In the last two articles, we have looked at Jonathan Edwards’ amazing call to the church in his day:
An Humble Attempt to Promote
Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of God’s People
in Extraordinary Prayer for the Revival of Religion
and the Advancement of Christ’s Kingdom on Earth
Edwards’ observations and call were not just for his generation. The principles he related are biblical and timeless. And it is amazing how they are exactly what we need to hear right now. We need …
Explicit Agreement and Visible Union, which we explained in the previous articles. But all of this is for a single purpose:
Extraordinary Prayer for the Revival of Religion and the Advancement of Christ’s Kingdom on Earth
What is extraordinary prayer? I believe it means …
How much are you crying out to God for revival and awakening right now? Have you prayed today for this vital need? Are you praying daily, weekly? Are you praying with others? Is it an occasional request?
Here is the question: Do you believe that the level of your prayer and the prayer of your congregation is what would precede a nationwide movement of God in revival and awakening? If not, then you must make adjustments in your life to pray more!
One man I know prays for 30 pastors every day. Another man is praying for 30 key men in his city every day. Are you praying with that level of intensity?
For many, prayer is a side issue … one more thing to do in our list of Christian duties. Not so with the Man Jesus, or His servant Paul. They modeled and commanded us to “pray without ceasing.” This means that prayer is not secondary, but the foundation to everything we are and do.
I recently heard Vance Pittman, in a gathering of 350 Southern Baptist pastors who came at their own expense for no other reason than to pray for revival and awakening. He said their church has come to believe that “We do not pray before we work. Prayer IS the work. And when we pray, God works!”
If you moved, personally and as a church, to continual prayer, would that not be extraordinary? Would things be accomplished that could not happen any other way?
A united prayer is irresistible to God. When side issues are left outside the door and the whole church in a city unites in prayer, heaven hears. Has He not promised it? Will He not do it? “If my people will … then I will …” He proclaims (cf. James 4:6-10). He is waiting for us to unite in extraordinary prayer.
Edwards knew that God responds when His people cry out.
When you study the accounts of the decline of the church, God’s corresponding judgment, and then her return to Him, there is often found this phrase or its equivalent: “And all the people cried out.”
There’s something different about a cry. It’s not a nice request. Or a pleasant question. A cry comes out of desperation … out of a recognition of a deep need. A cry issues from someone’s heart when they realize that there is nothing else that can be done.
God hears every prayer from every single individual, and He can do as He desires. But for some reason, a united cry is uniquely irresistible to God.
If we are serious about revival, as leaders we should do everything God directs us to do to promote explicit agreement and visible union in God’s people for extraordinary prayer, so that God might send a reviving among His church and a mighty spiritual awakening among the lost!