The Resource of Prayer

1 Corinthians 16:2 – “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him.”

But suppose God has not prospered you; then he does not expect anything from you. But what if God has prospered one, and the man will not give? To that I say, we are not empowered to force or cajole a man into giving — better leave him with God. And yet I would not have us forget that there is always a resource left the church. It is indeed, a resource and power. It covers the illiberal man’s case, and all cases. I have rarely known it to fail. It was tested several years ago in a large city by a faithful layman. There was a pressing burdensome debt of some $16,000. It had rested as an incubus upon the congregation for years. One afternoon this gentleman requested nine or ten other male members of his church to meet him in a certain office. Here they spent a number of hours in humble, earnest prayer to God. As the prayer ascended, of course God descended; and there steadily grew within them a profound sense of their obligation to God. He was their Maker, Preserver, Benefactor; he had given ten thousand mercies, his Son had died for them, he had forgiven them, and this moment had heaven and endless life and blessedness awaiting them. And now what was it that they could do for him? What act or gift or sacrifice could ever repay, in the least degree, even a part of his love? “Lord, what wilt thou have us to do?” Who wonders at what followed? — that on their melted, graceful hearts God poured the spirit of his love, the tender, beauty. They arose from their knees and in ten minutes wiped out the debt of $16,000.