Revival (50)

The Seeds of Abortion



I am grieved over the reality of abortion in our midst. In America alone we have put to death nearly 60 million unborn babies since the Roe v. Wade supreme Court ruling in 1973. It is a little encouraging that the number of abortions each year has decreased significantly. I am sure that is largely because of protests of this insidious evil primarily by Christians. 

However, I think it is important to note that simply making abortion illegal will not, in and of itself, solve the problem. That is because the seeds of abortion are much deeper than law. I believe one of the things that has helped to reduce the number of abortions in these later years has been the efforts made to help women deal with the crises that they face when they discover that they are pregnant. I also think we need to do more to help care for the needs of single mothers and others in difficult situations.

But none of these efforts will deal effectively with the root of the problem. Abortion arose en mass because of attitudes that have swept over us in the sexual revolution. We have lost all sense of the purpose and joy of sexual relations. In and out of marriage we have come to think of sexual relations as recreational activity. However, the primary purpose of sex is procreation. And children are the joy of sex. Of course, the immediate pleasure of sexual activity is a wonderful thing, but it is reduced tremendously as it is severed from its purpose.

We face a number of problems in dealing with this reality. What are our chances of making such a change in the thinking of our whole society? The realization of this overwhelms me. However, there are certainly things that we can do. We must continue to oppose abortion. And we can seek to reason with individuals in a world that may not wish to hear about our values. It may be more important to redouble our efforts to teach a more godly mindset to our children and those who come to Christ in our midst. Compassion calls us to increase our efforts to minister particularly to women and children in crisis. 

And consistent prayer for our society and our world is essential to bring about transformation on a wholesale basis. This problem goes back further than the sexual revolution. Its seeds go back to the sin of man in the Garden of Eden. Its terrible fruit can be seen in every generation from the beginning of the world. Without extraordinary prayer our efforts will be futile in trying to stop the title wave of public opinion. Nothing short of radical revival or a new heaven and a new earth will change what we face.




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A 300 year old church in Massachusetts faced a major challenge. Its ‘young people’ were in their ‘60’s. Their annual budget was $15,000. Most neighbors who passed the drab building with a drive-in congregation thought the church was closed. The neighborhood was now an Italian and Jewish enclave unlike the congregation of forty people with no Jews and one Italian. The church had no bridge to the community and no presence in its neighborhood. It was seen as having no value by the community, despite its rich heritage. It was on the verge of death.

A new pastor spruced up the church – a sign of life to the neighbors. Then he surveyed community needs attempting to determine a pathway for the church to serve the city. Of all the community needs, the one that seemed to fit what they could offer was a day-care for single, working moms. The goal was not a money-making enterprise, but a ministry, targeted to the children of the poor. The center opened with one teacher and two students. In a year, they were caring for thirty-seven children, and twenty-four of those were on government subsidies. Three children were assigned to the day-care by the courts, having been abused or neglected. By the end of the first year, the day-care budget was larger than that of the church. The staff was Christian, but all the kids came from non-Christian homes. Daily, they sang hymns and choruses. They heard Bible stories. They were taught moral principles, wrapped with love and grace. There was music, art, cooking, and medical services. It was ‘total’ child care, with parental interaction as well.

Day-care is not the most reasonable route to church growth, the pastor acknowledged, but it was the route God used to reconnect them to a missional purpose and begin to reconcile lost people to Christ. The pastor recalled, “One mother came into my office, and the first thing she said to me was, ‘Tell me more about Jesus. My daughter has never been the same since she started coming to your day-care center.’ That woman and her daughter are now in church every Sunday.” According to the pastor, “Nine Jews have become members of the church. One of them was formerly the director of the Jewish Community Center, and her daughter works for the day-care center.”

One thing is clear, the community no longer thinks the church is closed, and they have found other ways to serve their city. There is a food pantry and care for homeless street people. They have a weekly television show run by members. They teach English to city-residents. They were given a nine-room, six bedroom house to use as a refugee center. Hundreds have been served through that ministry.

A Cambodian church has now been launched. To reach youth, they opened a coffeehouse, and now the median age in the church has gone from the ‘60’s to the ‘30’s’. Home Bible studies, evangelistic in nature, have also served as a bridge. Some forty-five percent of new members came through the Bible Study door. They woke up the sleeping missional dimension in their congregational life,[1] and a dying church was revived. Revivals that focus on the renewal of its members are not revivals at all. Revivals must have a missional dimension. They must resurrect a collective burden for the lost. With a fresh missional consciousness, the congregation asked, “What can we do together to touch this city?” It must re-center members, not in a new experiential spectrum, but in the middle of compassionate ministry.

If your church closed its doors today, would anyone but its own members notice? Would the community be saddened because such a great community transformation partner was gone?

Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

P. Douglas Small is founder and president of Alive Ministries: PROJECT PRAY and he serves in conjunction with a number of other organizations. He is also the creator of the Praying Church Movement and the Prayer Trainer’s Network. However, all views expressed are his own and not the official position of any organization.

[1]       Robert Greenway and Timothy Monsma, 112-113.

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Morning by Morning, January 20 - Hear from Heaven and Heal Our Land
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Let Your name be the first word from my mouth this morning and let my relationship with You -- God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit -- have the first place in my life.  ...
"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJ).
To change the heart of our nation, we have to choose to humble ourselves and allow You to change our hearts. As we seek You in prayer, as we turn to You in repentance, as we embrace You in faith, You hear and Your forgive and You heal.
As You change us, You awaken us and revive us. You remind us of Your calling and Your destiny for us as Your people who are called by Your name here in our land. May we be found faithful in our generation to accomplish all You've intended in Your heart through our hearts that turn to You in prayer, repentance, and faith. We make our appeal to heaven in prayer. And You answer from heaven in power.
O Lord, my God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- hear from heaven and heal our land. May the honor and glory of Your name be great again in our hearts and in our land. "Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence -- as fire burns brushwood, as fire cause water to boil -- to make Your name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your presence!" (Isaiah 64:1-2 NKJ) In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays
May you be moved in the unity of God's Spirit with all who are called by His name in prayer, repentance, and faith to turn to Him in your heart, that the Lord may hear from heaven and heal our land, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me as I join with you in agreement in that prayer (Matthew 18:19; Psalm 133; John 17:18). God bless you, my friend!


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Are you praying for the impossible? I begin my daily devotionals by going over key verses through which God has spoken to me. After each verse I have several long term prayer requests. Under one of those verses I have this prayer.

I want to wait prayerfully for You to accomplish what is absolutely impossible in human strength.

I pray for God to help me trust Him for the impossible. But I don't want to pray for just any impossibility. For one thing, if I am praying for anything short of what God desires, I will be praying too small.

I am not absolutely sure what God wants to do in and beyond America in these days. But I believe I know some things God wants us to ask for. I believe God wants us to pray for our culture to be radically turned around.

Several weeks ago I wrote in this blog that there is more to concern us about abortion than its legality. One of the things I wrote was that it is crucial to change our media and our culture's attitude toward sex and marriage if we want to significantly reduce the number of abortions. That is humanly impossible. But I don't think that is enough.

I am listening to Eric Metaxas' book, If You Can Keep It.  He says freedom does not mean to be ungoverned. As the founders of our nation meant it, liberty is the freedom to govern ourselves. Eric quotes Os Guinness, citing the "Golden Triangle of Liberty.” The founders all assumed these three things worked together, liberty, morality, and religion. We cannot have liberty without morality, and we need free religion to sustain personal morality.

I believe a genuine revival sweeping the land will not just change our attitudes toward sex and marriage, but toward all morality, religion and godliness. I have been more and more alarmed at the profanity on television. Some of the shows that never had filthy language or innuendos are now rife with them. The fact that many of us think that is a picky matter is an indication that this is not simply an unholy influence, but a spiritual thermometer of our nation. In Matthew 12:34 Jesus said,

"Brood of vipers!How can you speak good things when your hearts are evil?

For the mouth speaks out of the overflow of the heart."

I fear this year's presidential election reflects the hearts of America. Especially in a democracy where grassroots movements sway elections we get the government we deserve.

Changing the hearts of this entire nation would be a revival like the world has not seen since the sweep of Christianity through the Roman Empire in the first three centuries A.D.

I don't know what we will see as a result of these prayers. This kind of praying may turn out much like Abraham's intercession for Sodom. The tears of Jeremiah did not change the hearts of Israel. And the move of God on Europe in the early days of the church cost believers dearly. But it was certainly worth every drop of martyrs' blood. Whatever it costs us, such prayer could bring about the greatest revival in history.

Let's pray for the impossible!

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Where Revival Begins

The Scottish poet Robert Burns said it this way: 

“Would some power give us the gift
To see ourselves as others see us!”


It’s a gift most of us need to receive more often. We all want to believe the best about ourselves. That’s natural, and it’s even healthy. But it’s also healthy to have someone hold the mirror in front of your face and say, “This is what you really look like.” It can be a very instructive experience.


Spiritual progress begins when we see ourselves as God sees us. It’s one thing when a friend says, “This is what you look like.” It’s another thing for God to utter those words. We can sometimes fool even our closest friends, but it’s impossible to fool the Lord. Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” He knows what we say behind closed doors, the secret thoughts no one else can hear, the hidden motives, the buried ambition, and all the twists and turns of our sinful nature. He doesn’t have to uncover our thoughts; he already knows them.


This is a sermon about revival. Let’s start with the word itself. You revive something when you bring it back to life. You can’t revive something that has never been alive in the first place. That’s why revival is different from evangelism. Evangelism is preaching the gospel to the lost that they might be saved. Revival awakens the saved from a state of spiritual slumber. When God sends revival, the church wakes up. Or to give a more formal definition, revival is the sovereign act of God, whereby he calls his backsliding people to repentance, faith, and new obedience to him.


I grew up in a church tradition that emphasized “revival meetings,” usually week-long gatherings where a visiting minister would challenge us spiritually. I can remember sitting with rapt attention as Angel Martinez preached night after night at the church where I grew up. That was at least 50 years ago. Probably the greatest move of God I’ve been part of happened during a youth revival in May 1970. Lives were changed forever by the decisions made that weekend. I say that so you’ll know I’m not speaking against “revival meetings.” Not at all. They can be greatly used of God. I simply point out that revival is a sovereign move of God that can’t be scheduled in advance.


Our text comes from 2 Chronicles 7:14, which is perhaps the most famous verse on revival in the Bible:


“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”


In the preceding verses the Lord lays out certain hard times that might come to the people of God. There might be a drought or a plague of locusts or an outbreak of disease in the land. 1 Kings 8 adds other times, such a crushing military defeat, or famine or blight or cities under siege by the enemy, or being sent into captivity. This verse is meant for God’s people whenever there is trouble in the land. The promise always applies, but in desperate times we need to pay close attention to verses like this.


2 Chronicles 7:14 was written for such a time as this. Let’s consider what it says under three headings.


I. The Subjects of Revival


“If my people, who are called by my name” (v. 14a).


These two phrases tell us this verse is limited to those who know the Lord. In this political season, when clergy of all stripes rush to support their preferred candidates, it’s important to remember 2 Chronicles 7:14 was not written to the Democrats or the Republicans. This is not a blanket invitation that applies to anyone, anywhere, at any time. God limits this invitation to those who are “his people.” This is not, for instance, a verse that applies to the Hindus. Nor does it apply to mankind in general. This promise applies to those who know Jesus and to no one else. To be called by the name of the Lord means you have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Romans 10:13).


II. The Conditions for Revival


“Will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways” (v. 14b).


Here are the four conditions for revival:


#1: Humility


What exactly is humility? Although many answers might be given, perhaps the simplest is that humility means seeing my true condition before God. After all, pride is simply taking credit for things that I’m not really responsible for. When we start feeling too puffed up about ourselves, we need to remember 1 Corinthians 4:7, “What do you have that you did not receive?” The answer is nothing. Not even Bill Gates can say, “I did this by myself.” To be sure, it took courage and ingenuity and commitment and perseverance to build Microsoft. Mr. Gates sits atop a multi-billion-dollar empire that didn’t happen by chance. Give that man all the credit he deserves. The same applies to every other successful man or woman in any field of endeavor. Kudos to anyone who has “made it” to the top. But just remember this. The strength to do the task, the intelligence to put together the plan, the skill to bring all the parts together, the courage to make it happen—all of it comes directly from God. It is true that between the richest man and the poorest man there is a great gulf in terms of worldly possessions. But on one point—the only one that counts—there is no difference. Both are alike the recipients of the grace of God. Neither man has anything to boast about. When we understand that, it changes the way we look at life, it changes the way we evaluate ourselves, and it changes the way we treat other people. If we are wise, it also changes our view of worldly success. We won’t base our self-image on our net worth when we believe God isn’t impressed with our bank account. We’ll have time for people because we understand we are all created by the same God.


#2: Prayer


What sort of prayer is the Lord talking about? It is the sincere prayer of a person who realizes his true condition. When I understand everything I have comes as a gift from God, my prayers will be filled with gratitude, love and praise. I will cry out to God, confessing how far short I fall of his divine standards. And every day I will remember the words of Jesus, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).


# 3: Seeking God’s Face


The phrase “seek my face” is a familiar one in the Old Testament. It has to do with the direction of my life. It is very similar to the fourth beatitude: “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). To seek God’s face is to hunger for a closer walk with him. Many of us know little of this because we fill our stomachs with spiritual junk food that never satisfies but keeps us from seeking nutritious food. The question is, what are you hungry for right now? Those who are hungry to know God seek one thing; those who are hungry for a career seek something else. What you are hungry for determines what you seek.


# 4: Turning from our Wicked Ways


At some point things have to change. We must repent. To repent means you turn from your wicked ways. You used to cheat on your wife, but now you don’t. You used to be lazy, but now you aren’t. You used to fill your mind with bitterness, but now you don’t. Once you were angry most of the day, but now you have turned away from anger. Once you were sloppy on the job when the boss wasn’t watching, but not anymore. Once you lived in lust for that which God has forbidden you to have, but not anymore. Once you lived to party on the weekends, but that life is part of your past. Whatever your wicked ways are, revival means turning from those ways to the ways that Please God. It means a definite break with the past and a deliberate change of direction.


If you think about it, these four conditions form a kind of progression:


You will never pray with any fervency until you see your true condition before God.
You will never seek God’s face until you begin to get serious about prayer.
You will never turn from your wicked ways until God becomes all-important in your life.


Humility leads to prayer. Prayer leads to seeking God’s face. Seeking God’s face leads to turning from our wicked ways.


III. The Results of Revival


“Then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (v. 14c).


We need to think carefully about this because it’s easy to turn 2 Chronicles 7:14 into a formula for revival. Certainly the verse lays out a plan for us to follow. The word “then” encourages us to believe our crying to God will never be in vain.


Our tears are not in vain.
Our prayers are not in vain.
Our burden is not in vain.
|Our sadness is not in vain.
Our desperation is not in vain.


Perhaps we can say it this way. When we are so dissatisfied with the status quo that we cry out to God for help, the answer will indeed come from heaven and things will begin to change. We must not limit God as to the how and the when. He is still the sovereign God who does whatever pleases him (Psalm 115:3). We must not dictate to the Lord about how the answer from heaven will come. He will answer in his own time, in his own way, according to his own will. But we have this assurance:

He will hear.
He will forgive.
He will heal.


If we do our part, though it will seem very incomplete, God will certainly do his. If we humble ourselves, and if we pray, and if we seek his face, and if we turn from our wicked ways, knowing all the while that we still fall short, God will move from heaven to come to our aid.


Politics is Not the Answer


This verse gives me hope because we seem to be in a bad state today. I cannot remember a time when America was more divided than we are at this moment. As a nation, we have turned away from the Lord. How will we ever find our way back to God?


The answer won’t come from the White House.
Politics will not save us.
Putting another justice on the Supreme Court won’t heal our land.


I say that in full recognition that it matters greatly how we vote because it matters who sits in the White House and makes those judicial appointments. We have to vote. I’m all for speaking out and taking a stand.


But when all is said and done, our greatest need is not political; our greatest need is spiritual. We need another great awakening in our land. Perhaps it will come in our day. I certainly hope so. Perhaps we will see another Layman’s Prayer Movement sweep our nation. I’m certainly encouraged by the thousands who have come to the various state capitals to pray with Franklin Graham. I’m very glad about the hundreds of thousands who came to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the “Together 2016” event. Later this year a number of ministries are planning different events to call the church to prayer. I urge you to get involved in praying with others for revival. Across the nation churches have come together to pray in response to the shootings that have taken place. This is all to the good.


Praying in the Last Days

Let me add one final thought. I believe we are living in the last days before the coming of the Lord. It certainly seems like the “terrible times” of 2 Timothy 3:1 have come true in our generation. I don’t have any secret information about the date of the Lord’s return. I’m simply giving my observation on the basis of what the Bible says about the last days.


What if Jesus is coming soon? What difference should that make to us? Can we still expect a move of God in the last days of human history? With all my heart, I believe the answer is yes. Take a quick look at Luke 18:1-8, which we call the Parable of the Persistent Widow. Most of us know the story about the judge who gave the widow what she wanted because she wore him out by coming back again and again. It’s an easy-to-grasp lesson on the importance of persistence when we pray. That much is obvious. But here’s the kicker. Jesus ends the story this way: “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Where did that come from? This isn’t a parable about the second coming. It’s about prayer. But Jesus applies it to the situation on the earth when he returns.

What’s up with that?


We need to read this against the larger New Testament teaching that in the last days there will be a huge turning away from the Lord. It is sometimes called the “apostasy” or the “falling away.” You can read about it in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 and 2 Thessalonians 2. As we rush headlong toward the return of Christ, we should expect to see exactly what is happening today:

False Christs.
Spiritual counterfeits.
Christians compromising their faith.
Pastors turning away from the truth.
Spiritual leaders who mislead the flock of God.


As the foundations of society crumble beneath us, we will see this happening more and more. All these things are just the “beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8).


We ought to read Luke 18:9 in light of those passages. In a world where truth has become entirely subjective, where feelings trump biblical commands, where we reinterpret the Bible to justify our sin, Jesus’ poignant question takes on a deeper meaning:

When the Son of Man comes…

Will he find faith in your church?
Will he find faith in your family?
Will he find faith in your heart?


While going through my files, I found the notes from the final sermon I preached at the first church I pastored after seminary. On that parting Sunday I told the people, “I have some prayers I have prayed for a long time.” I listed a number of requests I had brought before the Lord. My notes say I had just talked with someone whose marriage was in trouble because of an enslaving habit. They were in despair and needed a place to live. No name is written down, and I can honestly say that 33 years later, I have no idea who I was praying for back then. But I added this…


“Not all my prayers have been answered… yet!!!”


As we journey along through life, there will always be some prayers that haven’t been answered yet. Will we give up or will we keep praying? That’s what Jesus means when he asks, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”


Will he find anyone still believing or will everyone turn away?
Will he find faithful believers who still pray as the world self-destructs?


We can make sure the answer is yes. We can do our part by praying persistently, unitedly, fervently, joyfully, and faithfully. I believe those end-time prayers will have great power with the Lord because they are offered in the face of persecution, ridicule, and rising unbelief.


God will not let those prayers go to waste.


Start by Looking in the Mirror


So where does revival begin? The answer is always the same. It begins with you and it begins with me. It’s one thing to talk about what stands between our nation and revival or between my church and revival. It’s always easier to confess someone else’s sins. Ask God what stands between you and a new experience of his power and blessing. If you ask in sincerity, God will surely answer.


Do we have to stay the way we are? The answer is, “No, but." We have to start by understanding “the way we are.” Once we see that, the possibility of genuine change and real spiritual growth is open to us. So I end where I began. Revival is not far away when we see ourselves as God sees us. It’s easy to say, “America needs to get right with God” or “My neighbor needs changing” or “My church needs revival.” Those statements can become excuses for evading our own responsibility.


The call of Christ is always personal. He calls us one by one to follow him. Perhaps we should repeat the Chinese prayer that goes this way: “O Lord, change the world. Begin, I pray thee, with me.” Revival begins with the person you see when you look in the mirror. Start there and by God’s grace revival will begin inside your own heart. 

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A Pastor's Perspective on Prayer


To continue our "Better Together!" series on Corporate Prayer, I want to introduce you to a pastor friend of mine. John Whitsett is the Lead Pastor at Lakeside Community Church of the Nazarene in Hastings, Nebraska. I first met him through Pray.Network,  where I read a doctoral thesis he wrote on corporate prayer and revival. John was buried in 15” of snow last week in the Midwest’s “Snowmageddon,” so I had the unusual pleasure of interviewing someone who is normally very busy! 


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Jesus says in the Great Commission, "Go and preach the Gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15). 

This week, I was inspired by an idea Kevin Senapatiratne wrote about at Christ Connection. It's a great new "tool" for my missions toolbox, and I asked Kevin if I could share it with others. He is delighted to share this idea with you, too, and you'll find it right here:

Be the Spark to a Great Awakening!

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Revival at William And Mary

This article is excerpted from the Campus Renewal Magazine at

The College of William & Mary was chartered in 1693 and has rich history embedded within its well-worn brick pathways and aged brick buildings. It is said that students who go to William & Mary enter in with aspirations of changing the world and leave with the ability to do so. Within the nation, the university is known as an academically rigorous “Public Ivy League” and a very liberal school. By most people’s standards, revival and Williamsburg, Virginia are two of the last things that would ever go together.

And yet, God is moving.

The Beginnings of a Movement

“It’s quite difficult to describe how exactly this got started on our campus, simply because it’s difficult to describe what exactly this is,” says Jena Gray, a junior at William & Mary. “The best I can do is say that this is a very clear move of the Lord and that joy and freedom are racing each other throughout our campus, laughing the entire way.”

Though she has been a Christian for many years, Gray says she only truly began following Jesus during the second semester of her freshman year. Since then, she says the Lord has directed her heart towards her campus and she has been praying for revival, freedom, and joy for about a year and a half. Sophomore year, she says, felt dry and barren and much like a season of “pruning”. But this semester, things started to change.

“The state of Christianity on our historic campus has been viscous to the onlooker, seemingly stagnant but upon close scrutiny, there was movement – slow and steady,” Gray says. “Yet like all viscous liquids when heat is applied, energy increases, and similarly, the fire of the Holy Spirit has been fueling a movement and the flow of Jesus-lovers has been pouring out into all areas of the campus this semester.”

Worship, Prayer and Everything In Between

According to Gray, many opportunities for united worship and prayer have been springing up on the William & Mary campus. On Wednesdays at 9pm, students gather together in one of the campus buildings for “Worship Wednesday” – a gathering where Christian students can meet, worship and pray together. Birthed out of a prayer night held in March 2014, “Worship Wednesday” launched last Fall and has since become a weekly event that many students look forward to.

A partnership has also formed between W&M students and students from Christopher Newport University, a neighboring campus about 25 minutes away. “One Sunday night I called up one of my friends at Christopher Newport University,” says Gray. “I asked John if he or anyone from CNU could lead worship the following night at 8pm and Monday evening, 9 CNU brothers and sisters showed up. It was a beautiful time of worship with 9 CNU students and 10 W&M students in my friend Catherine’s living room.”

Gray believes God is working to cement the relationships between CNU and W&M students. “I was overwhelmed by how much God wanted this to happen and by how much of a bond [Christian] brothers and sisters have – that these friends and Jesus-lovers from CNU would pile into two cars on a Monday night to worship with us,” she says.

Missional Living

Gray and her friends have also been looking for ways to be missional and provide alternate settings where Christians can express their faith, while creating a safe place for non-Christians to attend, ask questions and hopefully encounter God.

“Catherine and I began ‘Creative Space’ at the Hearth (the name of Catherine’s house),” Gray explains. “The heart behind having people over to The Hearth is to have an open gathering for those interested in all art forms: poetry, baking, knitting, painting, instruments, and the like; to create a platform through which authentic conversations can be sparked, eventually leading to relationships founded on the commonality of art in order for the Gospel to be shared.”

“Basically, we want to reach the hipsters on our campus,” Gray says with a smile.

Once again, CNU students teamed up with her, and brought art supplies and canvases to The Hearth. But it hasn’t been without challenges. Gray says she found herself disappointed when not as many students showed up as she would have liked. It was on a trip to a local campus coffee house that her perspective started to shift. “As I walked inside the small house entrenched in darkness and despair, I knew this is where the people I most wanted to reach were. I felt the Lord say to me, ‘Jena, how do you expect people to come to you if you don’t go to them?’”

Being The Church

That opportunity soon presented itself on a frigid February Monday night when their regular prayer gathering coincided with a roommate’s party at The Hearth in celebration of classes being canceled the next day.

“Charlotte knew we were having worship from 8pm-10pm but it was fine with her that we were going to worship while her friends were over,” Gray recounts. “As Christian after Christian poured in, the non-believing hipsters poured drink after drink, staying pretty much in the kitchen or on the porch smoking all sorts of things. As our friend Jeremy began worship, everyone was slightly uncomfortable. No one had ever been in a situation quite like that before,” Gray says in bemusement. “All in all we had 26 Christians there worshipping and there were about 15 of Charlotte’s friends in a small house on a snowy night.”

What could have remained an awkward situation soon turned into spontaneous collaboration as one of the non-Christian guys picked up a violin he happened to have brought and joined in the worship. Over the next two hours, intrigued by the worship music, some of the non-Christians drew near to the living room, allowing for spiritual conversations to ensue.

At the end of the night, as the group transitioned to an a Capella rendition of “Nothing But The Blood”, the entire house fell silent. “Absolutely no one was talking but everyone was listening to us singing ‘Oh precious is the Lamb’ at the top of our lungs,” Gray says. “It truly felt as if the strongholds on our campus were being shaken loose from the sheer volume of our voices. Upon the final verse, I closed us in prayer and I distinctly remember not a single sound as everyone, all 40 people were listening to me talk to God about the life, joy, and freedom that is found in Him and how I was praying for our campus to discover those things in Jesus Christ.”

A Campus Awakening

In the last year, Gray has joyfully watched as the Christian community on her campus has grown from her and 2 friends fervently praying for revival to a thriving group of 18 students continuously interceding for the campus. Lives are being transformed, and they have even seen things stirring among athletes as 2 senior football players and a junior female lacrosse player have surrendered their lives to Christ. In total, there are over 300 Christians spread across 14 campus ministries, of which 20 student leaders meet regularly to pray and worship together outside of their regular ministry meetings. According to Gray, the number of students who label themselves as Christians far exceeds 300, but currently, 300 are active members of a church and/or ministry on campus. And Gray is confident that this is only the beginning.

“God is pouring out His Spirit over Williamsburg, and William & Mary will never be the same,” Gray says. “Laughter will replace stress; life will replace suicide; and joy will replace depression. Most of all, Jesus will reign over our campus now and forevermore. Revival is here.” Most recently, Gray has signed up with Campus Renewal, pledging to personally pray daily, pray weekly with others, fast monthly and host an annual gathering on her campus.

“I chose to ‘join the movement’ because God is doing a big work here and any resources that He can provide us through Campus Renewal are vital and will be put to use,” she says emphatically. “Our campus is being transformed by the Lord through prayer and worship so we are joining the movement alongside other believers and other campuses and declaring that the movement of the Holy Spirit is welcome here at the College of William & Mary.”

Written by Kimberly Chung

Kimberly Chung is the founder of the National Media Department at Campus Renewal and served as National Media Director for 8 years. She now serves as the Student Leadership Development Director, helping to develop and mentor student leaders who she hopes will impact the next generation for Christ. She is also the editor-in-chief of the Campus Renewal Magazine and enjoys writing and reporting on stories of what God is doing on college campuses around the nation.

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Days 1-13 can be read here


He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.(Psalm 91, KJV)

Dear Father Yahweh.
Thank you for giving us the promise of Psalm 91. Please be with us that we may abide in Your secret place and not stray from the narrow path that leads to eternal life and salvation through Your Son Yeshua. We understand that ONLY in abiding in You that we will have protection and promise given in Psalm 91.
Though these times are very dark and wicked they are a reminder that the return of Your Holy Son Yeshua is near. We need your protection Lord God. The enemy is upon us and we need to be living and walking and doing all for Your Kingdom. We pray for a great revival during these last days that more will turn to you.
I pray protection over our families and everyone of your children. Judgment is upon the wicked of this world and this nation oh God. Please bless your children, keep us safe, and help us lead many to You through Your Son, Yeshua. We acknowledge and proclaim that Yeshua is the ONLY way to You Father God. We thank you for sending Your only son as a sacrifice for our sins that we may have eternal life if we acknowledge Him as our savior and become born again. Please let us strive to be like Yeshua and let more of our worldly ways fall aside, that we may be overcomers for the Kingdom of Heaven.
We pray this in Jesus Holy Name. Amen.
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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, , 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. 

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[i] 2 Tim. 3:1-4

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What is happening right now in Boston is amazingly prophetic. Just two days ago, I was writing about revival after visiting John Adams' rare books collection at the Boston Public Library. (To see that post, entitled "Step Into Your New World", click here). What I did not know was that the same day I was publishing my article, archivist Pam Hatchfield was prying open a 220-year-old time capsule at the MFA, one that had been embedded in the State House's cornerstone by Sam Adams and Paul Revere in 1795. On July 4, 1795, fifteen white horses - one for each state of our union - had pulled this cornerstone and time capsule through the streets of Boston for the dedication ceremony.

To continue reading,  click here.

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9651018088?profile=originalOur street evangelism ministry was failing. For the third week, no one showed up for the weekend outreach, and in the dim glow of the streetlights, I asked God to continue his work. A few months later, Jeff and I had dinner. The next summer we started praying for Lansing, MI. once a week in his basement. Eight months later, after training and consulting our pastors, we walked into the porn stores and dark, sweaty bars in downtown Lansing, MI on a blustery February Friday evening. We introduced ourselves to our new congregation.


We met the owners, employees and bar tenders on Michigan Ave. and promised we would be their pastors. After 4 years of weekly ministry and constant prayer, two bars closed, one of the porn stores burned down, and a few dancers and workers attended our church. Within two more years, the blocks we adopted as our ‘church’ were purchased by a local Christian business association. The entire area was razed, and replaced with a new civic arena, and a family friendly AAA ball park.God is Good. He did exceedingly above anything we could ask, or think.


Prayer that moves God’s heart isn’t about running through a laundry list of my needs, wants, and desires. Prayer isn’t about what I think is important, or the Top 10 on my Spiritual To-Do List. Prayer isn’t:


  • A cosmic gumball machine, into which I insert my prayers and get what I want back.
  • An exercise to earn God’s love, favor, love or attention.
  • Unloading my cares and burdens on God, on the run.


Real prayer is much deeper, and much more costly. Maybe that’s why, in our instant and digital generation, our prayers are so ineffective. Prayer is communing with God and spending time with a Father that loves and longs to meet with us. Intimacy like that takes time. Prayer is spending time listening to, and talking with the One who knows you thoroughly and loves you deeply. Prayer is:


  • Setting your heart on what is important to God before pursuing what is important to me.
  • Connecting your heart, mind, soul and spirit to God’s voice, love and will for you.
  • Letting God work in you, so that later, that he can work through you.


Here are a few scriptures to help move you toward life changing, heart rending, world shaking prayer.


  • Real prayer is Emotional – read Ps 137 and pay attention to the way the writer pours out his raw feelings to his God.
  • Real Prayer is Honest – Read aloud Ps 41 and 42, and consider times when you were burdened, happy, worn out, and trusting. Did you feel free to express these things to your Father?
  • Real prayer isn’t instant. In Dan 9.24ff, Daniel read a promise from God written by Jeremiah nearly a hundred years earlier. He approached God on the basis of this promise, and asks God to keep his promise to release Israel from captivity. According to Dan 10. 1-14, he fasted and prayed for three more weeks before receiving God’s response.


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12 Tips for Powerful Prayer Meetings

  1. “We” trumps “I.” Jesus instructed us to pray “OUR Father…” (Matthew 6:9). Ordinarily, things are getting off-track if there is too much use of the word “I” in corporate prayer.
  2. God-centered rather than problem-centered. The Lord’s Prayer, the prayers in Acts and Paul’s epistles, and the other prayers in the Bible sometimes addressed current problems (e.g., prayer in Acts 4:23-31 regarding persecution). However, the overwhelming them is always God’s power, glory, and sovereignty (e.g., “Hallowed be Your name” and Ephesians 1, “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion”).
  3. Brief trumps long. The Pharisees were known for their lengthy prayers, but Jesus encouraged His disciples to not put their trust in long prayers or “vain repetitions” (Matthew 6:7, Matthew 23:14).
  4. Focused prayers trump shatter-shot prayers. Too often, people’s prayers are unfocused, covering too many topics and petitions all at once. If we want to have our prayers answered, it’s much better eliminate “fluff” and unnecessary rabbit trails. Specific prayers bring specific answers.
  5. Prayers filled with faith and victory will always trump prayers marked by doubt and defeat. Nothing will bring discouragement to a prayer meeting faster than people who are praying prayers of unbelief.
  6. United prayers trump individualism. Corporate prayer is only powerful when the prayers are offered in one accord (Matthew 18:19-20, Psalm 133). This is undercut when people’s prayers cannot receive an “Amen” from the rest of the participants.
  7. Spirit-led prayers trump human concerns. Understandably, prayer meetings often attract people who have “burdens” to pray about, whether the burdens are for themselves or for others. But unless these human concerns become motivated by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26-30), they will end up just being filled with well-meaning “flesh.”
  8. It’s often helpful to mix elements such as worship and Scripture into prayer meetings. We see this approach in Colossians 3:16-17: Word, “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” etc.
  9. Prayer meetings should be times of HEARING from God and not just SPEAKING to God. The principle in James 1:19 applies, being “quick to listen and slow to speak” (or pray). This means it’s OK to have times of silence and listening, not feeling it necessary to fill the entire time with speaking/praying.
  10. Prayer meetings usually work best when there is a balance between human leadership and free-flowing group involvement. If the hand of human leadership is too strong, people will be intimidated from listening to God or participating. But if there is no leadership at all, the prayers will often go off on tangents and become unfocused. This doesn’t mean the leadership has to be from just one person, but it’s helpful if people know who is “in charge” of sensing God’s direction in the meeting. People who are intercessors or prophetic sometimes distrust structure and time constraints, but the Bible provides numerous examples of God instituting structure before He performed miracles (e.g., breaking up the people into groups before feeding them loaves and fish). However, if there is going to be structure as to the format, time limitations, etc., they should be clearly communicated in advance (e.g., Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 14 about the use of spiritual gifts in public meetings).
  11. When revival is one of the objectives of a corporate prayer meeting, the elements of 2 Chronicles 7:14 should be kept in mind: E.g., humbling ourselves, seeking His face, repenting (turning from our wicked ways), listening, receiving His forgiveness and forgiving anyone who has wronged us.
  12. Just as in our individual prayer lives, it’s helpful to keep an informal record of some of the prayer requests offered, and then the answers received. Keeping track of some of the testimonies will build faith in God’s faithfulness and in the power of prayer.


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Beyond In Case of Emergency...

Attention spans in America are at historically short levels in our day and age.  A sound bite here, a brief video, a short news clip there, a quick word of gossip during a meal, and many people can feel they're on top of the news, have a handle on life, or have all the knowledge they need to appear intelligent or knowledgeable amongst their peers.  

Our short attention spans are not impressive to God.  One of the big reasons is that those same short attention spans transfer over into our relationship, or maybe more accurately, lack-of-relationship with Him.

Our attention spans have become so splintered that prayer, and the Word of God for many, have become go-to things almost only in cases of emergency.  When the heat is turned up, only then is the Bible opened or prayer to God turned to as a means to provide hope, relief, or help.

We sell God, His promises, resources, and our relationship with Him FAR too short!  He is not honored as such.  This can be changed, but let's consider a few things first.

Let's consider two things:  Prayer and the Bible (the Word of God)

R.A. Torrey speaks about insincere (untruthful) prayer.  "Psalm 145:18 throws a great deal of light on the question of how to pray:  'The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.'"

"Much of our prayer is insincere.  People ask for things that they do not wish.  Many women pray for the conversion of their husbands, but do not really wish their husbands to be converted.  They think they do, but if they knew what would be involved in the conversion of their husbands, they would think again.  It would necessitate an entire revolution in their manner of doing business and would consequently reduce their income, making it necessary to change their entire way of living.  If they were sincere with God, the real prayer of their hearts would be: 'O God, do not convert my husband.'  Some women do not wish their husbands' conversion at so great a cost."

"Many churches are praying for revival but do not really desire a revival.  They think they do, for in their minds, a revival means an increase of membership, income, and reputation among the churches.  But if they knew what a real revival meant, they would not be so eager.  Revival brings the searching of hearts on the part of professed Christians, a radical transformation of individual, home, and social life, when the Spirit of God is poured out in reality and power.  If all this were known, the real cry of the church would be: 'O God, keep us from having revival."'

"When we do come to the place where we really desire the conversion of friends at any cost, really desire the outpouring of the Holy Spirit whatever it may involve, really desire anything "in truth" and then call upon God for it "in truth," God is going to hear."  (R.A. Torrey on the Christian Life- How to Pray, pgs. 281-283)

Our short attention spans can easily lead us to offering a quick burst of prayer in a moment; one that may not be truthful at its core.  We would do well to pause, consider what we're truly thinking about asking God in prayer, and then proceed in asking only after considering if what we're asking is being done so "in truth."

How to Properly Study God's Word

Torrey outlines four things that make for effective study of the Bible as the Word of God.

1. "The unquestioning acceptance of its teachings when they are understood, even when they may appear unreasonable or impossible.  Reason demands that we submit our judgment to the statements of infinite wisdom.  Nothing is more irrational than rationalism.  It makes finite wisdom the test of infinite wisdom and submits the teachings of God's omniscience to the approval of man's judgment.  Conceit says, 'This cannot be true, even though God says it, for it does not approve itself to my reason.'  'O man, who are you to reply against God?' (Romans 9:20)."

"Real human wisdom, when it finds infinite wisdom, bows before it and says, 'Speak what You will and I will believe.'  When we have once become convinced that the Bible is God's Word, its teachings must be the end of all controversy and discussion.  A 'Thus says the Lord' will settle every question.  Yet many who profess to believe the Bible is the Word of God will shake their heads and say, 'Yes, but I think so and so,' or  'Doctor--- or Professor--- or our church doesn't teach it that way.'  There is little advantage to that sort of study."

2.  Absolute reliance on all its promises in all their length and breadth.  "The person who studies the the Bible as the Word of God will not discount any one of its promises one iota.  A student who studies the Bible as the Word of God will say, 'God who cannot lie has promised,' and he will not try to make God a liar by trying to make one of His promises mean less than it says.  (See 1 John 5:10)  The one who studies the Bible as the Word of God will be on the lookout for promises.  As soon as he finds one, he should seek to discover what it means and then place his entire trust on its full meaning."

"This is one of the secrets of profitable Bible study.  Hunt for promises and appropriate them as fast as you find them by meeting the conditions and risking all upon them.  This is the way to make all the fullness of God's blessings your own.  This is the key to all the treasures of God's grace.  Happy is the one who has learned to study the Bible as God's Word and is ready to claim for himself every new promise as it appears and to risk everything on it."

3.  Prompt obedience to its every precept.  "Obedience may seem hard or impossible; but God has commanded it, and you have nothing to do but to obey and leave the results to God.  To get results from your Bible study, resolve that from this time on, you will claim every clear promise and obey every plain command.  When the meaning of promises and commands is not yet clear, try to discern their meaning immediately."

4.  Study in God's presence.  "When you read a verse of Scripture, hear the voice of the living God speaking directly to you in these written words.  There is new power and attractiveness in the Bible when you have learned to hear a living, present Person- God our Father- talking directly to you in these words."

The short attention spans of modern Christians seek more to honor the clock (how much or little can I pray, cram, or read in the short, allotted time I've set aside for God today?) than dwell deeply in His presence- for as long as He desires us to dwell with Him.

Combining the Two

Torrey concludes, "The last condition for profitable Bible study is prayerfulness.  The psalmist prayed, 'Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law' (Psalm 119:18).  Everyone who desires productive study needs to offer a similar prayer each time he undertakes to study the Word.  A few keys open many treasure chests of prayer.  A few clues unravel many difficulties.  A few microscopes disclose many beauties hidden from the eye of the ordinary observer.  What new light often shines from familiar texts as you bend over them in prayer!"

"I believe in studying the Bible many times on your knees.  When you read an entire book through on your knees- and this is easily done- that book takes on a new meaning and becomes a new book.  You should never open the Bible without lifting your heart to God in silent prayer that He will interpret it and illumine its pages by the light of His Spirit.  It is a rare privilege to study any book under the immediate guidance and instruction of the author, and this is the privilege of us all in studying the Bible."  (taken from R.A. Torrey on the Christian Life, Conditions for Profitable Bible Study, pgs. 358-360)

The cure to a short attention span begins with prayer.  Begin by asking God to adjust your appetites and priorities today; to make His desires and priorities become yours.  God desires your presence and attention more than you may desire His at this time.  But He will honor and bless that prayer, and will increase both your desire for Him, and the allotment of time you place with Him in your daily life, if that's your sincere desire.

Lord, we often cry that we desire more of You.  However, if we're honest, it's more of us that You want.  We often attempt to find significance, fulfillment, power, joy, and other things we're seeking to help us feel good through things that entertain, busy us, and more.  But those things almost always are greater at pulling us further from You than drawing us nearer to You. 

Father, I desire to change- and for You to help spur the changes within me.  Renew my appetite for Your Word.  Expand my hunger for Your Word, then increase my capacity to read, listen, take to heart, and apply your truth in my life.  Help me to prayerfully read Scripture; seeking your Spirit to interpret and illumine all that I read.  Thank you for your promise of making all things new.  Thank you for including me, my mind, heart, soul, and all my being within that promise (and so much more beyond me as well)!  I praise You.  You are worthy.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

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A Revival of Prayer

“Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation” (Luke 3:4-6).

We are right now living in desperate days. The Church in many parts of the world needs revival, and God wants to use each one of us to prepare the way for a mighty outpouring of His Spirit. I am sure that you sense the urgency of the hour. It is not hard to see that everything is not right. God is trying to get our full attention. It is truly time to cry out to the Lord and become men and women of fervent prayer. We need God's intervention in our cities and nations. The valleys of defeat must be filled, the mountains of disbelief must be leveled, the crooked places of dishonesty must be straightened, and the rough places of disobedience must be made smooth.  
It was almost 25 years ago on the mission field when I wrote the following two paragraphs in a newsletter. I find that today I must still ask myself the same questions I asked then:  

"Am I desperate enough for revival? Do I realize the desperate condition of my country?” And if I trust in religious organization, material wealth, popular preaching, shallow evangelistic crusades, there will never be revival. But when confidence in my flesh is smashed and I realize my desperate wretchedness and emptiness before God, then and only then will God break through. "Lord, make me ready for revival. Revive me."
I challenge you to join me in prayer for revival for our lives and for the nations. I call for prayer that is strong, prevailing, believing, God-moving, hell-defeating, devil-routing, sinner-saving, believer-sanctifying, Christ-exalting and worker-producing
prayer that takes all that we are and have. God Himself will motivate us to pray these prayers that have extraordinary consequences if we are only willingwilling to pay the price. Pray that God may fill us all with the very passion of Christ, with the power and persistence of the Holy Spirit, with the burdening sense of the Church’s plight and world’s appalling need, that the wheels of revival may be set in motion.

"Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name. Restore us, O Lord God Almighty; make your face to shine upon us, that we may be saved” (Psalm 80:18-19).
How do we Personally Prepare the Way for Revival?
“The coming revival must begin with a great prayer revival. It is in the closet, with the door shut, that the sound of abundant revival will be first heard. An increase in the secret prayer of ministers and members will be the sure herald of blessing.” Andrew Murray

  • Prepare yourself in the way of blessing through intensive prayer - Pray with all your heart, asking God to enlarge your prayer and worship life. Make time for God, and practice fasting. 

    “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray…” (2 Chronicles 7:14a).

  • Be serious about personal revival - Instead of watching TV, pray. Don’t get caught up in the ways of the world. Lay aside those worldly pursuits. 

    "... and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14b).

  • Become dissatisfied with sin and ask God to convict your heart - Be sensitive to His conviction. 

    “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).

  • Repent thoroughly - Don’t tolerate sin in your own life. Let godly sorrow over your sin touch you deeply. 

    “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight… Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place” (Psalm 51:4-6).

  • Make restitution whenever possible - Make sure that your relationships are right. 

    “Live in harmony with one another” (Romans 12:16).        

  • Practice living the Sermon on the Mount - Matthew 5 - 7 is the job description of holy living. Ask God to transform your life and teach you to live to please Him. Prayerfully study the Sermon on the Mount regularly.

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:3-4).

  • Choose to narrow your interests - If you narrow your interests, God will enlarge your heart. We can so easily be distracted from prayer, but revival calls for a focused vision on what really matters. This is the time to pray and hunger after God wholeheartedly. 

    “I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands” (Psalm 119:10).

  • Make a new commitment to reach out to the lost - Pray an ask God for opportunities, and He will help you. Begin to pray, care and share Christ with those who do not know Him. Follow the example of Jesus. 

    “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10).

  • Have faith in God - Begin to expect God to move through your prayers. Believe that He does want to pour out His spirit and bring revival. 

    “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).

Revival begins with us.  It is each one of us getting our lives straight and turning from the crooked paths. Take seriously the need for personal revival. Take seriously the need for prayer. God is dealing with His Church. 
The great work of intercession is needed for this returning to the Lord. It is here that the coming revival must find its strength. Let us begin as individuals to plead with God, confessing whatever we see of sin or hindrance in ourselves or others. If there were no other sin, surely the lack of prayer is matter enough for repentance, confession, and returning to the Lord." Andrew Murray

Intercessors Arise News

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff

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Thursday, May 1st, is the National Day of Prayer in the U.S.  The National Day of Prayer Committee's website lists over 40,000 prayer events nation-wide (and those are just the ones listed or registered on the site)!

One needs to look no further than a daily newspaper, an online news source, or even talking to a friend, neighbor, or co-worker, to know some of the many things that make our nation and its people unholy and ill.  We see matters like murders, suicides, gang-related matters, drug abuse (legal and illegal), hatred, worry, self-absorption (in seeking endless opportunities to be entertained or to entertain others; be seen, read, or observed... via social media and other outlets), and more.  But there's a common thread- a common denominator in all these societal matters.  It's an exalting of self over God.

Few people consider prayerlessness as a matter that falls into that category as well.  In fact, prayerlessness isn't something that most people think about.  We tend to focus on what interests us most in the moment.  If what interests us most isn't God, then self is occupying that place.

So, as we pray, and prepare to pray for God to revive and awaken our nation, where do we begin?

Revival vs. Awakening

There's a difference between Revival and Awakening that's important to first define.

Revival happens to Christians.  It can come when God is sought to increase a Christian's depth of relationship with Himself, an increasing awareness of God's constant and holy presence, and often is worked out in a complete turning over of self and one's pursuits for God's shaping and direction.  Revival begins in an individual's heart, humbled by God and before God.  Historically, this sometimes has happened when a group of Christians, praying in a similar heart-felt and biblical manner, seek Him; although it always begins within one's personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. 

Revival is often equated with a Christian who has wandered away from his First Love, Jesus Christ; but it always yields a growing desire to draw nearer to God and be conformed more into His image and ways.

Awakening:  Awakening is a term used that describes God's wooing of hearts, convicting of sins, and turning of hearts toward Himself and away from self or other sources that have taken or are keeping Him out of His rightful place as #1 in one's heart.  Awakening happens amongst non-Christians, although also within churches- within attendees who've never received Jesus as Lord and Savior or have entered into a personal relationship with Him.

How We Can Pray

Every nation is made up of sizable groupings of people- just as states, cities, or neighborhoods are (in varying sizes and numbers).  But before praying a "blanket", all-encompassing, general, prayer for God to revive Christians and awaken non-Christians across our land, let's begin individually- with ourselves.

Withdraw to a place that separates you from people or things that would distract or draw your attention away from God.  This could be a car, a park, a quiet room, garage, bedroom, closet, backyard, or any place that helps set time and space apart for God.

Worship God, and ask Him to search your heart.  God desires our hearts to be sinless and pure as we approach Him.  By asking Him to search us, His Spirit will quicken our hearts to realize ways we've sinned against Him and/or others.  As He does so, confess those to God so that the slate is wiped clean.  No sin is too great to be covered by Jesus' death on the cross.  Therefore there's no condemnation for sins that have been confessed to God. 

Psalm 139 offers some simple, yet powerful Scripture to pray:

Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.
-Psalm 139:23-24

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
-Psalm 139:1-3

Next, be still.  Listen for His reply.  He may answer with a prompting to your heart, your mind, or in another way.  If you're not familiar with praying, listening, or being still before Him in this way, you may also ask God to help you discern His voice and promptings over others that may attempt to intrude.  Remember:  God will never instruct you to do anything unholy or unrighteous.  He can not be other than who He is- holy.  He won't instruct any of His children to sin or be unholy.  He will bring conviction of sin; but as a means to draw the heart to confession and repentance.  When that happens, that particular heart becomes workable, pliable, and useful in His hands.

As you continue your time with God, ask Him if there is any Scripture that He'd have you read, meditate upon, or pray through.  Listen for His voice, then obediently follow as He instructs.

In America, we're quick to pray for matters on our hearts, serve those requests up to God, then dart away like a young child rushing back to play with friends.  Yet to receive God's ongoing wisdom, affection, and much more, we must invest our time personally with Him- in prayerful worship, praise, thanksgiving, sharing of requests, more worship, and more time still (even while we're active in daily routines and activities.  It's possible!).  To unplug from Him, rush off to an event, activity, TV show, movie, game, or something else, is to greatly short-change both short and long-term joy, love, peace, wisdom, relationship, and much more that comes from being and dwelling in His presence!

The same is true when we focus prayer on the revival and awakening of people in our nation.  If May 1st is the only day we set apart to pray accordingly, then we dart away from our First Love to other loves competing for our attention and hearts, we lose out on a great deal more than we realize!  God is a jealous God, as well as perfect in love, grace, trust, power, truth, wisdom, and much more.  He wants us to place and keep Him as our First Love.

So, as you pray today, tomorrow, on the day set aside as the National Day of Prayer, and other days, seek ongoing revival in your heart with God.  Seek Him to lead, instruct, and shape your heart, how you pray, and more.  You'll quickly find a growing hunger and appetite for His presence and Word- and there's no greater benefit of revival than God Himself!

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.  Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. - 2 Peter 3:9,14-15, 17-18
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Preparation for Revival

“All the true revivals have been born in prayer. When God’s people become so concerned about the state of religion that they lie on their faces day and night in earnest supplication, the blessing will be sure to fall." E. M. Bounds

Many of us pray that God will send a revival among us. We intercede not only for ourselves, but for those around us, asking God to move in powerful ways. But what does revival actually look like and how should we pray?

My husband and I had the wonderful privilege of living in Wales for more than a year. A great revival swept through the land in 1904, making an impact on the nation—and the world—in a short span of time. We had the added blessing of visiting Moriah Chapel, the tiny church building where the Welsh revival broke forth. I was amazed at how insignificant in appearance the building is. Yet the power of God spread around the world from that humble place. Believers in Wales are praying for another mighty revival to touch their land, and we have been inspired to think, study, and pray much for revival since that time.
The topic of revival brings great interest to most of us because we long for God to sweep through our country. But we must realize that it is costly, and each of us must be willing to pay the price to prepare for it.

Behind the concept of revival is the Hebrew word chayah, which means “to live.” In Strong’s Concordance, the word is translated “make alive, nourish up, preserve, quicken, recover, repair, restore, save, keep alive and make whole.” Who among us does not desire that the Church be quickened, made whole, preserved and kept alive? We must pray with heartfelt passion for this to happen. And it will. When the Church is revived, she will be stronger and mightier against the powers of darkness. She will be a brighter light in this dark world. She will be victorious and attract the lost.     
When revival hit Wales, the whole community was shaken by the power of God. Crowds would go to the prayer meetings at 6:00 A.M. Because the Holy Spirit affected many people, the entire community was soon turned into a praying multitude. Evan Roberts, the young man greatly used in the Welsh Revival, would speak of four tenets or keys to walking in revival. These are helpful as we seek for personal and corporate revival in our own lives: 

  1. The past must be made clear by sin being confessed to God and every wrong to man put right.
  2. Every doubtful thing in the life must be put away.
  3. There must be prompt obedience to the Holy Spirit.
  4. There must be public confession of Christ.

We live in serious times. We need to cry out fervently to God, asking Him to revive His Church worldwide. We need to be in intensive prayer, asking God to move in our cities and nations. Studying the characteristics of revival will help us prepare both personally and corporately for a great move of God in His Church. Understanding the deep need to prepare our own hearts for revival and learning how to cooperate with God as He pours into the earth will keep us from hindering the move of God as it comes. The key phrase of the Welsh revival in 1904 was, "Bend the Church and save the world." 

The Human Characteristics of Revival

  • Spiritual preparation - Unity and prayer are two key elements needed for revival. We must pay this price of spiritual preparation. Revival will not come without a hunger and thirst after God that brings intense prayer. There must be a longing for His glory. We cannot be indifferent or apathetic but must rend our hearts with the cries that are born by the yearnings in God’s heart. Forty days after Jesus ascended to heaven, His followers obediently prepared for spiritual revival: "They all joined together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14).

    “Our essential trouble is that we are content with a very superficial and preliminary knowledge of God… we spend our lives in busy activism… The inevitable and constant preliminary to revival has always been a thirst for God, a thirst, a living thirst for a knowledge of the living God and a longing and a burning desire to see Him acting, manifesting Himself and His power, rising and scattering His enemies." Martin Lloyd-Jones

  • Conviction of sin - In true revival, people are seized with an overwhelming conviction of sin. Even the smallest sin seems big. Sin is not taken lightly, and God deals with both the saved and the lost. Revival is intensely personal; God convicts you of personal sin, and your soul is in the agonizing grip of a holy God. There is an encounter with God’s convicting power. "They were cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37).

    “The assembly appeared bowed with an awful conviction of their sin and danger. There was such a breathing of distress and weeping that the preacher was obliged to speak to the people and desire silence that he might be heard. Many of the hearers were seen unconsciously holding themselves up against the pillars and the sides of the pews as though they already felt themselves sliding into the pit.” Wallis

  • God-consciousness - In revival, there is a consciousness of God, an awareness of His holiness and power. On the day of Pentecost, “everyone was filled with awe” (Acts 2:43). People caught up in revival know without a doubt that God is there. They feel a divine magnetism toward His presence. 

    “There was nothing humanly speaking, to account for what happened. Quite suddenly, upon one and another came an overwhelming sense of the reality and awfulness of His Presence and of eternal things. Life, death and eternity seemed suddenly laid bare.” Winkie Pratney

May God prepare each one of us personally to pay the price for revival—the price of fervent prayer and allowing Him  to work deeply in our lives. Let us ask Him to make us conscious of His Presence and learn to abide in Him moment by moment. Pray that He will convict us of even the smallest sin in our life. Press on in prayer and fasting for revival in the nations. A worldwide end-times revival is going to be a glorious thing, but it will be costly.

We lived on a book exhibition ship for years. In some countries, thousands of visitors came on board daily. Long hours of hard work consumed our full attention. Are we ready for the demands of revival? God must prepare us, His Church, personally and corporately for the self-sacrifice that revival entails. May we not draw back but prepare to lay hold of this glorious end-time outpouring of God with all our hearts as the radiant Bride of Christ who is willing to sacrifice all so that people might be saved.
“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you" (Isaiah 64:1-2).

Intercessors Arise News

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff

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Grown in Prayer

"Prayer changes things" is a phrase I hear spoken every once in awhile.  While prayer is a method or tool that God created for us to communicate with him, God is the one who changes things.  He changes us and/or the circumstances we experience when we pray.

So, let me ask you this question.  What needs changing today?

I imagine, almost instantly, your mind is filling with personal concerns or matters in which you'd like to see change.  For some, political thoughts or ideas are sweeping in.  For others still, it may be the circumstances or the needs of others.  It's possible too that you're content with life and the circumstances you experience.

Whatever the need, and whatever the experience, meet it first in prayer

Seek God to change the heart (your own, and for others you pray for).  Remember to worship Him as you pray.

Seek God to adjust circumstances (ask Him to show you how to pray for each one). 

Seek God to glorify Himself in the outworking of His will in each circumstance. 

Release control of the outcome to Him- He who does and is immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).  Then, watch how He answers.  Listen and be attentive to Him.  He may instruct you to pray differently than you've been praying.  That's okay.  Follow Him in the way(s) He desires you to pray. 

His outcomes are always greater than whatever we can come up with on our own!  Sometimes His outcome may change us more than the circumstance or matter we're praying for.  That's okay too!  It's good to allow Him to grow you as you pray.

Praying for Revival

Despite people who cast doom-and-gloom reports on the growth or shrinkage of Christianity in our world, the gospel continues to spread- and in many places it's spreading rapidly! 

A local glimpse/snapshot
:  Around 700 people received and began following Christ two weeks ago in Central Indiana!   The Lord did this through Christians, some brand new in their faith, sharing individually and in small groups.  This may be a small number, but the good news is that He's continuing to do this today!

But how does revival and awakening begin?  Does it happen by a number of people putting their heads together to organize a massive plan or people-gathering campaign?  Does it form when Christians try harder to live good, Christ-honoring, lives?

Revival begins, and grows, first by prayer.  Are you catching the message here?

This revival has only just begun.  What if we prayed for revival in other countries?  What if we prayed for revival in our country?   What more will God change?  How much more will he change us?

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Join us February 17-19 in the Tampa Bay area for a national gathering of pastors and leaders as we collectively seek God and His blessing on our lives and churches.

This corporate, multiple-day experience of unscripted prayer, worship and Scripture will be conducted in the Prayer Summit format. Our time will be led by Daniel Henderson (National Director ofThe 6:4 Fellowship) and Dennis Fuqua (Director of International Renewal Ministries). Daniel and Dennis have collectively led hundreds of Prayer Summit experiences for leadership teams, pastors' fellowships, and entire congregations.



- Encouragement and fellowship with like-minded pastors

- Refreshment in God's presence through prayer

- Equipping in prayer leadership that you can take back to your church

- Discounts for 6:4 Fellowship members and spouses!

Visit for more details and schedule.

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