The River of Prayer
Some years ago, my late wife, Gloria Dickson, felt that God wanted more prayer power at work in Hope Church’s family of faith. As she thought and prayed about this, she began searching the Scriptures for a leading. One day she came across the passage in Ezekiel 47:1-12. It rang the proverbial bell in her heart, as she envisioned prayer being offered in Hope’s sanctuary, and flowing like a river into the lives of Hope’s people, and throughout the community and world.
It was, she felt, a “River of Prayer,” refreshing those who prayed, and producing spiritual fruit in Christ for those for whom prayers were being offered.
As Ezekiel wrote, “fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the Sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
And so was born “The River of Prayer” ministry here at Hope. Many who took part grew in Christ, and scores of those prayed for were refreshed and spiritually blest. Personally, I was encouraged in knowing that Jesus Christ was being invited into scores of lives through prayer, and that I and the other pastors were being lifted up to God through the intercession of God’s people.
Too often as a pastor I fell into the trap of thinking that people would come to a saving and fruitful relationship with Christ only through what was being preached from the pulpit, or taught from the lectern. While the Spirit of God does use sermons and teachings to bring people to Christ, He also honors the prayers of Christians to achieve the same result!
Thank You, heavenly Father, that You have given us prayer, so that we may be healed, encouraged and spiritually refreshed. Help us to be ever mindful of You, our Sanctuary, from which all goodness and blessings flow. Be merciful to me, O God, for in You my soul takes refuge. (Psalm 57:1) Amen.
Bob Dickson, Hope’s Pastor Emeritus