In recent years, cynicism, doubt and hypocrisy have hardened many hearts. Trying to find real genuine people who aren’t hiding behind a series of lies is tough. Perhaps this explains why Bible believing churches are vanishing, pressured to confirm by a liberal culture. Jesus predicted this in the last days where a decaying spiritual climate would develop.
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, Matthew 24:12.
At one time in America, churches were the center of cities, towns and rural communities. If you needed assistance in form of advice, food or shelter, there was usually some place you could go for help. In the first century, if there weren’t enough men to start synagogues, worship took place outside of towns, usually at the nearest body of water. Thus, when the apostle Paul traveled to Philippi he expected to find a place of prayer.
On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there, Acts 16:13.
One of the cornerstones of the first and second great awakenings were nightly prayer meetings. Although initial events only brought out a few participants, concerts of prayer spread as a spirit of conviction led people to confess their sins. Unfortunately, in this day and age, a sin isn’t what it use to be. Compromise, justifying actions and the elimination of absolutes have breed lukewarm spirits. Thus, there isn’t a sense of urgency to get right with God. As a new year begins, may be people will change for the better, developing hearts that expect to find places of prayer.
by Jay Mankus