When I first became saved I used to pray like a mad hatter for all to come to know God. And I would see those I prayed for, coming to salvation. Then I got hamstrung a little by Calvinistic theology which tried to tell me God didn’t want all to be saved. While I fought it off and completely and totally disagree with it, the rotting seed had set in, and it slowly eroded my prayer life with some doubts and fears that perhaps God didn’t really want those I was praying for to be saved.
However, I try and make a habit of reading one particular book every year. And that is George Muller, Delighted In God, by Roger Steer. There is something special about reading about the lives of those who went before us. People of faith. People who did great things for God.
George Muller is perhaps known best for his establishing and running orphanages for 1000’s of children in a time when no care was provided for those without means. But, he also co – pastored a mega church of over 1000 people. He started up a Scripture institute from which bibles and tracts were distributed and supported many missionaries and mission endeavours. His faith and lifestyle had a direct impact on Hudson Taylor, Moody and many other preachers and stirrers of faith in the past. Here is a man who accepted no salary, never asked any human for money and only looked to God for means to support the orphans he cared for.
While reading it this morning, I was encouraged once again to take God at his word in asking and receiving in prayer. ‘
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets
It’s interesting that towards the end of Muller’s life, there were many outpourings of the Holy Spirit causing great revival. On page 192, in speaking of those who set their minds to pray for revival, he reminds us that God does not will any to perish, but ALL to come to repentance… I was stopped in my tracks in reading that sentence. The Spirit of God convicted me of my unbelief and the ministry I am involved with and those I rub shoulders with.
I was flooded with the conviction that God was asking me, “Craig, who is the ALL?” And through my mind came pictures and thoughts of the myriads of people I know. Family, friends, church family, neighbours, neighbourhood, local area, state, country and throughout the world. ALL!
I’m asking you today. Will you join in the challenge with me, and ask yourself are you willing to pray earnestly to God for all people. Will you pray with me that God will indeed once again pour out his spirit on ALL flesh and bring revival – not only to my home town and not only to your home town, but to every area of the world where people live.
Lord, to even try and think of all is a daunting thought. It’s overwhelming. But, your word says that we are to expectantly pray and to BOLDY ask. You say you want all to come to you…so we stand on your word and ask for all today. Bring about revival to our homes, our cities, our nations and across the world. In Jesus name I pray.