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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

by MATT SMETHURST

Are You Praying for Revival?

Since finishing Iain Murray’s superb biography of Martyn Lloyd-Jones last week, I’ve been pondering the topic of revival. The life and ministry of the Welsh pastor leaves me no option. As Murray, who also authored Revival and Revivalism, observes: “True zeal for revival is nothing other than zeal for the glory of God in the conversion of many.” Or, as Tim Keller explained at TGC13, revivals are “seasons in which the ordinary operations of the Holy Spirit are intensified.” (For more on gospel revival, see chapters 4 and 6 in Center Church or A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir by Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge.)

While such statements may sound harmless enough, are they true? Some evangelicals today are certainly uneasy with revival talk. Revival is God’s concern, they insist, not ours. Are they wrong?

TGC Council members Kevin DeYoung, Bryan Chapell, and Richard Phillips recently sat down to tackle this knotty topic. “In a true revival, you’re not adding human manipulative techniques to a biblical ministry,” Phillips explains. Rather, you’re “doing biblical ministry, fortified by prayer, and the Holy Spirit is giving you a great harvest.”

Moreover, Chapell points out, “True revival is often very disruptive to the traditional church.” As a result, many churches “want revival until it comes.” On the other hand, DeYoung adds, some don’t desire to see revival unless it occurs in their church.

To be sure, the history of revivalism is shot through with examples of well-meaning people seeking to engineer what only God can do. As Lloyd-Jones warned:

Pray for revival? Yes, go on, but do not try to create it, do not attempt to produce it; it is only given by Christ himself. The last church to be visited by a revival is the church trying to make it

For the rest of the post…

Prayer for Revival and Spiritual Awakening in America

Hiawassee Church

What is it going to take to bring America to Repentance? I ask myself this question often as I pray for Revival and Spiritual Awakening. I have founded this ministry to try to get churches together to pray and so many people are too busy. So what is it going to take? We have had 9-11, wars, tornadoes, wildfires, floods, hurricanes, and many other calamities over the past decade or so and still no revival. Actually, I am seeing signs of spiritual awakening with more interest in prayer at my church. Hopefully, you are seeing the early signs of awakening as well. I am going to quote from one of my favorite books, The Key to Triumphant Living, by Jack R. Taylor. It tells of his path to revival in his own life.

At their wit’s end…they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he BRINGETH THEM OUT” (Psalm 107:27,28).

“Are you standing at ‘Wit’s End Corner,’
Christian, with troubled brow?
Are you thinking of what is before you,
And all you are bearing now?
Does all the world seem against you,
And you in the battle alone?”
REMEMBER…At ‘WIT’S END CORNER’
Is just where God’s power is shown!

Are you standing at ‘Wit’s End Corner’?
Then you’re just in the very spot
To learn the wondrous resources
Of Him who faileth not.
No doubt to a brighter pathway
Your footsteps will soon be moved,
But only at ‘Wit’s End Corner’
Is the ‘God who is able’ proved.”

During this period in Jack Taylor’s life, he felt like a failure as a pastor and even asked God to take his life. After much soul searching, he discovered the key to Triumphant Living, which is the filling of the Holy Spirit. In his own words, “The KEY TO TRIUMPHANT LIVING is simply…CHRIST IN ME…CHRIST IN YOU…THE HOPE OF GLORY!” (P. 27) Whether or not sweeping revival ever comes to America, anyone can have revival in his/her heart at any time. It takes confession of all known sin, total surrender to the Lord and daily asking for the filling of the Holy Spirit. While we are waiting on revival for our nation, start your own personal revival right now. Don’t let it take getting to “Wit’s End Corner” to start revival. It is much easier to submit to God now rather than for Him to provide trials to get you to submit.

Let us now pray for America:
Lord, we pray for revival and spiritual awakening in America. Our nation is on the verge of collapse morally and spiritually. Please forgive us for our many sins…

For the rest of the post…

by Discipleship Ministries…

     There has been a lot of talk in our country about the need for a national revival; the next great awakening. Some opinions are that we have fallen to the darkest valley of our country’s history. I agree that we are experiencing moral decay within the country and within the church, but I do not agree that we have reached the deepest pit. Further, as so many are calling for revival in the church, I disagree that we should be looking for that right now.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yes, the church ought to pray for our nation and lift up our leaders to the Lord. We should long for the Truth of Christ to become a revered and holy part of our lives once again. However, before God will heal the land through revival, we must show repentance first. This comes from our selfless humility. As one commentator states, in the sight of the Lord, humility is the willingness to take our appropriate place in the dust on account of our transgressions.

     Read James 4:1-10 and respond to these verses. If we follow our own fleshly desires and cravings, we are friends with the world. As such, we are enemies of God (vs 4). We are arrogant and proud rejecting His ways. From the passage we read that God opposes the proud (vs 6). But to the humble, He gives grace. Verses 7-10 go on to explain how we are to return to God. We are to submit and draw near to Him. We are to lament, mourn, and purify our hearts. At the conclusion we read, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

     The Greek word tapeinoó is a term for humility that means to be fully dependent on the Lord. A study of the Greek word hupsoó reveals the idea of being properly lifted up. Therefore we interpret this as a promise that God will exalt those who are penitent. A word of caution, though. Do not misinterpret this as prosperity to believing Christians. Those who ask with ill intent do not receive because they do so for selfish pleasures. As for our country, to be lift up by God, we must admit in humility that we need Him to do so.

Before our nation can experience revival, we must all humble ourselves and repent.

     The Lord speaks to Solomon concerning His people in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that if they humble themselves, seek His face and repent, then He will hear, forgive and heal them. Do not be proud! For far too long the Western Church has pointed fingers at others in accusation and even judgment.

For the rest of the post…

Jim and Lynn JarmanBy Jim Jarman

Converge missionary appointees to Sweden

The year was 1950. The famous revival on the windswept Isle of Lewis in the Scottish Outer Hebrides was already underway. It was a revival that began when two elderly sisters fervently prayed. Peggy Smith was 84 and completely blind. Christine, her younger sister by two years, could hardly walk and was bent over double from arthritis.

God had given them a simple promise from Scripture: I will pour water on him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground (Isa. 44:3, KJV).

With a deep burden in their hearts they began praying. Twice a week for many months, they went down on feeble knees at 10:00 at night and did not rise until 3 or 4:00 in the morning. In the midst of their prayers, God gave them a vision of a man they had never met, a man who would be used by God to change the island. The man’s name was Duncan Campbell – and he would be the first to admit the dramatic spiritual change that happened was not because of him.

In his later accounts of this awakening, Campbell would write,

In speaking about the revival in the Hebrides, I would like to make it perfectly clear what I understand to be real revival. When I speak of revival, I am not thinking of high-pressure evangelism. I am not thinking of crusades or of special efforts convened and organized by people. That is not in my mind at all. Revival is far beyond evangelism at its highest level. It is a moving of God whereby the whole community suddenly becomes God-conscious before anyone says a word about God.

Supernatural Movement of God

People on the island were inexplicably drawn to Christ. Without publicity, telephones, or Internet, they were awakened in the middle of the night and drawn to gather in a farmer’s field or at a local parish church. Sometimes they did not make it – and instead simply fell by the side of the road confessing their sins to God. Bars and dance halls shut their doors for good. Starting with the small town of Barvas, the entire Isle of Lewis was turning from darkness to light. Whole towns were being converted to Christ, with the exception of the stubborn little parish of Arnol.

Arnol was defiant in its resistance to the gospel. No one wanted to hear what Duncan Campbell had to say. In fact, the citizenry held opposition meetings to denounce the revival. Campbell and his fellow leaders knew that the only answer was prayer.

They gathered one evening in a farmhouse and began to pray, earnestly appealing to the promises God had made in the Bible. At midnight, Campbell asked John, the local blacksmith, to pray, which he did for more than two hours. Near the end of his prayer, with his cap in his hand, John looked heavenward and said,

God, do you know that your honor is at stake? You promised to pour water on the thirsty and floods on the dry ground. . . . I stand before You as an empty vessel and I am thirsty – thirsting for Thee and for a manifestation of Thy power. I’m thirsty to see the devil defeated in this parish. I’m thirsty to see this community gripped as You gripped Barvas. I’m longing for revival and, God, You are not doing it! I’m thirsty and You promised to pour water on me. God, Your honor is at stake, and I take it upon myself to challenge You now to fulfill Your covenant engagement.

At that moment, the house shook violently. A jug on the sideboard crashed to the ground and broke. Those who were present said that wave after wave of power swept over the room.

At the same time, the town of Arnol was awakened from its slumber. Lights went on. People came into the streets and started praying. Others knelt where they were and asked God to forgive them. Men carried chairs and women held stools, asking if there was room for them in the church. At 2:00 in the morning, revival came to this last resistant town on the island.

Another Shaking

As I reflect on this historic account, I wonder why my prayers don’t seem to shake much except my own confidence in prayer itself. How can I connect with God in such an intimate way that I can pray with absolute certainty that God has both heard and will answer? Why do I so willingly accept a “No” from God and chalk it up to His all-knowing nature instead of taking the time to understand His heart so that He can respond “Yes” to me?

Am I really that thirsty to know God? Do I want Him to water the dryness of my own heart? Am I willing to acknowledge my own cracked and parched soul?

There is no question that our society needs a shaking from God, a response that manifests His presence and His power, a deliverance that restores communities and nations. But I sense that any outward shaking will be preceded by an inward one that changes the very core of my being.

Before I can challenge God to remember His covenant, it is God’s prerogative to challenge me on the condition of my heart. Does my pulse stay in sync with the rhythm of His? Do I know God’s heartbeat well enough to pray His will so that He can say, “Yes”?

The history of revivalism shows that prevailing prayer precedes all major moves of God’s Spirit. “Lord, do not callous my heart. Callous my knees.” This is my longing as I pray. I hope it’s yours as well.

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly (Acts 4:31, NIV).

Jim and Lynn Jarman are Converge missionary appointees to Sweden. They will be serving as Team Leaders for Church Plants and Ethnic Groups at New Life Church Stockholm. 

For more information on their ministry or to receive prayer updates, contact them at jarman@europe.com.

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