Pilgrim's Path Daily

Thursday, May 18, 2006

'SOUL FOOD' - an audio-book by G.D. Watson - Ch. 23 of 32

Chapter 23 - "BURDENS OF PRAYER"
-- G.D. Watson lived in England, in the early part of the 1900's --




While Jesus is making intercession at the right hand of God, the Holy Spirit on the earth is praying through the hearts of those in whom He dwells. The human spirit is the vehicle through which the Holy Ghost pours His deep, divine yearnings, and in the same proportion that He widens and fills our souls, will He breathe into us these strong, sweet, melting intercessions, which are according to the will of the Father.

It is an infinite honor for the Spirit to put any burden of prayer on us, even when it is for our personal or family welfare; but when He draws us out into the priestly life of Christ, and puts in us unspeakable prayer for persons and objects that lie far beyond our personal and family interests, then it is in a higher sense praying in the Holy Ghost and alone for God's glory. The Spirit will divide and diversify His burdens of prayer according to the grace and gifts of each believer, calling some to pray in one direction and others in another, and He will put the pressure of prayer on and continue it, according to the soul's capacity, and its degree of willing co-operation with God in the prayer. A history of special burdens of prayer, as to their intensity and duration, would be amazing, especially if traced in connection with the answer that followed.

Many years ago the Spirit drew me out in some singular prayers. For over a month I was led to prayer for little children who were unmercifully whipped; they would be brought before my mind so vividly I could almost hear their screams, and I would weep and pray for them as if my heart would break, Then, for over a month, I was burdened to plead for the insane, and at such seasons I could mentally see them, and enter into their sufferings beyond anything I had imagined.

One day, in the winter of 1879 and 1880, there fell on me suddenly a great prayer for the spread of holiness in the Southern States. I was led to pray three or four times a day for this; the spiritual condition of the Churches from Norfolk, Va., to New Orleans was revealed to me in such marvelous light, from day to day, as no one would credit unless they had a similar experience. My tears flowed in streams; my heart swelled and throbbed with unutterable longings to evangelize in my native Southland. I was then a pastor in New Albany, Indiana. When that burden of prayer had continued for two months, I learned with joy that the celebrated John S. Inskip and party were in Charleston, S.C., conducting a great holiness revival. In after years I met Miller Willis, of South Carolina, and to my surprise I found that he and another friend had been praying together every night for three months, and at the same time I was let to pray.

Three years after that time I had the great joy of attending a wonderful Holiness Convention in Gainesville, Ga., at which time there was organized the first Holiness Association ever formed in the South, so far as I know. Since then, what has God wrought! In the past few years, since passing through many inexpressible trials on various lines, it has pleased the Holy Ghost to again draw me out into the deep, warm gulf-stream of intercessory prayer. I never tire of it; and if I can find the time, I live to spend from two to four hours every day in secret pleading with God.

At 4 p.m., January 3rd, 1895, an overwhelming prayer came on me for a great Holiness Mission in San Francisco, which continued every day for year.

In July, 1895, another burden of prayer was given me for a great Revival of sanctification among the black people of the South, lasting six months.

In September, 1895, one afternoon a great longing prayer came in my heart for a mighty outpouring of the Spirit in sanctifying and healing power upon the north of Ireland. This prayer for Ireland has been on me with many tears for over seven months.

In December, 1895, I was burdened for Cuba and Armenia and Persia, for their liberation from the beast and the false prophet, and opening up to full Gospel light.

In January, 1896, there came a deep, sad, weeping prayer in my soul for the poor little girl-widows of India; as I pray for them, my heart aches, and they seem as dear to me as my own children.

In the past three months I have been much drawn to pray for large outpourings of the Spirit in Pueblo, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Staunton, Va. In addition to these, I have special and peculiar longings in prayer for various persons; in some cases for their conversion, others for sanctification, others for healing, others for deliverance from awful snares of Satan which I felt they were getting into, others for financial relief, others for God to send then to mission fields. Some of these burdens have been painful, even distressing; some have been accompanied with a longing and pining of heart, and some were with a heavenly sweetness and tenderness beyond expression. In some cases, the prayers came on me suddenly and powerfully, and , after days or months, gradually left me; in other instances, they came gradually, getting stronger, till I would groan and weep for a season, and then suddenly leave me.

While in prayer for these various places, they are brought to my mind so vividly. I seem to see the localities, scenery, and the people and their mental and moral condition; and in the case of individuals I am burdened for, the Holy Spirit makes me feel at times the very state of their hearts and minds; if they are self-willed, I have a distress in prayer for them; if they are yielding, I feel a sweet flow of prayer. I hope many who read this will abandon themselves fully to the sway of the spirit in prayer; we thereby enter the true priestly life of our precious Jesus. It may be seen in eternity that we accomplished more by our prayers than be all other things combined.

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