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Francis Schaeffer once asked his wife:

“Edith, I wonder what would happen to most churches and Christian work if we awakened tomorrow, and everything concerning the reality and work of the Holy Spirit, and everything concerning prayer, were removed from the Bible. I don't mean just ignored, but actually cut out--disappeared. I wonder how much difference it would make?" We concluded it would not make much difference in many board meetings, committee meetings, decisions and activities.

--Edith Schaeffer, The Tapestry: The Life and Times of Francis and Edith Schaeffer (Waco: Word, 1981), 356.

HT: David Sunday


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17 thoughts on “How Much Difference Would It Make?”

  1. EricT says:

    Fascinating.

  2. Frank Martens says:

    We concluded it would not make much difference in many board meetings, committee meetings, decisions and activities.

    Really? How does he support that one?

    1. Eric T says:

      When he says “we”, I think he is referring to himself and others involved with him in ministry. I think he’s getting at the fact that in their own meetings/decisions/activities they neglected to pray as much as they should have.

  3. adam says:

    I agree with Frank. This isn’t insight, it’s just making assumptions (accusations?) about other people’s prayer life.

    1. Bill Buckley says:

      Not assumption nor accusation but clear observation. The power of God comes through prayer and the ministry of the Holy Spirit (Note the prayer life of Jesus; Acts 1:8) . Paul said, “The kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.” (I Corinthians 4:20). I love the American church but I do believe she is very anemic when it comes to moving in God’s power and authority.

  4. Matt Hendley says:

    I think it’s all too true and a great exhortation.

  5. Churches aren’t social clubs. An offering isn’t a subscription fee. Preachers aren’t performers. Sunday school isn’t a babysitting service. Mission isn’t optional. The Holy Spirit isn’t an add-on, or a means to any other end: God’s the worst accomplice a church can have.

  6. donsands says:

    “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13

    Ask and you shall receive, knowck and it shall be opened, and seek and you shall find.

    The Lord is full of graciousness to bless us as we pray to Him.

    I have found that in my personal life, I do go through the motions at times, and yet the sovereign hand of God never forsakes me.
    It’s a roller coaster ride, as they say for me.

    But it’s the best I can do in this life.

    If the Lord is depending on us to pray and to seek His Holy Spirit, then we are in big trouble.

    The Lord works in us to will and to do.

    There are surely churches who are not regenerated churches, and are simply going through the motions, and the Holy Spirit is far from their lips of praise, and their hearts of pride and error. Such as a TD Jakes church, or even a Joel Osteen church.
    There may well be regenerated Christians within the congregation, but it is a dead church from the leaderships platform.

  7. matt says:

    i think the “we” is just Francis and Edith, because this is Edith writing about a conversation they had.

  8. John says:

    I would like to see an actualy graphic or statistical representation of what a Bible without prayer and the Spirit would look like…

  9. John Klein says:

    Thanks Brother David Sunday for sharing this! How we should desire all the more, to know God’s pleasure through Holy Spirit wrought prayer. We in fact, miss much pleasure, when we neglect to spend time hearing God’s pleasure in prayer. And it is the Father’s pleasure, by the Holy Spirit, to show us the glory of christ. And does not the glory of Christ, cause us to live life as a prayer, for God’s pleasure, for His glory, and for our joy?

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Justin Taylor, PhD


Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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