These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. (Acts 1:14)
There is no greater blessing within a local assembly than its people to be a praying people. Preachers can and must be the example in the prayer life of an assembly however the motions of our warfare cannot only be from the pulpit. The people of God must have “sinews of war”. This wrestling must be accomplished on the knees of God’s people. Our Father must be petitioned for His grace. His drawing of the lost and His willing and doing in the souls of His people must be manifest in our services. Is it not true that without Him we can do nothing?
O’ to have congregations who are consecrated unto the Lord and His ministry – evidenced by earnest praying! The early church met daily – giving their energy to apostolic doctrine, fellowship, the Lord’s Table, and prayers. Can this be said for our churches?
Charles Spurgeon repeatedly gave thanksgiving for his ministerial prosperity to the Lord by the prayers of his congregation. They were and continued under his direction to be a congregation of prayer.
When I came to New Park Street Chapel, it was but a mere handful of people to whom I first preached; yet I can never forget how earnestly they prayed. Sometimes, they seemed to plead as though they could really see the Angel of the covenant present with them, and as if they must have a blessing from Him. More than once, we were all so awe-struck with the solemnity of the meeting, that we sat silent for some moments while the Lord’s power appeared to overshadow us; and all I could do on such occasions was to pronounce the Benediction, and say, “Dear friends, we have had the Spirit of God here very manifestly to-night; let us go home, and take care not to lose His gracious influences.” Then down came the blessing; the house was filled with hearers, and many souls were saved. I always give all the glory to God, but I do not forget that He gave me the privilege of ministering from the first to a praying people. We had prayer-meetings in New Park Street that moved our very souls. Every man seemed like a crusader besieging the New Jerusalem, each one appeared determined to storm the Celestial City by the might of intercession; and soon the blessing came upon us in such abundance that we had not room to receive it. (Autobiography vol. 1, Pilgrim Publishers, 361)
Brethren, let us not rejoice merely in the description given by Bro. Spurgeon nor be caught up in his prosperity of numerical attendance as if he is our norm. Our standard is the Word of God. We must labor to water and plant. God the Father can give us exceedingly more or less than this. However, must we not go to Him for His blessing? Let us seek the Lord for His sake and for our welfare.
Go to the Throne of Grace for mercy and help in time of need. May God give to all His men this Lord’s Day and forever – a praying people!