Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Moody: A Man of Prayer

Oftentimes Mr. Moody would write me when he was about to undertake some new work, saying: "I am beginning work in such and such a place on such and such a day; I wish you would get the students together for a day of fasting and prayer,"  and often I have taken those letters and read them to the students in the lecture room and said: "Mr. Moody wants us to have a day of fasting and prayer, first for God's blessing on our own souls and work, and then for God's blessing on him and his work."
Dr. R. A. Torrey. Why God Used D.L. Moody. Public Domain

I am convinced that any grace that God has granted me in ministry has been through my prayers or the prayers of someone else.  Whether it was the prayer of a parent of a childhood friend, the prayers of my wife, or the prayers of someone I have never met, these prayers -- including my own -- have been an important part of my life and my ministry.

I learned a lot about prayer at the first place that I served.  It was in a small Kentucky town called Shelbyville and the church was Olive Branch United Methodist Church.  I served there a few years in the early 1990s as their youth director and worship leader.  Rev. Steve Pearson was my senior minister when I first started there.  I worked there with an eye on him teaching me.  One of the lessons that he taught me was the importance of prayer.  Steve carried around a stack (and I mean a stack) of index cards.  On the front of each card was a prayer request.  The back of the card was reserved for the answer.  When the prayers were answered, he filed them away and referred to them often.

Steve didn't take prayer lightly (as I have too often).  When you asked him to pray for someone or something, your request quickly made its way to the front of one of his index cards.  His method was to take prayer walks.  Armed with the cards, he would go for a walk and pray through each card and each request.

It's been over 20 years since I had the privilege of serving with Steve, and I still remember this as if it were yesterday.  What a message!  What an impact!  What an example!

D.L. Moody took his prayer life seriously.  He prayed for others and he engaged others to pray for him.  He did this because he knew the importance and the power associated with an active prayer life.

God only knows the people that received an outpouring of God's grace because of the prayers of Steve.  God only know the people that received an outpouring of God's grace because of Moody's prayers.  What does God know about your prayers?

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