Oh Christians, would you be happy? Be much in prayer! Would you be victorious? Be much in prayer!—“Restraining prayer, we cease to fight. Prayer makes the Christian’s armor bright.”
Mrs. Berry used to say, “I would not be hired out of my closet for a thousand worlds.” Mr. Jay said, “If the twelve Apostles were living near you and you had access to them—if this communion drew you from the closet—they would prove a real injury to your souls.” Prayer is the ship which brings home the richest freight. It is the soil which yields the most abundant harvest.
Brothers and Sisters, when you rise in the morning your business so presses you that with a hurried word or two of prayer, down you go into the world. And at night, jaded and tired, you give God the last end of the day. The consequence is that you have no communion with Him.
The reason we have not more true religion now is because we have not more prayer. Sirs, I have no opinion of the churches of the present day that do not pray. I go from chapel to chapel in this metropolis and I see pretty good congregations. But I go to their prayer meetings on a week evening and I see a dozen persons. Can God bless us? Can He pour out His Spirit upon us, while such things as these exist? He could, but it would not be according to the order of His dispensation, for He says, “When Zion travails she brings forth children.” Go to your churches and chapels with this thought—that you want more prayer.
Many of you have no business here this morning. You ought to be in your own places of worship. I do not want to steal away the people from other chapels. There are enough to hear me without them. But though you have sinned this morning, hear while you are here, as much to your profit as possible. Go home and say to your minister, “Sir, we must have more prayer.” Urge the people to more prayer. Have a prayer meeting, even if you have it all to yourself. And if you are asked how many were present, you can say “Four.” “Four? how so?” “Why, there was myself and God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit—and we have had a rich and real communion together.”
We must have an outpouring of real devotion or else what is to become of many of our churches? Oh, may God awaken us all and stir us up to pray, for when we pray we shall be victorious! I should like to take you, this morning, as Sampson did the foxes—tie the firebrands of prayer to you—and send you in among the shocks of corn till you burn the whole field up. I should like to make a conflagration by my words and to set all the churches on fire till the whole has smoked like a sacrifice to God’s Throne.
If you pray, you have proof that you are a Christian. The less you pray, the less reason have you to believe your Christianity. And if you have neglected to pray altogether, then you have ceased to breathe and you may be afraid that you never did breathe at all.