We Proclaim Jesus.
|It is most appropriate for any teaching on prayer to end with a presentation on revival, since effective prayer plays a major role before and during a revival. Our generation is one that desperately needs the revival of God. The state of the churches as well as that of individual believers is one that can at best be described as complacent and compromising. We have become lukewarm, "neither cold nor hot." (Revelation 3:15,16). This is not meant to be an indictment on the church. Neither is it meant to discourage believers. It is only meant to point us to our desperate need for revival from God, "so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed" (Hebrews 12:13).|
A. Biblical Cry For Revival
|The people of God in times past saw the desperate need to cry out to God for revival. Revival therefore is not something invented in the last century. It has been the cry of the people of God ever since God chose a people for Himself, through whom His grace and glory were put on display. The biblical cry for revival is twofold, namely the cry for God's people to be revived, and the cry for the work of God to be revived.|
|1. Revival of God's people|
"You who have shown me many troubles and distresses willrevive me again" (Psalm 71:20).
"Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself. Then we shall not turn back from You; revive us, and we will call upon Your name. O LORD God of hosts, restore us" (Psalm 80: 17-19).
"Will You not Yourself revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You" (Psalm 85:6)?
"My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to Your word" (Psalm 119:25).
"Come, let us return to the LORD.... He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day that we may live before Him" (Hosea 6:1-2).
|Torrey wrote: "A revival is a time of quickening or impartation of life. As God alone can give life, a revival is a time when God visits His people, by the power of His Spirit imparts new life to them, and through them imparts life to sinners dead in trespasses and sins."|
|2. Revival of God's work|
|"LORD, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy" (Habakkuk 3:2).|
B. Results of Revival
|1. Results in ministers and their ministries|
|2. Results among Christians|
|3. Results in the world|
C. The Role of Prayer in Revival
|"These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers... And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance" (Acts 1:14; 2:1-4).|
D. History of Revivals
|1. History has shown that the revivals of the past were preceded by devotion to prayer by a few burdened believers who refused to accept the status quo conditions around them and earnestly sought God for the revival of His people and His work in their generations.|
|2. The Holy Spirit is ready to work to bring about revival today as He did in times past.|
|3. It is now our turn to continually devote ourselves to prayer and experience the blessing of God's revival.|
E. The Challenge of the Church Today.
"These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer" (Acts 1:14).
"And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching... and to prayer" (Acts 2:42).
"They lifted their voices to God with one accord" (Acts 4:24).
"Prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God" (Acts 12:5).
|1. The challenge of the church today is continual devotion to prayer unto God with one mind and heart until the church is revived.|
|2. We are to call unto the Lord, refusing to give ourselves rest until the fresh fire of the Spirit sets our hearts ablaze to love God with all our being, becoming all that God wants us to be, and the fresh wind of the Spirit of God blows through the nations in advancing the work of the kingdom of God.|
In conclusion we quote R. A. Torrey:
"Doubtless one of the great secrets of the unsatisfactoriness and superficiality and unreality of many of our modern so-called revivals is that more dependence is put upon man's machinery than upon God's power, sought and obtained by earnest, persistent, believing prayer. We live in a day characterized by the multiplication of man's machinery and the diminution of God's power. The great cry of our day is work, work, work, new organizations, new methods, new machinery; the great need of our day is prayer. It was a master stroke of the devil when he got the church so generally to lay aside this mighty weapon of prayer. The devil is perfectly willing that the church should multiply its organizations and deftly contrive machinery for the conquest of the world for Christ if it will only give up prayer... It is not necessary that the whole church get to praying to begin with. Great revivals always begin first in the hearts of a few men and women whom God arouses by His Spirit to believe Him as a living God, as a God who answers prayer, and upon whose hearts He lays a burden from which no rest can be found except in importunate crying unto God."