In the Church the question is evermore coming up, What can be the reason that Christianity has so little true power and so little fulfills all the wonderful promises that it makes? Read all the discussions that are going on, notice carefully all the plans and efforts that are suggested for enabling the Church to exercise the power it ought to have, and to influence men, either the masses of nominal Christians, or the millions of the heathen, and you will everywhere find how the thoughts and plans centre in what man's wisdom can devise and his zeal and energy can accomplish.
Everywhere there is the thought that if men will only keep up their courage and do their work faithfully, all must come right. How seldom the great truth is insisted on, or pressed home, that the Holy Spirit is our only power. An entire and absolute surrender to Him is our only hope. How seldom one hears from the leaders, to whom the Church looks for its guidance, the clear and unceasing summons : Brethren, pray. We must pray more; we must pray without ceasing; Prayer will bring blessing. The measure of prayer is the measure of power. Every deeper insight into what Christianity is, into what our daily life ought to be, into what the ministry is and needs, will all lead us to the one deep conviction: Christianity is nothing except it be supernatural. Our Christian life and work must be a failure, except as we live deeply rooted in the power of God s inspired Word, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and in the importunate prayer to which the promise of the Father will most surely be given.
All this brings us to the last lesson our word is going to teach us: There is no hope for the restoration of the Church, no hope of its being lifted up into the abundant life that there is in Christ, and so to be fitted in holiness and strength for the work that is so urgently calling, of making Christ known to every living creature, except in our return to God. Church of Christ ! GIVE GOD HIS PLACE. And take your place of absolute dependence, of unbroken fellowship, of unceasing prayer, of living, confident faith, and see if He will not turn and bless us above all that we can ask or think. (The State of the Church, 1912).