Revival praying

Published 12:05 am Saturday, September 13, 2008

In our county we are accustomed to four days (more or less) of consecutive preaching events which are called “revivals.” One reason these are no more “God things” than they are is because they are not preceded by greater length, depth and breadth of prayer. I address the breadth of revival praying in this article. Although prayer is much more than asking, Jesus placed a great emphasis on asking and receiving from God. Therefore, I list seven things which should be a part of a revival and spiritual awakening which we should ask God for.

First, ask God that you might become more than you have ever been for God. The Apostle Paul said, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. I have not obtained all this…” (Philippians 3:10-12).

Second, ask God that your fellow believers may become more for God than they have ever been. The Apostle Paul continually asked God the following for his fellow believers: “fill you with a knowledge of His will, that you might live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way, that you may grow in a knowledge of the Lord and be strengthened by His power to endure…” (Colossians 1:9-11).

Third, pray that you may return to the Lord as a backslidden child of his. Words of the 51st Psalm would be appropriate for you. “I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of thy salvation. Then will I teach transgressors your ways and sinners will turn back to you.”

Fourth, pray for fellow backslidden believers to return to the Lord. Our Lord Jesus is a prime example for praying for the backslidden as he prayed for the Apostle Peter. “Simon, Simon, Satan has desired you that he might sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32).

Fifth, ask God for boldness to share with unbelievers the gospel and your testimony of becoming a Christian. Living in a society where there was strong opposition to presenting the gospel, the believers prayed the following prayer: “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness” (Acts 4:29).

Sixth, ask God to give your fellow believers boldness to share how they were saved and to present the gospel. Even the Apostle Paul expressed that he was dependent upon the prayers of fellow Christians for boldness to speak for Christ to unbelievers. In Ephesians 6:19-20 he makes the following plea. “Pray for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

Sixth, pray for unbelievers and specific unbelievers that they may be saved. Such an example prayer is in Romans chapter ten and verse one. “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved.” We should always have a list of names we believe God has placed on our hearts to pray for and to share with.

But you may say, “I am not a Christian. But even so, is there not some prayer I can pray?” Yes, indeed! It is the prayer of the publican in the temple: “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” And God’s promise is, “Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

Note: Charles Christmas is a religious columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Saturday.