Posted - 22 Jan 2006 : 21:34:56
| William Booth - Prayer Makes History
PRAYER MAKES HISTORY
The Potters House Church has been described as a modern day group with evangelistic methods much like the early Salvation Army. Booth was a soul winner and "trained" his "troops" to win thousands. The Salvation Army used unorthodox methods to reach the lost, such as converting old pub songs into Christian tunes, playing them on a street corner to get a crowd, and then preaching the Word of God to the multitudes. Like the Potters House, or any movement of God that is evangelistic, the Salvation Army encountered fierce opposition. Booth, much like Pastor Wayman Mitchell, road out these times and stuck to the vision God had shown him. A prayer warrior and a respected leader, booth demonstrated the power of the "Lord's Army" moving in unison with a single focus; souls, souls, souls.
On April 9,1865, Lee met Grant in the parlor of a private home at Appomattox Court House. He surrendered his army and brought an end to four long years of death and devastation called the Civil War. In the same year a 36 year old Englishman by the name of William Booth declared war on the powers of darkness by founding the Salvation Army.
One of the most effective weapons in General Booth's arsenal was fervent prayer. It was not unusual for Booth to hold "an all night of prayer" when he came to preach the Word of God. People would flood the altars every where he went. "The power of God was wonderfully manifest in the meetings . . . people were frequently, struck down, overwhelmed with a sense of the presence and power of God."
The Salvation Army's success at freeing the captives was uncanny, especially when one considers those who it strived to reach. General Booth's battle cry was "Go for souls and go for the worst." The worst of sinners were saved, saloons were closed and entire cities were shaken.
Booth's success attracted not only supporters but also enemies. Those who served in the Army were pelted with hot coals, sprayed with tar and burning sulphur, beat, stoned and even kicked to death in the streets. The Salvation Army resisted their enemies with a cheerful "God bless you", and a prayer. General Booth, himself was often in the thick of it. When spit on during the Midlands tour, Booth encouraged his fellow soldiers, "Don't rub it off - it's a medal!"
Night after night Booth would come home bleeding and bruised after being attacked for preaching in the slums of England. After such nights of testing he would take his wife's hand and say, "Kate, let me pray with you." After praying with Catherine he would rise from his knees armed with fresh courage and hope. Booth needed all the valor his wife Catherine could inspire in him. She encouraged him, "if we get tired we had better go and be done with, anything is better than a dead church." Despite the grinding pressures of the ministry the Booths had a happily united family. The General had nine children and loved to play and romp with them, especially in their favorite game of "Fox and Geese."
Once while traveling, General Booth's car was detained. He took advantage of the opportunity and exhorted some idle factory workers. He said, "some of you men never pray, you gave up praying long ago. But I'm going to say to you, won't you pray for your children, that they may be different?" Within minutes, 700 men knelt in silent prayer.
At another time, two Salvation Army officers set out to found a new work, only to meet with failure and opposition. Frustrated and tired they appealed to the General to close the rescue mission. General Booth sent back a telegram with two words on it, "TRY TEARS." They followed his advice and they witnessed a mighty revival.
During the course of William Booths ministry he traveled 5,000,000 miles and preached 60,000 sermons. God help us in this desperate and distracted day in which we live to heed the General's advice. "Work as if everything depended upon your work, and pray as if everything depended upon your prayer."
Heb 12:1 ¶ Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Men like Booth and Mitchell, are men who are spiritual trail blazers. These mighty men of faith (though feeble in the flesh) are to be esteemed, admired, and followed.
2 Tim 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.