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more prayer

December 18, 2007

I can’t seem to get away from this urge to pray for Africa. I meant to sit down with it yesterday, but our friends Jason and Cassandra came for the night (more on them tomorrow) and I didn’t pull myself away from them. No one’s fault but my own.

All day yesterday, though, I was thinking about how I really should sit down and read The Life and Diary of David Brainerd again. I kept thinking about it and I don’t know why because it’s a pretty unappealing idea. Brainerd’s diary reads a lot like Numbers. It’s for the most part very boring, but you read it because you know there’s good stuff in there – mostly toward the end.

But Brainerd was a man who labored in prayer for revival among the Native American people he ministered to, and he saw it come to pass. It’s his prayer life that I’m finally interested in (whereas the first time I read it I was interested in the move of Holy Spirit at the end), so I know it won’t be as dreadful as the first read but I’ve developed a kind of knee-jerk reaction to the title.

Today I pulled up Craig’s blog to see what’s going on at LifeChurch.tv and guest blogger Anne Jackson has posted about the prayer lives of some extraordinary men of God:

  • John Wesley prayed for two hours every morning, starting at 4 AM.
  • Edward Payson prayed so often, deep grooves formed on the hardwood floor by his bedside where he knelt.
  • William Wilberforce spent at least two hours every day in prayer, early in the day.
  • John Welch (a Scottish preacher – and we know how those can be) considered his day wasted if he spent less than eight to ten hours in prayer, sometimes in the middle of the night.

And I didn’t pray at all yesterday.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. jeffie permalink
    December 18, 2007 9:15 pm

    we must not compare ourselves to others. the bible also says that elijah was a man with like passions as us. Well He killed 400 some prophets of Baal after proving that Jehova was LORD and baal was NOT god and then as we know got chased into a cave at the threat of a woman killing him, he hadn’t even met jezebel. so granted we should pray daily but whether it is 15 minutes or 8 hours its about spending time with HIM and let me tell you something else you know, :), you can pray for hours and never be with Him and you can spend 5 minutes in His presence and accomplish much in the spirit! as it records in James the prayers of a righteous man avail much- it doesn’t say after 2 hours of prayer the qualifier is not time but who and how… meditate on that for a bit :)

  2. Lex permalink
    December 18, 2007 9:36 pm

    Did you just tell me not to compare myself with others and then compare me with Elijah? :)

    I’m not upset with myself, but amazed at the determination and passions of some of these men.

    I think we look at it from a competitive standpoint when our understanding of prayer is as something we’re obligated to do as Christians. I’m sure that anyone who spends hours in prayer – regularly, for long periods of time – does so because they want to be there, because they want to meet God, etc.

    And so I guess I am comparing – because I am a little jealous. Not because I feel like I need to measure up to John Wesley, but because I want the kind of passion that would keep me pressing into God for hours at a time.

    And I love that verse from James, but I’d have to rebut that if that’s true, an hour of the fervent effectual prayers of the righteous would avail more than five minutes of the same. :)

  3. KnowYourGod permalink
    December 19, 2007 2:24 pm

    2shey :) God is a jealous God, a consuming fire, why shouldn’t we eagerly desire time with Him… so right you are. a new perspective.

    Hey side note, I am going back to school!!! and my brother left his cult church 2 days ago FINALLY! PTL
    oh i’ll be going for assoc degree in emergency medicine which will alow me to be an advanced paramedic :)

  4. The Academy Against Apathy permalink
    December 19, 2007 2:56 pm

    Jeff that’s awesome news. Be gentle with your brother’s heart. Don’t try to do the work of Holy Spirit. Just love him he already knows how right you are. What a Great God we serve.
    Jeff I am so happy for you brother, and I’m glad you are going back to school! Man I miss you guys.

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