By Rev Alan Millar
We all have good and bad memories of school.
One of my favourites was wading knee-deep through fallen leaves on a frosty morning up Fortwilliam Park to Dunlambert Secondary School. Such memories are tempered by memories of returning home in those miserable dark, damp days of winter.
Entering our home brought no relief for it reflected the mood of the outside. Scenes of Scrooge’s house in Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ come to mind. I exaggerate of course!
Two household chores were mine - light the fire and peel the spuds. Lighting the fire was the more unpleasant of the two. If sticks were unavailable, pretend sticks made of rolled up sheets of newspaper had to do. Remember that? Unfortunately, the first warm, cosy flames soon faded and died causing all to collapse into blackness. The room returned to its former dark, cold unwelcoming self.
On occasions, however, I would noticed a coal at the front corner showing a dim glow of red - aha, could this be the beginnings of a fire? Thin paper tapers were lit and held with stubborn persistence under the glowing coal until finally a small flame appeared which was encouraged by a gentle breath. Slowly this flame ignited another coal, and another until the whole fire was ablaze. The room was soon filled with the light and warmth of the fire. What a transformation!
How often do we pray that God would set His church ablaze with the anointing of the Holy Spirit so that many souls could be won for His kingdom? But like my wee fire, the first flames of passion for revival burn brightly only to fade and die because nothing seems to happen - discouraged, revival prayer fades.
The truth is that only constant, persistent prayer, like my paper tapers, will bring a sure hope of revival.
When we have proved our earnest desire for revival to God our Father, the Holy Spirit will fan the small flames of our desire into a blazing passion for revival. And like the first flame of my wee fire caught the other coals, soon revival begins to spread from us into our churches, communities and, dare we hope, throughout our nation.
Believe big, setting aside our pride of denominational difference. All of God’s people must pray together!
Read Jeremiah 29:11-13. Friends, time is short - the day of the Lord’s coming is near. Persevere in praying for souls to be won for the Kingdom. Pray without ceasing.