Heart-Cry for Revival Conference Extends the Call
Over 200 men and women with a passion for revival and spiritual awakening gathered April 13-16 at the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, NC, for the 2015 Heart-Cry for Revival Conference. With the conference’s goal to “ignite, equip, and commission ministry and marketplace leaders in their passionate desire for God to bring spiritual renewal to individuals, churches, campuses, and nations,” the various speakers at Heart-Cry delivered clear calls about what it will take to reverse our nation’s accelerating slide into moral and spiritual oblivion.
Heart-Cry’s steering committee includes OneCry’s parent organization, Life Action Ministries, along with American Family Association, Harvest Prayer Ministries and Sammy Tippit Ministries. Heart-Cry for Revival Conferences have been held every two years since 1996.
Those who have attended previous Heart-Cry for Revival Conferences noted that the gathering this year sounded a more urgent tone than what had been communicated in prior years.
Dave Butts, President of Harvest Prayer Ministries and leader of the National Prayer Committee said that, “a shaking is coming to our nation, but,” he added, quoting from Hebrews 12, “we have a Kingdom that cannot be shaken.”
Apologist Alex McFarland said that the growing movements of Statism (looking to government to save us) and Islam are two forces that only God is powerful enough to keep at bay. He added that America’s religion of choice today seems to be “Absolute Subjectivism” where each person believes he can decide right and wrong and truth and error on his own, apart from the immutable Word of God.
Evangelist Sammy Tippit spoke about the darkness of our days that he sees expanding in three different realms: (1) Global Darkness, fueled by radical Islam which seeks global domination; (2) Domestic Darkness, where no one knows right from wrong; and, (3) the worst kind of darkness, Inner Darkness, that darkness which tragically resides in the hearts of God’s people. He called for us to let the light of God shine in our hearts, exposing the sin and leading us to repentance. “The first step toward revival,” he said, “is brokenness.”
In both the large plenary sessions and many of the smaller workshops, speakers emphasized how desperate our times are and how revival of the church and spiritual awakening of our nation alone can offer any hope for our future. Yet, despite the darkness of the hour, with God there is incredible hope.
Alex McFarland offered encouragement to the attendees as he told of all the firepower we have on our side: “We’ve got truth, prayer, and the Holy Spirit. It’s really not a fair fight for our opponents!”
Noted revival historian Richard Owen Roberts also offered hope as he encouraged us to consider what God’s heart is in revival. Examining Romans, chapters 9-11, Roberts said that God’s heart has always been for His people, the children of Israel. According to Scripture, Gentiles who come to Christ will ultimately make the Jews jealous, provoking them to consider and hopefully to accept Jesus as their Messiah. Since this has not yet happened in history, Roberts believes this is a prime reason God has for revival in America today: to provoke the many Jews who call America their home to jealousy, and draw them to Jesus. While we know God’s heart in this, said Roberts, the real question for us, however, is whether our lives are holy enough to make the Jews who observe us actually jealous of our faith.
One of the many bright spots throughout the conference were times of worship led by Josh Davis, along with a worship team from Life Action Ministries. One of the most moving songs, “Restore Us, O God,” was written by Pastor Bill Elliff, one of the plenary speakers, drawing inspiration from a sermon on Psalm 80 given previously by Richard Owen Roberts. Josh Davis added the music.
Another exciting move of God are increasing numbers of cities and regions in our nation where God is drawing followers of Christ together to pray for God to bring revival and awakening in their communities. Specifically, those in attendance heard from Damaris Medina from Palm Beach County, FL, and Kyle Martin from Time to Revive ministry who is seeing actual revival occur in Northern Indiana.
As with most conferences, much of the value for attendees happened during mealtimes and breaks when like-minded men and women shared stories of God’s moving in their churches and communities, and they prayed for each other. Friendships were forged that will be an integral part of the revival we sense God is, in His mercy, sending as we engage in extraordinary prayer and radical obedience.
Purchase sermon downloads from Heart-Cry Conference here.