This devotional first appeared in https://www.revivalandreformation.org
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. Luke 18:1.
At no point in our experience can we dispense with the assistance of that which enables us to make the first start. The blessings received under the former rain are needful to us to the end. Yet these alone will not suffice. While we cherish the blessing of the early rain, we must not, on the other hand, lose sight of the fact that without the latter rain, to fill out the ears and ripen the grain, the harvest will not be ready for the sickle, and the labor of the sower will have been in vain. Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work.
There is no place for us to rest in a careless attitude. We must never forget the warnings of Christ, “Watch unto prayer,” “Watch … and pray always” (Luke 21:36). A connection with the divine agency every moment is essential to our progress. We may have had a measure of the Spirit of God, but by prayer and faith we are continually to seek more of the Spirit. It will never do to cease our efforts. If we do not progress, if we do not place ourselves in an attitude to receive both the former and the latter rain, we shall lose our souls, and the responsibility will lie at our own door.
“Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain” (Zechariah 10:1). Do not rest satisfied that in the ordinary course of the season, rain will fall. Ask for it. The growth and perfection of the seed rests not with the husbandman. God alone can ripen the harvest. But man’s cooperation is required. God’s work for us demands the action of our mind, the exercise of our faith. We must seek His favors with the whole heart if the showers of grace are to come to us.
We should improve every opportunity of placing ourselves in the channel of blessing. Christ has said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst” (Matthew 18:20). The convocations of the church, as in camp meetings, the assemblies of the home church, and all occasions where there is personal labor for souls, are God’s appointed opportunities for giving the early and the latter rain.—The Review and Herald, March 2, 1897.