[a] So often, in these past weeks and months, in one way or another, I have repeated a certain thing, because the Lord has laid it upon my heart to do so.
[b] It is this, CHRIST SAVES OUR SOULS THAT WE MIGHT BE SOUL SAVERS!
[c] I have also said, “The reason that Christ called His disciples was that they were to no longer be fishermen, but FISHERS OF MEN!”
As far as our effectiveness was concerned, I questioned if, as disciples of Christ, we were fulfilling the purpose for which we were called!
[d] Have we a real burden for souls??
[e] Corrie ten Boom tells in “He Sets the Captive Free” how, in a prison in Bermuda, she led a murderer to Christ, a man whose heart had been filled with a deep hatred!
[f] He immediately sent Corrie to someone in a cell across the corridor, who he said was in great darkness! He too accepted Christ!
[g] Corrie was overjoyed! She says the first man looked around her when she told him, and shouted, “Hi Brother!”
[h] Corrie says in her book, “A babe in Christ, a few minutes old, and he already had a burden for souls,” and she goes on to ask,“How old are you?”
As we see, it didn’t work very well!!
[b] All their experience, all their endurance for a whole night, counted as nothing! Because that is precisely what they caught!! Except maybe a cold!
[c] Does it not strike you that we have here a perfect picture of so much of the Church of Christ today??
[d] We’re toiling away, working hard, very sincere, very experienced, BUT CATCHING NOTHING!
[e] It must have seemed like the Sea of Galilee had run out of fish - all night, and nothing to show for it!
How many of us have been toiling all night, and seem to have nothing to show for it??
[f] I wonder is there any minister, who has not at some time, feltthat after toiling all night, there appears to be little or nothing to show, and they have felt disheartened, worthless, ineffectual!!
[b] The first thing they had to do was admit their failure! “Children, have ye any meat?” “No!”
[c] Immediately Jesus was allowed to direct operations, even in shallow water, within shouting distance of the shore, they were suddenly so successful, they could hardly cope!
[d] Dare I say that we are often beating the air, or in the context of our narrative, beating the water, simply because, so often, we are not seeking the guidance of the Lord, together, as a body of His people!!
[e] We must seek His instruction, obey His voice, and only then can we be effective!
[*] We had a marvelous prayer meeting on Tuesday night - so really the effectiveness of the pub ministry should be no surprise to us!
[b] If the answer to our usual ineffectiveness does not lie with the Lord, then it must lie with us as a group of His people!
[c] Often Christians will say,“Lets have a church session meeting” “Lets have a soldiers meeting” “Lets have a census meeting”
[d] In all my years as an officer, I wouldn’t even need the fingers of one hand, to count the number of times someone has said to me, “LETS HAVE A PRAYER MEETING!”
I would suggest that if God's people gave more attention to prayer, then most of the problems which take up their time and effort, wouldn't even develop into problems!
[*] One of the things that has thrilled me about the new Y.P. outreach at Devol, is the importance being placed on prayer.
[e] If we want to be effective, if we want to see results, there is no other way! We’ve got to be real with God! We’ve got to pray together, and listen to His voice!
[f] No spiritual leader can impose the spirit of prayer on their people
It must come from the “GRASS ROOTS!”
[g] Why is it, that Christians will go anywhere, do anything, put on endless programmes, undertake all sorts of fundraising enterprises -
But if there is a call to prayer - to speak with our Lord, THEY AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE!!
[h] Could it be that because the devil is so frightened of the power of a prayer meeting, he will do everything possible to stop it taking place, and to make other things appear more attractive or important??
[b] That’s fine, but how many of us would find it possible to spend an hour in prayer, whilst others are praying here in the hall? Not many!
[c] Apart from that, seeking the Lord together, focuses our intercession on the same thing at the same time!!
[d] Stop and think for a moment! 30 people, praying together for souls for only 10 minutes, would mean, as an individual, you or I, would have to pray non-stop for 5 hours, just to break even - and that’s only a ten minute prayer!
[b] If by so doing, we grow a future Army of prayerless people, it will be an Army as ineffectual, as were the disciples endeavouring, without communication with their Lord, to catch their fish!
[c] In our Salvation Army, we have many priorities clambering to get to the top of the pile!
But let me say, that the priority on the pinnacle has got to be prayer, on top of all the activities, the fund-raising, theprogrammes, the practices! Otherwise, what we do will be of the flesh, and accomplish no lasting spiritual work.
It has got to be a priority in our own lives - for the danger is, that if it is not, then we will end up working against the good of the Kingdom, rather than for it!
PRAYER CHORUS 99