Posted by: stpowen | August 30, 2014

Concert of Prayer Oct. 4th 2014

Psalm 85:4-6.  ‘Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause Your anger toward us to cease.  Will You be angry forever?  Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?  Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?  Show us Your mercy, Lord, and grant us Your salvation.’  

Once again, I call attention to the quarterly Concert of Prayer meetings that will (DV) be held up and down the country on Saturday, October 4th.  Each time I draw attention to these meetings, I am struck by the desperate need for believers to come before the Lord in united prayers of repentance for themselves and the nation and to plead for revival.  The situation seems to get worse each quarter.  I do not know what is happening in other parts of the country, but in my church the numbers taking part remain lamentably small.  I know that people have lots to do on Saturdays; one man must look at the field he has bought, another must see to his oxen and a third has married a wife and cannot come.  Bur surely the need is so great and the state of the nation and the world so grievous that Christians can give up two hours every three months for prayer?

The arrangements are as before.  We meet at 10-00am and pray through until Noon.  It is not necessary for people to stay for the whole time.  If anyone would like to know the location of the participating church nearest to him, he should contact me via this blog and I may be able to help him (but do it quickly as I am away on holiday for a fortnight shortly).  But why not start your own and invite nearby Bible-believing churches and individuals to join you? 

Lest anyone should think that the idea of a Concert of Prayer is a recent idea, let me assure him that the term was coined by Jonathan Edwards in the mid 18th Century and the idea taken up by Baptist churches in England.  I reproduce below a call to prayer made by John Sutcliffe, Pastor of Olney Baptist Church in 1784 in a circular letter on behalf of the Northamptonshire Association of Particular Baptist Churches.

Upon a motion being made to the ministers and messengers of the associate Baptist churches assembled at Nottingham, respecting meetings for prayer, to bewail the low estate of religion, and earnestly implore a revival of our churches, and of the general cause of our Redeemer, and for that end to wrestle with God for the effusion of His Holy Spirit, which alone can produce the blessed effect, it was unanimously RESOLVED, to recommend to all our churches and congregations, the spending of one hour in this important exercise, on the first Monday of every calendar month.

We hereby solemnly exhort all the churches in our connection, to engage heartily and perseveringly in the prosecution of this plan. And as it may be well to endeavour to keep the same hour, as a token of our unity herein, it is supposed the following scheme may suit many congregations, viz. To meet on the first Monday evening in May, June and July…………Nevertheless if this hour, or even the particular evening should not suit in particular places, we wish our brethren to fix on one more convenient to themselves.

We hope also, that as many of our brethren who live at a distance from our places of worship may not be able to attend there, that as many as are conveniently situated in a village or neighbourhood, will unite with us in small societies at the same time. And if any single individual should be so situated as not to be able to attend to this duty in society with others, let him retire at the appointed hour, to unite the breath of prayer in private with those who are engaged in a more public manner.

The grand object of prayer is to be that the Holy Spirit may be poured down on our ministers and churches, that sinners may be converted, the saints edified, the interests of religion revived, and the name of God glorified. At the same time, remember we trust you will not confine your requests to your own societies [i.e. churches]; or to your own immediate connection [i.e. denomination]; let the whole interest of the Redeemer be affectionately remembered, and the spread of the Gospel to the most distant parts of the habitable globe be the object of your most fervent requests. We shall rejoice if any other Christian societies of our own or other denominations will unite with us, and do now invite them most cordially to join heart and hand in the attempt.

Who can tell what the consequences of such a united effort in prayer may be? Let us plead with God the many gracious promises of His Word, which relate to the future success of His gospel. He has said, ‘I will yet for this be enquired of by the House of Israel to do it for them, I will surely increase them with men like a flock.’ Ezek. xxxvi.37. Surely we have love enough for Zion to set apart on hour at a time, twelve times in a year, to seek her welfare?

Surely we have sufficient love for the Lord to give up a Saturday morning for Him once a quarter?

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Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Pickering Post and commented:
    A much needed reminder

  2. The prayer meetings were held yesterday. I cannot comment on those held elsewhere, but at the meeting in Exmouth we had an improved attendance and felt the presence of the Holy Spirit amongst us.

    The next meeting will be (DV) on Jan 3rd, 2015. Why not put it in your diary, praying that by then we may be seeing revival and the meeting will be one of praise and rejoicing..

    Come quickly, Lord!


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