By Octavius Winslow
Increased fervent prayer is essential to the success of Christian missions. We can make no advance in
our work, without prayer. We can strike no effective blow upon the kingdom of darkness, without prayer. We
can recover no territory from the lost empire, without prayer. Our missionaries receive their commissions,
and go forth to labor in vain, without prayer. There must be an increased spirit of fervent, wrestling, united,
and believing prayer.
The Word of God commands the prayers of the church in behalf of the spread of the Gospel. “Thus saith
the Lord God, I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them…” (Ezek. 36:37). “Pray
ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest” (Matt. 9:38).
The missionary, of all others, is convinced of the absolute necessity of prayer in the great work to which he
has consecrated his life. He sees the utter impotency of mere human power in shaking and demolishing the
kingdom of darkness, in melting away the thick shadows of error, idolatry, and superstition, and in releasing
the soul from the despotism of sin and Satan, and introducing it into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.
He is deeply and solemnly convinced of the necessity of the Spirit’s agency in this mighty work, and he asks
the prayers of the church, that that agency may be exerted. “Brethren, pray for us,” is his simple and
affecting request – and shall it be denied?
Oh, then, let the church as a body, let each individual member, awake to this neglected duty. Let prayer
for missions be borne upon the hearts of God’s people. Oh, who can tell what mighty wonders would result
from an increased spirit of prayer in the church! At home and abroad would its effects be seen in the rapid
increase of piety, of converts, and of churches.
– Adapted from teaching by Octavius Winslow.