As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. Acts 13:2-4.
Oh, how we need the divine Presence! For the baptism of the Holy Spirit, every worker should be breathing out his prayers to God. Companies should be gathered together to call upon God for special help, for heavenly wisdom, that the people of God may know how to plan and devise and execute the work. Especially should men pray that the Lord will choose His agents, and baptize His missionaries with the Holy Spirit.
For ten days the disciples prayed before the Pentecostal blessing came. It needed all that time to bring them to an understanding of what is meant to offer effectual prayer, drawing nearer and nearer to God, confessing their sins, humbling their hearts before God, and by faith beholding Jesus, and becoming changed into His image. When the blessing did come, it filled all the place where they were assembled; and endowed with power, they went forth to do effectual work for the Master.
We should pray as earnestly for the descent of the Holy Spirit as the disciples prayed on the day of Pentecost. If they needed [the Spirit] at that time, we need it more today. Moral darkness, like a funeral pall, covers the earth. All manner of false doctrines, heresies, and satanic deceptions are misleading the minds of men. Without the Spirit and power of God, it will be in vain that we labor to present the truth. We must have the Holy Spirit to sustain us in the conflict; “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
We cannot fall as long as we hope and trust in God. Let every soul of us, ministers and people, say, as did Paul, “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air” (1 Corinthians 9:26), but with a holy faith and hope, in expectation of winning the prize.—The Home Missionary, November 1, 1893.
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