Episode 506

The Legacy of Charles Stanley & Prayer Requires Patience

Dec 21, 2023

2023 was the year well known pastor and author Charles Stanley passed from this life to his heavenly reward. Stanley died in April at age 90. And, prayer requires patience.  In the Christmas story, as told through the winding narrative of Luke, there briefly appears a mysterious man of prayer named Simeon (Luke 2:25-35).

Transcript

2023 was the year well known pastor and author Charles Stanley passed from this life to his heavenly reward. Stanley died in April at age 90.

The longtime pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Stanley’s broadcast ministry began in 1972 as “The Chapel Hour” on two Atlanta TV stations and a radio station, subsequently expanding to TBS (Turner Broadcasting System) and to CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network).

He renamed the outreach In Touch Ministries in 1977, stirred by the title of a devotional book in his office, “to get as many people as possible in touch with Jesus Christ and His way of living.” Today, Stanley’s In Touch messages are broadcast on hundreds of TV and radio stations and satellite networks as well as via shortwave in more than 100 languages across 150 countries. In 2007, the ministry also began distributing pocket-size In Touch Messenger solar-powered audio devices that contain the New Testament, Psalms, Proverbs and several dozen of Stanley’s sermons in a variety of languages. In addition to distributing hundreds of thousands of the units to U.S. soldiers and to missions efforts worldwide, the devices have been adapted for placement at refugee camps and on water towers in various parts of the world for listening by cellphone.

Stanley authored more than 60 books, including two stemming from his hobby of photography, with images from Alaska to Africa that he used in his sermons.
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We don’t like it but it’s true. Prayer requires patience. 

In the Christmas story, as told through the winding narrative of Luke, there briefly appears a mysterious man of prayer named Simeon (Luke 2:25-35). For our purposes, it is what he teaches us about prayer that matters. Simeon had learned how to wait in prayer. 

He had been “waiting” (presumedly for quite some time); and he was now content finally to die when at long last, in answer to prayer, God would let him “depart in peace” (v. 29) since he said, “my eyes have seen your salvation” (v. 30). 

The implication is that someone who had been waiting for a long time in prayer was suddenly rewarded for his patience. That is the lesson learned from the prayer life of Simeon.

The heroic prayer warrior George Müller once observed, “It is not enough to begin to pray, nor to pray aright; nor is it enough to continue for a time to pray; but we must patiently, believing, continue in prayer until we obtain an answer.” In the 21st century, our prayer lives are still blessed by patiently waiting. 
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