If You’re Hungry, Here’s a Next Step
A lot of people at Bethlehem are hungrier for the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19) now than they have ever been before. What should be your next move? Here is one suggestion. Take a personal prayer retreat. Add this time of solitude to the great gathering of Prayer ’90. James said, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you” (4:8).
Consider Charles Finney’s experience. He said that God gave him many fillings with the Holy Spirit
that went through me, as it seemed, body and soul. I immediately found myself endued with such power from on high that a few words dropped here and there to individuals were the means of their immediate conversion. My words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls of men. They cut like a sword. They broke the heart like a hammer. Multitudes can attest to this…Sometimes I would find myself in a great measure empty of this power. I would go and visit, and find that I made no saving impression. I would exhort and pray with the same results. I would then set apart a day for private fasting and prayer…After humbling myself and crying out for help, the power would return upon me with all its freshness. This has been the experience of my life.
Wesley Duewel said, “God has revealed his will to me in ways and concerning matters that I had not even thought about prior to extended time alone with him.”
John Hyde and R. M’Cheyene Patterson waited before God for thirty days leading up to a missionary conference in India. After a week’s break, George Turner joined them, and for twenty-one more days and nights they prayed and praised God for a mighty outpouring of his power. Over the years thousands came into the kingdom through the prayers of these men.
A panel of Korean pastors reported that their records showed that over twenty thousand Korean Christians had spent forty days in fasting and prayer.
Can you find a time and place? One missionary in India used to get on the train, ride to the next stop, get off and sit half a day in the railway waiting room, where no one knew him, in order to seek God in “solitude”. Planning is the key. What about a five-hour retreat some Sunday afternoon when there is no evening service? Or what about skipping supper some evening and taking from 5 to 10 to be alone with God? Then there are Saturday’s, or holidays, or vacation days. It is possible.
Take a Bible, a hymnal, a note pad, a concordance, and a solid devotional book on prayer or the Spirit or revival. Let the Spirit guide you in seeking the Lord. God is willing and eager to meet you: “Return to me and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 3:7; Zechariah 1:3). Pour over the Scriptures. Let them be your prayer. Pray with Moses, “Show me your glory” (Exodus 33:18).
I have adapted almost all of this material from Touch the World Through Prayer by Wesley Duewel. It would be a good book to take along. I will be praying for you.
Longing for your power,
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org