One of my “heroes of the faith” is C.H. Spurgeon. I really connect with his communication style and the manner by which he preaches the truth. Several years ago, I was introduced to some of Spurgeon’s writings called “Morning and Evening Prayers,” a collection of prayers for each day of the year, one for the morning, one for the evening. One of the prayers has had a significant impact on my life concerning the power of prayer. Here is how it happened…
In 2003, I had the privilige to serve on mission trip in Guatemala two times, once in July and once in October. Shortly after our return in July, I learned of the opportunity to return later that same year. Two other girlfriends decided to join me and together we spent the fall months preparing for our return.
During this preparation time, the three of us girls decided to study “Let the Nations Be Glad” by John Piper. In a chapter on prayer, Piper has an amazing quote that has stayed with me since I first read it:
“Life is war. That’s not all it is. But it is always that. Our weakness in prayer is owing largely to our neglect of this truth. Prayer is primarily a wartime walkie-talkie for the mission of the church as it advances against the powers of darkness and unbelief. It is not surprising that prayer malfunctions when we try to make it a domestic intercom to call upstairs for more comforts in the den. God has given us prayer as a wartime walkie-talkie so that we can call headquarters for everything we need as the kingdom of Christ advances in the world. Prayer give us the significance of front-line forces; and gives God the glory of a limitless provider. The one who gives the power gets the glory. Thus prayer safeguards the supremacy of God in missions while linking us with endless grace for every need.”
Wow, right??? This really puts the power of prayer into perspective. While we were still chewing on this in our study times together, I was doing a little extra research on the power of prayer that led me back to Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Prayers where I discovered a little prayer packed a big punch in my life at that time. I printed out the prayer and carried it with me in my purse. I read and re read it and each time God deepened my understanding of prayer. The return trip to Guatemala was no doubt saturated in prayers, thanks in large part to what we learned from Piper and Spurgeon in the preparation time. We saw God move in response to our prayers, and also watched as our prayer life changed, and it truly did warn us of what was to come so that we could pray and be ready to stand firm during times of trouble.
So fast forward to today. This week has been a week of decisions. Brain and I had two very important decisions to make, one is still being “slept on” but one has been decided, and that is our decision to join a missions trip to Kenya through Frontline’s Global Impact ministry! We made the decision on the heels of much prayer, searching the scriptures, and talking between ourselves and with some close friends. This week has been saturated in prayer, and experiencing the presence and peace of God right now is reminiscent of our preparation time for Guatemala back in 2003.
So imagine my surprise this morning, when during the course of my own morning prayer and study time, I accidentally stumbled upon “Morning and Evening Prayers” on a website I use for my study time. I have not read these prayers in quite some time, but remembering how God has used them before, I clicked on the link to see what today’s prayer would be.
You’ve probably already figured it out. Today’s prayer is that SAME PRAYER I carried around with me in 2003 in preparation for that return to Guatemala! I think its so neat and totally God that he would lead me back to this prayer as I enter into a new time of preparation for a missions trip to a new country. I am so thankful he brought this prayer to my attention this morning. And somehow it gives me an extra spark of excitement and hope about this trip to Kenya. If its anything like Guatemala, I know it will be life changing for the Walters.
I’ll obviously be posting alot more about the Kenya trip in the coming months. But today, I want to leave you with that infamous prayer from C.H. Spurgeon… “Watchmen, what of the Night?”
Morning Prayer for August 6
“Watchman, what of the night?” -Isaiah 21:11
What enemies are abroad? Errors are a numerous horde, and new ones appear every hour: against what heresy am I to be on my guard? Sins creep from their lurking places when the darkness reigns; I must myself mount the watch-tower, and watch unto prayer. Our heavenly Protector foresees all the attacks which are about to be made upon us, and when as yet the evil designed us is but in the desire of Satan, He prays for us that our faith fail not, when we are sifted as wheat. Continue O gracious Watchman, to forewarn us of our foes, and for Zion’s sake hold not thy peace.
“Watchman, what of the night?” What weather is coming for the Church? Are the clouds lowering, or is it all clear and fair overhead? We must care for the Church of God with anxious love; and now that Popery and infidelity are both threatening, let us observe the signs of the times and prepare for conflict.
“Watchman, what of the night?” What stars are visible? What precious promises suit our present case? You sound the alarm, give us the consolation also. Christ, the polestar, is ever fixed in His place, and all the stars are secure in the right hand of their Lord.
But watchman, when comes the morning? The Bridegroom tarries. Are there no signs of His coming forth as the Sun of Righteousness? Has not the morning star arisen as the pledge of day? When will the day dawn, and the shadows flee away? O Jesus, if Thou come not in person to Thy waiting Church this day, yet come in Spirit to my sighing heart, and make it sing for joy.
“Now all the earth is bright and glad
With the fresh morn;
But all my heart is cold, and dark and sad:
Sun of the soul, let me behold Thy dawn!
Come, Jesus, Lord,
O quickly come, according to Thy word.”