Apples of Gold

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‘I must keep praying’

 

“I feel like just giving up!”

How often has this thought passed through our minds (both yours and mine) in recent months? If I am honest, then I must admit it’s been quite often. I find myself so often in hopeless situations where I know full well that only God can deliver me but God doesn’t  seem to have the same urgency as I do.

Impatience and unbelief are at least a root of all my problems, and pride isn’t far behind, along with frustration (the fruit of my sin).

Deep down I know that the Lord is working in my life and that I would be better off if I waited patiently for His time and His way of deliverance, but there seems to be a constant conflict between wanting to honour my God by doing His will and at the same time worrying myself sick over things which may never happen.

I must keep praying.

Regardless of this attitude of mine, though, I must keep praying - even when I do not ‘feel’ like praying. If I do not pray then I’ve lost my communication with God and I will become even more miserable. He can well do without me, but I cannot do without Him, not even for a minute.

I am sure that others go through barren spells in their souls, and I’m no different. Already this week I have heard a number of different Christians complaining that their Pastors’ preaching has gone stale and lifeless. One person even asked me if he should quit his church and go to another one!

Note: Prayer to me is as natural as breathing. I pray constantly, talking to my Best Friend wherever I may be. I do not mean that I spend hours on end kneeling in a formal position making my petitions as though I were praying in public nor am I blowing my own trumpet by making myself out to be some sort of prayer warrior. I am not! I simply want to try and explain how the Lord has worked an ongoing, prayerful spirit within me.

Any Christian who has suffered through pain or in any other form over a length of time will have nurtured the same attitude. It is Christ that has worked this in us. It is not a chore neither is it demanded from us. It is simply an attitude of our Christian life that the Lord has formulated over many years.

I am much more sympathetic towards preachers these days than I used to be. I understand a little about the difficulties of preparing food for the souls of those who will either read or hear what we say. There simply has to be a total reliance upon our God for fresh manna whenever we attempt anything in His name.

What does a faithful preacher do when the heavens are as brass and his mind is like a blank sheet of paper? What happens when, having prayed all week for his flock and for a morsel to give them, Saturday arrives and he has nothing? He may pray all day Saturday but unless God gives him something he will climb the steps of his pulpit with an empty and heavy heart on the Sabbath Day.

I do not know if all preachers have experienced this but I know that many good and faithful men have. We must never lose sight of the extraordinary battles that these men have to face in their daily walk. I am fully persuaded that those who serve their God on the ‘front line’ know more of the enemy’s attacks than we do.

They are in need of our prayerful support at all times. We must pray for them not only on the Sabbath day as they preach but also each day throughout the week. They prepare as diligently as they can for each sermon, and they need prayerful support in that preparation just as much as they need prayerful support while delivering it.

If you are a Pastor or preacher and you are reading this, and your soul is cast down at this particular time with a feeling of utter unworthiness and inability, then I want to say a few words in the hope that it may lift your spirits.

Your calling is not your own. You have been called first from darkness into light, and then you have received yet another calling from the triune God to the highest office any man can possibly hold in this life.

You are an ambassador for Jesus Christ the Son of God - and if that statement doesn’t fill you with wonder and with joy, then, my friend, you are in the wrong profession.

His kingdom stretches unto earths’ utmost end. It is filled with needy souls, many of whom are heading for a lost eternity. Your duty is to proclaim the Good News that your King has come to save them. He has entrusted His message to your hands, and He gives you the ability and the opportunities to proclaim His message throughout your lifetime. Actually, He Himself is the message.

I must keep praying.

He never calls anyone without preparing them first for the task. There will be times when your preaching will be so blessed to the souls of those listening that you will be in awe of His work in them. But you also may preach the same sermon the following week in a different place with a totally different result. It is God who gives the increase.

I must keep praying.

Sometimes it is not the preacher who is to blame for our apathy. It may be ourselves and our lack of diligence. I wonder how many of those who turned up for church last Sabbath morning had neglected to pray at all for the person in the pulpit? Also, how many of them will remember what the sermon was about?

I must keep on praying.

We can easily fall into the experience of being so numbed by our cares that we find that we merely go through the motions of dealing with them without any reliance upon God. We rise each morning and before we give God a thought we are headlong into the cares and snares of life. At the end of the day we may give thanks, but it is only a token gesture on our part.

I must keep on praying.

What for?

At least this - revival. 

If there is one thing I yearn to see in my day it is revival. I do not believe in “whiz bang Theology,” nor do I go for flashing lights, puppet theatre or computer animation as means to proclaim the Good News.

Revival will come, of that I have no doubt, but it will come entirely as a result of the earnest prayer of God’s people and faithful Christ centred preaching. He will surely come. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

I long to see my loved ones saved. I long to see my friends in the village saved. I long to hear that my ex workmates have been saved. I long for God to raise up men who are both fearless and faithful. Men who preach as dying men to dying men. O for ten such men in Scotland!

I am not a greedy person by nature, in fact I have often been accused of giving what I don’t have! Also, I do not confine my revival petitions to this Island or this land. I long to hear of great works of God in other lands as well. This week I prayed for revival in Maryland and just as surely for revival in Auckland.

I pray each day for my enemies. It is what Christ has told me to do, and there have been times when I have been amazed at how the Lord has made even my enemies to be at peace with me. He honours His own Word.

Are you angry with someone today? Are you holding a grudge? Are you bitter in spirit? Pray for your enemies and for those who use and abuse you. Pray for them. Pray earnestly that God would bless them and that He would show them great favour. You may be truly surprised at the results.

I must keep on praying.

I had no intention of writing anything today but having prayed about it, I started to type. I did feel like giving up today but thankfully my soul has revived for another while. I cannot stand being apart from Christ for any length of time. Thankfully today He drew near when I least expected Him to do so. Now I am finished and I must go and pray. I will pray most of all that these few words will be richly blessed to your soul .

 

 

 

Author : Iain Mackenzie     Edited by: Pastor Al Moak