Another stirring reflection from Spurgeon’s sermon, “Prayer-Meetings:”
“Again, if you look at the second chapter of the Book of Acts, you will perceive that the prayer-meeting is the place for the reception of divine power. “They were all together in one place,” [Acts 2:1] lifting up their prayer, and, as they waited there, “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them,” [Acts 2:2-4] and they were clothed with the power which Jesus had promised them.
And what a difference it made in them! Common fishermen became the extraordinary messengers of heaven. Illiterate men spoke with languages that they had never heard before. They began to reveal mysteries which had not been revealed to philosophers or kings. These men were lifted out of the level of ordinary humanity, and became God-inspired, filled with the Deity himself, who came to dwell in their hearts and minds. The result was that poor wavering Peter became bold as a lion, and the impetuous John, who would have called fire down from heaven upon the Samaritans, had another fire fall upon him; one not to destroy, but to rescue and bless.
Now, the great need of the Church at all times is the power of the Holy Spirit. “We believe in the Holy Spirit,” says the doctrines of most churches, but how many, or rather how few, are there who really do believe in him? There is a mysterious, supernatural energy which comes from the Third Person of the blessed Trinity which really in this age falls upon men and women, as truly as when Peter spoke in languages unknown to him (tongues) or performed miracles; and though the power of working miracles is not given now, yet spiritual power is given, and this spiritual power is just as evident, and just as surely with us today, if we possess the Holy Spirit, as it was with the apostles. Now, if we want to get this, the most likely place in which to find it is the prayer-meeting.
I will guarantee you that the best men who are of the right spirit, are those who will be found here tomorrow evening, at our special prayer-meeting. I will guarantee you that the best ministers are those that do not despise the gathering of the people of God, and I am sure that the cream of the Christian Church, other things being considered of course, will be found here among those who most commonly assemble for prayer. Oh! yes, this is the place to meet with the Holy Spirit, and this is the way to get his mighty power. If we would have the Holy Spirit, we must meet in greater numbers; we must pray with greater fervency, we must watch with greater earnestness, and believe with firmer determination. The prayer-meeting, then, has this second use, that it is the appointed place for the reception of power.”