What the church needs today is not more or better machinery, not new organizations, or more novel methods; but men whom the Holy Spirit can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.
A holy life does not live in the closet, but it cannot live without the closet.
The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.
The story of every great Christian achievement is the history of answered prayer.
If two angels were to receive at the same moment a commission from God, one to go down and rule earth’s grandest empire, the other to go and sweep the streets of its meanest village, it would be a matter of entire indifference to each which service fell to his lot, the post of ruler or the post of scavenger; for the joy of the angels lies only in obedience to God’s will.
Importunate praying is the earnest inward movement of the heart toward God.
Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still.
Four things let us ever keep in mind: God hears prayer, God heeds prayer, God answers prayer and God delivers by prayer.
Praying makes the preacher a heart preacher. Prayer puts the preacher’s heart into the preacher’s sermon; prayer puts the preacher’s sermon into the preacher’s heart.
Prayer is not learned in the classroom but in the closet.
Without preparation the hearer cannot hear to profit. The sermon may fail because the preacher has failed in prayerful and thoughtful preparation; [but] the sermon may [also] fail because of the [lack] of thorough preparation in the pew.
Public prayers are of little worth unless they are founded on or followed up by private praying.
The preachers who are the mightiest in their closets with God are the mightiest in their pulpits with men.
Every preacher who does not make prayer a mighty factor in his own life and ministry is weak as a factor in God’s work and is powerless to project God’s cause in this world.
Light praying will make light preaching. Prayer makes preaching strong. [The God who answers prayer does this]…and makes it stick.
The word of God is the food by which prayer is nourished and made strong.
They are not leaders because of brilliancy…but because, by the power of prayer, they could command the power of God.
All God’s plans have the mark of the cross on them, and all His plans have death to self in them.
Unction is the sweetest exhalation of the Holy Spirit. It carries the Word like dynamite, like salt, like sugar; makes the Word a soother, an accuser, a revealer, a searcher; makes the hearer a culprit or a saint, makes him weep like a child and live like a giant; opens his heart and his purse as gently, yet as strongly as the spring opens the leaves. This unction is not the gift of genius. It is not found in the hall of learning. No eloquence can woo it. No industry can win it. It is the gift of God – the signet set to His own messengers. It is heaven’s knighthood given to the chosen true and brave ones who have sought this anointed honor through many an hour of tearful, wrestling prayer. Earnestness is good and impressive; genius is gifted and great. Thought kindles and inspires, but it takes a diviner endowment, a more powerful energy than earnestness or genius or thought to break the chains of sin, to win estranged and depraved hearts to God, to repair the breaches and restore the church to her old ways of purity and power. Nothing but holy unction can do this.
Those who know God the best are the richest and most powerful in prayer. Little acquaintance with God, and strangeness and coldness to Him, make prayer a rare and feeble thing.
The church is not a democracy in which we have chosen God, but a theocracy in which He has chosen us. The church is the only society in the world that never loses any of its members, even by death. The church upon its knees would bring heaven upon the earth.
The young preacher has been taught to lay out all his strength on the form, taste, and beauty of his sermon as a mechanical and intellectual product. We have thereby cultivated a vicious taste among the people and raised the clamor for talent instead of grace, eloquence instead of piety, rhetoric instead of revelation, reputation and brilliancy instead of holiness.
We are constantly on a stretch, if not on a strain, to devise new methods, new plans, new organizations to advance the Church and secure enlargement and efficiency for the gospel. This trend of the day has a tendency to lose sight of the man or sink the man in the plan or organization. God’s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.
What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use, men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men, men of prayer.