In his book, The Power of Prayer, E. M. Bounds wrote, “We are constantly on a stretch, if not on a strain, to devise new methods, new plans, new organizations to advance the Church and secure enlargement and efficiency for the gospel. This trend of the day has a tendency to lose sight of the man or sink the man in the plan or organization. God’s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.”
God is not looking for new or novel ways to reach our world for Christ. The only way the Church can succeed in impacting our world for Christ is through people who have been radically saved and changed by the awesome power of God in their lives. So why then are we making so little of an impact on unbelievers? I believe that part of the reason is because we have fallen into the trap of thinking that reaching people is dependent upon our intellect, our persuasive arguments, our innovative methodology, our charisma, etc., you get the idea. The only thing God needs to make an impact on our world for Christ is men and women who are wholly dedicated to Him. Again, Bounds wrote, “What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use—men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men—men of prayer.”
You see, we are the key. We need not be the smartest or most gifted speaker to be used by God, but we must definitely be the most dedicated to God’s use. We must be filled to the overflowing with His presence, His power, His personality, and His passion to save the lost, and the only way to do that is through spending time with God in prayer.
When I was a young man serving as minister of music at a church, I began to notice older couples who had lived together for years as husband and wife. I could easily have put each of these couples together without anyone ever telling me who was married to whom, because they looked alike, thought alike, and acted alike. The striking similarities were due to the fact that they had spent so much time together that they had actually become one in body, mind, and spirit. The same is true for the person who has walked and talked with God through years of consistent and constant communion with Him in prayer. As we spend time with God in prayer, we become one with him in heart, mind, and spirit. We think like God thinks, we act like God would want us to act, we talk like God would have us talk, and we love like God would have us love. You see, we are God’s message, and we are God’s method. But the key to being used by God is by becoming like Him, and that my friend only comes by much prayer.
Jesus put it this way: 4“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 4 – 5)
Let’s become people that God can use to build His kingdom by abiding in Christ through constant and persistent prayer.