CHAPTER VI — THE PLACE OF PRAYER IN EVANGELISM
BY REV. R. A. TORREY, D. D., DEAN OF THE BIBLE INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
The most important human factor in effective evangelism is PRAYER. Every great awakening in the history of the Church from the time of the Apostles until today has been the result of prayer. There have been great awakenings without much preaching, and there have been great awakenings with absolutely no organization, but there has never been a true awakening without much prayer.
The same Spirit who inspired spontaneous sermons also inspired the crafted acrostic poems of the book of Lamentations. He has moved like rapids — quickly and vivaciously — and startling to see. But the Spirit also moves like a glacier — subtly and cumulatively — and sometimes so imperceptibly that the believer might be unaware of his work. In fact, God has a particular glory that he displays by moving slowly.
"Their faith, while not in prayer, is in something else. Namely, that all human problems and challenges, such as climate change, gun violence, and even terrorism, are problems that can be solved if only we apply the right techniques, which these days are almost always political steps" CPost
Lord, we are grieved that at least 59 people have died from the Las Vegas shooting, and that hundreds more have been injured. Father, we know that evil is a reality in our world. The curse that resulted from Adam’s sin brought with it death, disaster, and hardship. It also left all humans with a sinful nature, one that resists being tamed.
Lord, we especially want to pray for those grieving the loss of loved ones. Many lives were quickly snuffed out. Their loss is a grievous one, and the suddenness of it makes it even more painful. These loved ones feel the emptiness, the helplessness, the loss; dark clouds hover over their lives, lives that were forever changed in an instant. How can this be?
Read the series.
I groaned when I read the first sentences of a WORLD magazine article that appeared in the fall of 2014: “My husband lost a week’s pay. It must have fallen out of his pocket at the hardware store.” I’d sure hate to be that guy! I don’t even want to think about what losing a week’s pay would do to my family’s budget.
But how does a Christian respond to this kind of problem? What does responding with biblical faith look like? Hopefully, most of us get quickly to where the article’s author did: “My reaction was to pray immediately.” But how should faith shape the prayer? At least four options are available (or some combination of them):