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By Megan Briggs

George Floyd Ave

The Karukus, an interracial couple living in Minneapolis, hope that what started as a tragedy would transform into a global revival. Charles is the senior pastor of International Outreach Church in Burnsville, Minnesota. He and Lindsey have been setting up an outdoor service each evening this week as people travel to the George Floyd Memorial.

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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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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?

“Revival happens when a good percentage of people in the church decide to swallow the Book and let it have its effect on their lives, come what may.”

~ A.W. Tozer

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…

“Christians in revival are accordingly found living in God’s presence (Coram Deo), attending to His Word, feeling acute concern about sin and righteousness, rejoicing in the assurance of Christ’s love and their own salvation, spontaneously constant in worship, and tirelessly active in witness and service, fueling these activities by praise and prayer.”

The event that has become known as the Great Awakening actually began years earlier in the 1720s. And, although the most significant years were from 1740-1742, the revival continued until the 1760s.
What was the Great Awakening? Know the Facts & Summary

Many of the early Puritans and pilgrims arrived in America with a fervent faith and vision for establishing a godly nation. Within a century the ardor had cooled. The children of the original immigrants were more concerned with increasing wealth and comfortable living than furthering the Kingdom of God. The same spiritual malaise could be found throughout the American colonies. The philosophical rationalism of the Enlightenment was spreading its influence among the educated classes; others were preoccupied with the things of this world.

When Theodore Frelinghuysen, a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, came to begin his pastoral world in New Jersey during the 1720’s, he was shocked by the deadness of the churches in America. He preached the need for conversion, a profound, life-changing commitment to Christ, not simply perfunctory participation in religious duties. Presbyterian Gilbert Tennent was heavily influenced by Frelinghuysen and brought revival to his denomination. Tennent believed the deadness of the churches was in part due to so many pastors having never been converted themselves. His book On the Dangers of an Unconverted Ministry caused quite a stir!

Origins of the Great Awakening

The event that has become known as the Great Awakening actually began years earlier in the 1720s. And, although the most significant years were from 1740-1742, the revival continued until the 1760s.

Many of the early colonists had come to the new world to enjoy religious freedom, but as the land became tamed and prosperous they no longer relied on God for their daily bread. Wealth brought complacency toward God. As a result, church membership dropped. Wishing to make it easier to increase church attendance, the religious leaders had instituted the Halfway Covenant, which allowed membership without a public testimony of conversion. The churches were now attended largely by people who lacked a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Sadly, many of the ministers themselves did not know Christ and therefore could not lead their flocks to the true Shepherd. Then, suddenly, the Spirit of God awoke as though from an intense slumber and began to touch the population of the colonies. People from all walks of life, from poor farmers to rich merchants, began experiencing renewal and rebirth.

The faith and prayers of the righteous leaders were the foundation of the Great Awakening. Before a meeting, George Whitefield would spend hours–and sometimes all night–bathing an event in prayers. Fervent church members kept the fires of revival going through their genuine petitions for God’s intervention in the lives of their communities.

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“The coming revival must begin with a great revival of prayer. It is in the closet, with the door shut, that the sound of abundance of rain will first be heard. An increase of secret prayer with ministers will be the sure harbinger of blessing.”

~ Andrew Murray

 

“REVIVAL IS FALLING IN LOVE WITH JESUS ALL OVER AGAIN.”

~ VANCE HAVNER

Image result for VANCE HAVNER

“REVIVALS BEGIN WITH GOD’S OWN PEOPLE; THE HOLY SPIRIT TOUCHES THEIR HEART ANEW, AND GIVES THEM NEW FERVOR AND COMPASSION, AND ZEAL, NEW LIGHT AND LIFE, AND WHEN HE HAS THUS COME TO YOU, HE NEXT GOES FORTH TO THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES… OH, WHAT RESPONSIBILITY THIS LAYS ON THE CHURCH OF GOD! IF YOU GRIEVE HIM AWAY FROM YOURSELVES, OR HINDER HIS VISIT, THEN THE POOR PERISHING WORLD SUFFERS SORELY!”

~ Andrew Bonar

July 2020
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