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STRENGTH FOR SOUL WINNING THROUGH PRAYER

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Saturday Evening, August 1, 2009

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31).


Dr. R. A. Torrey said of this verse,

There is mighty power in prayer. It has much to do with our obtaining fulness of power in Christian life and service. The one who will not take time for prayer may as well resign all hope of obtaining the fulness of power God has for him. It is “they that wait upon the Lord” who shall “renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). Waiting upon the Lord means something more than spending a few minutes at the beginning and close of each day running through a stereotyped form of request. “Wait upon the Lord.” True prayer takes time and thought, but it is a great time-saver. At all events if we are to know fulness of power we must be men and women of prayer (R. A. Torrey, D.D., How to Obtain Fulness of Power in Christian Life and Service, Fleming H. Revell, 1897, p. 95).

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength”
       (Isaiah 40:31).

I will give you a few abbreviated thoughts on this text from Dr. Torrey, a man who knew how to wait upon God in prayer.

I. First, prayer can bring us wisdom to win souls.

The Bible speaks plainly on this point,

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not [without finding fault with us]; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

God will not upbraid you, or reproach you, or find fault with you, if you ask Him for wisdom. Oh, no! “It shall be given him.” No promise could be clearer than that! We can have wisdom, the wisdom of God Himself, at every point of life. God does not want us to grope in darkness. He wants to give us His infinite wisdom. All we have to do is ask for it in faith. Many people are stumbling in their own foolishness when they try to win souls. They don’t have soul-winning wisdom. You cannot win souls without wisdom. You cannot have that wisdom without praying for it! The Word of God says,

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God…and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

How do I speak to that new person after he comes to church? How do I help him come into the church? How do I help him to become a Christian?

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God…and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

But this “asking” is not to be a ritual form of prayer. It must be deep, serious prayer that comes from “waiting upon the Lord” in prayer (Isaiah 40:31).

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength”
       (Isaiah 40:31).

Power in prayer, Lord, power in prayer,
   Here ‘mid earth’s sin and sorrow and care;
Men lost and dying, souls in despair;
   O give me power, power in prayer!
(“Teach Me to Pray” by Albert S. Reitz, 1879-1966).

II. Second, prayer can bring the Holy Spirit in all His blessed power
into our soul winning.

Jesus said,

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13).

It was after the first disciples had continued “in prayer and supplication” (Acts 1:14) that “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:4).

It is prayer that brings the Holy Spirit’s power into our lives and the work we do in soul winning. I think many of you would agree that you have not waited on God enough in prayer to be truly effective in helping souls come into the church and be saved. Could this be a result of not praying for the power of the Holy Spirit in your soul-winning? Jesus gave a clear promise when He said,

“How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13).

Ask God for the power of the Holy Spirit to help you be more of a blessing to the lost in soul winning. He will give you the power of the Holy Spirit if you wait on Him in prayer. Many of you have little power in soul winning simply because you spend so little time in prayer for soul winning power.

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength”
       (Isaiah 40:31).

Power in prayer, Lord, power in prayer,
   Here ‘mid earth’s sin and sorrow and care;
Men lost and dying, souls in despair;
   O give me power, power in prayer!

III. Third, prayer can bring the power of God into our evangelistic work,
on our evangelism out on the streets, and in our telephone
evangelism when we call to get them into the church services,
and to be a blessing to them when they come to church.

When the Apostles were confronted with obstacles, “they lifted up their voice to God with one accord” (Acts 4:24). “And when they had prayed,” waiting on God in prayer, the power of God came and swept away all obstacles (Acts 4:31-33; 5:13). Do you want the power of God in your evangelism and telephoning, and bringing people to church on your own? Then pray for it. Wait on God in prayer for His power to come and help you.

A mother once came to Dr. Torrey who had an incorrigible son who would not listen to her pleadings. She asked Dr. Torrey what to do. He said, “pray.” The boy was converted a short time later and became a fine Christian. Why? Because his mother listened to Dr. Torrey and began waiting on God in serious prayer for her son each day – and God answered her prayers when she got serious about waiting on God in prayer for the boy.

There has never been a great and true revival without much waiting on God in prayer. Dr. Torrey said, “Many modern so-called revivals are brought about by man’s machinery. But there have been times in great revivals in the past without much preaching, and with almost no machinery. But there has never been a great and true revival without much prayer, without waiting on God in prayer. Many modern so-called revivals are gotten up by man’s machinery.” But genuine revivals are brought down by waiting on God in serious prayer.

Many Christians do not realize how much their prayers, or lack of them, have to do with the powerful or powerless preaching of their pastor. The neglect of waiting on God in serious prayer can make all the difference between whether we have conversions in the Sunday services. I beg you to set extra time aside to wait upon God in prayer for these meetings, for the preaching to have power, for the lost to be converted. I ask you to begin waiting on God in serious prayers for these meetings, in your private prayers. I hope you will set aside some time every day to pray for God to help the pastor know what to preach, and to help him preach it powerfully to convert the lost. Also, spend much time in prayer for the lost, by name if possible, that God will open their hearts to receive Christ in these meetings, and especially pray for God to make you a blessing to lost people when they come to church on Sunday. I hope you will set aside some time every day from now until then to wait on God, and seriously pray for these important things in the life of our church. And pray and fast for these things next Saturday as well.

Make me a blessing, Make me a blessing,
   Out of my life may Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing, O Saviour, I pray,
   Make me a blessing to someone today.
(“Make Me a Blessing” by Ira B. Wilson, 1880-1950).

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers’ sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”


THE OUTLINE OF

STRENGTH FOR SOUL WINNING THROUGH PRAYER

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31).

I.   First, prayer can bring us wisdom to win souls, James 1:5.

II.  Second, prayer can bring the Holy Spirit in all His blessed power into
our soul winning, Luke 11:13; Acts 1:14; 2:4.

III. Third, prayer can bring the power of God into our evangelistic work,
on our evangelism out on the streets, and in our telephone evangelism
when we call to get them into the church services, and to be a blessing
to them when they come to church, Acts 4:24, 31-33; 5:13.