We often undermine the importance of prayer. This is illustrated well by our potential reaction to the following statement by Henry Scudder: “Prayer, because it is ordained by God, and hath his promise, calleth in, and engageth in God’s power and truth for him that maketh it, and so through God becometh omnipotent” (A Key of Heaven, 56).
What is your reaction to this statement? Do you believe that Scudder has stated his case too strongly? Do you believe that prayer that accords with the promises of Scripture actually sets the power of God in motion in human history in accord with his decrees? Remember that it was the apostle James who said that we have not because we ask not. He assumes here that prayer actually makes a difference in the effective working of God’s power in human history and in our lives as individuals.
Scudder was staunchly Reformed and he was a member of the Westminster Assembly. We must ask ourselves whether we believe that prayer is as important as the Bible says that it is. Do you believe that the power of God works through prayer in your personal life? Do you reflect this by placing a priority upon prayer in your families and in committing to the corporate prayer meetings of your local church? It was another apostle who once said that if we ask anything according to his will, we have those petitions which we have asked of him. Let us pray according to the promises of God, but let us recognize that God exercises his omnipotent purposes through the prayers of his people. This is hard for our feeble minds to understand, but is represents the teaching of the Word of God. If we are prayerless in our churches, then we are hopeless in seeking true revival of religion. Let us believe that God actually uses prayer to accomplish his omnipotent purposes.
~ Ryan McGraw