"Ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel" (Isaiah 27:12)
In our body every member has its appointed place. It is so too in society and in the Church. The work must always aim at the welfare and the highest perfection of the whole, through the cooperation of every individual member.
In the Church the thought is found too often that the salvation of souls is the work of the minister, whereas he generally only deals with the crowd but seldom reaches the individual. This is the cause of a twofold evil. The individual believer does not understand that it is necessary for him to testify to those close by - for the nourishment and the strengthening of one's own spiritual life and for the ingathering of souls. Unconverted souls suffer unspeakable loss because Christ is not personally brought to them by each believer they meet. The thought of intercession for those around us i ll too seldom found. Its restoration to its place in the Christian life - how much that would mean to the Church and its missions!
Oh, when will Christians learn the great spiritual truth that "what God in heaven desires to do needs prayer on earth as its indispensable condition." It is as we realize this that we shall see that intercession is the chief element in the conversion of souls. All our efforts are vain without the power of the Holy Spirit given in answer to prayer. It is when ministers and people unite in a covenant of prayer and testimony that the Church will flourish and that every believer will understand the part he has to take.
And what can we do to stir up the spirit of intercession? There is a two-fold answer. Let every Christian, as he begins to get an insight into the need and the power of intercession, make a beginning in the exercise of it on behalf of single individuals. Pray for your children, for your relatives and friends, for all with whom God brings you into contact. If you feel that you have not the power to intercede, let the discovery humble you and drive you to the mercy-seat. God wants every redeemed child of His to intercede for the perishing. It is the vital breath of the normal Christian life - the proof that it is born from above.