In the midst of the greatest revival in the history of the world—the events described in the book of Acts—in the manifest presence and fullness of God’s glory and power, something happened one day that even further revolutionized the apostles. They cried, “We have to stop! We have to give ourselves to prayer!” (See Acts 6:4). Prayer is the way we fellowship with Jesus.
Peter prophesied about the times of refreshing that would come; he knew with spiritual foresight that the day would arrive when others would figure out every key the apostles had learned to unlock revival. They died to self. They waited, tarrying in prayer for God’s Spirit to come upon them. When He did, they gave themselves to prayer. It is possible to pray without surrendering to Christ, but it is impossible to surrender to Christ without praying.
Attempts to manipulate God rather than being with Jesus pass as “prayer” today. Often those who learn to “confess with their mouth” Christ’s lordship never fully surrender to His authority in their hearts. As a result, we enter into prayer without travailing and fasting. “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world” (John 16:21). We birth the present-day ministry of Jesus Christ with travailing prayer.
We enter into God’s presence through prayer! Why don’t we see God’s power when we pray? The great revivalist, Leonard Ravenhill, once said, “God does not answer prayer. God answers desperate prayer.” Only through prayer can we enter into the intimate relationship with God for which He created us. Only through prayer can we truly wrestle with God.