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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.

For the rest of the post…

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)

“A total absence of prayer in the church isn’t a likely problem. Maybe a church somewhere out there never prays at all, but I don’t assume that’s happening in yours. I don’t know your church, But I bet there are times you come together to pray. Such praying may sparse and sporadic, but it happens. And therein lies what I think is the biggest problem: not a complete lack of prayer, but too little prayer.”

John OnwuchekwaPrayer, 18.

Prayer

“TO LOOK BACK UPON THE PROGRESS OF THE DIVINE KINGDOM UPON EARTH IS TO REVIEW REVIVAL PERIODS WHICH HAVE COME LIKE REFRESHING SHOWERS UPON DRY AND THIRSTY GROUND, MAKING THE DESERT TO BLOSSOM AS THE ROSE, AND BRINGING NEW ERAS OF SPIRITUAL LIFE AND ACTIVITY JUST WHEN THE CHURCH HAD FALLEN UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE APATHY OF THE TIMES.”

~ E.M. BOUNDS

 

“Revival brings back a holy shock to apathy and carelessness.”

 

“Old-fashioned, Spirit-filled, Christ-honoring, sin-hating, soul-winning, Bible preaching! It is the hope of the church! It is the hope of the nation! It is the hope of the world!”

~ Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)

“The worldly church is not only corrupt but cowardly, for much contemporary worldliness is a voluntary capitulation to the spirit and system of the age. There are times when the powers of the age openly seek to seduce the church or brutally subjugate her to their own purposes”

~ Os Guinness, Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times, 119-120.

“The prayer of the feeblest saint who lives in the Spirit and keeps right with God is a terror to Satan”

 ~ Oswald Chambers

OswaldChambers.jpg

One of the reasons: the Reformed Church in America’s wavering approach to same-sex marriages.The URC believes marriage is limited to a man and a woman. But denominations toeing the line on traditional marriage face a new problem: the growing number of pastors performing same-sex ceremonies despite rules and the ambivalent responses from denominational leadership.According to URC pastor Kevin DeYoung, his congregation has wrestled for three years with the decision to leave the RCA. The RCA has been debating sexual ethics for much longer. Since the late 1970s, the denomination has been affirming that marriage is between a man and a woman. In 2005, the General Synod took action against a pastor who performed a wedding ceremony for his daughter and her partner, deposing him as a Professor of Theology and suspending him as a Minister of Word and Sacrament.

And in 2012, the General Synod approved their strongest statement yet in favor of traditional marriage, calling homosexual behavior “a sin according to the Holy Scriptures” and making performing same-sex marriages “a disciplinable offense.”

But those actions were short-lived. The pastor was reinstated by his classis in 2011, and the 2012 statement was softened by the 2013 Synod, which left the language calling homosexual behavior sinful but acknowledged that they had “usurped the constitutional authority reserved for the classes.”

And when asked to repeal the ordination of RCA’s first openly gay clergy, the 2013 Synod passed the case back to the regional synod, which has since upheld the 2011 ordination.

“Statements from the General Synod should have some weight to them, especially if they’re stated over and over again,” DeYoung said. “But that’s not been the way they’ve been handled. Now it’s clear that there’s no teeth to them or authority behind them. Individual classes will do what they want to do.”

Familiar Situation

It’s a situation that sounds familiar to Bill Arnold, professor at Asbury Theological Seminary and lifelong member of the United Methodist Church (UMC).

The 2012 UMC General Conference held that same-sex practices are incompatible with Christian teaching. The United Methodist position has remained unchanged since 1972. What has changed is the behavior of pastors and bishops, Arnold said. Pastors are conducting homosexual weddings, and bishops have begun to refuse to bring them to trial, he said.

“Essentially we have different factions in the church living out their convictions in ways that result in miniature denominations,” he said. “It’s a fragmentation of our church.”

And with the General Conference meeting only every four years, there’s no mechanism to deal with crises that arise in the meantime, he said.

“We essentially deteriorate into a screaming match,” Arnold said. “My friend says we’re more like a bad Jerry Springer act than a church.”

The conflict has been amplified by the rapidly changing opinions of the American public. In 2001, 57 percent of Americans opposed same-sex marriage and 35 percent were in favor, according to Pew Research Center. Twelve years later, 43 percent were opposed and 50 percent were in favor.

And while white evangelical Protestants are most likely to oppose gay marriage—only 23 percent approved in 2013—that figure has risen 10 percentage points from the 13 percent that favored same-sex marriage in 2001.

Same Limbo

Though different in structure from American denominations, the Church of England is also in limbo over the same subject, said Rod Thomas, vicar of St. Matthew’s Church in southern England.

For the rest of the article…

SARAH EEKHOFF ZYLSTRA

SARAH EEKHOFF ZYLSTRA

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

~ Dr Andrew Murray

May 2020
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