Revive in 2005 – Part 3
Thesis: For the church of Jesus Christ to be revived in 2005 we must get back to the old-fashioned way of attaining revival by praying.
Opening Illustration: From the Quickening
Our clip illustrates from history and current day stories the power of revival to transform individual people and who in turn then help transform an entire nation from ungodly nations to godly nations.
Clip is 35 minutes long covers the history of Revival and reveals some principles of Revival in the past and in the present.
The one key ingredient of revival that I observed from our clip was is breakthrough prayers on the part of the people of God. Prayer is a required action for revival to emerge where sin is rampant. Sin always causes devastation and bondage and the answer to sins destruction is revival. Revival comes from breakthrough prayers not by human wisdom, human strength, human money, or even human resources. It comes by God’s divine presence and manifestation of His power to transform that area through individuals one by one. The other important truth is revival comes by us asking inviting God to come! It takes communication between us and God and that is called prayer. Prayer must happen for revival to come! No prayer no revival!
2 Chronicles 7:11-16: The promise from the Lord about His presence dwelling among us and revival in the land.
11When Solomon had finished the temple of the LORD and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the LORD and in his own palace, 12the LORD appeared to him at night and said: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. 13“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14if 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. 15Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there…19“But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21And though this temple is now so imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.’”
Out text reveals to Israel and to the church of Jesus Christ how to attain a revival in a place that has abandoned God and suffered the consequences of turning their backs on God. Result is captivity and devastation to a nation and to individuals. In 2 Chronicles 30 we discover the nation of Judah in that godless, lifeless, and hopeless state. We are told from Scripture that God has been deserted and the temple vacated. The Temple was a mess and in need of repair and cleansing. But Hezekiah becomes king and makes a new covenant with the lord and a miraculous turn around of the nation and its people occurs.
2 Chronicles 30:1-27: Promise fulfilled in King Hezekiah’s reign.
1Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, inviting them to come to the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel. 2The king and his officials and the whole assembly in Jerusalem decided to celebrate the Passover in the second month. 3They had not been able to celebrate it at the regular time because not enough priests had consecrated themselves and the people had not assembled in Jerusalem. 4The plan seemed right both to the king and to the whole assembly. 5They decided to send a proclamation throughout Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, calling the people to come to Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel. It had not been celebrated in large numbers according to what was written.
6At the king’s command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which read:
“People of Israel, return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7Do not be like your fathers and brothers, who were unfaithful to the LORD, the God of their fathers, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see. 8Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; submit to the LORD. Come to the sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the LORD your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. 9If you return to the LORD, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”
10The couriers went from town to town in Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun, but the people scorned and ridiculed them. 11Nevertheless, some men of Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem. 12Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the LORD.
13A very large crowd of people assembled in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month. 14They removed the altars in Jerusalem and cleared away the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley.
15They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings to the temple of the LORD. 16Then they took up their regular positions as prescribed in the Law of Moses the man of God. The priests sprinkled the blood handed to them by the Levites. 17Since many in the crowd had not consecrated themselves, the Levites had to kill the Passover lambs for all those who were not ceremonially clean and could not consecrate their lambs to the LORD. 18Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the LORD, who is good, pardon everyone 19who sets his heart on seeking God—the LORD, the God of his fathers—even if he is not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.” 20And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people.
21The Israelites who were present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great rejoicing, while the Levites and priests sang to the LORD every day, accompanied by the LORD’S instruments of praise.
22Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites, who showed good understanding of the service of the LORD. For the seven days they ate their assigned portion and offered fellowship offerings and praised the LORD, the God of their fathers. 23The whole assembly then agreed to celebrate the festival seven more days; so for another seven days they celebrated joyfully. 24Hezekiah king of Judah provided a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep and goats for the assembly, and the officials provided them with a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep and goats. A great number of priests consecrated themselves. 25The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, along with the priests and Levites and all who had assembled from Israel, including the aliens who had come from Israel and those who lived in Judah. 26There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. 27The priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.
Hezekiah not only prayed for his people but also for his own health and God heard his prayers.
2 Kings 20:5-6: 5“Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. 6I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’”
For the last few weeks we have been exploring the revival of Judah in King Hezekiah’s time. We have learned that for God to come back to His temple the people needed to repair the abandoned temple, clean the abandoned temple and then make a new covenant with the Lord and commit to His way for Him to come back to that desolate place. There are other ingredients necessary as well for example there must be a heart of repentance on the part of the people. They must admit they are wrong and God is right and turn from their evil ways. There must be surrendered hearts that desire to offer sacrifices to the Lord and give to God. There also needs to be attitudes of praise and worship and a sincere desire to praise the Lord for His presence and His many blessings. But the most important ingredient to revival that I see from my research and experience is prayer. Listen to just a few thoughts from Scripture on the power of prayer and its importance.
James 5:13-20: 13Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
17Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
19My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
Philippians 4:6, 7: 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Romans 12:12:12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Proverbs 15:8: The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the
upright pleases him.
Prayer is the missing ingredient of the church today. I am convinced of it. Therefore we must commit to praying for revival in our hearts so that it affects the hearts of this church, this county, this state and this nation.
Here is a letter I received a week ago with a call to pray for our nation so that we can experience a revival.
Dear Christian Friend,
Thank you for visiting The Capitol Hill Prayer Alert Foundation Website.
If you are a Bible-believing Christian who takes prayer seriously, you are needed on the front lines in the war for our nation’s soul.
You know that ungodly forces are out to destroy America. They hate the Gospel and America’s Christian heritage. They want to remove the Biblical foundations from American law and government, the very moral roots that made ours a free nation & a light among the nations.
Do you want your children to INHERIT an officially God-less nation?
Are you GRIEVED that 45 million American babies have been murdered by "legal" abortion?
Are you HORRIFIED that the very sex crimes that provoked God to destroy ancient Sodom are now special, protected “rights” in America?
Do you WEEP over a worldly, divided & largely ineffective American Church?
Are you OUTRAGED that our Courts are determined to strip us of true religious liberty?
Do you know in your heart that America’s ONLY HOPE is sweeping, God-given Revival & a Biblical Reformation - ushered in by prayer?
Since 1991 The Capitol Hill Prayer Alert has served to network Christians who know that the war for America’s soul can only be won with aggressive, focused, heartfelt PRAYER!
By uniting with likeminded believers to pray strategically over key national initiatives & legislation – the effectiveness of all of our prayers will be multiplied (see Mt 18:19-20).
Thanks & God bless you,
President: The Capitol Hill Prayer Alert Foundation
T.S. - Prayer is the missing ingredient in a lot of churches lives therefore they do not have revival. How important is prayer to ushering in revival?
1) How important is prayer to the birth of a revival?
a) Listen to Finney’s thoughts on prayer: From his message Power on High:
i) What do we need to secure success in this great work? 2. How can we get it? (Revival that is!)
(1) Answer. 1: We need the enduement of power from on high. Christ had previously informed the disciples that without Him they could do nothing. When He gave them the commission to convert the world, He added, “But tarry ye in Jerusalem till ye be endued with power from on high. Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Lo, I send upon you the promise of My Father.” This baptism of the Holy Ghost, this thing promised by the Father, this enduement of power from on high, Christ has expressly informed us is the indispensable condition of performing the work which he has set before us.
(2) Answer 2: How shall we get it? Christ expressly promised it to the whole Church, and to every individual whose duty it is to labor for the conversion of the world. He admonished the first disciples not to undertake the work until they had received this enduement of power from on high. Both the promise and the admonition apply equally to all Christians of every age and nation. No one has, at any time, any right to expect success, unless he first secures this enduement of power from on high. The example of the first disciples teaches us how to secure this enduement. They first consecrated themselves to his work, and continued in prayer and supplication until the Holy Ghost fell upon them on the Day of Pentecost, and they received the promised enduement of power from on high. This, then, is the way to get it.
(3) Finney notes that they 1st consecrated themselves to God and continued to pray until God answered there prayers.
(a) They prayed continually until the break through came in the upper room. They labored in prayer. They struggled in prayer. They did not give up praying until the Spirit came.
(i) How about you? Do you labor in prayer until there is a break through in your life?
b) Jim Cymbala discusses the importance of prayer in his new book Break Through Prayer:
i) He states, ‘everywhere I travel, I keep hearing the defensive teaching that fervent prayer, heartfelt prayer is really overrated and not necessary today. Since God is love, some people reason, we just have to ask once and politely for what we need and everything will turn out fine. No need today for prayer meetings and prolonged times of waiting on the Lord, no answer comes. No, that’s part of an old-fashioned, out-of-date theology that belongs to another era…Well, I have two questions in response to all that: 1. what do these words from the Bible mean? And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?’ (Luke 18:6-7) He also notes; If Jesus himself prayed with ‘loud cries and tears’ at times, then we can certainly feel free and unashamed to pour out our souls to God” (22). 2. When it comes to de-emphasizing prayer and the prayer meeting in churches across the land, where are the spiritual results that prove we have found a better way?
ii) The reality check for us today is that there is no better way to bring revival than through prayer.
c) Prayer is essential for Revival today! It’s a must with God.
i) Two weeks ago the Amery ministerial agreed to do another prayer meeting on Jan. 30th at 7pm here at New Life. Four churches agreed to come together and pray for revival in our own hearts and the heart of the community.
(1) I encourage everyone here to be there on Jan. 30th at 7pm so that we can get on our knees and seek the face of God at New Life for the community.
ii) Quote on Prayer from Stories for Preachers: A father was watching his young son try to dislodge a heavy stone. The boy couldn’t budge it. "Are you sure you are using all your strength?" the father asked. "Yes, I am," said the exasperated boy. "No, you are not," the father replied. "You haven’t asked me to help you."
(1) Having struggles in life then pray to your Heavenly Father and He will help you.
(2) Do you desire personal revival then ask the Father through prayer and He will bless you.
(3) Do you want this community revived for God? Then pray for the help of your Heavenly Father.
(4) We must petition God for help because we cannot do this by ourselves.
T.S. – Prayer is the key ingredient needed to birth a revival in our hearts and in the heart of our communities. God will not birth a revival unless he asked too give birth! But we must also come out on Sunday night with our hearts and lives in the right position.
2) Does God hear your prayers?
a) But there is one act that two kings of Israel did to usher in God’s presence. They prayed to God and the Word tells us that God had heard there prayers. See 1 Chronicles 7:12 “… I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.” Then compare with 2 Chronicles 30: “…But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the LORD, who is good, pardon everyone 19who sets his heart on seeking God—the LORD, the God of his fathers—even if he is not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.” 20And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people.” Also note what it says in verse “27The priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.” Hezekiah knew that for revival to come to the nation there had to be someone praying for the people and for the country. Hezekiah knew at the age of 25 that prayer was mandatory for revival in his nations life and in his own life.
b) In our two texts above the Lord tells Solomon, “I have heard your prayer…”
i) Why would God not have heard his prayer (2 Chronicles 7:17-22)?
(1) If he would have been in idol worship.
(2) If he would have walked away from God.
(3) If he would have turned his back on God.
(4) If he would have disregarded the commands of the Lord.
(a) This section of Scripture reveals to us that God can choose to not listen to our prayers if we are in the wrong position with Him.
(b) This reveals the importance of making sure our hearts are in the right position before God.
c) What are some hindrances to prayer?
i) Broken relationships
(1) Notice this verse can our prayers be hindered if our relationships are not right with others? 1 Peter 3:7: 7Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
ii) Wickedness in a persons life
(1) Proverbs 15:29: 29The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
(2) Wickedness is defined as: Webster’s states, “…morally bad or wrong.”
iii) 1 Peter 3:12: 12For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
iv) Sin of murder- and evil deeds
(1) Isaiah 1:15-17: 15When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; 16wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, 17 learn to do right!
(1) Jesus said in Mark 11: 24-25: 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
(a) Jesus reveals that un-forgiveness can be a hindrance to prayer and even our own forgiveness from God. So it is imperative that we forgive others so that are prayers are not hindered.
vi) Living in sin when you know better
(1) Jonah 2: 7-10: 7“When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. 8“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. 9But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD.” 10And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.
(2) Share the story from Breakthrough prayer about Jim Cymbala being led by the Holy Spirit to not pray for someone at the altar.
d) In our story of King Hezekiah we see God’s word stating, 2 Chronicles 30:18b - 20“…But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the LORD, who is good, pardon everyone 19who sets his heart on seeking God—the LORD, the God of his fathers—even if he is not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.” 20And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people.”
i) God heard Hezekiah’s prayer WHY?
(1) Because he did right in his eyes!
(2) Because he repented of sin!
(3) Because he rededicated himself back to God!
(4) Because he followed God’s commands!
(5) Because he trusted God!
(6) Because he fixed the temple!
(7) Because he cleaned out the temple!
(8) Because he offered sacrifices up to God!
(9) Because he tithed!
(10) Because he gave offerings to the work of the Lord!
(11) Because he prayed with a righteous heart!
e) Jim Cymbala stated this about unlocking God’s blessing from his book Break Through Prayer:
i) According to Scripture, God’s blessing can rest on both men and women, because with God there is no gender bias. His blessing can rest on a family, a child, or even unborn offspring. It can prosper a local church in such measure that an entire city or region will feel the effect of God’s favor on that congregation. God’s blessing can rest on the labor of our hands, our personal finances, or our physical well-being. In fact, Moses told the Israelites that ‘the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do’ (Deut. 15:18). Think of the vast potential we have if we live under the blessing of God! …He adds, “But then again, the blessing of God does not automatically rest on every person, family, or church. Some of us live out our years under a closed heaven. Because God doesn’t smile on our lives, nothing seems to work as we struggle on year after year. This can be true even for those who have professed faith in Jesus as Savior. Likewise, Christian churches can live outside God’s favor, becoming like the congregation at Laodicea that Christ warned us about; ‘So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth’ (Rev. 3:16). Doesn’t exactly sound as if God’s blessings were overflowing in that church” (Break Through Prayer, page 16).
Do you want a revival like they experienced in the book of Acts right here in our community?
42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Do you want to see people getting saved by the 100’s in this county?
Do you want to see marriages restored?
Do you want to see people healed?
Do you want to see church attendance increase?
Do you want to see miracles of all kinds?
Do you want to see people transformed into new creations?
Do you want to see a community atmosphere filled with the talk of Jesus is Lord?
Do you want to see people delivered from drugs?
Do you want to see unity in the church of Jesus Christ?
Do you want to see the poor taken care of?
Do you want to see education based on the Bible?
Do you want to see a return to Biblical values?
Do you want to see a return to morality?
Do you want to see Revival in Amery and Polk County?
Then we must begin to pray!
Altar call: encourage those who have not made a Covenant with the Lord to do so today.
Order of Service:
Open in prayer
Praise and worship
Prayer time during praise and worship
Ron will share his thoughts on our covenant with the Lord
Ricks will share his thoughts on our covenant with the Lord.
Video Clip the Quickening (show ½ of the video)
Sermon: Revive in 2005 – part 3 -- topic: Prayer the key to revival!
Covenant making time for those who have not done it yet!