The two prerequisites to successful Christian living are vision and passion, both of which are born in and maintained by prayer. The ministry of preaching is open to few; the ministry of prayer – the highest ministry of all human offices – is open to all. Spiritual adolescents say, “I’ll not go tonight, it’s only the prayer meeting.” It may be that Satan has little cause to fear most preaching. Yet past experiences sting him to rally all his infernal army to fight against God’s people praying. Modern Christians know little of “binding and loosing,” although the onus is on us – “Whatsoever you shall bind …” Have you done any of this lately? God is not prodigal with his power, but to be much for God, we must be much with God.
The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said goodbye to his friends. He was not coming back. He was not going out to have his life redirected; he was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all the man completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with it's victim. It struck swift and hard, and when it had finished its work the man was no more.