Recently Rev. Billy Graham, the famous evangelist, gave a rare interview during which he reflected on his life and expressed his desire to have spent much more time in prayer and worship. In my previous post I wrote about how stunning this quote was in light of all that God has done through his ministry over the years.
While I cannot know what it is like to be 92 years old, as Billy Graham is, one thing is clear: at that age a person spends a lot of time reflecting back on their life but even more time thinking about what lies ahead: eternity with God. The reality is this: our view of the future greatly impacts our present; or put another way, our view of the next age (meaning eternity after we die) greatly impacts our view of the present age.
In these days, God is raising up a world-wide prayer and worship movement on a scale never seen before in history. As we move closer and closer to the time of Christ’s return, the area that the Lord is emphasizing strongly is that of prayer and worship. This is not surprising when we look at Jesus’ words in Luke 18:
And the Lord (Jesus) said, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?“ -Luke 18:6-8
In the context of talking about night and day prayer Jesus asks the question about whether there will be faith on the earth when he returns. This refers to faith in relationship to prayer. Jesus is asking a rhetorical question. He knows the answer, but he is asking it in order to make a strong point. Jesus himself drew the connection between night and day prayer being raised up in the earth and his return.
Again in my previous post, I pointed out that time is a ‘non-renewable’ resource so it is very important that we spend it wisely. Are we investing our time in the things that Jesus values? Are we listening and responding to what the Holy Spirit is saying to believers (the Church) and investing our time accordingly?
I believe strongly that the Holy Spirit is raising up Houses of Prayer all around the world in these days and calling Christians to participate in communities of night and day prayer and worship. Many years ago a prophetic man named Bob Jones heard the Lord refer to these communities of prayer as ‘the house(s) of the watchful and the wise’. At the time of Jesus’ return, he is looking for ‘wise and faithful servants’ (Matt. 24:45).
Here’s the thing about these houses of prayer that God is raising up: they are primarily about expressions of extravagant love and adoration for Jesus Christ our great and beautiful King and Savior who we long see return to the earth. Worship is at the heart of the house of prayer. These communities do works of justice but as expressions of love for Jesus. These communities spend much time in worship and prayer, but as expressions of their deep and abiding passion for Jesus. Billy Graham’s comment about wishing that he has spend more time in prayer, study and meditation, comes from a heart that longs for Jesus. Think about what he said:
I’d spend more time in meditation and prayer telling the Lord how much I love him and adore him and looking forward to the time we are going to spend together for eternity.
Here is a man who is looking ahead to eternity and wishing that he had spent his time differently in this age. There are so many ways for us to spend our time; so many activities that we can give ourselves to. Many things pull us away from the kind of activity that Billy Graham is speaking about. We are living in a historic period in history where God is raising up communities of people who are standing together to give themselves to lives of worship, prayer and meditation on God’s Word. I consider it an incredible honor to be living at time where these ‘houses of prayer’ are being established all over the world. We can connect with others who are hearing the prompting of the Spirit to give themselves to prayer and worship and we can strengthen each other in pursuit of the very lifestyle that Billy Graham spoke of.
How are we spending our time? Are we spending it in ways that we will regret later in life?
Take some time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about this issue. Ask yourself, “how am I going to respond to what God is saying to me?”
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