This article is reprinted by request from an early edition of Herald of His Coming. Both Sarah Foulkes Moore and Elizabeth Dabney are now with the Lord.
Sister Dabney is a black sister who makes prayer a business. If she sleeps at all, it is to be refreshed to resume her day and night vigils of prayer and waiting on God. She confines herself to one simple meal a day. She never has light conversation with anyone. Usually she comes quietly to a meeting an hour before the time announced and begins to pray. When the meeting is over she slips quietly away to her room where her real ministry of travail for the deliverance of souls is carried on, far into the night.
In an interview Sister Dabney revealed how she came to enter this effective work for God and for souls. Her husband is a black preacher. He was sent from a prosperous church in Philadelphia to labor in a poor one. At their first meeting no one was present but themselves. She saw it was going to be a difficult field for it was in the most wicked part of the city. She was made to know that nothing but prayer would touch the situation.
She determined to give herself to prayer. She made a vow to God that if He would send sinners to that place and save them, she would give herself to prayer three days and three nights each week in the church for three years. She vowed during two of these years to fast as well as pray. When she first told her husband of her intentions, he was unwilling to have her spend three days and nights each week in the mission alone in prayer. But the Lord made him to know it was of Him.
As soon as this little wife began to pray alone in her husband’s mission, God began to work. Sinners were sent in and soon their hall was crowded out. Her husband asked her to pray for a larger place. God moved a merchant out of a better and larger building across the street and gave them this building. As Sister Dabney continued to pray, this building too was crowded out. Again her husband asked her to pray for a larger church. She did, and God gave them a fine large church on a main boulevard in the same neighborhood. Always the meetings were packed out and souls were delivered from sin and believers in multitudes were baptized in the Spirit.
One morning at the church door as she was entering to keep her vow of prayer, the Lord met her and said, “Go home.” But she did not want to go home. She wanted to pray. Then He asked her if she knew what day it was. She felt led to open her purse and read her vow and discovered from the date on the vow that she had exactly completed the three years she had given to God for prayer. She wanted to go into the church and adore and worship Him but He said again, “Go home.”
She obeyed. Her soul was exulting in His presence. Then He said to her, “Go to the basement.” She was afraid of the dark basement and hesitated. She said, “Lord, if you are going to take me home to glory, first let me see my husband and son.” She was afraid the Lord was going to take her home in the midst of all this rejoicing. But she put on perfectly new pumps and went to the basement. Instead of darkness it was filled with a wondrous light. Then the Lord spoke to her again. He said, “You have prayed through. Now I have come to bless you.”
From the ceiling a fountain seemed to pour forth living water. This water rose higher and higher until it engulfed her. The joy and the presence of the Lord were so gloriously manifest to her that she began to dance. The Lord told her that wherever she went and prayed, He would deliver sinners from their sins and fill believers with the Holy Spirit. She danced the heels and toes off her brand-new pumps.
This happened several years ago, and God has kept His word. Wherever, Sister Dabney goes and gives herself to prayer, sinners are delivered and the saints are filled with the Holy Ghost and fire. She does not preach but only counsels saints and sinners to seek the Lord till He is found. The following letters give an intimate insight into her life of prevailing prayer.
“I am burdened unto death this morning. My heart seems as if it were going to break. The burden of sinners is upon me greater than ever before. I can hear the cries of the dying world day and night.
“The Spirit is crying for a great outpouring of the Holy Ghost. This is God’s great ingathering day. For some cause He counted me worthy to suffer the agony of death that our poor people might be delivered before the cry is made, ‘Behold, the Bridegroom is here!’
“There are few people who are willing to suffer that others might see the light. This is an awful day. The people are hungry for real examples of true holiness. The day is crowded with self and the desire for personal gain; therefore we who are awakened must work double time to help push this battle to the gates.
“Prayer is the only remedy for this day of ills and chills. In the midst of it all, thank God I have found a place, away out in the Spirit upon the mountain, where a praying woman can go and be with God.
“Come, dear one, with me out there where Jesus will intercede through you and deliver many sinners through your prayers. If you will follow me into this field of prayer you will thank me for urging you to give your life to pray sinners through to God. He has praying ground to give you which has never been possessed by anybody. He has praying hills and mountains nobody has ever asked Him for. Your feet can stand on a new height every day and night.
“Preaching is good. Teaching is essential. But praying is the secret. One God-heard and answered prayer will shake creation!
“The Spirit of the Lord is crying out for thousands to be saved.
“The people have heard the truth, plenty of it. But they need help to deliver them out of bondage, that they might serve God in true righteousness and holiness. Preaching, singing, shouting, teaching will not altogether send the earthquake that will open the grave in that sin-prison graveyard where millions are dead in trespasses and sins. We must have power now to help these people. Demonstrations are in order in season, but when it comes to breaking the seal Satan has placed on the hearts of sinners it is going to take prayer or an unlimited conversation with God.
“So many are praying but few are able to pray through into His glory and divine will. Jesus went into the Garden and talked with God until flesh gave way and sweat like blood ran freely down from Him.
“This is the hardest work God has to offer. Like a farmer I have to dig day and night. It is like new ground where bushes, trees, stumps, and rocks have grown far down into the earth. In the earth all kinds of bugs, snakes, and worms are living. You are in danger of digging up one of these unpleasant things at any time. Digging is a hard job. This is my task. The voices of millions of souls are crying in my ears all day and all night. I have prayed myself into business with God. This is the reason I refuse to visit or receive visitors. I am no good for anything but this. I am wholly given to prayer. This burden is ever upon me. I cannot lay it down and rest for even a moment.”
Again. “Early in the morning, at noon and late at night, the Lord lifts me to a new place in prayer. I was so overshadowed last night with the glory of the Lord that seemingly my flesh died and I was led out somewhere in the garden of prayer where I have never been before. The Spirit of the Lord cried, ‘Thousands shall be saved; call upon Me, I will deliver!’ Then the groaning was very great. I wept before the Lord, and offered myself in prayer until all His wishes had been served.”
Again. “The Lord has commanded me to call the women to prayer everywhere. I am praying that He will call two thousand especially who will make the sacrifice and pray through to His glory. He has led me to call them to prayer at four o’clock in the morning. About 350 assembled at 3:30 a.m.. When I arrived at 4 o’clock the Lord was in His temple visiting His children with blessings. The saints cried to be led out with me into this Garden of Prayer. His Presence filled the room. Everyone was overshadowed. In a great way the Lord poured His oil upon our heads. I heard the Spirit crying for souls to be revived and renewed and that they might not only be swimming in a river but out in the ocean of prayer.
“Our God is not dead. He is not tied. He is willing today to do as great a work as He ever did. If He stopped the sun for a man, if He heard the cries of a woman and broke the bars of death and gave her back her child, is He not able and willing to shake creation for you and me who are calling for the table to be filled with those who are in the hedges and highways? Yes, He hears! All we have to do is open our mouths–the mouth of the soul–and talk with Him until He comes in His divine might to prove Himself to you and me, ever the same yesterday, today and forever.
“There is no greater blessing than talking to God. I am filled to the brim! Oh this privilege He has opened to me for an unlimited conversation with Him!”
Later. “Over four hundred meet me every morning in the four o’clock prayer meeting. The city is stirred!”
“God is in His Garden of Prayer. Some never leave the church. Through rain and shine the people gather for prayer. For two mornings I walked to church so that I might get a real view of the people running from all directions at four o’clock in the morning to pray. Every street we came to there were people running as if it were their last time to meet God. They were rushing into the tabernacle as fast as they could to meet God at four o’clock in the morning. They all fell on their knees and their voices blended in one prayer to God. Then the Lord came and perfumed the place. He breathed His quickening breath upon us and we were aware of His divine Presence. This is what God is doing in this wicked city at four o’clock in the morning in answer to prayer. Many souls are finding God and many believers are being filled with the Spirit.”
Let us who will, thus assemble ourselves, and America will be swept by a mighty soul-saving revival.
One’s ability to stay with God in the place of prayer will be the measure of his ability to stay with God when he is out in the place of activity (Psalm 55:17).