Listening to the missionaries talk about their initial adjustments in their cross-cultural endeavours brings back memories of our own time in the southern Philippines. The faithfulness and provisions of God were a constantly recurring testimony in their sharing.
Miss Brenda Goh, a lawyer by profession, addressed the issue of listening to God over two days, with extended practical sessions that made the topic relevant for us. The spectrum of topics covered included our identity in Christ, the disciplines of solitude, and intercession. I share these invaluable quotes taken from her teaching notes as a reminder of the importance of our prayer life as followers of Jesus Christ.
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Work, work, from early till late. In fact, I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.
Count Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760)
No one works unless someone prays.
John Wesley (1703-1791)
God does nothing but in answer to prayer.
Andrew Murray (1828-1917)
Often people pray and pray with all the faith in the world, but nothing happens. Naturally, they were not tuned in to God. Attuning ourselves to divine breathings is spiritual work, but without it our praying is vain repetition. Listening to the Lord is the first thing, the second thing, and the third thing necessary for successful intercession.
Prayer is not monologue, but a dialogue – a conversation between two people. Its most essential part is God’s voice in response to yours. Listening to God’s voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to yours. His listening will depend on ours.
Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994)
No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying.
Poverty stricken as the church is today in many things, she is most stricken here, in the place of prayer. We have many organizers, but few agonizers, many fears, few tears, many interferers, few intercessors. Failing here, we fail everywhere.
The two prerequisites to successful Christian living are vision and passion, both of which are born in and maintained by prayer.
J.I. Packer (1926- )
People who know their God are before anything else people who pray, and the first point where their zeal and energy for God’s glory come to expression is in their prayers.
The invariable fruit of true knowledge of God is the energy to pray for God’s cause, and the more knowledge, the more energy.
If, however, there is in us little energy for such prayer, and little consequent practice of it, this is a sure sign that as yet we scarcely know our God.
Dallas Willard (1935- )
All activities must be seen in the context of an intimate, personal walk with Jesus Himself as our Saviour and Teacher. No formula can be seen written for spiritual formation, for it is a dynamic relationship and one that is highly individual.
Credit: The first two photos (the Group photo & the Malacca Straits) above are taken from the Methodist Missions Society’s website.