WHAT THE CHURCH NEEDS TODAY!
When but a teenage Christian, I was asked to sing a special song at the Bible Missionary Church in Grand Ledge, Michigan, I felt led by God to sing 'Come Holy Spirit'. I quote below:
The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost,
He came in mighty fullness then.
His witness through believers won the lost,
And multitudes were born again.
The early Christians scattered o'er the world.
They preached the gospel fearlessly.
Though some were martyred and to lions hurled,
They marched along in victory.
Then in an age when darkness gripped the earth,
The just shall live by faith was learned.
The Holy Spirit gave the church new birth,
And reformation fires burned.
In latter years the great revivals came
When saints would seek the Lord and pray.
Oh, once again we need that holy flame
To meet the challenge of today.
Come Holy Spirit, dark is the hour.
We need your filling, your love, and your mighty pow'r.
Move now among us. Stir us we pray.
Come, Holy Spirit, revive the church today.
While I tried to sing that song, I also cried out to the Lord with all my heart in prayer through the song, "Come, Holy Spirit!". The Spirit of God moved upon our hearts in that service. God was answering prayer.
Now, about thirty years later, and after a recent long time of personal darkness, and a subsequent personal revival, I am asking God to teach me to pray. I believe part of His answer to my prayers is that He is giving me that same deep, heart-yearning for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the church.
The New Testament church was not successful in the Lord's work because they had some "key-note" speakers who taught them some great wisdom about how to win friends and influence people -- or similar social success concepts. Nor did they conquer their generation for Christ by church socials, gimmicks, or compromising with the prevalent sins of their time.
What made the church so powerfully effective in winning lost souls to Christ was that they prayed and God answered by filling them with His Holy Spirit, which enabled them to testify and preach to others in such an anointed manner that souls were convicted and then converted by the grace of God and by faith in Jesus Christ.
I am not writing about some worked up emotion, but about a reality deep in the heart and life of true believers in Christ. This is the "promise of the Father", which Jesus said, "Ye have heard of me" (Acts 1:4). And again, He said, "How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" (Luke 11:13)
"And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all." (Acts 4:31-33)
Dear Lord, please grant that those who profess to know you today, will likewise pray until filled with your Holy Spirit. Oh, revive us again that your name may be glorified and that souls may be saved. Amen.