“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5) We cannot do God’s work without God. To this day, there are many preachers who preach dead sermons because they lack the Holy Spirit. Preachers are not, as Leonard Ravenhill put it, “worth a dime a dozen, degrees or no degrees” if they do not spend at least two hours in prayer. But why is prayer so important you may ask? The answer is quite simple: Prayer affects God; Preaching affects man. Without prayer and desperately seeking God, we will not have the Holy Spirit. This is far more crucial to furthering God’s kingdom than what most realize. To further understand this, we will take a look at a little story inside the Bible.
As I was reading through the Bible, I stumbled across the story of Cornelius. I questioned why God had put this story in here; what importance did this story have? At face value, it didn’t appear all that significant. In fact, I hadn’t remembered it the first time I read it. Only when I came across it again did it make sense to me. From the reader’s perspective, Peter’s preaching was dry, it had no effect on the reader, and yet, when the people Peter preached to listened to it, they were astonished. What is more is that they were so impacted by his words that they became baptised. Why were his words so powerful then but not now? It could be assumed that it was because the circumstances were different. However, if anyone preached those same words to those who did not know the gospel, I can guarantee that it would have no effect. This is why it is important to have the Holy Spirit. “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.” (Acts 10:44) Isn’t that just incredible? God worked through Peter and used his words to reach the Gentiles. It was God who impacted those lives. Peter was just a faithful vessel for God to use.
The curiosity may still stand why this should matter deeply to us. At this moment, America is in danger. We are facing a battle and unless the people repent and pray to God we may lose this great inheritance that God has blessed us with. I must stress the importance of prayer. Recently, God has been showing me from everything that I read, watch, and listen to that we need to pray with urgency. It needs to be heavy on our hearts to pray instead of it being a task or chore we do before we rest our heads to sleep. God is our King. We come to our King as a ruler who will put things in order and bring forth justice. We pray to Him because He is the King of Kings and He rules every aspect of our lives and of our nation. Why do we ignore Him so often? Why do we pretend like He doesn’t hear our prayers, like He will not redeem us if we repent? It’s time for us to pray. If every person prayed two hours a day, we would see a revival in a week! God hasn’t abandoned us! He is waiting for us to return to Him and make Him the King of our lives and of our nation again.
-Rachel Brannan, 9th Grade