Prayer as an investment into eternity – Part 14
E. M. Bounds is credited with this enduring words on prayer: “God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. The lips that uttered them may be closed in death, the heart that felt them may have ceased to beat, but the prayers live before God, and God’s heart is set on them. Prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them; outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world.”
To say “prayer is deathless” is to fall short of saying that the effects of prayer are everlasting. Let us take note of this phrase in our quotation, “prayers live before God, and God’s heart is set on them and prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them.”
The question is if “prayers are deathless” how come men don’t pray the way they should? If “prayers are deathless” then let us all do the one activity that will outlive us, that is, to pray for revival among our youths and children. Prayer for revival outlives us.
Daniel’s prayer for Israel towards the close of her years of captivity gave rise to a series of events that led to the restoration of temple worship, the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem and the return of the children of Israel from captivity in Babylon. Elijah’s prayer on Mount Carmel was not only a display of God’s power over the idols of Baal, but it brought rain to a drought-stricken land of Judah. All these prayers outlived those who uttered them.
Perhaps in no area is the enduring nature of prayer felt than in the revivals that resulted following the prayers of many missionaries who served through Mission Agencies in Nigeria in the nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries. These include Reverend S. G. ELTON, Roseline Newton, Robert Hyslop, Gwen Gold and many others. The revivals that took place from 1914 to the late 1990s were the answers to the tireless prayers of these missionaries. Some of them saw the Pentecostal and Charismatic revivals at various stages. Only eternity would reveal the extent of their sacrificial prayers.
Nothing ushers a new dawn like prayer. When the disciples prayed Pentecost was sent. Pentecost was a new dawn in the sense that it gave birth to the Church and was the epoch occasion when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church. Again, it was the prayers of the disciples in Acts 13:1-3 that ushered in a new dawn in the missions movement.
If “God shapes the world by prayer,” I challenge us to pray for the youths. Youths are strong, energetic with great potentials that could shape the destiny of a nation. On them lies the future of any society. The Bible describes them as visionaries of the future. Youths constitute over 60 per cent of our population. The rate of unemployment is very high among them. They are victims of social vices and diseases like HIV and AIDS, and other diseases. They are vulnerable to social vices like cultism, armed robbery and kidnapping. Their vulnerability makes them a recruiting ground for thuggery and rioting. All these make them the target of the enemy.
Yet, these are the new wine skins among which revival often occur in any age and time. If “prayer is deathless” then youths deserve our prayer investment.
Moses made one of the greatest prayers for children in Psalm 90:16. It reads, “Let us, your servants, see you work again; let our children see your glory” (
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