Known for our commitment to prayer
We will be a worshiping community, known
for our commitment to prayer, holy living
and service to others.
by Commissioner David Edwards –
One of the new lieutenants commissioned this past year was Lt. Timothy Smith. He is the son of Lt. Colonels Arthur and Alice Smith (R), retired officers in this territory. He was the valedictorian for his session and spoke in the Sunday afternoon meeting of the commissioning weekend. It was a good speech, but I must confess that I cannot remember much of what he had to say. One thing, however, remains indelibly imprinted in my memory and that is the tribute he paid to his parents, particularly his dad. He said, “I will never forget as a small boy, seeing my dad on his knees praying every morning before leaving for the corps.”
I have never had any doubts about the commitment of people of this territory to prayer. This young man’s tribute to his dad simply confirmed for me what I had suspected all along, that, like The Salvation Army everywhere, the Army in the West has been built and has survived several challenges over the years primarily because of that commitment to a life of prayer on the part of individual soldiers and officers.
THE ARMY AT PRAYER
I believe in the power of prayer. I believe strongly that it is through prayer that God has called this Army into existence. Perched on the desk in my office is a small figurine of a man kneeling on one knee, Bible in hand, and head bowed in prayer with the caption on the base that says “God shall have all there is of William Booth.”
Even before becoming an officer of The Salvation Army, I have held the strong belief that if it is anything that God wanted this Army to be, it was an Army strongly committed to prayer. An Army on its knees before God’s throne is an Army against which not even the gates of hell could prevail.
PRAYER-A MATTER OF FIRST PRIORITY
One of the first things we did following our installation as the territorial leaders here in the West was to call this territory to prayer. It is a pattern that we have followed over the years of our officership, wherever we have gone, we have called on people to pray as a matter of first priority.
Keeping in Touch… a call to prayer was launched two years ago. It was not something new. It simply built upon previous efforts that focussed attention on the place and power of prayer in the lives of God’s people. One of its objectives was to “challenge us to seek cleansing, to confess wrongdoing where wrongdoing has occurred, to seek healing for broken relationships, to ask for a fresh vision from our God for his Army.”
In these two years more than 2,000 people have signed up to become prayer partners. More people have become involved in prayer groups. The 1-800 number was reactivated and allowed people to call in either to make requests or discover opportunities for prayer. Our young people have themselves taken hold of this and they have become involved in their own exercise aimed at making prayer a central part of their lives. This goes by the abbreviation POW (meaning Pray on Warrior). The beauty, however, is not in the preponderance of activity, but it is to be found in the positive results. There is evidence that more lives are being changed every day because of this holy pursuit of prayer.
WE ACCOMPLISH THE MIRACULOUS WHEN WE PRAY
And now a fresh call to prayer has been issued to the territory. It is a call for us to reignite the flame. This was covered extensively in a previous issue of New Frontier. It places emphasis this time on the corporate prayer life of The Salvation Army. It asks for us during the first nine weeks of this year 2000 to come together at different times, in various places, to pray to God for his Army.
I plead with you. Do not neglect this call to prayer. Let it become known in every community across this territory where The Salvation Army has a presence that “these are the people who accomplish the miraculous, because they pray.” If the vision of our becoming a community known for our commitment to prayer is to become a reality, then we have to pray. We have no choice.