Prayer, Revival, and History Prayer not only preceded revivals throughout biblical times, but it’s also been involved at the inception of every great historical revival. During the 1700s, God’s hand was mightily upon John Wesley and George Whitefield. God used them to bring multitudes into the kingdom of God. Whitefield was especially used of God to spark revival in the early history of the United States.
Arnold Dallimore, a biographer of Whitefield, wrote of what took place: “Early in the morning, at noonday, evening and midnight, nay, all the day long, did the blessed Jesus visit and refresh my heart. Could the trees of a certain wood near Stonehouse speak, they would tell what sweet communion I and some others enjoyed with the ever blessed God there … I would be so overpowered with God’s Infinite Majesty that I would be constrained to throw myself on the ground and offer my soul as a blank in His hands, to write on it what He pleased.”
And what was the result of such praying? Whitefield described how God captivated the hearts of the people. “I preached about five times a week,” he said, “but the congregations grew, if possible, larger and larger. It was wonderful to see how the people hung upon the rails of the organ loft, climbed upon the leads of the church, and made the church so hot with their breath that the steam would fall from the pillars like drops of rain. Sometimes almost as many would go away for want of room as came in.”
The secret to the great revival of the 1700s was that God found men and women of prayer. But God has not changed. What He did then, He is more than willing to do today. The only question is whether we’ve changed. We live in a time when we tend to think that it’s by our human talent and ingenuity that we’ll reach the world, rather than by God’s power. But I’ve found around the world that the great growing churches are the praying churches.
Many years ago, I was in Cairo, Egypt, in a large Presbyterian church. The church has experienced phenomenal growth. Nearly 7,000 attend services each week, in multiple services on different days. I asked the senior pastor why the church had grown in such a rapid manner. The first thing he cited was that the church’s first pastor was a great man of prayer.
That’s true not only in Egypt, but also in India. The Hyderabad Baptist Church has grown to over 20,000 members. It’s located in a Muslim city, but the first pastor built the church on a foundation of prayer. As you enter the church, there’s a prayer tower. God’s people can be found there day and night, seeking the face of God.
God is still upon His throne. He has not changed. He revives His people when they pray and seek His face. It’s been true historically, and it’s still true today. The Bible says, “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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). God hasn’t changed. He will revive His people today, just as He’s done throughout history. But there’s one condition: we must pray.
New International Version : Hebrews : Chapter 4
14) Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16) Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Praying for Your Family by Sammy Tippit Provides hope for your home and explains how to forge a future for your family. You will read inspirational testimonies, learn foundational principles, and apply tremendous truths that enable you to pray effectively for your family.
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