Summary: The first key to revival is making the commitment to pray and fast. These two spiritual disciplines are a powerful link to revival.
The Seven keys to revival – Key one Prayer & Fasting
Thesis: The first key to revival is making the commitment to pray and fast. These two spiritual disciplines are a powerful link to revival.
Texts: I Chronicles 5:18-22
18The Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh had 44,760 men ready for military service—able-bodied men who could handle shield and sword, who could use a bow, and who were trained for battle. 19They waged war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish and Nodab. 20They were helped in fighting them, and God handed the Hagrites and all their allies over to them, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him. 21They seized the livestock of the Hagrites—fifty thousand camels, two hundred fifty thousand sheep and two thousand donkeys. They also took one hundred thousand people captive, 22and many others fell slain, because the battle was God’s. And they occupied the land until the exile.
9Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
For many the question races through the minds “Why pray and fast?” I would like to answer that question today. Over the years I hear many people who say we need revival. We need it in the church and in this nation. Of all the great revivals in the past where God moved supernaturally there were 7 common keys to revival. The first preceding key to revival is the combination of prayer and fasting. All throughout history these two spiritual disciplines combined together preceded great revivals. Floyd notes:
When we read about the great revival of 1858, we need to notice that there were many contributing factors that set the stage for its manifestation. One element was a concerned group of Presbyterian churches across the land. The yearning for an awakening had come to hungry hearts, and out of that spirit came a special convention, held in early December 1857, in the city of Pittsburgh. The purpose was to pray for spiritual revival. Two hundred people attended the meeting. One brother under the Holy Spirit’s leadership stood and said, “It appears to me that if we want to see God move, why don’t all of us preach on the subject of revival on the first Sunday in January of 1858. And then, let us declare the first Thursday of 1858 a day of humiliation, prayer and fasting?” With that encouragement – and its immediate implementation-the Spirit of God brought a grieving to their hearts. On the first Sunday in 1858, hundreds of pastors across America stood in their pulpits and preached to their congregations on the subject of Holy Spirit revival. Then, a few days later, on the first Thursday of that year, thousands of God’s people across the nation took up the challenge, obeyed, and experienced a day of humiliation, prayer and fasting for revival in their time” (34).
There is something very powerful about doing these two disciplines together. It’s as though we open up the floodgate of God’s power and it rushes out and things happen from the flood of his presence. But the key to the floodgate is prayer and fasting! The lethal combination of prayer and fasting seems to align the heart of man with the heartbeat of God. The heart of man starts to change his heart beat changes during times of prayer and fasting and it starts to beat in sync with God’s heartbeat.
This is one of missing keys of the church today. Prayer and fasting are the two essential ingredients to unlocking more of the power of God into our lives and into the church. Bill Bright states:
I believe the power of fasting as it relates to prayer is the spiritual atomic bomb that our Lord has given us to destroy the strongholds of evil and usher in a great revival and spiritual harvest around the world (4).
Yet I don’t hear of many people who practice this spiritual discipline today.
Let me ask some questions how many want of you want to experience a revival in your life? How many want to experience revival here at New Life Community Church? How many want to see revival in the city of Amery?
T.S. But for revival to happen in our hearts and lives, at New Life Community Church or in this nation we must revisit and practice the spiritual discipline of prayer and fasting. There is a link between revival and prayer and fasting! Lets first explore prayer.