Is America Ready for another Great Awakening?
Throughout American Church history there have been times of great revival throughout the years. There were many key elements that presented themselves that allowed this movement to sweep across America including revivalists, a growth in lay ministers in churches, and more importantly, prayer and repentance. There are many stories told in Trent Sheppard's book, God on Campus: Sacred Causes & Global Effects, about many of the awakenings on college campuses throughout history in which the awakening came out of a time of prayer and repentance that in some instances postponed classes and allowed all students a time to take a deep look at their lives in light of God.
Is God in the business to do this sort of thing again?
Throughout America and our college campuses? From the looks of things prayer is a prominent part of our culture. I am amazed at all the options we have today for prayer. There are prayer meetings at our individual churches, there are city wide and region wide prayer meetings. There are even groups of pastors that get together to pray and encourage one another. There are also national prayer chains like the International House of Prayer (IHOP) and World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs. Each of these national centers of prayer also have smaller regional places for prayer like the Quad City Prayer Center and various IHOP centers throughout the states.
Are all these different organizations calling us to prayer leading America towards another Great Awakening?
As with any move of God, we can’t really predict or tell God when and where to begin a great move of His Spirit. One thing I have learned through study of the Great Awakening is that prayer alone did not bring about the move of God. There was also repentence/confession. Which actually is a part of prayer that many times we overlook.
How exactly can we incorporate repentance and confession in our prayer lives?
It may take a little getting used to. It is a very personal and confidential part of our lives, which makes it seem almost an impossible part of corporate prayer. But with that being said, there are still times when God calls us to corporate repentance to cry out for the sins of our nation, of our church, of our cities. I'm not trying to point fingers here saying that our nation is doing horrible things, its just a fact of life. As humans we sin, and as a group of humans, we also make mistakes. But God is merciful and just to forgive us when we confess and repent of our sins.
With that being said, there are also times when God calls us to individual repentance corporately. Altar calls, when a pastor makes an invitation for the congregation to come to the altar and pray for forgiveness or a variety of things, are probably the best known form of this in our churches today.
So why haven't we seen another Great Awakening sweep across America in recent history?
The thing is, that in our culture, everything is so fast paced that we rarely take time to take a hard long look at our lives and how our relationship is with God. To me it seems the next move of God will come when we stop our hectic daily routines and stop and spend time with God. With no distractions, no pressing schedule. Putting all of our lives on hold so to speak, for God.
So what should we do? What can we do? Individually we can pray and
confess and seek after God. We can ask God to move again, for another
Great Awakening in America. And we can continue to promote prayer in our
churches, our regions, and even nationally. What if we took prayer and repentance seriously? Would we see the beginning of a new Great