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“There are few conversions in this world unless in connection with some one’s prayers. I formerly thought that no human being had anything to do with my own conversion, for I was not converted in church or Sunday-school, or in personal conversation with anyone. I was awakened in the middle of the night and converted. As far as I can remember I had not the slightest thought of being converted, or of anything of that character when I went to bed and fell asleep; but I was awakened in the middle of the night and converted probably inside of five minutes. A few minutes before I was about as near eternal perdition as one gets. I had one foot over the brink and was trying to get the one over. I say I thought no human being had anything to do with it, but I had forgotten my mother’s prayers, and I afterwards learned that one of my college classmates had chosen me as one to pray for until I was saved.”

~ R. A. TorreyHow to Prayer, (1909 Edition, 27-28).

MASS REVIVAL BREAKS OUT ACROSS TENNESSEE: “THE HOLY SPIRIT CAME AND TOOK CONTROL”

Lord we pray revival will break out across the U.S.

Revival is taking place in Tennessee as churches from various denominations have partnered together in prayer and fasting.

East Rogersville Baptist Church located in Rogersville has been the launching pad for this move of God.

It’s a part of Awaken Tennessee, the 30-day initiative for prayer and fasting, kicked off Jan. 26 and will run through Feb. 23.

Pastors are reporting their services are exploding with revival services as a result of the Holy Spirit showing up and taking over. . .

“3,100 Awaken Tennessee Prayer Packets have been distributed across East Tennessee to 220 churches who are joining in the 30 days of prayer and fasting. Another 800+ churches are joining from Middle and West Tennessee. That’s a total of over 1,000 churches in Tennessee fasting and praying in unity,” Livesay continued.

“Many churches are only giving one packet per family where both the husband and wife have committed to pray, which means well over 100,000 Tennesseans could be involved in prayer during February. Prayer is always the foundation for revival,” he added.

“This rally is not about our church or any particular denomination, but it is our effort to join the concentrated prayer effort across the state for true revival in our churches that precipitates an awakening in our communities, state, and nation,” Butler said when the initiative began. “There are exponential results as you bring multiplied groups together to pray.”

The Awaken Tennessee is a city-wide movement of prayer and fasting focused on unifying the church to strategically pray for and bless the city, one person at a time.

Dove Award-winning singer/songwriters Terry and Barbi Franklin came to Rogersville to lead worship services for the revival. As a result, the former members of the Gaither Vocal Band were also invited to lead worship for the follow-up services.

The church pastor described for the newspaper how this past Sunday how “The Holy Spirit came and took control.”

“From the first worship song, people began to flood the altar for prayer and continued to do so for restoration and to receive Christ. We haven’t manipulated our people. They came expectant and God simply showed up,” Butler said.

The Franklins say they will help as long as they are needed. It’s something that they’ve been praying about for many years.

We’ve been longing to see America’s churches become houses of prayer again and revived in their first love for Jesus,” the pair said.

John Avant, president of Life Action Ministries, told the paper he hasn’t seen an outpouring of the Holy Spirit like this since 1995 when a revival broke out simultaneously in five churches in Brownwood, Texas.

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BY 

Here is a list help you pray for revival in the church and the further advancement of God’s kingdom.

Paul exhorted the Christians in Ephesus to: “…pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayer and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18).”

For us this includes being in regular intercession for our world.

Are you praying for revival in your country? If you want some thematic reminders for revival prayer, here you go

Praying for Personal Repentance

“…Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…” Hebrews 12:1
John wrote, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives (I John 1:8-10).”

Effective intercession must include personal confession.

Refusing to acknowledge and turn from our own disobedience always results in a form of spiritual self-deception.

As Jesus explained, “First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye (Matthew 7:5).”

As you pray, put into practice John’s exhortation. Hold your life up to such passages as I Peter 3:8-12.

Are you praying for revival in your country? If you want some thematic reminders for revival prayer, here you go

Praying for the Infilling of the Holy Spirit for Life and Ministry

Jesus commands us, if we are to be his witnesses, to be clothed with his power. Jesus urged his first disciples and us to be clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit for missions.

Paul exhorted the church, “Do not be drunk on wine … Instead, be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).”

The seedbed of theological, spiritual, and moral decline in the church is often lifeless, dry orthodoxy. Also, the church’s evangelism and overseas mission often falter because of reliance upon human strength, rather than empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

Having a biblical framework of theology is critical. But our head must be connected to a heart ablaze with the life of God.

As Paul instructed the church in Ephesus to be filled with the Spirit, pray for the church to be filled with the presence of God’s Spirit. Pray for yourself to be filled with the Holy Spirit so you may be empowered to do this work of prayer for the church, and to be equipped to do the work of Jesus Christ.

Praying for the World

1. Pray for workers: When Jesus saw the crowds, he instructed his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the Harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field (Matthew 9:38).”

In context, Jesus was looking at the sheep of Israel.

In part, he was instructing his disciples to pray for true workers to be raised up to shepherd his people. This should be our continuous prayer as we intercede for the church.

But, it also applies to the vast fields of people stretching around the world. Besides praying for godly shepherds to lead the church, pray for workers to be raised up to minister around the world.

2. Pray for Open doors: Paul wrote the Colossians, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ (Colossians 4:2-3).”

As you devote yourself to prayer, ask the Lord to open doors for the world mission endeavor to proclaim the mystery of Christ among even more people.

3. Pray for the Gospel to Spread and to be Honored: Paul asked the church to intercede for his mission team, “brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored … (2 Thessalonians 3:1).”

How does the gospel spread?

It takes people who are willing to go and share God’s truth.

It also requires Christians who are willing to stand with them in persistent intercession.

How does God’s message come to be honored? In answer to the church’s intercession God will bring the spiritual climate in which the Scripture is honored for what it is: God’s truth.

Our prayer should not only be for workers and open doors, but for the message to spread and find a place of honor in the hearts of people.

Setting the Captives free

1. Pray with Expectation: (Read Luke 18:25-27.) No matter how impossible the situation may look or how entrenched in spiritual darkness may be, God is able to cause his light to penetrate to the heart.

2. Pray for the Father to Draw People: (Read John 6:44) In our sinful state, none of us are capable of coming out of spiritual darkness and drawing near to God on our own. Only through the drawing of God the Father were we able to find freedom in Christ.

As we pray for people, in line with the clear will of God, our prayer should be for God to draw them to the grace, love and truth found only in Jesus Christ.

3. Pray for an understanding of Jesus Christ: (Read Matthew 16:17) Personally grasping the reality and the relevance of Jesus Christ comes only through the Holy Spirit’s work. We come to believe that Jesus is the Christ as the Holy Spirit imparts faith. Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring a true understanding of Jesus Christ to those blinded by sin and Satan.

4. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s Conviction of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment: (Read John 16:9-11.) The Holy Spirit brings conviction to people of sin, righteousness and judgment.

Concerning sin, the Holy Spirit brings an awareness to people of the sin and the spiritual darkness into which their sin has plunged their lives.

Concerning righteousness, the Holy Spirit brings a personal conviction that only through the accomplished work of Jesus Christ can a person be right with God. It is through the Spirit’s activity that people begin to understand their need to be put right with God.

Concerning judgment, the Holy Spirit brings an understanding that to continue in rebellion against God is to embrace the same kind of judgment which the prince of the world has already received.

As we intercede for people bound in spiritual darkness, our prayers should include the request for the Spirit of God to bring his conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment.

Bringing Down Strongholds

1. Focus on Jesus: First we are to focus on Jesus Christ in worship, obedience, and prayer. To let the twisting of truth, idolatry, or any sin to consume our attention is to lose our focus. No matter how great the darkness, our eyes are to be steadfastly on Jesus Christ as Lord.

2. Confession: Next we need to be honest before the Lord in confessing and turning from any idolatry, immorality or rebellion we are harboring within ourselves. This includes sins of omission. James taught, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins (James 4:17).” Have we been in regular prayer for the church and the world? Have we been living our life according to God’s will as revealed through scripture?

3. Pray to be Filled with God’s Spirit, Wisdom, Discernment & Love: Neither our wisdom nor arguments will bring deliverance from the stronghold of darkness revealed. Only by the power of God’s Spirit will the obstruction be removed. God’s wisdom, discernment and love are required if our labor for renewal is to result in lasting change. As you pray, ask the Lord to fill his people with his Spirit and the love, wisdom and discernment needed for effective ministry.

4. In the Light of Scripture: All spiritual activity needs to be evaluated in the light of clear Biblical teaching concerning the true nature of God and his activity in the world.

5. Persistent Intercession: We are to respond with persistent intercession for those perpetuating and those influenced by the stronghold.

God has chosen to work through the intercession of his people to bring convicting, and awareness of spiritual bondage and an urgency for finding true freedom in Christ.

When a block is discerned, we are to pray until the stronghold is removed and those in darkness are finding true spiritual liberty.

6. Resist the Demonic: Peter instructed the church: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith ... (1 Peter 5:6-9).” With the praise of God, the Word of God, persistent prayer, the cleansing blood of Jesus, humbling ourselves in obedience and in the strong name of Jesus, we are to resist these spiritual forces of the evil one until they are fleeing.

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“Revival is an infusion of new spiritual life imparted by the Holy Spirit to existing parts of Christ’s body.”

~ Richard Lovelace

What?

Much of our Christianity today is like the feast at Cana when it ran out of wine. We have a feast of good things: there is plenty of teaching and preaching; churches and conferences spread tables loaded with superabundance. But we have no wine. The exhilaration of the Spirit is lacking. The spiritual wine that makes glad the heart of man is gone. We need a heart-warming! (Vance Havner, Hearts Afire, MCMLII, 14)

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12.11: Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit. 

What does it mean to be “fervent in spirit”? Vance Havner once defined it in a sermon…

To be “fervent in spirit” is to be “boiling in spirit,” and to boil we must be near the Fire. How shall we obtain the burning heart? Jeremiah said it was God’s Word that did it and it was Jesus expounding the Scriptures that did it and it was while listening to Luther’s exposition of Romans that Wesley’s heart was warmed (Vance Havner, Hearts Afire, MCMLII, 12).

There you go! The key to possessing a fervent spirit is the reading, listening, studying and meditation on God’s Word.

Are we fervent in spirit?

“Without the Spirit of God, we can do nothing. We are as ships without wind. We are useless.” – Charles Spurgeon

“I believe it is impossible for any Christian to be effective either in his life or in his service unless he is filled with the Holy Spirit who is God’s only provision for power.”– Henrietta C. Mears

Revivals and awakenings are times of great outpouring of God’s Spirit. By definition they are excessive. It is like Christmas. And while the idea is appealing, Christmas doesn’t happen every day. In fact, life would be quite bizarre, excessive, and unbalanced if it did.

If we attempt to make the excessive nature of revivals normative, it can lead to an imbalance in our life, our walk with God, and particularly our understanding of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in us. Historically, it has at times done all of these. So, to gain all of the spiritual blessings of praying for, anticipating, and experiencing revival, while eliminating the negative side-effects of extremism, we want to review what the Spirit-filled life is.

Believers Are All Indwelt by the Spirit

When you became a Christian, Christ indwelled you through the person of the Holy Spirit. I know neither the how nor the where, but I do know that the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence carries with it the assurance of our salvation. “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession” (Ephesians 1:13-14).

We are now God’s possession, and the Holy Spirit is, in effect, the down payment on His purchased property—that would be you. Like the idea expressed through the marriage ceremony, receiving Christ is a one-time decision. We don’t awake each morning to a fresh need to say, “I do”; once was enough. Having received Christ, we became children of God. “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

In theory, I could tell my parents that I no longer wished to be in their family, but I can never change the reality that I am their son. It’s an established fact on the basis of my birth. I can sever our fellowship but not our relationship. And as there was not one thing we did to earn our salvation, so there is nothing we can ever do to lose it—we are eternally Christ’s. But the Holy Spirit is more than simply an assurance of our salvation. It is through the Spirit that God enables and empowers us to live the Christian life.

The Spirit Comes to Glorify Christ

As we experience the blessings of the Spirit, we can lose sight of Jesus—and we never want to do that. We need to remember that the Spirit works in us to glorify Christ.

“When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you” (John 16:13-14).

The Spirit-filled life is the Christ-centered, Christ- directed, life.

Walking with the Spirit

Walking is a process and not an event.1 This is how the event of revival can throw off our thinking concerning the Spirit- filled life. Clearly there are events, moments in time, when God empowers us in a special way; that’s what revival is. But the normative Christian life is predominantly a process, a walk. And the Spirit’s influence in our lives is typically not an overwhelming, overpowering presence but a more subtle influence. If we get an overpowering experience—Score! Icing on the cake! Christmas morning! It’s an additive, but not essential, blessing.

The normative Christian life is not an overpowering event but is daily seeking to do those things that increase the Spirit’s influence and decrease the hindrances to that influence. So how, exactly, does the Holy Spirit exert control and influence over our lives, and what is our role in the process? Perhaps the most helpful passage in Scripture for answering these questions is this one in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:

Be very careful … how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:15-20)

One is compelled to ask, “What does getting drunk on wine have to do with being filled with the Spirit?” Well, obviously they are opposite alternatives, but they must share some base of similarity, or else why couple them together? The link between them, or the similarity they share, is in the idea of influence. They are both foreign entities that, when internalized, influence our behavior.

In fact, this is not the only time Scripture places them side by side. In the coming of the Holy Spirit, it was suspected that the Spirit-filled believers “had too much wine” (Acts 2:13), because of the similarity of influence.

Of course, there are many important differences between alcohol and the Holy Spirit. Alcohol’s influence leads to greater enslavement, while the Spirit gives great freedom. Alcohol eclipses our personality, while the Spirit reanimates it. And Satan uses alcohol to control us as God controls us through the Spirit. Still, alcohol provides an example of a foreign influence (albeit a bad one) that can affect our will and behavior.

As demonstrated by alcohol, control is always a question of degrees. There are things we can do that hinder the Spirit’s influence and things we can do to increase sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading. This is at the heart of walking in step—or being filled—with the Spirit. (The word “filled” means filled like a sail, not filled like a cup. When we think about the sail metaphor, we rightly think about adjusting ourselves to catch the existing wind of the Spirit. When we think about filling a cup, we wrongly think about increasing the amount of the Spirit like pouring in more of a drink.)

So, what constitutes the Spirit-filled life? What leads to the Spirit having maximum influence over our lives? This is not comprehensive, but what follow are the primary vehicles affecting the Spirit’s influence upon our thoughts, heart, will, and emotions.

Lordship

How does one become more drunk? (Or should I say drunkerer?)

For the rest of the post…

Seven Marks of True Revival

Article by Ajith Fernando

Revival means many things to many people. I mean it to describe a situation where large numbers of people are fired up to seek God fully, yearn for obedience, confess sin in their life, and experience the joy and freedom of walking with God.

History shows us that there is no exact prescription for revival. It is an act of the sovereign God, and we can’t dictate what he should do and when he should do it. I have been praying for revival in Sri Lanka since 1975. Only once, while attending a conference, have I seen something close to revival. But I continue to pray that, in my lifetime or after, the Lord would send his showers of blessing upon our people through revival.

Seven Marks of Revival

While we cannot dictate to God what he will do, history shows us that there are some things that happen before and when revival comes that are worth noting.

1. Faithful Preaching

As all the revivals in the history of the church show, the preaching of God’s word is a key ingredient. The Holy Spirit often lights the flames of revival when pastors systematically and faithfully preach the word. Often, pre-revival preaching is characterized by a call to total commitment to God, repentance, and the extolling of the beauty of holiness.

2. Unceasing Prayer

The great historian of revival J. Edwin Orr has made famous the statement, “No great spiritual awakening has begun anywhere in the world apart from united prayer — Christians persistently praying for revival.” This is what the disciples of Christ did before the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 1:14). People with a burden recognize others with a similar burden, so they join in and pray. Many of the great revivals were preceded by united, persevering prayer by people who shared a similar burden for revival.

3. Precious Unity

Unity is often the trigger for revival, and sometimes the result of revival. Once, when Ugandan Bishop Festo Kivengere was preaching in South India, his interpreter, Samuel Ganesh, felt convicted of the need to make peace with a person in the audience. He took leave from the preacher, went to the audience, and made peace. This triggered a process of person after person making peace with each other. Revival had come; there was no need to complete the sermon. Bishop Festo left room for the Spirit to do his work.

The Bible speaks of the urgency of believers being united (John 17:21, 23; Ephesians 4:1–3). One of the most important callings of leaders is to yearn and pray for unity and do all they can to facilitate it. The Holy Spirit can use a leader’s yearning to trigger revival. Those who pray for revival should make sure that they have done all to be at peace with others.

4. Earnest Seeking

The famous revival prayer, “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6) suggests a tone of earnest desire. Revival is preceded by people seeking God with all their heart and wanting to see God’s glory among his people.

My favorite example of such praying is the students at Pandita Ramabai’s school in India. The students prayed fervently, and God answered by reviving them and many others through them. The young Evan Roberts, whose ministry triggered the Welsh Revival, often prayed, “Bend me, O God.” We are open to whatever it takes for God to be totally in control of our lives!

5. Pervasive Repentance

Some so-called revivals have been characterized by exotic experiences without much emphasis on repentance. People go like tourists to such places to see what is happening. I wonder whether we could call that revival. After the revival at Asbury College and Seminary in 1971, many students came to the bookstore to return things that they had taken without paying. That is a powerful sign that they had become right with God.

Preaching against sin before the revival often contributes to revival and influences what sins are confessed. In the history of the church, there were times when some sins were neglected in revival preaching — like sexual impurity; exploitation; and race, class, and caste prejudice. This has resulted in revived churches perpetuating sins that the revival should have addressed. In other revivals, like the eighteenth century Wesleyan revival in the UK, revival helped influence social reform and attack injustice.

For Marks 6 and 7…

Heavenly Father,

Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is heaven.

May your kingdom and will be done on Sunday, October 20, 2019.

Your church in America is in deparate need for spiritual revival.  

Please, Father, send it!

In Jesus Name!

Amen!

“Any man that is saved and sanctified
can feel the fire burning in his heart,
when he calls on the name of Jesus”
William J. Seymour

July 2020
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