I remember in college reading the autobiography of George Mueller. ( A read I can highly recommend.) What stood out to me most about this man was his absolute faith in God and his dedication to prayer. When I was writing this post I did some research, looking for what evangelist or reformer was known most for prayer. While I didn’t find a single individual, what I did realize is that most of the great spiritual leaders in history were great prayers.
This doesn’t mean that they were eloquent prayers or that they had some extra special prayer credit with God. It just shows that prayer can make or break a life, a church, a ministry.
As 2020 rolls around and we all gear up with our New Year’s Resolutions for ourselves and our plans for our churches it can be easy to wonder if programs and plans will work or fall through. It can be somewhat discouraging to see our little churches not really growing any bigger. But that is where the power of prayer enters.
Back to George Mueller. There were countless times in his life where his dedication to prayer really impacted people. There were times when they literally didn’t have food for dinner at his many orphanages, but he would have all the children sit down and pray and thank God for the food anyway. Lo and behold when they were done a knock would come at the door and some bewildered person would say they had been impressed to bring food.
George had 5 friends that weren’t Christian. (This is at least one part of his story we can all relate to.). Despite all of the mighty things God was doing in his life, it seemed like God wasn’t answering his prayers for his friends. It took 18 months for the first friend to be converted. (Incidentally, he started praying in 1844 for what that’s worth.) The second took five years, the next six. The last two were finally converted shortly after his death.
Now, it may not take that long for your friends and mine. What could happen though if we each chose one person this year in 2020 to pray for? What could happen if we each brought one person in our lives closer to Jesus? Through prayer into our churches? What could one year of prayer do?