Preparing the Church for the Latter Rain: The Sermons of Rev. W. W. Prescott
The Reverend W. W. Prescott (1845–1893) was a well-respected Presbyterian minister, advocating for the spiritual gifts of the latter rain. He was a part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance church in Los Angeles, California, and presented sermons on the power of the Holy Spirit’s role in the spiritual experience, particularly the doctrine of the latter rain.
In his sermon, ‘Preparing for the Latter Rain," delivered on January 31, 1893, at the Christian and Missionary Alliance church in Los Angeles, California, W.W. Prescott preached about the Holy Spirit’s coming outpouring of spiritual reality and what part we—the church—have in preparing for it.
Prescott preached that the coming outpouring of God’s power would manifest itself in the world, in the church, and in individuals, all of whom must strive and prepare for it. He declared that the earmarks of the latter rain will be revival of the mind and that those who want to prepare must make sure they are seeking the Lord mindfully, with faith and patience, praying for forgiveness and renewal in order to receive what God has promised them.
Prescott also suggested an active approach to preparing for the latter rain in addition to prayer: the tangible and practical pursuit of a Christlike life. All believers should strive to emulate the selflessness of Jesus' life, walking in holiness and obedience.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is not just for one particular church but requires oneness in the body of Christ, a spirit of unity. Prescott argued that one must follow Christ in order to prepare for the latter rain, which requires Christian obedience by following the Lord’s moral and spiritual standards for His people.
Prescott’s sermons also explored the consequences of failing to prepare for the rain. He spoke of the coming Judgement Day, in which Christ will judge those who have prepared and those who have not; those who do not prepare will bear the consequences of their indifference, including the risk of being excluded from the presence of the Lord and the blessings of the New Covenant.
Ultimately, Prescott’s sermons were a call to action for all believers: we must act now to receive the blessings of the Lord’s latter rain by prayerfully humbly seeking Him, following after His holiness, and working to bring about unity within the body of Christ. Only then will we be able to fully experience the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the lives of the church.
In conclusion, the lessons expounded by the Rev. W.W. Prescott’s sermon "Preparing for the Latter Rain" serve as a reminder to Christians of the importance of faithfulness in order to be prepared for the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
As Christians, we must strive to walk in holiness and obedience, seek God with faith and patience, and work for unity within the church. We must remember that the latter rain will only be a blessing for those who have been faithful in preparing for its coming and take responsibility for our part in ensuring it arrives in its full measure and glory.
By remembering these lessons and staying true to our beliefs, we can look forward to the day that the Holy Spirit’s outpouring of blessing reaches us and the entire Christian church.
(c) Apostle Jonas Clark
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