Seeking God for True Revival: A Prayer Guide

Seeking God for True Revival: A Prayer Guide

Revival: Our Culture’s Only Hope

I don’t have to tell you we live in desperate times.  Just one glance at the headlines will do that.  This country— this world— seems gripped by darkness, hostility, evil, and despair.  And I confess, there are days when I wonder, “God, where are You in the middle of this mess?  Have You forgotten about us down here?”

But then I remember the stories.  You know, the accounts of past revivals that broke out during equally turbulent days.  Times when, in the midst of upheaval and chaos, God suddenly moved in power, and everything changed.  Almost overnight, He awakened whole communities to spiritual realities long since forgotten.  He stirred in His church a passion for prayer, worship, and evangelism that had remained dormant for generations.  And He transformed indifferent hearts into ones burning for Him.

In short, God brought revival.

And I’m convinced He wants to do it again.  After all, desperate times call for a desperate response— and these are truly desperate times.  So what should we do?  First, our eyes must stop wasting time scanning news feeds about how bad things are and instead look to heaven from where our help comes (Ps. 121:2).  And two, our focus must shift from the problems we can do nothing about to the One who holds tomorrow in His hands (Ps. 31:15).  We must not dwell on what is, but what could be, when God shines His light into our darkness.

Do you want change in this nation?  If so, true change doesn’t start at the ballot box but in the prayer closet.  We don’t need another political action committee or conservative candidate, but a spiritual awakening.  And a spiritual awakening comes only in response to fervent, unified prayer.

And that is something we can do.

Which is what this guide is all about.  Below is a practical roadmap to seeking God for revival in your own life, church, and beyond.  It is not a formula for revival, but a starting point.  The rest, the results, depends on how earnestly we apply it.

Revival requires commitment, spiritual hunger, and fervent, persevering prayer.  Casual prayers produce only casual results.  And we have spent far too much time praying casual prayers.  But hearts that are desperate for God can stir Him to action.  So let that stir begin with you and me today.


Revival Defined

So what do we mean by revival? Quite simply, a revival is an extraordinary work of God through His Spirit to ignite new spiritual life within His people. Think re-vival— or bringing God’s people back to a vibrant spiritual life from one of apathy and stagnancy.

Revivals manifest themselves in many ways, but all share some common fruits:

•    Deep conviction and repentance of sin
•    Renewed passion for prayer, worship, and God’s Word
•    Powerful preaching leading multitudes to salvation
•    Public testimony through conversions and restorations
•    Increased burden for reaching the lost

Simply put, revival happens when God shows up in power. But history proves He most often shows up in response to His people fervently, and with expectation, praying for Him to revive them again (Ps. 85:6).


Nine Steps to Revival Prayer

This brings us to nine practical steps for pleading with God for revival today. Again, this is just the starting point for revival. You will have to put these into practice in your own life. Knowing is one thing, but God wants us to be “doers” of His Word (Jas. 1:23).

1. Humble yourself before God (2 Chron. 7:14).  Revival starts with recognizing who God is and who we are before Him— He is the holy, powerful King, and we are His unworthy subjects.  He is supreme, sovereign, and eternal, and we are but dust and ashes (Gen. 18:27).  So when you come to God, come with a broken and contrite spirit, willing to turn from any sin hindering His work in you by grieving His Spirit (Eph. 4:30).  Confess your pride, self-sufficiency, and religious pretense that prevents His Spirit from moving freely in your life.

2. Cry out for personal revival.  Before asking God to move in our nation, plead with Him to revive your own cold, distracted heart.  Ask the Holy Spirit to awaken your passion for Christ and empower you as an empty vessel ready to be filled for His glory.  For revival to happen in your church, it must first occur in the individual believers’ hearts.  So let that believer be you.  And do it today.

3. Plead for your family members.  Pray earnestly for any unsaved or wayward family members to come to Christ.  Ask God to soften and open their hearts to respond to His call.  And faithfully share the Gospel with them as the Spirit leads.

4. Intercede for your church.  Ask God to ignite a fresh spiritual awakening within your congregation, for both leadership and members.  Pray for a renewed hunger for God’s Word, a passion for worship, and unity among all.  And continually plead for God’s presence to be manifest in your services.  Pray that your church will become all God originally designed it to be.

5. Pray for neighboring churches.  Expand your prayers beyond the comfort of your four walls.  Ask God to awaken and revive other churches in your community to Himself.  Pray down strongholds that prevent cooperation and partnership with other congregations, that together, as one body, we might glorify Christ in our community.

6. Unite with other believers to pray for revival.  Focus on two key words: united and sustained.  Scripture says one can chase a thousand but two can put ten thousand to flight (Deut. 32:30).  Imagine a prayer movement of believers across your city or nation, humbling themselves and crying out in holy unity to God.  Is there anything the darkness could do to keep that light from bursting forth?  I think not.  So pray revival would break forth among other believers in your community so as one, you can glorify the name of Christ together (John 17:21).

7. Set prayer schedules both individually and corporately.  Revival requires persevering prayer, not seasonal prayer.  Set a course for yourself and your church to regularly gather and pray toward this end.  Make some time sacrifices in expectation of His coming in power and glory among you as He has done in the past.  Establish prayer groups, schedules, places, and leadership to keep prayer for revival alive and ongoing.  And become a leader in this.  Be the first to volunteer your time and home and set an example for others to follow.

8. Maintain expectancy for God to move.  Here’s where faith comes in.  Take encouragement from God’s Word and past revivals that He truly responds to sincere, prevailing prayer.  And then watch expectantly for Him to work according to His timing and will in response.  You will not be disappointed.

9. Be ready to follow His lead.  Finally, pray for openness and willingness to join God in what He wants to do when revival comes.  As God pours out His Spirit, stay sensitive to how He may direct your life toward evangelism, service, and spiritual growth.  You never know what He may choose to do with your life.  So surrender it totally to Him.


Launching Pad to Revival

Remember, these steps provide a launching pad for revival prayer, not a formula.  The guidelines matter little if the heart remains unchanged. Yet as we follow this path with authentic devotion, I believe God will honor our cries for revival.

Our nation faces uncertain days.  But uncertainty drives us to our knees.  Perhaps God will use the very darkness of this age to display the light and power of Christ at work through His revived people.  But He waits for us to seek His face.

So let the seeking begin with us.  And let it begin today.


Leaving Laodicea | The Survival Manual for the Coming Underground Church

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The If / Then Promises of God

The If / Then Promises of God

If your resolution this year is to “understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God” (Prov. 2:5), then you must begin this vision quest by understanding how the if / then passages in Scripture work.  Simply put, you do the ifs, and God provides the thens.  One is contingent upon another.  One comes first, and the other follows after.  One is a condition that must be met, the other is the result of meeting that condition.  One is your responsibility, and the other is His.

Consider this passage from Proverbs 2:

Proverbs 2:1-5 – My son, if (condition) you receive my words, and (if you) treasure my commands within you, (to what extent) so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if (condition) you cry out for discernment, and (if you) lift up your voice for understanding, if (condition) you seek her as silver, and (if you) search for her as for hidden treasures; then (result of meeting the condition) you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

As you can see, the promise of understanding the fear of the Lord and finding the knowledge of God only comes after the if conditions are met.  One is contingent upon another.  Meeting the if condition is the key that unlocks the then promise,  If I want to understand the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God, then I must meet the condition set forth to receive that promise.  It is foolishness, according to this passage, to assume we will receive the promise without meeting the condition.

Some promises in Scripture are granted without a condition being met.1  Others, most in fact, have a condition attached to them.  For example, our salvation is based on meeting a condition:

Romans 10:9 – That if (condition) you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and (if you) believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, (then – result or promise) you will be saved.

Note that salvation comes after the condition is met.  Repentance and the acknowledgement of Christ as Lord is mandatory, not optional.  You cannot come to faith in Him any other way.  This is an if / then passage about salvation.


If / Then Passages

But there’s so much more.  Take a look at a few of these if / then passages.  See if you can begin to understand how important your part is in receiving the promises of the Father.

Matthew 6:14-15 –  “For if (condition – your action and responsibility) you forgive men their trespasses, (then – the result or promise from God) your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if (condition – your action and responsibility) you do not forgive men their trespasses, (then – the result or promise from God) neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

If we desire forgiveness from God, we must first forgive others.  First the condition, then the promise.  How important is it for me to forgive others who have wronged me?  It’s vital.  For without meeting the horizontal condition of forgiveness between me and another, God is not obligated to fulfill the vertical condition of forgiving me for my sins and transgressions.  This is not something to play around with.  This if / then condition has lasting, eternal consequences.

John 15:10 – “If (condition) you keep My commandments, (then – result) you will abide (rest, dwell, make your home) in My love, (example) just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”

How do I rest and abide in the love (agape) of Christ?  And how can I experience the abiding presence of that love like Jesus had with His Father?  By meeting the if condition of the if / then promise.  By keeping His commandments.  By doing what He tells me to do.  By loving Him through my obedience and not living a life of rebellion, apathy or arrogance.  After all, Jesus also said in another if / then passage, “If you love Me, (then) keep My commandments” (John 14:15).  Which means, if I love Him, then I will show my love for Him by keeping His commandments.  And if I don’t love Him, then I won’t keep His commandments.  Or, more frightening still, if I’m not keeping His commandments, then I must not love Him at all.  Which means our love for Christ can be clearly seen by our obedience to Him.  Not in our words, but in our actions (Luke 6:46).

We’ll close today with just one more.  This if / then promise was spoken to Martha at the tomb of Lazarus right before Jesus raised him from the dead in the sight of all.

John 11:40 – Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if (condition) you would believe (then – result) you would see the glory of God?”

Jesus was about to raise a man back to life who had been dead and buried four full days.  It was to be a powerful testimony that Christ is God and can do all things.  For me, it’s one of the greatest miracles in the New Testament.  But Martha would fail to see God in any of this unless she believed.  She was in danger of becoming hard hearted and spiritually blind, much like the Pharisees and others who made up the religious establishment of that day, to what was about to take place.  Instead of experiencing the glory of God, she would go back to her home unchanged, unmoved, and further away from the One who raised her brother from the dead.  Why?  Because of her lack of belief.  Jesus’ words to her were simple, “If you believe (the condition that unlocks the revelation of the glory of God), then (the result of her faith and belief) you will see the glory of God.”  And the opposite is also true.  “If you do not believe (condition), then (result of lack of faith) you will not see the glory of God.”

The spiritual magnitude of this momentous event for Martha was contingent on her belief— on the if part of the if / then promise from Jesus.

Are you beginning to see the importance of these overlooked if / then promises in Scripture?  Good.  Because there are hundreds of them.

For the next few weeks we’ll be looking at the if / then passages found in Scripture to discover what part we must play in receiving the promises from God.  Why?  Because fulfilling the if part is something we can do.  It’s something we can get better at.  Something the Lord has left in our hands.  Obedience to His Word is our responsibility.  And the promises for obedience, the results of the if / then promises in Scripture are, honestly, overwhelmingly wonderful.

Tomorrow we’ll begin looking at the if / then promises found in the Proverbs.

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1 – For example, God’s promise to Abraham is not conditional on anything Abraham would, or would not do (Gen.12:7).  See also Gen. 12:1-3; 13:15-16; 15:18-21; 17:6-8; and 35:11-12.

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366:  The Downside of Revival

366: The Downside of Revival

Often we preach about the need for revival in the church and in our own lives.  We hold the virtues and blessings of revival up high, for all to see, yet fail to talk about the dark side of revival, the downside of totally surrendering to Him.

And that downside is satanic attack.

For the novice, this attack can be devastating because they are often ill-prepared to stand against it.  For the more mature believer, the attack is just another affirmation they are living as light and walking where the enemy dwells.

Do you know how to prepare for a spiritual attack?  Do you know how to stand when the day of evil comes (Eph. 6:13)?  If not, then keep listening.

The following is a study on Spiritual Warfare.

To download the slides for this message, click – HERE

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365:  Revival, God’s Way

365: Revival, God’s Way

One of the greatest needs in the life of the believer today is revival.  Revival is defined as “a restoration of life, consciousness, vigor, or strength. It is an awakening to something previously dormant.  It is an improvement in the condition or strength of something or someone.”  Spurgeon said revival means “to live again, to receive again a life which has almost expired; to rekindle into a flame the vital spark which was nearly extinguished.”

But how does revival come about?
What does true revival look like?
How does it change the person being revived?
Are there stages or steps to revival?
And how can we have revival now, today, in our lives and in the church?

Are you interested in finding out more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on revival.

To download the slides to this message, click – HERE

Download this episode (right click and save)

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348:  Did You Worship Last Sunday?

348: Did You Worship Last Sunday?

We’ve worked real hard to redefine what worship means today?  And, in doing so, we’ve made it more about music or style or a feel-good experience than what it has historically meant in the past.  But what does “worship” really mean?

According to Webster’s Dictionary (1828) worship means:  “To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission.  It means to declare or attribute dignity and worth.  Worship is to show profound reverence and adoration.”

And this has nothing to do with a style of music or what I’ve seen in church most of my life.  Which brings us to the question:  Did you worship last Sunday?  Did you honor your Lord with extravagant love and extreme submission?  Did you boldly declare His dignity and worth among the congregation?  Did you show, by your very actions, your profound reverence and adoration for the Lord last Sunday?  And if you did, what was that like?

And if you didn’t, or if you’re not sure, then keep listening.

The following is a study on True Worship.

To download the slides for this message, click – HERE

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