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J. Edwin Orr
Dr J. Edwin Orr was a leading scholar of revivals who published detailed books about evangelical awakenings. His research discovered major spiritual awakenings about every fifty years following the great awakening from the mid-eighteenth century in which John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards featured prominently. This article, based on one of Edwin Orr’s messages, is adapted from articles reproduced in the National Fellowship for Revival newsletters in New Zealand and Australia.
There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer.
Dr A. T. Pierson once said, ‘There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer.’ Let me recount what God has done through concerted, united, sustained prayer.
Not many people realize that in the wake of the American Revolution (following 1776-1781) there was a moral slump. Drunkenness became epidemic. Out of a population of five million, 300,000 were confirmed drunkards; they were burying fifteen thousand of them each year. Profanity was of the most shocking kind. For the first time in the history of the American settlement, women were afraid to go out at night for fear of assault. Bank robberies were a daily occurrence.
What about the churches? The Methodists were losing more members than they were gaining. The Baptists said that they had their most wintry season. The Presbyterians in general assembly deplored the nation’s ungodliness. In a typical Congregational church, the Rev. Samuel Shepherd of Lennos, Massachusetts, in sixteen years had not taken one young person into fellowship. The Lutherans were so languishing that they discussed uniting with Episcopalians who were even worse off. The Protestant Episcopal Bishop of New York, Bishop Samuel Provost, quit functioning; he had confirmed no one for so long that he decided he was out of work, so he took up other employment.
The Chief Justice of the United States, John Marshall, wrote to the Bishop of Virginia, James Madison, that the Church ‘was too far gone ever to be redeemed.’ Voltaire averred and Tom Paine echoed, ‘Christianity will be forgotten in thirty years.
Take the liberal arts colleges at that time. A poll taken at Harvard had discovered not one believer in the whole student body. They took a poll at Princeton, a much more evangelical place, where they discovered only two believers in the student body, and only five that did not belong to the filthy speech movement of that day. Students rioted. They held a mock communion at Williams College, and they put on antichristian plays at Dartmouth. They burned down the Nassau Hall at Princeton. They forced the resignation of the president of Harvard. They took a Bible out of a local Presbyterian church in New Jersey, and they burnt it in a public bonfire. Christians were so few on campus in the 1790’s that they met in secret, like a communist cell, and kept their minutes in code so that no one would know.
How did the situation change? It came through a concert of prayer.


“A Revived Church is the only hope for a dying world”

~ Dr Andrew Murray

Brothers and sisters in Jesus, we need to be desperate for revival!

Do we pray for revival every day?

Our churches and our nation (USA) needs God to send genuine spiritual revival!


“It is God’s will through His wonderful grace, that the prayers of His saints should be one of the great principal means of carrying on the designs of Christ’s kingdom in the world. When God has something very great to accomplish for His church, it is His will that there should precede it the extraordinary prayers of His people; as is manifest by Ezekiel 36:37. and it is revealed that, when God is about to accomplish great things for His church, He will begin by remarkably pouring out the spirit of grace and supplication (see Zechariah 12:10).”

~ Jonathan Edwards

“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!


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.”

December 2015
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