Here the secret of the amazing growth and blessed results of the Voice of Prophecy Bible School and radio work in Southern Africa is disclosed. It merits the close study of all our workers. It is a sobering challenge, and should be taken most earnestly to heart. Not by money nor by organization, but by faith and prayer will our work be finished.—Editors
When Jesus gave the parable of the importunate widow, as recorded in Luke 18, His mind obviously reached out to the last days of this earth's history, and He gave utterance to this remarkable question: "When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth ?" (Luke 18 :8.) He had already answered this question in statements which He had made concerning the signs of His second coming. He had likened the last days to the days of Noah and the days of Lot when He spoke of those wicked times preceding the destruction of the world by the Flood, and of Sodom and Gomorrah by God's atomic bombs. He declared that the last days would equal and possibly surpass those days in wickedness.
Then, in closing His remarks to His disciples relative to those signs preceding His coming, Christ showed how this wave of iniquity would affect the faith of the people of God. He declared that because iniquity would abound, the love of many would wax cold. (Matt. 24:12.) We need not enlarge upon the tide of iniquity which is now sweeping the world. We do need, however, to measure the results of the beating of this flood tide of evil upon our own faith. If we can pass through these times and be unscathed, and can keep our faith firm, we shall be counted among God's hearers in the day of final reckoning.
It is difficult today to exercise faith, because it is so easy to trust in the material things about us. We all seem to be borne along on the tide of human achievement and prosperity. We see so many miracles of science which man has thought out with his own brain that we are in danger of trusting in man and in the works of man. This is what the world is doing, and we as preachers are in danger of being overcome by the same spirit. It seems to be most difficult to exercise a childlike faith in the promises of God and in the power of prayer. But the work of the Lord will never be finished on this earth by trusting in the mere mechanics of doing things.
We are glad to know that God's chosen workers will not depend on these material things to finish His work on earth. We shall find the secret place of God's power, and out of this powerhouse of divine energy God will use His chosen servants to enlighten the whole earth and quickly finish the work. I love to put the emphasis on the word He in that text we so often quote, Romans 9 :28—"He [God] will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness." We as Seventh-day Adventist ministers should read and re-read the many statements the Spirit of prophecy has made showing how God will use His people today for this quick work in the earth.
That one statement in volume 9 of the Testimonies will yet be fulfilled among us. Mrs. White declared: "In visions of the night representations passed before me of a great reformatory movement among God's people. The sick were healed, and other miracles were wrought. . . . Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families, and opening before them the word of God."—Page 126. Has not the time come when this experience should be witnessed among us? Are we not too frightened over the thought of miracles wrought through prayer ? Because we have understood that Satan can perform miracles, must we be driven to the conclusion that God will not perform miracles through His chosen servants?
There will be a counterfeit of miraculous power in the last days, but, brethren, there will also be the manifestation of genuine divine power. How can that divine power by brought to earth and applied to the finishing of God's work? We believe it can only be done through the prayer of faith. We ask in all earnestness, Has not the time come when companies for prayer should be formed among workers, and among preachers first of all? And our godly laity should be invited in where prayer is made in behalf of a lost world. We believe that the time has come for this to be done. And we know that when we step forward boldly by faith, and invite people not of our faith to bring in their requests, we shall see the arm of the Lord made bare in their behalf.
It was with this conviction upon us that-we organized a prayer circle when our Voice of Prophecy work first began in Africa. The results have been wonderful. We believe we shall still see much more than we have yet seen. Even in these three short years that we have been carrying on our prayer circle, we have had continuous evidence that God is pleased with such an effort in behalf of humanity.
Why should not a prayer circle be formed in every one of our churches? This circle should include not a promiscuous gathering of people who do not know how to pray. But those should be brought in who are willing to spend a long time in prayer at least once a week. Word should be sent out to the general public that such a prayer circle is meeting in the Seventh-day Adventist church, inviting anyone to write in his requests for prayer. If this were done, we are confident that a new experience would soon come to our churches.
Thousands of people from all over Africa have sent in their requests to the Voice of Prophecy at Cape Town. These requests have come by post, telegram, and even cable. We believe that people all over the world are looking for a place where they can go and ask for prayer. Might not our churches become literal powerhouses for God if such prayer circles were organized in them? We pray that God will roll upon the hearts of many of our pastors and church workers a burden for just such a work as we are doing in Africa in the Voice of Prophecy prayer circle.