Prayer and Passion

February 15, 2008

When I was 17 years-old my youth pastor introduced me to Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994). Ravenhill was one of Britian’s foremost outdoor evangelists in the 20th century. He was a fiery, passionate man of God who rarely minced words. I found him quirky because he liked to rhyme everything, but those nursery rhyme turns of phrases often carried weight and brought conviction. His ministry influenced the likes of Ravi Zacharias, Charles Stanley and Paul Washer. He was also a close personal friend of A.W. Tozer. It’s been years since I’ve read Ravenhill, a student of church history and expert in the field of revival, but I pulled out one of his old books and stumbled upon this quote on prayer.

“No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. The pulpit can be a shop window to display one’s talents; the prayer closet allows no showing off.

Poverty-stricken as the Church is today in many things, she is most stricken here, in the place of prayer. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, but few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.

The two prerequisites to successful Christian living are vision and passion, bot of which are born in and maintained by prayer. The ministry of preaching is open to few; the ministry of prayer – the highest ministry of all human offices – is open to all. Spiritual adolescents say, “I’ll not go tonight, it’s only prayer meeting.” It may be that Satan has little cause to fear most preaching. Yet past experiencs sting him to rally his infernal army to fight against God’s people praying. Modern Christians know little of ‘binding and loosing,’ though the onus is on us – ‘Whatsover you shall bind…’ Have you done any of this lately? God is not prodigal with His power; but to be much for God, we must be much with God. “

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