Two days before Christmas in 1776 Thomas Paine penned the words, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” His words like the introduction to A Tale of Two Cities, could apply to almost any period since the fall of man. They describe an appalling reality in our day. Many of us are particularly alarmed by the moral decline that has swept our country. We are seeing the fulfillment of Biblical warnings of the last days. “There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”[i]
How are we to respond to such moral and spiritual realities? The prophet Joel responded to the judgment of God that had fallen on Israel in his day with a call for unusual prayer.
“Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.”
Jonathan Edwards, one of the primary leaders of the Great Awakening in America, wrote a little booklet about urgent prayer. It had a long title for such a brief monograph.
A Humble Attempt to Promote the Agreement and Union of God’s People Throughout the World in Extraordinary Prayer For a Revival Of Religion And The Advancement Of God’s Kingdom On Earth, According To Scriptural Promises And Prophecies Of The Last Time
You can find this little booklet on line, http://goo.gl/nMogwY , and I do recommend it. The title itself addresses my thinking. God’s people must consider and, yes, even pray for extraordinary prayer in our day. I believe such prayer, and the thunderous results God would bring about, are promised to us in the last days as much as the terrible things we see.
What would extraordinary prayer look like today? What would it look like in your church? What if such prayer meetings spread from church to church across America? What might happen if extraordinary prayer spread like wildfire from people group to people group, from country to country around the world?
For the next few weeks I want to write about such prayer. As we consider what this would mean, pray with me for God to bring about extraordinary prayer in our time. Share these blog entries adding to them and commenting on them on line and off line with believers anywhere you may find them.
[i] 2 Tim. 3:1-4