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“Oh! yes, (the prayer meeting) is the place to meet with the Holy Ghost, and this is the way to get His mighty power. If we would have Him, we must meet in greater numbers; we must pray with greater fervency, we must watch with greater earnestness, and believe with firmer steadfastness. The prayer meeting…is the appointed place for the reception of power.”

~ Charles H. Spurgeon

Andrew Murray.JPG“While others still slept, He went away to pray and to renew His strength in communion with His Father. He had need of this, otherwise He would not have been ready for the new day. The holy work of delivering souls demands constant renewal through fellowship with God.”

~ Andrew Murray

By Dave Butts

For many years now, the Lord has put the issue of revival praying upon my heart. Initially, I must admit, my prayers were fairly generic: “O Lord, please revive us.” As I have grown in my approach to prayer, I’ve learned more specific requests, especially in using the Word of God to help format and provide content for my prayers. Psalm 80 and Isaiah 63 and 64 have helped me to petition the Lord for revival with both variety and the power of Scripture behind my requests.
Recently I have been praying through the Psalms again. I began to lift before the Lord the words of Psalm 74. To my delight, I found another “revival” prayer. My desire is that this Psalm will provide fuel for the fire of intercession and petition in your life as you beseech God to once again bless us with His Presence in revival.

As you pray through Psalm 74, please notice that before major sections I share some comments to help you see the aspects of revival in each passage. I encourage you to move beyond Bible study however, to passionately praying the heart of the Psalmist.

The Awareness of the Need for Revival

At the beginning of Psalm 74 we find the agonizing realization that God’s presence is not near. In fact, because of sin, there has been a sense of rejection. As is typical in revival praying, there is a cry for God to remember His people and return to them:

“Why have You rejected us forever, O God? Why does Your anger smolder against the sheep of Your pasture? Remember the people You purchased of old, the tribe of Your inheritance, whom You redeemed – Mount Zion, where You dwelt. Turn Your steps toward these everlasting ruins, all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary” (Psa. 74:1-3).

The Result of God’s Apparent Absence

When sin is accepted in the life of the people of God, the consequences begin to be felt. The enemies of God and His people begin to afflict the nation. Notice that the Psalmist uses the phrase, “Your foes roared.” This reminds us that our ultimate enemy is Satan, the one whom Peter tells us roams about as a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour (1 Pet. 5:8).

“Your foes roared in the place where You met with us; they set up their standards as signs. They behaved like men wielding axes to cut through a thicket of trees. They smashed all the carved paneling with their axes and hatchets. They burned Your sanctuary to the ground; they defiled the dwelling place of Your Name. They said in their hearts, ‘We will crush them completely!’ They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land. We are given no miraculous signs; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be” (Psa. 74:4-9).

Turning to an Awareness of the God to Whom We Are Praying

An important lesson to learn in prayer is that ultimately we need to be concerned about God and His reputation and the extension of His kingdom and purposes. Revival really isn’t about us having better meetings or being happy. It is about God’s Name being exalted and more praise and honor given to Him on this planet. Notice that the Psalmist asked God to go to work, because He is the one being reviled and mocked through the attacks on His people. Note also that this portion of the Psalm then moves into a wonderful expression of recognizing God’s power and ability to handle any attack. It is as we understand the awesome power of the One we are addressing in prayer, that our faith will grow and we will begin to pray in a way that moves the hand of God.

“How long will the enemy mock You, O God? Will the foe revile Your name forever? Why do You hold back Your hand, Your right hand? Take it from the folds of Your garment and destroy them.

For the rest of the article…

The National Prayer Accord  

From the Prayer First Team…

The National Prayer Accord is a movement of prayer embraced by the Prayer First team – as a rhythm of prayer that can be implemented in any church. With its roots in the First Great Awakening, this call to prayer is simple:

  • Weekly: one-half- to one-hour private or small group prayer
  • Monthly: one- to two-hour individual church prayer gatherings
  • Quarterly: one- to two-hour local, multiple church prayer gatherings
  • Annually: The National Day of Prayer (the first Thursday of May), Global Day of Prayer (Pentecost Sunday), Cry Out America prayer gatherings (September 11), etc.

Last month’s Prayer First newsletter described the history of the National Prayer Accord, which you can read here. But what are we praying toward? If we are praying for the revival of the Church, what might that look like?

How to Recognize Revival

Here are some commonly held indicators of revival in the Church:

  1. Increasing testimony of the manifest presence of God.
  2. Increased conversions and baptisms.
  3. Amplified participation in corporate as well as individual prayer, fasting, and other spiritual disciplines leading to more effective discipleship.
  4. A decrease in divorces and renewed commitment to marriage between a man and a woman in covenant relationship as God intends.
  5. Imparting faith to children and youth as parents are equipped by the church to become primary disciplers of their children.
  6. Among churches, a passionate pursuit for the well-being of their cities through the planting of new congregations, benevolent ministries, practical service, and focused evangelism.
  7. Commitment to radical generosity as evidenced by compassion ministries and global missions.
  8. Improved health among ministers as evidenced by their joy, decreased resignations, and healthy loving relationships within their families. Also an increased response among young people called to the ministry.
  9. Christians involved in bold witness accompanied by miracles, dramatic conversions, and Holy Spirit-empowered victories over evil.
  10. Heightened expressions of love and unity among all believers, as demonstrated by the unity of pastors and leaders.

How to Recognize Spiritual Awakening

In addition, here are indicators of a spiritual awakening in the culture:

  1. Breakdowns of racial, social, and status barriers as Christ’s Church celebrates together – Jesus!
  2. A restoration of morality, ethical foundations, and accountability among leaders of church and government, business and politics.
  3. A transformation of society through restoration of Christ’s influence in the arts, media, and communications.
  4.  Increased care for the hungry, homeless, the most vulnerable and needy.
  5. Young adults, students, and children embracing the claims and lifestyle of Christ through the witness of peers who live and love as Jesus.
  6. Community and national leaders seeking out the church as an answer to society’s problems.
  7. Increased care for children as “gifts from the Lord” as the gospel addresses abortion, adoption, foster care, and child well-being.
  8. Righteous relations between men and women: decrease in divorce rates, cohabitation, same-sex relations, sexual abuse, sex trafficking, out of wedlock children, and STDs.
  9. An awakening to the “fear of the Lord” rather than the approval of people, thus restoring integrity and credibility.
  10. Neighborhood transformation and an accompanying decrease of social ills through increased expressions of “loving your neighbor” in service, compassion, and unity.

God has responded to the prayers of His people with Great Awakenings in the past. We believe it is worth the investment of heart and prayer to invite the Lord to do it again! It may be our greatest need for today.

Heavenly Father,

May revival sweep across America as millions of Christians gather on this Lord’s Day for worship and fellowship. Even now, hours before the church doors open, summon your people to pray for their church and for revival!

In Jesus’ Holy and Precious Name!

Amen!

Corporate prayer is one of the most important things we are to do together.

Why? John Franklin wrote in And the Place Was Shaken

If we are to see a spiritual awakening in this land, a reversal of the headlong rush into the moral cesspool in which we currently swim, then there must be fervent, intense prayer meeting sprouting up all over this land.”

We live in a day characterized by the multiplication of man’s machinery and the diminution of God’s power. The great cry of our day is work, work, work, new organizations, new methods, new machinery; the great need of our day is prayer. It was a master stroke of the devil when he got the church so generally to lay aside this mighty weapon of prayer. The devil is perfectly willing that the church should multiply its organizations, and deftly contrive machinery for the conquest of the world for Christ if it will only give up praying.

R. A. Torrey (1856-1928), How to Pray, Fleming H. Revell, 1900, p. 128

Celebration Sunday – Prayers for Unity

 

by  • AUGUST 25, 2013
Unity in ChristWelcome to the 4th Celebration Sunday and a new week of Spiritual Fitness! It is hard to believe that we have begun week 4. Our topic for the week will be unity, which is key to my ministry. If we want to see Revival and Spiritual Awakening in America, then churches and denominations are going to have to put aside their differences. That does not mean that we tolerate false teaching, but churches who have the same core beliefs need to unite together. Maybe we have some differences in theology on baptism or speaking in tongues, but if we believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven and God expects holiness from the church then it is time to unite together.

My ministry is founded upon this Bible verse, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” John 17:20-21 (NKJV). Jesus did not plan for his churches to be divided by denominations as we have done in modern times, rather He wanted us to be united. He knew that united churches could combine resources to help fulfill his purposes. The body of Christ needs to quit being so divided in our theology and unite together with one common purpose. The church’s purpose is the Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” Matt 28:19-20 (NKJV).

Churches need to pray together with other churches in the community and our weekly prayer meetings need to be restored.

For the rest of the post…

John Livingstone spent the whole night prior to June 21, 1630, in prayer and conference, being designated to preach next day. After he had been speaking for an hour and a half a few drops of rain disconcerted the people, but Livingstone asking them if they had any shelter from the storm of God’s wrath went on another hour. There were about 5oo converted on the spot. “

~ Livingstone of Shotts.

There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer. 

~ A.T. Pierson

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