I’ve been reading through Leonard Ravenhill’s biography (In Light of Eternity: The Life of Leonard Ravenhill by Mack Tomlinson) and have been deeply stirred by the life Ravenhill lived and the passion he had for prayer and revival.
In this episode, I give several quotes from the book about Leonard’s passion for prayer and examine what it means for us to be men and women of prayer in the days in which we live.
Quotes from Leonard Ravenhill’s biography
- “As a young Christian, Leonard’s main goal was not primarily to be a preacher, but a man of prayer.” (page 249)
- “I can say with certainty that he is the only man I have ever known who prayed more than he studied or read. He spent hours alone in prayer in the mornings, afternoons and evenings, and also late at night. Any night between midnight and 5:00 a.m. might find him at prayer for hours. It was not always the same schedule, but it was consistent, serious and concentrated prayer.” (249)
- “Leonard had utterance in prayer, an intimacy with God that was almost embarrassing. It was the kind of praying that rebuked the lukewarm, stirred the godly, and inspired anyone who had a heart for God. His prayer life made others realize they did not know God the way he did.” (250)
- One pastor (Jacob Aranza) who knew Ravenhill well said, “Leonard’s passion for God fueled his prayer life. He was often in prayer hours each day. Many men have talked about the amount of time Ravenhill spent in prayer. There is no need to try to calculate it. The reality is it was often, consistent, and hours every day. Prayer was not a part of his life—it was his life. I can still remember him saying to me, ‘I don’t want to meet a man who has written more books than me or is a better preacher than me or who has preached to more people than me. I want to meet a man who has more of God on his life than I do. That’s what I long for.'” (250–251)
- “Nothing impressed Ravenhill as much as a Christian who truly prayed. When he observed this in someone’s life, he knew they truly knew God and sought God. This is what impressed him more than outward activity or ministry gifts.” (253)
- “Leonard believed that such a life of private prayer would do more for the kingdom of God than any outward busy ministry could ever do. He longed to see young people choose prayer as their main occupation and work.” (253)
- Samuel Chadwick, a friend and mentor of Ravenhill, said, “The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from prayer. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil and mocks our wisdom, but trembles when we pray. No man is greater than his prayer life.” (254)
- Leonard Ravenhill exhorted ministers, “Oh, my ministry brethren! Much of our praying is only giving God advice. Our praying is discolored with ambition, either for ourselves or for our denomination. Perish the thought! Our goal must be God alone. It is his honor that is at stake. … If we are weak in prayer, then we are weak everywhere.” (256)
- John Wesley once said, “God does nothing except in answer to prayer.”
- Audio at the end of the episode was taken from Lord Teach Us to Pray.
- I encourage you to check out Ravenhill’s incredible books on prayer and revival: Why Revival Tarries and Revival Praying.
- Hidden Life of Prayer (by David McIntyre)
- Listen to some powerful sermons by Leonard Ravenhill and other men from recent history on the Bravehearted Voices Podcast.
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NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps other believers understand and apply the Bible as they grow and mature in their faith—desiring that they gain greater intimacy with Christ, experience the victorious Christian life, and transform the world through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Read more about him here.
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