Praying in Revival
2 Chronicles 7:14 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 heal their land.”
All true spiritual awakenings that have had a lasting effect on local churches, communities and towns have found their start in the same way; men of God encouraging and challenging the body of Christ to surrender to the Holy Spirit’s correcting, leading and empowering to pray.
One such man of God was the Rev. James McGready, who was a circuit-riding preacher who rode on horseback throughout Logan County, Kentucky in 1798. Logan County was inhabited by horse thieves, murderers, highway robbers and counterfeiters.
He believed that the principles set forth in 2 Chronicles 7:14 were as true in his time as they were when Ezra the priest wrote this passage of Scripture under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He challenged, encouraged, and led by example the congregation of three small churches to enter into a covenant of prayer and fasting. Those who surrendered to the Holy Spirit’s leading covenanted to pray every Saturday and they devoted every third Sunday of the month to fasting and prayer. They first asked God to search their own hearts and bring them to repentance. Did it work?
A year later the most daring of sinners attended church service with intentions of disrupting the meetings. They found themselves coming to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Within another year of obedient prayer and fasting the great revival of 1800 was in full swing. The camp meetings became so large that three preachers representing three different denominations were preaching at the same time. Great numbers received Christ. This great revival swept all through Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and parts of Ohio.
What happened to this area where three small churches dared to say “Yes” to the challenge, encouragement and example of one fiery Presbyterian preacher? Within three years the Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian churches gained 10,000 members each. “More importantly, travelers who had been to Kentucky before could hardly believe they were in the same state. Whereas before, isolation and drunken brawling had been the most memorable aspects of the people who lived there, now there were churches and church goers who behaved like good Christians elsewhere on the frontier. Now there was a fellowship and neighbor caring for neighbor.”
Those who followed after Pastor James McGready and the congregations he shepherded found them faithfully following the principles set forth in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and praying for the lost to come and know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Too often churches have replaced prayer and fasting with social Christianity and entertainment. Prayer meetings have become places of petition for personal needs, the sick and the dying. Although those are important, too little time is spent on seeking God for a true spiritual awakening.
Prayerfully consider how God may call and empower you to enter into prayer and fasting for lost souls to come to Christ!