In this collection of 12 profound and prophetic sermons, Tozer points out why so many Christians and churches today are weak. But he doesn’t leave us without hope. His words will uplift our spirits as we recognize what God wants to do in and through us. “I believe the Holy Spirit of God wants to do some gracious new thing in our midst! [L]et us throw ourselves out on the great fullness of God with expectation,” Tozer exclaims. His consistent yearning was that every assembly of believers would realize its full potential for the honor of Jesus Christ.
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Aiden Wilson Tozer (1897-1963) was born on a small farm in what is now Newburg, PA. His family moved to Akron, Ohio, when he was just a young boy. At the age of 17, Tozer heard a street preacher, responded to the calling of Christ, and began his lifelong pursuit of God. After becoming an active witness of Jesus as a lay preacher, he joined The Christian and Missionary Alliance and was soon serving as the pastor of West Virginia’s Alliance Church, in 1919. He transferred to the Southside Alliance Church in Chicago in 1928, and his ministry continued there for 31 years. During that time he preached on the Moody Bible Institute’s radio station. In the 1940s Tozer was invited to speak at Wheaton College, and seldom a year passed after World War II that he didn’t preach in the college’s Pierce Chapel. In 1950 he became the editor of The Alliance Life magazine and served in that capacity until his death.
Self-taught, with no formal Bible training, Tozer has been called a twentieth-century prophet within his own lifetime. Through years of diligent study and constant prayer, he sought the mind of God. A master craftsman in the use of the English language, he was able to write in a simple, cogent style the principles of truth he had learned. For Tozer, “there was no substitute for knowing God firsthand.” He wrote many of his books with one idea in mind—that his reader would achieve the heart’s true goal in God and maintain that relationship with Him.
Tozer moved to Toronto in 1959 and spent the final years of his life as the pastor of Avenue Road Church. He and his wife, Ada, lived a simple, non-materialistic lifestyle and let much of the royalties from his books go to those in need. The Tozers had seven children, six boys and one girl. James L. Snyder, said of Tozer that his “preaching as well as his writings were but extensions of his prayer life. He had the ability to make his listeners face themselves in the light of what God was saying to them.”
“A second important requirement if the believing church is to be used in God’s ministry is prayer and the response God makes to our prayers uttered in true faith.” (Page 5)
“To please God, a person must be just an instrument for God to use.” (Page 3)
“No matter what our stature or status, we have the authority in the family of God to pray the prayer of faith. The prayer of faith engages the heart of God, meeting God’s conditions of spiritual life and victory.” (Page 5)
“The same is certainly true for older Christians. Just let one person step out in faith, claiming the fullness of the Spirit, crowning Jesus Christ as Lord, and the spiritual fallout will be felt by the entire group of believers.” (Page 7)
“If we are intent upon God’s glory alone, if we are using the resources of prayer and if we are obedient to the Spirit of God, there assuredly will be an attitude of true joyfulness in Christ’s church.” (Page 7)