Dear Praying Friends,
Rachel and I would like to express our appreciation for the value you place upon prayer. It is one thing to mentally accent to its importance, it is yet another to commit a day each week to pray for a specific purpose. We have combined two burdens for this day of prayer: one for our prodigals and the other for revival among us.
As you read through the history of the early church in the book of Acts, you can see how the priority placed upon prayer was vital in its progress and growth. Acts chapter one records, "All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers” (Acts 1:14). How good it is to see men and women together before God in prayer! This was Paul’s desire for the church in Philippi, that they would be “Standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (Phil.1:27). The focus of their lives was the gospel of Christ. The power to live it came from the indwelling Holy Spirit. The actual link to that connected them to God’s power was prayer.
When we are united in our goal to see Christ magnified, it provides the atmosphere for God to work in us and through us. I have been listening to an audiobook by David Fisher called Legends & Lies, The Patriots, which chronicles the movements of the founding fathers of American Independence. These men, like John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingstone, Roger Sherman, and Geroge Washington, did not agree on all the details of how things should progress, in fact, there was much arguing and disputing, (sometimes very heated) but they were all agreed that they wanted independence from Great Britain and freedom to live apart from its tyranny. In talking about the Declaration of Independence, David Fisher writes, “Those fifty-six men would affix their signatures knowing it was substantially more than an official document. For them, it was a death warrant. With their signatures, they were committing treason. After months of debate, the issues narrowed down to one question, would the colonies declare independence? By taking this step they would be taking high treason against the king, which had a clear established penalty. A traitor was to be hanged by the neck but cut down while he was still alive and his bowels were to be cut out and burned. Only then was his head to be cut off and his body cut into four pieces. Actually, all his property was to be forfeited and his family and immediate heirs were prohibited from owning property or conducting business.”
As they were deliberating, legend says, “Hancock acknowledged that the signers would hang together. To which Franklin replied, ‘We must indeed all hang together, or we will all hang separately.’ That quote appeared in print for the first time, half a century after the signing.” The witty Benjamin Franklin used a play on words, but he had it right.
This is fascinating history and it shows the value of sticking together and having a united goal. As we seek to see the gospel of Christ progress, let’s continue to labor in united prayer and thus witness the power of God at work.
God is able,
Bryan and Rachel