Preparing the Fields for Revival Part 3
Preparing the Field of Prayer
In the last section we looked at some things necessary for personal revival. Now let us turn to the matter of corporate revival—revival within a church, a town, or a nation. Corporate revival will never happen without there first having personal revival in the life of someone. Will you be that someone?
Revival in a church will never happen until someone in the church first gets the burden for personal revival. A town will never see revival if God does not raise up someone within the town to carry the burden of revival. Revival is a work of God. It has everything to do with Him, but yet He requires some things from us. We looked at some of them in the last chapter. Now we must put some things into practice.
As was mentioned, revival will never happen without prayer. Every great revival that ever took place was empowered by much prayer. If you are seeking God to send a revival in your life, your church, your community, it will cost you much in the way of prayer. There are three things to consider in this great matter of prayer.
Prayer must be consistent. Revival probably will not happen after one five-minute prayer. Revival usually requires days, weeks, months, and in many cases (most cases) years of consistent prayer. Sincerity is proven over time. Sincerity is proven by consistency. We may be on fire for the Lord today and be as cold as ice tomorrow. It could very well be that you begin to pray for revival today and next year at this time, it may still not be realized. Keep praying. Anything worth having from God is worth the struggle of prayer.
This is not at all meant to be a “how to” lesson on obtaining revival. Only God can send revival. Only when He is ready will He send it—but our fields must be prepared. Only to those who are humble, seeking Him, repentant, and praying will He send it. Only to those who are prepared to receive it will He send it.
Prayer prepares our hearts. Philippians 2:5 tells us to have the mind of Christ. That is not natural, but supernatural. Prayer cultivates the field of our heart. Just as Christ would desire revival in our churches and towns, so does satan (I do not believe in capitalizing his name) desire to see revival fail. The more we pray, the more satan attacks. The more he attacks, the more we need to pray. So the pattern goes. Remember that I Peter 5:8 warns to be on guard because satan’s desire is to devour us.
Praying for revival will not be easy, but it is necessary. Consistently staying on our knees will make the difference. The battle may be long and difficult, but yet it is worth it. People in your church, your town are counting on you. They may not be aware of it, but nevertheless it is true. Seeking revival means committing to prayer for the long haul. Be consistent. Pray daily. Pray much that God will work in your life, in your church, in your town.
Prayer must be complete. Pray about everything (Ephesians 5:18). If need be, make a revival prayer list to help cover all that you feel needs to be included. In other words, pray in detail, not just generalities. Share your heart with the God of Heaven, and just as importantly, allow Him to break it. There is something about prayer that will change our hearts if we allow God to work.
Pray especially for your pastor. He is constantly under attack from satan’s army. Pray that God would keep him from temptation. Pray that God will keep you from temptation (Matt:6:13; 26:41). Pray for the power of God on his life--that God will work through him in a mighty way. Pray that his love for God will always be hot.
Pray for sin and vice to be removed (specifically name the sin or vice). Pray for the leaders of your town. If they come to Christ think of the wonderful way they might influence the people of your town. Pray for other religious leaders in the town that may not know the Truth (Matt. 7:21-23).
Pray that God will use circumstances in the lives of people to draw them to Himself. Sickness and tragedy often have a way of pointing hearts to spiritual things.
I believe it is impossible truly to pray for others and not receive a burden to want to do more. True prayer will lead us to action. Love is action.
In Matthew 9:38 Jesus tells us to pray for laborers for the harvest. We must pray, but notice in verse 36 that Jesus was moved with compassion. Here is another catch-22. Compassion will lead us to pray, and prayer will cause us to be compassionate. Jesus was moved with compassion. His compassion caused action. As much as we need to pray, our prayers may not be complete unless we put action behind them.
As you share your heart with God about “Uncle Joe”, God just may speak to you about your need to witness to him. As you pray for your town, God may impress upon you to take the message to someone in the town. The important thing is that we are obedient to the will of God. The important thing is that we are tender to His voice and listening to His every Word.
Prayer must be connected. By that, I mean that our prayers need to be connected to the God who answers prayer. In John 13: 13 and 14, Jesus twice promises that He will do anything we ask if we ask it in His name. The word “name” has to do with authority. That is, if we ask anything in the authority of Jesus Christ, he will do it. If we ask anything according to His will, He will do it.
Is it not God’s will that His people be revived (Rev. 3:1, 15, 16)? Is it not God’s will that all men come to salvation (II Peter 3:9). Unless I am reading this wrong, or unless God is a liar, it seems to me we ought to be able to pray for revival and expect it. Would it not please the God of Heaven to revive your tired, cold heart? Would it not please him to light a fire in you that would spread to others? Then ask in His name. Give Him the opportunity to work. Volunteer to be the spark!
Jude 20 tells us to pray in the Holy Ghost. Sometimes praying involves listening. We pray in the Holy Ghost when we listen to what the Holy Spirit tells us to pray. Be sensitive to His direction in your prayer time. Ask Him to guide your prayer time. Elijah listened to that still small voice. We need to listen as well. Instead of constantly bringing our requests to the Lord, it would do us good to just be quiet before Him and let Him tell us what we should pray for.
That is what praying in the Holy Ghost is about. Realize, too, that as we pray to Him what He tells us to pray, that He has every intention of answering that prayer. In other words, praying in the Holy Ghost is praying in Jesus Name. He promises to answer anything we ask in His name. We just need to connect with His heart, His desires, His programs and make them our heart (Phil. 2:5), our desires (Ps. 37:4), our programs. God is obligated by His Word to work.