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Posts Tagged ‘Leonard Ravenhill

Hard To Find A Prayer Meeting

Leonard Ravenhill said that the prayer meeting was the Cinderella of the Church.  He said that she (the prayer meeting) was unloved and she was tucked away in the castle.  Yet beauty is truly found in the prayer meeting.  It was prayer, after all, that Jesus sent His disciples to after His ascension to the Father (Acts 1:14).  It was on the day of Pentecost, while the disciples were at prayer, that the gift of the Holy Spirit came.  After Pentecost, the disciples continue to pray (Acts 2:42).

In fact, prayer marked the early disciples.  All through the book of Acts we find the church at prayer.  In Acts 3:1 that Peter and John were heading to the temple during the hour of prayer.  It seems from this text that the Apostles kept the hour of prayer.  They continued to seek God.  These Apostles did not trust in their Pentecostal experience in Acts 2 to keep them.  They kept on praying, kept on seeking.  Paul the Apostle would later write that disciples are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), to be devoted to prayer (Colossians 4:2), to be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12).  Prayer was not then some vain ritual.  Prayer was their direct communication with the Father through the Lord Jesus (John 14:13-14; Hebrews 4:14-16).  The Apostles had seen the power of prayer in the life of the Lord Jesus (Luke 5:16).  In fact, it was the prayer life of Jesus that caused the Apostles to come to the Lord and ask Him to teach them to pray as well (Luke 11:1).  They heard the words of Jesus to always pray and not give up (Luke 18:1).

And yet what about us?  Is my life marked by prayer?  Is my life marked by my seeking His face?  If prayer was a focus for the early disciples, why not also today?  If the early disciples needed to pray, we also ought to seek God’s face as well!  We have exchanged prayer for technology.  We have substituted the presence of God with emotions.  We have convinced ourselves that we can make it though with human power but not with the power of God.  As E.M. Bounds wrote, “Men are looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.”  God does not anoint methods.  God anoints people.  God may very well work through some of our methods but He is looking for people who will cry to Him and those He will use for His glory.

Prayer meetings are hard to find these days.  There was a time when the church would often meet to pray.  I remember as a boy going to New Year’s Eve prayer meetings and I remember going with my parents to the prayer meetings at our church.  Some of those prayer meetings were more teaching and more talking than actual prayer meetings (what one man called “worthless prayer meetings”).  When I was a young disciple, Wednesday night was often called “prayer meetings” instead of “family night.”  These days, prayer meetings are hard to find.  Churches have many programs but the prayer meeting is all but abandoned these days.

We need a revival of the prayer meeting.  We need churches that preach the truth to not only preach the truth but pray.  If Jesus is truly on His throne, this should stir us to prayer.  If Jesus is truly risen from the dead, this should stir us to prayer.  If Jesus is our faithful high priest, this should stir us to prayer.  If we look at our fallen sinful world and yet see the promise of God in Psalm 110:1, this should stir us to prayer.  If we have truly experienced the gospel, this should stir us to prayer.

I pray that the prayer meeting makes a comeback.  I pray that God will stir His children to pray.  I pray that the Holy Spirit, who teaches us to pray (Romans 8:26-27), will stir up His people to prayer.  The cults are seeking their false gods.  The false religions of this world are seeking their false gods.  How much more should we who know the true and living God not seek His face?  We often seek God for His hand but oh for us to seek His face!  Our God alone hears our prayers (Psalm 65:2).  Our God alone is able to move mountains (Mark 11:22-24).  Our God alone is able to save.  Let us seek His face!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/25/2014 at 4:26 PM

Intercession and Doctrinal Disagreements

When I was in college, some guy wanted to debate me theologically.  They knew I was an Arminian (rare on my campus) and so I was often targeted for debates.  My reply was always the same, “Come and let us pray and worship God for about an hour or so and then we can talk theology.”  They never took me up on the offer.

I use to rise early while in college to pray with some Indian students.  These Indians knew how to seek God.  In our times of intercession, doctrine was not an issue.  They could have been Calvinists or Arminians or Baptists or Pentecostals and we didn’t care.  We just were hungry to seek Jesus.  These Indians would pray for hours.   They would pray about everything from creation to the news.  They rarely prayed for themselves but prayed for the lost, for revival, for missions, for the Church of Jesus Christ, for the gospel to go forth, for the power of the Holy Spirit.  They would weep and wail and cry out.  Doctrine, during these times of travail, was not an issue.  Jesus was!

Doctrine, of course, is vital.  Paul told Timothy to watch his life and doctrine closely (1 Timothy 4:16).  Paul wrote in Titus 2:1 to teach sound doctrine.  But theologically debates fail when the people of God come together to earnestly seek the face of Jesus.  When the people of God are crying out to Him, you cannot tell the difference between the Arminian prayer warrior nor the Calvinist prayer warrior.

Before Leonard Ravenhill went to be with the Lord, he use to host a prayer meeting at his home.  This prayer meeting was full of brethren from various backgrounds.  There were Pentecostals and Wesleyans and Baptists and Presbyterians.  It didn’t matter.  What mattered was were you born again (John 3:1-7) and were you walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-17).  Brother Len would pray and cry out and no one cared that he was an old school Methodist.  People just wanted to pray.

A.W. Tozer once was asked by a young man leaving for Bible college which side should he take when the boys begin to debate Arminianism and Calvinism.  Dr. Tozer replied, “Son, you leave those boys and go into your prayer closet and you seek God.  After 4 years, you’ll leave that Bible college full of the Spirit of God and the wisdom of God while those boys will still be sitting there debating with each other.”

I urge you to pray.  I pray that the people of God will earnestly seek Him.  Pray with Calvinists.  Pray with Arminians.  Pray with brothers and sisters from various backgrounds.  Stand firm for the truth of God but be willing to lay aside minor doctrinal disagreements to seek God.  Agree on the essentials but be willing to give charity on non-salvation issues.  Pray.  Worship.  Seek God while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6).  Don’t be distracted by those things which no one has figured out in 450 years but earnestly seek the face of Christ.  Jesus alone is worthy!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/24/2013 at 10:10 AM

Four Kindle Works You Need on Prayer

Prayer is so vital to the life of the disciple of Jesus that Jesus said that His disciples would pray (Matthew 6:5).  Our Lord’s own prayer life was so powerful that His disciples came to Him and asked Him to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1).  Oh how often have I prayed those words to Jesus!  Oh how often have we neglected to seek God in prayer!

I urge you to read these books and allow the Holy Spirit to purge you of laziness in prayer.

1.  The Path of Prayer by Samuel Chadwick.  Only $0.99 and this book is full of wisdom form a man of prayer.  He was the master of Cliff College when Leonard Ravenhill was a student there.

2.  Why Revival Tarries? by Leonard Ravenhill.  Great book that first challenged this vessel to prayer.  Brother Leonard had a way with words and his prophetic voice is missed in the church.

3.  Praying Hyde by E.G. Carre.  John Hyde was a great man of prayer and you’ll be challenged as you read his stories.  Brother John was such a man of prayer that he earned the nickname “Praying Hyde” and “Apostle of Prayer.”  Like Rees Howell, Praying Hyde knew how to touch the throne of God and God heard his cries often.

4.  The Complete Collection of E.M. Bounds on Prayer.  E.M. Bounds was a man of prayer.  Most of his works came after his death in which he left behind his notes on prayer.  Bounds was a Confederate chaplain during the American Civil War but he learned how to pray and God heard his cries and saved many souls during the Civil War through this man’s preaching.  He was imprisoned by the Union and there he taught others how to seek God.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/08/2013 at 10:00 AM

Recommended Reading from Leonard Ravenhill

Leonard Ravenhill was a true man of God.  In his later years, brother Leonard would spend up to 9 hours a day in intercessory prayer.  His book, Why Revival Tarries?remains one of my favorite books along with his book, Revival Praying.  Brother Leonard was himself trained under Samuel Chadwick and was friends with A.W. Tozer.  He also discipled Keith Green.  His passion for God was known by many.  He is dearly missed.

This link will give you book titles you can get on your Kindle.  I would urge you to read them all.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/03/2013 at 10:58 AM

How Much Do You Pray?

Leonard Ravenhill use to ask those around him, “I don’t want to know how many Scriptures you have memorized.  I don’t want to hear about how many sermons you have preached.  I want to know the answer to one question, how is your prayer life?  How much time do you spend on your knees praying to Christ?”

I ask the same of you and me.  Are we found on our knees?  Are we found praying for the lost to be saved as Paul taught in Romans 10:1 and 1 Timothy 2:1-6?  Are we found crying out to God for Him to heal the sick for His glory?  Are we found praying against the wicked forces of evil at work in our world (Ephesians 6:12)?  Are we found crying out for workers of the harvest fields (Matthew 9:37-38)?  Are we found seeking Jesus simply because He said for us to always (Luke 18:1)?  Can it be said of you or me that we are like Charles Spurgeon and a prayer always be found on our lips (1 Thessalonians 5:17)?  May it be said of us what it was said of John Wesley who left this world with the words, “And best of all – God is with us!”

Oh may we pray!  Oh may we labor in prayer!  The work of God doesn’t begin after we pray.  Prayer is the work!  Prayer is the path to power through faith in Christ.  Prayer is what opens hearts to the gospel.  Prayer is what opens doors that no man can close and closes doors no man can open (Revelation 3:8).  The prayer closet allows for no showing off.  Who we are in prayer is who we are.  You can be a fake Christian in the pulpit.  You can’t be a fake Christian in prayer.  Is this why so few pray?  Is it because the Spirit of God exposes our ugliness to us in prayer?  We see our lack of power.  We see our lack of urgency.  We sense our deep sinfulness.  In prayer, God opens our eyes to His holiness and we see just how tainted we have become.  Thankfully He is merciful and He cleanses us from sin (1 John 1:7) but in prayer God exposes us for who we truly are and not who we think we are.

I urge you today to pray.  Turn off your radio in your car and pray.  Turn off your television and pray in your prayer closet (Matthew 6:6).  Stop talking merely about God and start actually talking to God.  It is possible to know much about God and yet still not know God.  Jesus said this of the Pharisees of His day (see John 5:39-40).  To know God is to seek God and to hear His voice (John 8:47).  Oh saints of God seek God’s face today!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

05/16/2013 at 11:32 AM

Posted in Prayer

Tagged with , ,

The Hunger for Revival

From time to time my mind drifts back to the 1990’s when I first got saved and when it seemed everywhere I went, people were talking about revival.  I remember the Bible teacher that I sat under those early days of my salvation would often weep over the need for revival.  He would talk about the great revivals of Church history and then he would weep over the lack of revival in our day.  I remember hearing men of God like David Wilkerson or Leonard Ravenhill speaking on revival and how we needed a move of God.  We believed, in those days, that revival would make things right.

In 1995 Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida begin to say that revival had come.  On Father’s Day, evangelist Steve Hill preached to the large Assembly of God church and revival services began.  The revival would continue night after night from 1995 to about 2000.  The revival would slow and finally ended in 2002.  I visited Brownsville Assembly of God three times.  I first went in August of 1996 but I admit I went with a critical spirit.  Myself and a friend of mine attended for a week in August, 1996 and while I was not 100% on board with the revival, I did see many good things.  The gospel was preached with a cry to repentance.  Prayer was powerful.  The hunger for the presence of God was intense.  There were bizarre physical manifestations and there were folks there for experiences instead of hungering for Christ but I walked away believing that there was much good going on at Brownsville despite the claims of the detractors who hated the revival.  It was there also that I met Dr. Michael Brown for the first time and I was impressed with his knowledge and his zeal for the Lord.

I visited Brownsville two more times with teenagers in 1997 and in 2002.  By the time we came in 2002, the atmosphere had changed dramatically and the revival was nearly over.  Dr. Brown had left to start the Fire School of Ministry in Concord, NC and the revival days were over.

What I miss about all this is not the excess flesh.  I miss the passion for God.  I miss seeing teenagers crammed into a building on Thursday nights for the youth service and hearing brother Richard Crisco preaching the Word of God.  I miss the prayer meeting on Tuesday night that was packed with intercessors crying out to the Lord.  I miss the worship of God that filled your heart with joy.  I miss hearing of revivals breaking out in other places from Brownsville.  I do admit that not all of the revival was correct.  After all, we are talking about a revival among fallen flesh.  There is no such thing as a perfect revival.  Every revival will feature things that we don’t like or approve.  Thankfully God uses fallen people despite our sins and errors.

I can’t remember the last time I heard someone speak of being hungry for revival.  Gone are the days of Ravenhill or Wilkerson I fear.  Where is the hunger for God’s presence?  Where is the passion for God in prayer?  Where are the thousands of intercessors who would shut themselves in a room for a night of seeking God?  Brownsville was not perfect but I miss the passion.  I miss the zeal.  I miss the joy of the Lord in singing praises to our King.  I miss the reports of souls getting saved.  I miss the Friday night baptisms.  I miss the hunger for the Holy Spirit to be fully active in our lives.

Oh where are those who hunger for revival?  Oh God send the fire (Acts 2:17)!

For more information on Brownsville Assembly of God check out this article.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

04/12/2013 at 7:27 PM

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