Summary: We’re continuing our study of what must happen if God is going to bring revival to a people. We talked last time about the importance of people humbling themselves. Today we want to consider the next thing that is necessary for us to do before God will fo
We’re continuing our study of what must happen if God is going to bring revival to a people. We talked last time about the importance of people humbling themselves. Today we want to consider the next thing that is necessary for us to do before God will forgive and bring healing to the land.
I want to share with you one of the most unique revivals in history because it wasn’t led by preaching. There was man back in 1857 named Jeremiah Lamphere. 46 years old. Had come to Christ when 31 in New York City under a revival by Charles Finney. He loved the Lord but didn’t think he could do much for the Lord. He had such a burden for the lost of NYC that at the age of 46 he accepted an invitation from his church t be an inner city missionary. Started in July walked up and down the streets handing out tracts and talking to people. No success, when God put it on his heart to try prayer. Printed flyers inviting anybody that wanted to come to third floor of the Old North Dutch Reform Church on Fulton St. in NYC from 12 to 1 o’clock on Wednesday to pray. He passed 100’s of flyers; put up posters. Day came and nobody was there. So Jeremiah got on his knees and began to pray. Prayed thirty minutes, 5 people from 4 different kinds of churches. The next week 20 people came. The next week between 30 and 40 came. Decided they would meet everyday at 12 to pray for the city. Some ministers started coming, “We ought to start this at our church.” Within 6 months 5,000 prayer groups meeting everyday in NYC. And the word spread, prayer meetings in Philly, Detroit, Washington, D.C. President Franklin Pierce started going almost everyday to noonday prayer meeting. In short time, 15,000 cities in America were having downtown prayer meetings everyday at noon. From 1957-59, over 1 million people in this country, population of only 30 million at the time, 1 million people have their lives to Christ. No famous preacher. No great event. It all began with one man wanting to pray.
Se, only God can send revival. But he has not kept silent about what he expects before he will return to his people. Look at 2 Chronicles 7:14. READ. You don’t have revival by seeking revival, but by seeking God. God says “if you will pray and seek my face, I will hear and heal your land.” One thing every revival has in common in Christian history: All revivals share a passionate commitment to praying for God to return. REPEAT. Now let me make it clear when I say for God to return God is not the one who left. The reason revival is needed is because his people have gotten negligent. His people have left. But if God is going to return and be with his people it’s going to be because they asked him to.
By the way I don’t think men can heal a land. Not making light of men’s movements. i.e. Promise Keepers. Good works. But men cannot heal the land. Problem with land is sinfulness. Only God can do something about that. Only God can heal a land, but God said in 2 Chron. 7:14, “I’m not going to heal your land until you ask me to.” Revival is an invasion from heaven at the request of the saints on earth.” God says, “You humble yourselves, you pray and seek my face, you turn from your evil ways, and I will hear from heaven.
Isaiah 30:19 says the same thing, “O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem. You will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help. As soon as he hears he will answer you.” Let me make it clear this morning. Some people act like the object of prayer is to overcome God’s reluctance. God’s taken a nap and he really doesn’t want to be bothered, and if you pray just right he will do something for you anyway. WRONG! Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance. Prayer is confessing our need and our desire to line up with his will so that he can send the blessing that he is longing to send his people. God is absolutely passionate about sending revival to the land. About healing the land. About forgiving the people. About restoring the people.
God waits to hear his people pray. “The only place where power comes before prayer is in the dictionary.”
“Where prayer focuses, power falls.” John Maxwell
I think that’s why Satan will do anything to keep us from getting together to pray. I think we can have all potlucks, fellowship times, class parties we want to have. Satan doesn’t care just as long as we don’t get together and pray. Revival delays because prayer decays. I’ve not studied a revival in history that started as an organized move of the church. Not a single revival where a bunch of officials got together and said, “Okay, let’s start up a committee to start a revival next year.” It never starts because of organizing, it starts because of agonizing. Because some people get on their knees and humble themselves and seek God and ask him to come.