The world has lost the power to blush over its vice; the Church has lost her power to weep over it... Every church without a prayer meeting condemns us; every Bible daily unopened condemns us; every promise of God unused condemns us; every lost neighbor condemns us; every lost heathen condemns us; every dry eye among us condemns us; every unclaimed opportunity for God condemns us. Next year is not ours. Tomorrow may be too late. Unless we repent now, unless we return and fire the prayer altars now,unless we fast and weep now, woe unto us at the judgment!
Often we hear the prayer, "Lord, Thou art able to do this." That prayer is very good and may build up confidence in the pray-er [that is to say, the one who is offering up the prayer]. But - and this is important - to say "God is able" is not faith... But - and here is where I fail - I do not have the faith to believe that God will [do what I believe He is able to do]. My theology says that God can do it, but on the faith end I fail. I have said before that one of these days someone will read the Bible for the first time, believe it, and act on it with a daring, simple faith. Then we long-time believers will bow in shame, crying, "Lord, help our unbelief."
Here is a great illustration from Ravenhill's father's own personal experience:
One day in the course of his [Ravenhill's father] hospital visitation, a sick man listened to my father's testimony, then jabbed back at him feelingly with, "I have prayed to God and He did not hear me. Why?"
Dad answered the man this way: "Suppose the king of our country [Great Britain] came into this room right now, and I asked him for five pounds (equal to twenty dollars then), would the king give it to me? After all, I am a loyal subject to the crown."
The man thought for a moment and then replied, "I don't suppose that he would give it."
"Well then," Father said, "suppose that after I had asked the king and had been refused, the Prince of Wales had come into the room. Would he [the Prince] get the money he asked for?"
"Oh yes," answered the man, "but then, he's the king's son."
"Exactly right!" Father said. "Relationship makes all the difference."
Here is another spirit-provoking words:
...There is an article by Bakht Singh. This dear Christian leader in India says, "The indigenous churches in India have a great burden for American just now... and are praying that God will visit your country with revival... You feel sorry for us in India because of our poverty in material things. We who know the Lord in India feel sorry for you in America because of your spiritual poverty. We pray that God may give you gold tried in the fire which He had promised to those who know the power of His resurrection... In our churches we spend four or five or six hours in prayer and worship, and frequently our people wait on the Lord in prayer all night; but in America after you have been in church for one hour, you begin to look at your watches. We pray that god may open your eyes to the true meaning of worship... To attract people to meetings, you have a great dependence on posters, on advertising, on promotion, and on the build-up of a human being; in India we have nothing more than the Lord Himself and we find that He is sufficient. Before a Christian meeting in India we never announce who the speaker will be. When the people come, they come to seek the Lord and not a human being or to hear some special favorite speaking to them. We have had as many as 12,000 people come together just to worship the Lord and to have fellowship together. We are praying that the people in America might also come to church with a hunger for God and not merely a hunger to see some form of amusement or hear choirs or the voice of any man."
Convicting, isn't it?