Monday, January 4, 2010

When the Church intercedes

God will bless his church when she acknowledges her faults and humbles herself; when, with an evangelical repentance, she stands before the mercy-seat, and cries, “God be merciful unto us.”

We must never expect that the Lord will bless a proud and conceited church, a hard-hearted and indifferent church. When humbled and laid in the dust under a sense of her own shortcomings, then shall God be pleased to look upon her in mercy. I gather from the tenor of the first verse, that God blesses his people when they begin to pray, as well as when they confess their sins. The prayer is urgent, humble, and believing, and therefore it must speed....

We are sure to receive the benediction from God when the entire church is instant and constant in intercession. Prayer is the best resort of an earnest people. Are we not witnesses of it? We have had prayer meetings in this house, in which we have all been stirred as the trees of the wood are moved in the wind, and then we have always had the presence of God afterwards in the conversion of souls. Our best praying times have always been followed by joyful harvest homes. The churches everywhere must be prayerful, intensely so, or else they cannot expect that the sound of abundance of rain should be heard throughout their land. Awake to confess sin, O Zion, awake to soul-travail for the souls of men, and then shall God, thy Lord, visit thee from on high. Come, Holy Spirit, and arouse thy slumbering people; bestir thy sluggard host, for when thy power is felt, then hath the bright day of triumph dawned upon us.

From a sermon entitled "The Minstrelsy Of Hope," delivered July 5, 1868. Image by Paulo Brandão under Creative Commons License.

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