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Revivals That Run Deep

Author: Randy Hekman Date: Aug. 5, 2014

Some of us were around in the late 1960s when sex, drugs, and rebellion impacted college campuses and so many urban areas.

As the chaos grew, God’s people began to cry out to Him in desperation. The result, in the late 60s and early 70s, was a burst of spiritual revival in America, often called the “Jesus Movement.”

While some of this activity was undoubtedly more emotion than substance, God was still at work, and thousands were genuinely converted to Christ. As part of this movement, many of us college students joyously spent our spring vacations sharing our faith in places like Daytona Beach, Florida, where we saw Jesus touch many lives with His gospel.

But the spiritual awakening of that era was relatively short-lived and, in many ways, limited to personal—“me and Jesus, Jesus and me”—connections to Christ, along with the rise of new flavors of Christian music rather than a more vibrant faith that impacted all of culture.

So while many were becoming followers of Christ, culture continued its secular slide. As evidence of that, in 1969 California became the first state to officially weaken the legal status of marriage by enacting no-fault divorce, signed into law by none other than Governor Ronald Reagan.

More tragically, in 1973 the Supreme Court’s infamous decision in Roe v. Wade legalized abortion for all fifty states. And our general culture, evidenced by our motion pictures, television programs, and other forms of entertainment grew even more crass, obsessed as it was with self, sex, and “stuff.”

Sadly, even much of the church of that day bought the lie that we can pursue Jesus alongside the gods of comfort, materialism, and pleasure.

What we forgot was that unless we are daily taking deliberate steps to grow in our faith in and love of God, we will spiritually drift, and our walk with Him will be shallow, impacting very little of the world around us.

Fast forward to today. American culture is even more secularized than it was in the 70s, and the church is now viewed as either irrelevant (at best) or bigoted and hateful (at worst). So what can we do?

Some Christians feel that things are so bad, our only hope is to wait and pray for Christ’s second coming. Let me be clear: I hope He comes today. But let’s face it, He may not return for many years. That date is up to the Father.

But this is no time to despair! Let us never forget Jesus’ challenge to His followers:

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV).

Jesus is Lord of ALL! His followers are not to play defense, but offense! Following Him should impact everything we do, 24/7/365.

For the rest of the post…

“Revival is torrents of living water flowing out of the individual believer.”

~ James A. Stewart

“There will be no revival when Mr. Amen and Mr. Wet-Eyes are not found in the audience.”

~ Charles G. Finney

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“Study the history of revival. God has always sent revival in the darkest days. Oh, for a mighty, sweeping revival today!”

~ Adrian Rogers

Adrian Rogers.jpg

“A dynamic praying church must be built from the inside out, employing all four levels of 
prayer: the secret closet, the family altar, small group praying and finally, the 
congregational setting.”

~ Developing your Secret Closet of Prayer, Richard Burr

by  • JUNE 30, 2014

brochure cover March 2014 webAs the 4th of July approaches and people desire to participate in the URGENT CALL TO PRAYER  from Anne Graham Lotz, I have decided to repost my prayer guides. All of these guides teach you to pray for Revival and Spiritual Awakening in America, but each have a different area of focus. Don’t forget our weekly “5 Minute Prayer Friday” coming this Friday. I realize it is the 4th of July Friday, but America is in need of prayer every day.

Prayer Guides

Prayer Guide Spring 2014 – Pray for Revival and Spiritual Awakening according to the Lord’s Prayer with special focus on Your Church, Local Churches, Local Communities.

For the rest of the post…

June 26, 2014 

History Could Happen AgainJonathan Edwards wrote a number of books that became famous, even during his own lifetime. One of his lesser-known works was a 1746 book titled An Humble Attempt to Promote Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of God’s People in Extraordinary Prayer, For the Revival and Religion and the Advancement of Christ’s Kingdom on Earth. Edwards wrote the book after learning about a group of Scottish ministers who circulated a “memorial” in 1744 calling for seven years of prayer in anticipation of God’s coming kingdom on earth.

In An Humble Attempt, Edwards argued for all believers to engage in monthly “concerts of prayer” for worldwide revival and the conversion of the unreached peoples of the earth. As a postmillennialist, Edwards believed the salvation of the nations was one of the final signs that the millennium would soon begin. His prayer was that the transatlantic revivals that had occurred off and on for a generation would “go viral” and cover the entire earth.

Though its topic was inspiring, An Humble Attempt was not very influential during Edwards’s lifetime. It did not sell as many copies as The Diary of David Brainerd, did not influence theologians like Freedom of the Will, and did not define authentic spiritual experience like Religious Affections. Nevertheless, some scholars argue that Edwards could be considered the “grandfather” of the modern missions movement among English-speaking evangelicals because of how the Lord used An Humble Attempt in the generation following Edwards’s death.

The Missionary Awakening

In 1784, an English Particular Baptist pastor named John Sutcliff received a box of books from a pastor friend in Scotland. Included among the books was a copy of An Humble Attempt. After reading the book, Sutcliff began to circulate An Humble Attempt among his fellow Baptist pastors. Inspired by Edwards, Sutcliff and his friends issued a call for the pastors of the Northamptonshire Baptist Association to set apart the first Monday evening of every month for prayer for the heathen and the coming kingdom. The concerts of prayer became popular among the younger pastors in the association and continued well into the 1790s. Sutcliff eventually published a British edition of An Humble Attempt in 1789 and wrote an introduction to the treatise.

When the Evangelical Awakening began in Britain in the 1730s, few Nonconformists were vital participants. Most of the “Methodists” were revived believers in the Church of England who were influenced by the Wesley brothers, George Whitfield, or a host of less-famous preachers in England and Wales. Calvinistic Dissenters such as the Particular Baptists were often skittish about the Evangelical Awakening due to a variety of reasons such as class differences between Nonconformists and Anglicans, concerns about the Arminian theology of the Wesleys, and the deadening influence of High Calvinism, especially among London Particular Baptists. It was not until the next generation when revival finally came to British Nonconformists in the form of what I call the Missionary Awakening.

Several of the pastors who answered Sutcliff’s prayer call became early leaders in the Missionary Awakening. Robert Hall Sr. and Andrew Fuller wrote influential treatises against High Calvinism and argued for an evangelical view of Calvinism influenced by Jonathan Edwards. John Ryland Jr. became the principle of Bristol Baptist Academy; many of Ryland’s students became strong supporters of missionary advance. Most famously, William Carey authored his influential treatise An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens, wherein he argued that the Great Commission is a binding command on every Christian in every generation. In 1792, these men formed the Baptist Missionary Society (BMS). Fuller served as secretary of the BMS for over twenty years and Carey became its most famous missionary.

The Spreading Flame

From this small missions-minded “band of brothers,” the Missionary Awakening spread to other believers. Over the next decade or so, most of the Particular Baptists who had been influenced by High Calvinism rejected these views and owned the Great Commission as their own. The missions-minded Edwardsean Calvinism of Fuller and Carey became commonplace among most Particular Baptists. The Arminian Baptists also got in on the action. The recently revived General Baptists, led by the Baptist Wesleyan (!) Dan Taylor, formed their own mission society in 1816.

The Missionary Awakening also spread beyond the Baptist fold. In 1795, missions-minded Anglicans and Nonconformists formed the non-denominational London Missionary Society. Evangelical Anglicans associated with the famous “Clapham Sect” also formed the Church Missionary Society in 1799. Early leaders in the CMS included John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce. The CMS version of William Carey was Henry Martyn, who, like Carey, also served as a missionary to India and inspired many others to become missionaries.

By the early 1800s, the Missionary Awakening had crossed the Atlantic. Between 1800 and 1810, numerous local missionary societies were formed in the Northeast; many of these societies either supported the various British mission societies or focused on evangelizing Native Americans. In 1810, Congregationalists in New England formed a foreign mission society, followed by the Baptists in 1814. Adoniram Judson, the Congregationalist-turned-Baptist, was the central figure in the formation of each of these mission societies. In 1820, American Methodists established the Methodist Episcopal Church Missionary Society.

It Could Happen Again

Those who followed Jonathan Edwards advanced his original vision for prayer, spiritual awakening, and missionary advance. Between 1780 and 1820, entire denominations experienced revival, sound doctrine overcame soul-deadening error, numerous new benevolent ministries were launched (I have only referenced the mission societies), and English-speaking evangelicals became passionate about fulfilling the Great Commission. It could happen again.

Knowing how God has worked in the past can help us ask some key questions of ourselves in the present. Are we praying for revival in our own spiritual lives? Are we praying for the salvation of the nations? Are our churches setting aside a specific time for focused — even extraordinary — prayer for a global awakening through the advance of the gospel? Do we long for the Lord to move among us as he moved among those who came before us?

Like Edwards and his spiritual children, we should pray for global revival through the worldwide advance of the gospel.

For the rest of the post…

Revival Momentum Is Growing!

Author: OneCry Team Date: June 24, 2014

Last week, we read how the newly elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Ronnie Floyd, is calling all those associated with his large denomination to seek, through prayer and action, another Great Awakening in America.

Today, we want to highlight two other calls for extraordinary prayer for revival and spiritual awakening from ministries we partner with.

Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., has their annual Call2Fall event. As they describe it on their website, “The Call2Fall is nothing fancy. No slick program. No big production. Just setting aside a definite time during worship on June 29, 2014, when you call your people to get on their knees and faces before the Lord in repentant prayer for God to reshape our lives and renew our land.”

The other call to prayer comes from Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz. She has heard the Spirit speak to her about the state of our world today.

In her words, “He has impressed on me that we are living at the end of human history as we know it…. In obedience, I am blowing the trumpet … sounding the alarm … issuing a national prayer initiative entitled7 7 7: An Urgent Call to Prayer. The Call is for God’s people to pray for each of the first seven days in the seventh month: July 1–7. Then on the 7th day, July 7, we are to pray and fast for 7 hours.”

The purpose:

  • For God the Father to restrain, protect, and deliver His people from the evil that has come into our world
  • For God the Son to be exalted, magnified, and glorified in His church, in our nation, and in our lives
  • For God the Holy Spirit to fall on us in a fresh way, compelling the church to repent of sin and our nation to return to faith in the living God, resulting in a great national spiritual awakening

Click here for more information about Anne’s call to prayer.

For the rest of the post…

“Revival is a divinely initiated work in which God’s people pray, repent of their sin, and return to a holy, Spirit-filled, obedient love relationship with God.”

~ Henry Blackaby

 

“Revival is torrents of living water flowing out of the individual believer.”

~ James A. Stewart

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