Push(*) on

Working in the last decades of the 19th Century, C H Spurgeon - renowned preacher and Pastor of the largest church in London - realized that the church faced challenges which threatened its very survival.

It was a time of great social, political and economic upheaval. People were deserting the churches, yet still claimed that they were looking for “something” which would bring meaning to otherwise meaningless lives.  Theologians and preachers were increasingly dismissive of parts of the bible which they felt were inappropriate, out of date or even irrelevant for their modern age. Ordinary people didn’t just believe in nothing - they were prepared to believe in anything.

It sounds very familiar to our 21st Century ears.  The church under attack divided against itself confronting a culture claiming to be spiritual, yet missing the truth entirely. All this at a time of profound and far reaching change, affecting every part of life and shaking hitherto accepted moral foundations to their core.

Spurgeon’s response is still relevant today. His solution was to put the gospel (and the cross) of Christ at the centre of the church’s life and mission and, to urge the church to pray.

To pray is to say something about God, about others and, not least, about ourselves. Prayer suggests drive and urgency. It confirms our need to communicate with God about our relationship with Him and the world.  Prayer is crucial to the life of the universal church and to the witness of the local church. As Spurgeon himself wrote: “… all the Christian virtues are locked up in the word prayer.”

Want to see lives transformed, hurts healed, broken relationships restored? Long to see the church move with power and commitment? It won’t happen unless we are committed to pray, to listen to God and to act as He directs.

Will we take advantage of the many opportunities we have to pray? Will we commit ourselves to pray more regularly and, in a more focused way?

(*) Pray Until Something Happens  .... but don't stop then

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