(James Smith, "Good seed for the Lord's field!" 1856) LISTEN to audio! Download audio
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"Our gospel came to you not simply with words--but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction." 1 Thessalonians 1:5
"We have," said one pastor, "the gospel regularly preached, the prayer meetings are continued, the church is in peace--but very few souls are converted to God! What does our church need?"
It needs the presence and power of the Holy Spirit! For unless the Holy Spirit works--your minister may preach, your church may meet--but no real good will be done! God's work is carried on, not by might nor by power--but by the Spirit of the Lord Almighty. It is the Spirit who must . . .
open the heart,
quicken the soul, and
sanctify the person!
And if the Spirit works--then the feeblest ministry is efficient, and the smallest church prospers!
All the success that followed the preaching of Peter and the labors of Paul, was from the Holy Spirit. Therefore Paul says, "God gave the increase." Then the church felt her need of the Spirit; she realized her dependence on that divine Agent; she prayed with faith, fervor, and importunity for the blessing; and God answered her prayers, and filled His servants with the Holy Spirit and with power!
But now-a-days, we merely talk of the Spirit--rather than feel our need!
We boast of our instruments--rather than realize our dependence on the Almighty Agent!
May our prayer life exemplify our understanding of this truth! May our passion filled supplications evidence our profound sense of helplessness to accomplish anything through our feeble efforts! May it recognize a desperate need for the moving of you, Spirit, upon the hearts of those we pray for and seek to aid through our visible ministry. May the external acts be supported and built up by a unwavering commitment to pray for Your moving upon their hearts and minds; upon our hearts and minds.
So often, Abba, we confess the power of prayer while at the same denying its power through its absence in our lives.
So often, Abba, we trust our words more than yours.
So often, Abba, we believe ourselves more compelling and persuasive than you, the divine king.
Forbid it, Lord, that we should trust in ourselves for the change we seek in ourselves and in others. May we instead, through the consistent practice of prayer, beseech your tender mercies to work upon hearts and transform through true might and glory!
We rest upon your power and strength, Abba!
We rest upon your moving power, Spirit!
Bring the change that you alone are able to bring!
We love you, Abba!