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Prayer Lives of Famous Men

Morning Glory, Sept.-Oct., 1997, p. 29.

David Watson notes that "Prayer has always been a primary mark of the saints of God in every generation of the church. George Whitefield, who retired punctually at ten p.m. every night, rose equally promptly at four a.m. in order to pray. "John Wesley spent two hours daily in prayer, and commonly said that &ls;God does nothing but in answer to prayer.' Martin Luther said, &ls;If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.' "The leaders of the Clapham Sect, such as William Wilberforce, who initiated enormous social reforms in England, habitually gave themselves to three hours of prayer each day. They organized Christians throughout the country to unite in special prayer before critical debates in Parliament. They knew, and persistently proved, the power of prayer. William Temple replied to his critics who regarded answered prayer as no more than coincidences, &ls;When I pray, coincidences happen; when I don't, they don't." Our Lord's disciples' request is probably our most needed prayer: "Lord, teach us to pray."