““Where is your faith?” He asked His disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the wind and the water, and they obey Him.””
Reading Crawford Loritt’s essay “Jesus’ Transforming Power on Behalf of the Afflicted” got me to thinking about a great need in the local Church. It is one which has been occupying an increasing amount of my thinking in recent years. This is our need for a growing involvement in dependant prayer. Loritt begins his essay with the following reflection.
“In 2002, in the space of about thirty-six hours, I received an avalanche of bad news. I had just returned home after visiting my sister, who had had surgery. The surgeon was cautiously optimistic that he and his team had removed all of the cancer cells. Then I got a call informing me that that was not the case. She had also contracted a virus and wasn’t expected to survive. Then I got another call from our oldest son, who was rushing to the hospital with his infant son, our first grandchild, who had a very high fever and had suffered a seizure. Then the phone rang again. My wife’s aunt, who was more like a second mother to her, had just died unexpectedly. On top of all of this, I was right in the middle of dealing with a crisis facing our ministry. This rapid sequence of events sent me a very clear message: Crawford, you can’t handle this. This is the time for aggressive surrender and dependence. You need God to step into what you and Karen are facing. Get to God, and he will get to what you are facing. His Presence is what you need.” (from “His Mission: Jesus in the Gospel of Luke (The Gospel Coalition)” by D. A. Carson, Kathleen Nielson, John Piper, Colin S. Smith, Crawford W. Loritts, Kevin DeYoung, Stephen T. Um, Gary Millar, Timothy J. Keller
Just today I was reminded of these thoughts from the pen of Richard Lovelace in The Dynamics of the Spiritual Life, which is a book which every Christian who is serious about the renewal of the Church must read.
“If all regenerate church members in Western Christendom were to intercede daily simply for the most obvious spiritual concerns visible in their homes, their workplaces, their local churches and denominations, their nations, and the world and the total mission of the body of Christ within it, the transformation which would result would be incalculable.
Not only would God certainly change those situations in response to prayer – we have Christ’s word that if we ask in his name he will do more than we ask or think – but the church’s comprehension of its task would attain an unprecedented sharpness of focus.
Perhaps much of our prayer now should simply be for God to pour out such a spirit of prayer and supplication in the hearts of his people.”
The call is to dependant praying as individuals and as Congregations of Believers. This means that we must, recognise our helplessness apart from God’s intervention, become aware of the limitless power and resources of God, and cast ourselves daily upon the mercy of God.
We must become a people of dependant prayer once again.