John Bunyan.jpg“Christ is the desire of nations, the joy of angels, the delight of the Father. What solace then must that soul be filled with, that has the possession of Him to all eternity!”

~ John Bunyan

J. Edwin Orr
Dr J. Edwin Orr was a leading scholar of revivals who published detailed books about evangelical awakenings. His research discovered major spiritual awakenings about every fifty years following the great awakening from the mid-eighteenth century in which John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards featured prominently. This article, based on one of Edwin Orr’s messages, is adapted from articles reproduced in the National Fellowship for Revival newsletters in New Zealand and Australia.
There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer.
 
 
Dr A. T. Pierson once said, ‘There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer.’ Let me recount what God has done through concerted, united, sustained prayer.
 
Not many people realize that in the wake of the American Revolution (following 1776-1781) there was a moral slump. Drunkenness became epidemic. Out of a population of five million, 300,000 were confirmed drunkards; they were burying fifteen thousand of them each year. Profanity was of the most shocking kind. For the first time in the history of the American settlement, women were afraid to go out at night for fear of assault. Bank robberies were a daily occurrence.
 
What about the churches? The Methodists were losing more members than they were gaining. The Baptists said that they had their most wintry season. The Presbyterians in general assembly deplored the nation’s ungodliness. In a typical Congregational church, the Rev. Samuel Shepherd of Lennos, Massachusetts, in sixteen years had not taken one young person into fellowship. The Lutherans were so languishing that they discussed uniting with Episcopalians who were even worse off. The Protestant Episcopal Bishop of New York, Bishop Samuel Provost, quit functioning; he had confirmed no one for so long that he decided he was out of work, so he took up other employment.
 
The Chief Justice of the United States, John Marshall, wrote to the Bishop of Virginia, James Madison, that the Church ‘was too far gone ever to be redeemed.’ Voltaire averred and Tom Paine echoed, ‘Christianity will be forgotten in thirty years.
 
Take the liberal arts colleges at that time. A poll taken at Harvard had discovered not one believer in the whole student body. They took a poll at Princeton, a much more evangelical place, where they discovered only two believers in the student body, and only five that did not belong to the filthy speech movement of that day. Students rioted. They held a mock communion at Williams College, and they put on antichristian plays at Dartmouth. They burned down the Nassau Hall at Princeton. They forced the resignation of the president of Harvard. They took a Bible out of a local Presbyterian church in New Jersey, and they burnt it in a public bonfire. Christians were so few on campus in the 1790′s that they met in secret, like a communist cell, and kept their minutes in code so that no one would know.
 
How did the situation change? It came through a concert of prayer.

 

“The best prayers have often more groans than words.”

 ~ John Bunyan

to the church of philadelphia 8 i know thy works

“Prayer is not learned in a classroom but in the closet.”

E.M. Bounds

FACTS Acronym 

Whenever Jesus prayed, things happened. No wonder the disciples asked Jesus to share his secret with them. Prayer was the heart of his success. As Jesus taught them the “The Lord’s Prayer” he highlighted the fundamentals of conversations with His Father.

The FACTS Acronym is simply a memory tool to help practice and develop the essentials Jesus modeled. Patterns of Focus, Adoration,Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.

Although prayer cannot be reduced to a formula, it is vital to grasp the value of these building blocks for our two-way conversations.

Because His Word and Spirit continue to be the ultimate teaching source of how to pray effectively, we have found value arranging themes of Scripture, using the FACTS acronym, to help guide our prayer experiences, especially in group settings.

FOCUS is critical. Without it prayer power can not be released to move nations. Focus helps kick start perspective. As you read the Word do you listen to how He intentionally invites your thoughts to stop, to be still, to allow His Spirit of truth to instruct and penetrate into life’s circumstances. Focus will include upward, inward as well as outward address. Jesus focus began upward, “Our Father who is in heaven.”

ADORATION gives God intentional honor and praise for who He is and what He has done, which ultimately motivates our cooperation with Him. Intercession IS cooperation with God. Do you really think about His names, titles, attributes, works, deeds and miracles? Do you believe they’re true in view of life’s experience? What do you appreciate about His revelations? Have you taken time to tell Him how this helps your perspective? God inhabits the praise of His people! What might He be revealing about Himself to you about Himself, yourself, about others? Speak your words, or His, out loud to express your awe and desire to collaborate with Him. “Holy is Your Name…YOUR Kingdom come, YOUR will be done…”

CONFESSION Is really agreement with God! About sin and His total provision, both individually and corporately.  Do you ignore, justify, hide, deflect your sins of commission or omission. Do you deny His declarations about you? Do you harbor any unforgiveness or offense? Can you invite and allow his search? Will you respond and confess, repent, surrender, renounce and forsake sin? What does it mean to bring every thought, attitude, word and action captive and make it obedient to Jesus Christ? How are you at taking responsibility to own your stuff? “Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts”

For the rest of the post…

“A Revived Church is the only hope for a dying world”

~ Dr Andrew Murray

“I prayed fifteen years for the conversion of my oldest brother. When he seemed to be getting further and further away from any hope of conversion, I prayed on.”

R.A. Torrey

“A congregation without a prayer meeting is essentially defective in its organization, and
so must be limited in its efficiency.”

The Prayer Meeting and Its History by J. B. Johnston

 Bible

“Oh brother (and sister), pray, in spite of Satan, pray; spend hours in prayer; rather neglect friends than not pray; rather fats, and lose breakfast, dinner, tea and supper–sleep to–than not pray. And we must not talk about prayer, we must pray in right earnest. The Lord is near. He comes softly while the virgins slumber.”

~ Andrew A. Boner

April 2014
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Bryan Galloway

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