Keys to Experiencing God: Prayer and Revival
Revival concerns the Church. It involves asking God to revive His Church from the complacency it is in. It’s a call for the Church to move out in action, seek Him and His plan for it.
Awakening is for the nation and non-believers. It’s a call for people to be so impacted by God that they come running to Him. They want more of Him and, in turn, they repent—turn from their sin-filled lives to God and desperately seek His Son Jesus Christ. Awakening brings wide-spread national change.
The fact is, we need both and both are preceded by radical and serious times of prayer.
Let’s look first at revival.
Psalm 85:6 says, “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in You?”
The Prophet Ezra prayed to God to “give Israel a little reviving in their bondage” (Ezra9:8).
Revival comes as God’s people pray.
Evangelist Charles G. Finney gave us an example. Born in 1792, he became a lawyer in New York. In 1821, disturbed that he only saw what we might call surface worship in church he went to the woods and poured out his heart. God met him in that place and transformed his life. He quit the law and became an evangelist. Spending more and more time in prayer, he wrote that it was “an indispensable condition for promoting the revival” He and some young men began praying three times a day and soon the church was packed with people seeking Jesus. It is said that farmers, even though it was harvest time, threw down their tools and headed for church. His messages brought revival to Rochester as many compared him to George Whitefield and an earlier American revival and subsequent awakening.
Friends, we need revival, but as the prophets and this story about Finney point out, first we need to be firmly committed to prayer. We need to seek God and His timing. We need to seek God and His plans. We need to seek God and His way for revival. We can’t just come together and hope it happens. A God-sized revival in the Western Church needs to come out of the church’s prayers and God’s plans.
Andrew Murray wrote, “Both widespread and local revivals have been traced to specific prayer. The coming revival will be no exception. An extraordinary spirit of prayer, urging believers to private as well as united prayer, motivating them to labor frequently in their supplications, is a sure sign of approaching showers and even floods of blessing.”
Church do you agree with me that we need revival in the Western Church? If you do, will you join me in prayer for our own repentance and for revival?