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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2007 12:27:43 -0700
-by E.M Bounds.  

"The act of praying is the very highest energy of which the human 
mind is capable; praying, that is, with the total concentration of 
the faculties. The great mass of worldly men and of learned men 
are absolutely incapable of prayer." -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge 

BISHOP WILSON says: "In H. Martyn's journal, the spirit of prayer, 
the time he devoted to the duty, and his fervor in it are the first 
things which strike me." 

Payson wore the hard-wood boards into grooves where his knees 
pressed so often and so long. His biographer says: "His continuing 
instant in prayer, be his circumstances what they might, is the 
most noticeable fact in his history, and points out the duty of all 
who would rival his eminency. To his ardent and persevering 
prayers must no doubt be ascribed in a great measure his 
distinguished and almost uninterrupted success." 

The Marquis DeRenty, to whom Christ was most precious, ordered 
his servant to call him from his devotions at the end of half an hour. 
The servant at the time saw his face through an aperture. It was 
marked with such holiness that he hated to arouse him. His lips 
were moving, but he was perfectly silent. He waited until three half 
hours had passed; then he called to him, when he arose from his 
knees, saying that the half hour was so short when he was 
communing with Christ. 

Brainerd said: "I love to be alone in my cottage, where I can spend 
much time in prayer." 

William Bramwell is famous in Methodist annals for personal 
holiness and for his wonderful success in preaching and for the 
marvelous answers to his prayers. For hours at a time he would 
pray. He almost lived on his knees. He went over his circuits like 
a flame of fire. The fire was kindled by the time he spent in prayer. 
He often spent as much as four hours in a single season of prayer 
in retirement. 

Bishop Andrewes spent the greatest part of five hours every day in 
prayer and devotion. 

Sir Henry Havelock always spent the first two hours of each day 
alone with God. If the encampment was struck at 6 A.M., he 
would rise at four. 

Earl Cairns rose daily at six o'clock to secure an hour and a half 
for the study of the Bible and for prayer, before conducting family 
worship at a quarter to eight. 

Dr. Judson's success in prayer is attributable to the fact that he 
gave much time to prayer. He says on this point: "Arrange thy 
affairs, if possible, so that thou canst leisurely devote two or three 
hours every day not merely to devotional exercises but to the very 
act of secret prayer and communion with God. Endeavor seven 
times a day to withdraw from business and company and lift up 
thy soul to God in private retirement. Begin the day by rising after 
midnight and devoting some time amid the silence and darkness 
of the night to this sacred work. Let the hour of opening dawn find 
thee at the same work. Let the hours of nine, twelve, three, six, 
and nine at night witness the same. Be resolute in his cause. 
Make all practicable sacrifices to maintain it. Consider that thy 
time is short, and that business and company must not be 
allowed to rob thee of thy God." Impossible, say we, fanatical 
directions! Dr. Judson impressed an empire for Christ and laid the 
foundations of God's kingdom with imperishable granite in the 
heart of Burmah. He was successful, one of the few men who 
mightily impressed the world for Christ. Many men of greater gifts 
and genius and learning than he have made no such impression; 
their religious work is like footsteps in the sands, but he has 
engraven his work on the adamant. The secret of its profundity 
and endurance is found in the fact that he gave time to prayer. He 
kept the iron red-hot with prayer, and God's skill fashioned it with 
enduring power. No man can do a great and enduring work for 
God who is not a man of prayer, and no man can be a man of 
prayer who does not give much time to praying. 

Is it true that prayer is simply the compliance with habit, dull and
mechanical? A petty performance into which we are trained till 
tameness, shortness, superficiality are its chief elements? "Is it 
true that prayer is, as is assumed, little else than the half-passive 
play of sentiment which flows languidly on through the minutes or 
hours of easy reverie?" Canon Liddon continues: "Let those who 
have really prayed give the answer. They sometimes describe 
prayer with the patriarch Jacob as a wrestling together with an 
Unseen Power which may last, not unfrequently in an earnest life, 
late into the night hours, or even to the break of day. Sometimes 
they refer to common intercession with St. Paul as a concerted 
struggle. They have, when praying, their eyes fixed on the Great 
Intercessor in Gethsemane, upon the drops of blood which fall to
the ground in that agony of resignation and sacrifice. Importunity 
is of the essence of successful prayer. Importunity means not 
dreaminess but sustained work. It is through prayer especially that 
the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by 
force. It was a saying of the late Bishop Hamilton that "No man is 
likely to do much good in prayer who does not begin by looking 
upon it in the light of a work to be prepared for and persevered in 
with all the earnestness which we bring to bear upon subjects 
which are in our opinion at once most interesting and most necessary." 

"The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer that 
fetched the angel."  --Thomas Watson.