard him pray.”