Five college students visited London one Sunday to hear Charles Spurgeon preach at The Metropolitan Tabernacle. They arrived early and were met by a kind gentleman who offered to give them a tour. At one point he asked them if they would like to see the furnace room in the basement. It was a hot July day and the students were not interested. But not wanting to appear rude, they consented. Their guide quietly opened the door and there in the basement of the Metropolitan Tabernacle there were several hundred people fervently praying for the service that was about to begin. It was then that their guide introduced himself. He was none other than Charles Spurgeon himself. And he wanted these college students to understand that prayer was the power source of his ministry. Prayer truly is the power plant of the church. The furnace room is generally not a pleasant place. But it is the source of heat in a building. And behind any healthy church is a commitment to prayer. God can and does work in a variety of ways. But generally he chooses to respond to the prayers of his people.
We are gathering each Wednesday this summer at 7pm for prayer. We are meeting in the Commons on the lower level. And I can’t escape the imagery of Spurgeon’s furnace room that was heating all the rooms above. In my estimation, this is the most important meeting of the week. I would encourage you to join us for these times as we seek God’s blessing and empowerment for gospel ministry.
The sad reality is that prayer has become an embarrassingly low priority for many believers. And it might well explain the anemic condition of many churches. One of my concerns as a pastor is that in seasons of success and plenty, we are tempted to forget our dependence upon God. That is a dangerous place to be. If we want to see sinners saved and marriages rescued and sin defeated, we had better cry out to God. If we want to see God do big things, we had better get back to praying big prayers.
Photo credit: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:19th_century_heat_machine_room_with_coal_boiler,_Auckland_-_0951.jpg