Praying for Revival!

“Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence—As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil—To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence!” Isaiah 64:1-2 (NASB)

Slowly, but surely more and more Christians are coming to realize that our world needs something more that any man or method can produce. Today we stand in desperate need of a mighty work of God! We need spiritual renewal (revival) among the saved! We need a spiritual awakening among the lost! It is at this point we would be wise to consider what the great old Methodist preacher, John Wesley, had to say. “Prayer is the engine that drives revival!”

If revival is the need of the hour, and prayer is the engine that drives revival, then that poses a valid question. “How should we pray for revival?” The disciples were on to something when they came to Jesus in Luke 11:1 and said, “Lord, teach us to pray!” Surely many have learned by now that the more we know about prayer, the more we understand how much we don’t know about prayer, bringing us to the place of repeating the same prayer the disciples prayed!

Add to this what Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 10 concerning the Old Testament scriptures, “These things happened as examples for us” (v 6), and “they were written for our instruction” (v 10). We are told to avoid the bad decisions of the old testament saints, but we are to adopt the good decisions! With that in mind let’s learn from Isaiah in 64:1-2 how to pray for a mighty work of revival in our day.

Notice the terms that Isaiah uses: Rend (tear) the heavens; Quake (shake) the mountains; Boil the waters (oceans, rivers); Tremble the nations! The Bible teaches God is always and every where present (theologians refer to this as His omnipresence), but Isaiah goes beyond that, asking the Lord to manifest His presence in an supernatural fashion. We see this illustrated in many of the great historic revivals. People testified in the great Welch revival in the early 1900s that the presence of God was “indisputable and inescapeable!” A woman converted in the revival in the Hebrides Islands in the mid-1900s said, “The islands were saturated with the presence of God!” Reports in the New York City newspapers in the prayer revival of 1858-59 stated that crew members sailing into New York harbor from foreign lands would fall under heavy conviction and cry out to God before the ship ever docked and anyone had an opportunity to speak to them!

It seems more than apparent that we need to learn from Isaiah and adopt his practice when it comes to praying for a mighty work of God in America today, asking the Lord to make His presence, purity and power known in an unusual way!

Jon Moore

JonMoore1 (2)

The Great Ulster Revival

Several months ago, I was wanting to share how women were used in the great mighty works of God in past centuries to usher in revivals and Spiritual Awakenings. A friend shared the following article with me. I will be paraphrasing some of the devotional due to space.
E Michael and Sharon Rusten in a devotional in “One Year Book of Christian History” wrote the following:
In 1856 in Ulster, Ireland, James McQuilkin was invited to tea. There a visiting woman skirted the civilities of discussing the weather and spoke openly on a subject McQuilkin found uncomfortable: the condition of his soul. After another guest described the nature of her Christian experience, the visiting woman said to McQuilkin, “my dear, I don’t believe you have ever known the Lord Jesus.” McQuilkin later wrote, “I knew that she spoke what was true of me. I felt as if the ground were about to open beneath me and let me sink into hell. As soon as I could, I left the company. For two weeks I had no peace day or night. At the end of that time I found peace by trusting the Lord Jesus.”
The following year McQuilkin felt a burden to pray for his neighbors and asked three friends to join him. Once a week the men gathered in a school house to pray for each person in their community by name. This was September of 1857. Unknown to them, God was laying on the hearts of many others to start prayer groups in Northern Ireland. Pastors started preaching about revival.
After nine months of prayer McQuilkin’s prayer group saw their first conversion. One morning in the city of Ballymena a young man fell prostrate in a crowded marketplace and called out, “Unclean, Unclean! God be merciful to me a sinner.”
March14, 1859 McQuilkin’s prayer group responded to an invitation to a prayer meeting. The church was so crowded they moved it to the street. Hundreds knelt in the mud and rain confessing their sins and praising God. They were the first of one hundred thousand people God called to Himself in 1859. A reporter to Ulster reported that the “Ulster movement touched off revivals in England, Scotland and Wales and it all started with an unknown woman unafraid to speak spiritual truth over tea.”
We never know what will be the effect our conversation will have on others. The woman at tea had no idea that God would use her to launch a nationwide revival. Our responsibility is to faithfully share God’s truths as we go about our daily lives and leave the results to Him.
“I have not been afraid to speak out, as You, O Lord, well know. I have not kept this good news hidden in my heart; I have talked about Your faithfulness and saving power.” Psalm 40:9-10