Prevailing Prayer: Sob with God
By G. Campbell Morgan
The only light that we can ever shed upon the darkness of the world must be light beaming from the face lifted toward God’s tomorrow. In the matter of prayer, this is of supreme importance. To pray with prevailing prayer there must be the vision of the morning breaking in the Eastern sky. It is the man who sees the coming glory who knows what it is to put blood and sacrifice into the business of establishing that Kingdom here.
In order to pray prevailingly, I must live in the power of the hope that maketh not ashamed, having my face ever lifted towards the light while I yet look at the sorrow around me, and serve diligently the will of my King.
The indwelling Spirit knows the will of God and interprets it to the soul in whom He abides. This He does by unveiling Christ, who is the revelation of the will of God to me. As He was the Word incarnate, He was the will of God incarnate. I come to Him that I may see what is God’s will for myself and for all men; that I may understand what is God’s purpose concerning the whole world.
The Spirit’s Groaning
As we look out upon the movements of the hour and upon all the facets of life, the indwelling Spirit sets them in relation to the will of God, and a keen consciousness is born within us of the failure in the midst of which we live. Thus the Spirit makes intercession in us with groaning which cannot be uttered as He gives us this new consciousness of the limitation and paralysis of all life without God. As the Spirit interprets to us the will of God, He shows the disaster of being out of harmony with that will.
As the Spirit interprets the will of God, therefore, He makes the soul profoundly discontented with everything that is contrary thereto, and this because of the soul’s supreme content with the good and perfect and acceptable will of God. That is what the apostle meant when he wrote, “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only so, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves” [Rom. 8:22–23, kjv].
The heavenly people are, therefore, those who most acutely feel earth’s sorrows and are able to enter into fellowship with God in prayer for the winning of the victories of His love. Following consciousness of discontent is that of desire for the coming of the Kingdom, for the setting up of the will of God, which means the healing of wounds and the breaking of chains.
A Ready Response
To that work of the indwelling Spirit there must be a ready response. “Quench not the Spirit.” When the Spirit interprets the will of God for life, for home, for city, for nation, we must listen to no other philosophy, be seduced by no other ideal. As the glories of that Kingdom flame and flash before us, we must never be turned aside by the glamour of the things of the world, the flesh and the devil. Answer the Spirit. Let Him teach. Let Him show the vision. Believe the Spirit. “Quench not the Spirit.”
But more, infinitely more. When the Spirit revealing the will of God for the world creates in the heart a great pain and a great discontent, do not let us check it. That is what Christian men and women, alas, are too constantly doing. When the story of sin and sorrow of humanity is told, they close their ears and are not willing to share in the pain. That is to grieve the Spirit indeed. We ought to hear. We ought to know.
We ought to be ready to bring the new sensitiveness of our Christian life into close touch with the world’s agony until we feel its pain as our very own. The Spirit desires that we should know its sorrow. His work is to interpret to us the meaning of the sob and sigh and the agony of the world. When we feel that, there will spring out of our life a new desire which will drive us to prayer that God’s Kingdom may come, and to self-sacrificing service without which such prayer is blasphemy.
Thus we shall begin to sob with God and to God, in our sense of the world’s sorrow. Out of such prayer the toil and travail come which bring the Kingdom in. Thank God, we can, if we will, respond to this revelation, meditation and inspiration so as to pray with prevailing power.
G. CAMPBELL MORGAN (1863-1945) was a British evangelist, preacher, and leading Bible scholar. He preached his first sermon at age 13 after being profoundly affected by the ministry of D.L. Moody. His reputation as a preacher and Bible expositor grew throughout Britain and spread to the United States. He was pastor of Westminster Chapel in London for 25 years. Excerpted from The Practice of Prayer.
From Prayer Connect magazine.