Many do not understand this trade of praying because they have never learned it, and hence do not work at it. Many miracles ought to be worked by our praying. Why not? Is the arm of the Lord shortened that He cannot save? Is His ear heavy that He cannot hear? Has prayer lost its power because iniquity abounds and the love of many has grown cold? Has God changed from what He once was? To all these queries we enter an emphatic negative. God can as easily today work miracles by praying as He did in the days of old. “I am the Lord; I change not.” “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Adapted from E.M. Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer)
While the need for private, personal prayer is mentioned most frequently in Scripture, these verses remind us that we are part of God’s family. When we pray together, in the name of Christ, our prayers powerfully unite us in collective worship and in common purpose.
These and other men and women, among the first to be called evangelicals, organized the Church Missionary Society and other Bible and tract societies. Together they took the lead in social reform and helped to make significant and lasting changes in Britain, changes that inspired other believers around the world.
The opportunity for social gatherings had a powerful appeal to people who were starving for companionship. They were stirred by the evangelistic drive of the preachers, who encouraged emotional expression. The same exhibitions of tearful remorse and exuberant joy that appeared in England under Wesley’s preaching and in the Great Awakening in America appeared on the frontier. Out of the conversions of the camp meetings, the churches gathered recruits and the morals of the region showed dramatic improvement.
Two men from the eighteenth century have had a more comprehensive influence on church music in the ensuing ages than any others, with the possible exception of Johann Sebastian Bach. They are Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley.
The Great Awakening on the whole set in motion currents that affected deeply the future of American Christianity. It revived personal religion, prompted the Protestant missionary enterprise somewhat later, gave an impetus to education, and kindled a new humanitarian spirit.
John Wesley was born at the Epworth rectory in 1703. He went to Oxford University in 1720 and was ordained deacon in 1725. He returned to Oxford in 1729 and became the leader of the “holy club” or Methodists which had been organized during his absence by his brother, Charles. He went to Georgia as a missionary in 1735 and while there published his first hymn book.
harles Wesley has been called “the poet of Methodism.” Born in Epworth, England in 1707 he was educated at Westminster School and Oxford University, where he took his degree in 1728. It was while a student at Christ Church College that Wesley and a few associates, by strict attention to duty and exemplary conduct, won for themselves the derisive epithet of “Methodists.”
Edward Perronet, an Independent English clergyman, was born in 1726. He was the son of Vincent Perronet, vicar of Shoreham, who was a friend and supporter of the Wesleys. Edward was educated in the Church of England but became a Wesleyan preacher.
Thomas Olivers was born in Tregoman, Wales in 1725. Early in life, he was left an orphan. Distant relatives brought him up in an indifferent manner. He was sent to school for a time and later became an apprentice to a shoemaker; a man who treated him so cruelly that he ran away. He turned to alcohol for comfort until he heard George Whitefield preach and he was converted.