And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray.
Jesus has sent His Church into the world on the same errand upon which He Himself came, and this mission includes intercession. What if I say that the Church is the world's priest? Creation is dumb, but the Church finds a mouth for it. It is the Church's high privilege to pray with acceptance. The door of grace is always open for her petitions, and they never return empty-handed. The curtain was torn for her; the blood was sprinkled upon the altar for her; God constantly invites her to bring her requests. Will she refuse the privilege that angels might envy? Is she not the bride of Christ? Can she not approach her King at any hour? Will she allow the precious privilege to be unused?
The Church always needs to pray. There are always some among her who are declining or falling into open sin. There are lambs to be prayed for, that they may be carried in Christ's bosom; the strong, lest they grow presumptuous; and the weak, lest they become despairing. If we kept up prayer-meetings twenty-four hours a day all the days in the year, we might never be without a special subject for supplication.
Is there ever a time when no one is sick or poor or afflicted or wavering? Is there ever a time when we do not seek the conversion of relatives, the reclaiming of backsliders, or the salvation of the lost? With congregations constantly gathering, with ministers always preaching, with millions of sinners lying dead in trespasses and sins—in a country over which the darkness of religious formalism is certainly descending—in a world full of idols, cruelties, devils—if the Church does not pray, how will she excuse her neglect of the commission of her loving Lord? Let the Church be constant in supplication; let every private believer give himself to the ministry of prayer.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.