Why would Jonathan Edwards, a key leader in the First Great Awakening and arguably the greatest philosopher-theologian in American history, spend the last ten years of his life advancing the vision for a unified church covering the earth with prayer for revival?

In 1746, Edwards began to sense that the extraordinary power and momentum of the First Great Awakening was beginning to wane. He knew that Christians needed to urgently pray. So he took it on himself to write a call to united prayer, now known as the Humble Attempt.

Edwards’ argument in this treatise was simple: Since “the whole world should finally be given to Christ as one whose right it is to reign,” Christians should never pray for less than this as the ultimate goal of their intercession. As Edwards puts it, “That which God abundantly makes the subject of his promises, God’s people should abundantly make the subject of their prayers.”

Edwards was right. United prayer for revival and the outpouring of the Spirit to glorify Jesus is the highest prayer agenda Christians can adopt. This kind of united, Christ-exalting prayer is God’s primary means to rapidly advance His kingdom throughout the world.

From One Cry