I read a quote on Twitter the other night by E. Stanley Jones (1884–1973), the great 20th century Methodist missionary to India. It read as follows:
@E_StanleyJones “Prayer is commission. Out of the quietness with God, power is generated that turns the spiritual machinery of the world.”
As a missionary of the gospel of Jesus, Jones had a clear understanding that the activity of God in the world flowed out the nature of God being in mission to save the world. Thus, the life of the child of God and disciple of Jesus is to flow out of union with this missionary God. So, as Jones states, prayer becomes commission. Communing with God leads to being commissioned by God. As we dwell in the presence of God seeking His heart, His mind, and His will, we end up encountering the One who is redeeming us and those around us and relentlessly pursuing the lost sheep (Matthew 18:12-14). And out of this quiet dwelling in God and with God, we yield ourselves to the power of His Spirit to move through and among us in such a way that “the spiritual machinery of the world” is turned. Hallelujah! Prayer leads to action – both by God and ourselves.
I am challenged by the words of this missionary saint that we have but one thing to do in order to shake the spiritual realm with the power of the divine Creator and Savior of the world – pray. And out of this seemingly passive action, all other actions of eternal consequence find their purpose and motivation.
Let us pray.