We are in desperate need around our world and in our lives for revival. Revival is that extraordinary work of the Spirit of God that produces extraordinary results.
For instance, God is working and moving all the time. We live and breathe and have our being because of God’s gracious work toward us.
But revival—real, biblical revival—is when God opens the heavens and comes down. In an extraordinary way, He makes Himself known and revives His church and awakens the lost in large numbers, and the gospel of Christ expands very, very rapidly.
So how can we cooperate with God in seeing this kind of revival? Well, the beginning point of real revival, both in a personal life and in a nation, is prayer. But there’s something unique about united prayer.
In the Bible, there’s this cycle of a church walking with God and then we fall away and then the judgment of God comes, like pain to the human body, to try to correct us so we’ll make an adjustment and come back to Him. Down at the bottom of that cycle, you’ll hear all through human history this little phrase: “And all the people cried out.”
There’s something about a united cry. In fact, A. T. Pearson said, “There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer.” United cries. God hears the desperate cries of His children.
Now, I have eight children. Just saying that makes me a little tired. And when one of those children come to me and says, “Dad, could we go do this?” I can say no to that. But when all eight of my children climb up on my lap and are yelling and screaming, “Ice cream, ice cream, we all want ice cream!” it’s hard to resist that united cry.
And when all of God’s children come and say, “Lord, we need You! We need You in our lives, we need You in our church, we need You in our nation …” When they come with this united cry, God is uniquely and especially moved with the united cry of His children.
So what does this mean for you? It means you need to pray for revival in your own life, your own church, your own nation, and you need to pray for that more than you ever have before. You need to pray in an extraordinary way; you need to pray more prayer and extensive prayer and desperate prayer.
But it also means you need to be calling others to pray with you. Start a prayer group; say, “Look, we’re going to meet in our church and pray together every day until the Lord comes again.”
There was a man named Jeremiah Lanphier who lived in New York City back in 1857. It was a hard time because the nation had had a financial collapse, and businessmen were in serious trouble, some of them committing suicide. Jeremiah Lanphier didn’t know what to do, so he just thought, I’ll start a prayer meeting.
He advertised this prayer meeting, and the first Tuesday at noon, when he had advertised it, six people showed up. He was a little disappointed, but he said, “Well, let’s pray.” God was pleased to meet with them in that prayer meeting in an extraordinary way. So they said, “Let’s meet again the next week.” The next week, twenty people came.
They said, “Well, let’s meet next week.” And the next week, sixty people came. Before long they realized, “God is really doing something here, so let’s meet every day at the noon hour so business people can come and pray together.”
Within three to four months in New York City alone, 50,000 people were meeting every day to cry out to God. And God heard their cry and brought a great revival that spread all across America in response to the united cries of His children.
In fact, out of the population of thirty million people in that day, in two years one million people came to faith in Christ, all because one man had a vision to pray and to unite others to pray with him.
God is calling you and me to unite our hearts together in desperate prayer for revival.