This resolution of Daily United Prayer is based on An Humble Attempt, originally put forward by Jonathan Edwards in 1748. Its design is to encourage God's people in the duty of united extraordinary prayer; setting aside some time every day to pray for the revival of His church and the advancement of Christ's kingdom in our homes, in our churches, in our nation, and in the world.
Dr Mark Allison died two nights ago.
He was a preacher, my next door neighbor, and a personal friend. I knew him a long time ago before he was married when I was only 16 years old. We travelled to Israel together at that time with others in the church. Over the years, he was one of the preaching ministers at our church and then he left to pastor his own church in Pennsylvania. More recently, he was the President of Geneva Reformed Seminary in Greenville SC until he began his battle with a brain tumor for the last remaining years of his life. I was there in his home with his wife, daughter, and brother-in-law on the day he died. Being in the presence of one who's life is slowly departing is a very solemn experience. Nothing makes you consider your own mortality and the priorities of your own life more than the death of a friend or loved one. Alan Cairns passed into glory just a few months ago, and now Mark Allison has followed.
I came across these words of Richard Baxter as I considered the life of Dr. Allison: "What is a candle made for, but to burn?" That was his life. He served the Lord in his generation. That is our life as well. What are we made for, but to burn brightly for the Lord? Amy Carmichael once said, "I would rather burn out than rust out."
I couldn't agree more.
What we are doing here each day is vital. Prayer is vital. I am finding this more and more. I was thinking about this just today. Since we started this Joint Resolution of United Prayer, I've been amazed at what God has done. Amazed. The Lord is answering prayer. He is showing us "great and mighty things" that we know not. He is doing it for all of us to greater or lesser degrees. Is He not? The fact that we still have a group of praying participants 150+ days into this effort astounds me. Is this not an answer to prayer? The fact that we will be planning a conference on the campus of BJU with Steven Lawson alongside Clarence Sexton astounds me. Is this not an answer to prayer? The fact that God brought a donor that I previously never met to fund the construction of a very costly data center for SA astounds me. Is this not an answer to prayer? Without hesitation, I attribute these "great and mighty things" to our seeking after God. "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." Jer 33:3. Is this the time then to stop? No, sir. For the full latter rain has not yet come.
"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth." Hosea 6:3.
Friends, let us persist in pursuing after Him. We have one shot at life. Let's make it count for Christ. Let us, like Daniel, set our face to seek after the Lord in prayer. This is where it begins. Let us continue to seek Him with greater earnest.
"And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes." Daniel 9:3.
We invite you to join our dedicated and earnest group of praying participants of all ages from around the world that meet every day over Zoom to pray. At the start of each prayer call, a different individual will bring a brief Scriptural meditation. Here's the most recent: