The root-trouble of the present distress is that the Church has more faith in the world and in the flesh than in the Holy Ghost, and things will get no better till we get back to His realized presence and power. The breath of the four winds would turn death into life and dry bones into mighty armies, but it only comes by PRAYER! – Samuel Chadwick
On a daily basis, we see major changes happening worldwide, in the church, in the world politics and economies. These changes and happening calls for urgent and watchful prayers by God’s watchmen and women. It is on record that the 2017 British Methodist Conference, ‘meeting in Birmingham earlier this summer, recognised the challenges and changes facing every community in these islands and the urgent call of God on the Methodist people to share the love of God in Jesus Christ in word and action.’ The Conference therefore called on every local church to launch the new Methodist year with a day of prayer and fasting. According to the directive, the fasting and prayer ‘could be on 1st September, the official start of Methodist year, or on a date close to it to suit local circumstances,’ because the need for corporate prayer is urgent.
George Otis, Jr speaks to us on the state of the church today in need of urgent prayer and fasting. According to him, “If the Church is the nation’s best hope, it must be awakened from its slumber and fast. Revival must become an urgent priority, not just a theological or historical curiosity. Its promotion must become the task of every pulpit, its implementation the responsibility of every believer. For this to happen, desperate intercessors must prevail upon God to provoke within His people a deep and widespread dissatisfaction with the religious status quo. The Church needs godly shepherds who will resolutely refuse to downplay the urgency of the hour and the seriousness of the present condition. She requires committed prophets who will seize every opportunity to acknowledge with Ezekiel: ‘Our offences and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them’ (Ezekiel 33:10). We have come to the point, both as individuals and as a Church, where we can no longer coast on the momentum of past deeds and choices. Our relationship with God has become fallow, and it can only become fruitful again through true repentance and unreserved obedience.”
The Methodist call for prayer is a hunger for God’s presence. It is a call to enter unknown territory, to ‘go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that l will show you’ (Gen 12:1). John Lochran in his book ‘Springs of Living Water,’ explained that ‘for the one we need to say goodbye to most of all is our very own self.’ Let us pray and say ‘goodbye to that spirit of independence and self-seeking that desires to go its own way and quickly wanders from the divine path.’ Let us ask for the grace to be able to hear the voice of God speaking to the depths of our hearts.’