As we continue our theme of prayer for the weeks leading up to the 125 Hours of Prayer today we learn from a professor about the prayer life of Moody Bible Institute’s founder.
By Gregg Quiggle, dean, International Study Programs
In 1923, one of Dwight Lyman Moody’s closest associates, R. A. Torrey, preached a sermon titled, “Why God Used D. L. Moody.” In the sermon, Torrey gave seven reasons why God used Mr. Moody. One of the seven Torrey identified was that, “Mr. Moody was in the deepest and most meaningful sense a man of prayer.” Even a cursory glance at Moody’s life confirms Torrey’s evaluation.
Early in his life as a believer, Moody came to learn of the importance and benefit of prayer. He had begun his life of faith as a result of the work of a Sunday school teacher in 1855 and shortly thereafter, he struck out for Chicago. There he became involved in a prayer based revival that swept through the major cities in America. He immersed himself in the meetings, rarely missing an evening of prayer and they became foundational for how he later approached ministry. In fact, virtually everywhere he traveled over the course of his life, he organized prayer meetings.
During these years, Moody befriended the godly owner of his boarding house. Mrs. H. Phillips, or “Mother” Phillips as she was commonly known, was a stalwart at the First Baptist Church and she schooled Moody on the necessity of faithful prayer. He took those lessons to heart as prayer became a central part of his life.
Moody always demanded intense and focused prayer in preparation for his revival campaigns. When he began new projects he often called on the students and faculty of his schools to devote themselves to fasting and prayer.
Emphasizing the importance and power of prayer was so important to Moody it was one of the predominant characteristics of the schools in both Northfield and Chicago. His student conferences in Northfield featured 6:00 a.m. prayer meetings and he organized prayer meetings for children. Later, he would say that “Some of the happiest nights I ever had were in these children’s prayer meetings…”
D.L. Moody not only worked hard for the Lord, but he also he prayed hard as he worked. His life and enduring work stand as an eloquent testimony to fruits of fervent prayer.
James 5:16b “The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness.”