“No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, 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.”
- Leonard Ravenhill
Leonard Ravenhill, who lived from 1907 to 1994, lived a life marked by prayer and yearning for God’s Holy Spirit to revive His people. Just go read this man’s Wikipedia. Its brevity speaks to the his humility and its depth speaks to the eternal fire the man lived with. Just read what his friend A.W. Tozer said of him. Tozer’s words highlight how poor in spirit Ravenhill was as he hungered and thirsted and prayed for God’s righteousness for just shy of a century.
Do the words of Ravenhill convict you? They certainly sparked a fire in my soul when first I read them. I am again convicted, especially in the wake of a humbling year like 2020, that prayer is the foremost responsibility and opportunity a Christian is given to seek God’s kingdom come and will be done in our time. Many want to act and then pray. But I wonder… what would the world look like if we prayed and then acted? Ravenhill’s conviction was that to fail to pray was to fail in everything.
My desire for Hewitt has little to do with how many members we report on our roll. I don’t just want to have visible service projects and community events people attend. My greatest desire is that every person that claims to be a part of Hewitt would legitimately follow after Jesus. Every moment of every day. With one another in public and in the privacy of our homes. I desire God to pour out His Spirit on us in a real and tangible way, such that we can't help but reach others, and they can't help but glorify the Father when they see the lives we live. Prayer is the Way. It is the first and ongoing step of discipleship.
Pray. Agonize. Pray. Cling. Wrestle. Shed tears. Pour out passion. Intercede. Fight. According to Ravenhill, these are the tasks of a people that prioritize prayer. First Hewitt must be a people of prayer. In the secrecy of our rooms and in the midst of our gatherings, prayer must be our prioritized ministry practice. When we pray, we open ourselves to the Spirit's filling. When we pray, our eyes are open to what God's up to. We need God to pour out His Spirit. We need to pray.
I hope that you will join us THIS SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21 at 6:00pm as we gather together to pray. This “Concert of Prayer” will be a time set apart simply to pray together and praise the Lord. It is but one small step toward building a prayer culture at Hewitt, and we are truly praying you will join us.
Lord, teach us to pray.