Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Why No Revival?

Have you wondered why it has been over one hundred years since a revival swept our nation?

Dan Puckett, of Life Action Revival Ministries takes a very good stab at the answer...

"There are revival meetings—times when the church seeks the Living God of Heaven for spiritual renewal and a spiritual awakening among the lost. But why has not God answered in such a significant way that even the “nay-sayers” would have to admit a divine happening had occurred?

Revival is an undeniable intervention of God. The Old Testament book of Nehemiah records such an event in chapters 8 and 9.

There have been three divine interventions in the history of the United States: the first in the early to mid 1700’s, the second around the turn of the 19th century continuing into the 1840’s, and the third in 1857-1860. The work of God was so apparent during these times that the news reporters could not but assent that the happenings were of divine origin.

What about today? Where is the Lord God of revival?

The Old Testament book of Malachi was written after the return of Israel from Babylonian captivity just before the 400 years of silence, preceding the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Malachi was a prophet of God and was rebuking the people for their lack of faithfulness. The people were practicing religion but with duplicity of heart. They were giving polluted offerings (Malachi 1:7), the priests were corrupt (2:8), people were not faithful to marriage vows (2:14-15), and they were not giving as much as God asked (3:8-9).

In all of these rebukes, God still extended mercy. He says in Malachi 3:6-7, “I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you.”

God’s presence in power, glory, and blessing is promised if the people will repent of their ways and return to God. God repeats their question in Malachi 3:7, “In what way shall we return?” And He gives the answer in verses 8-12.

“In what way shall we return?” was and is the question of the hour.

In the book of Malachi, God goes right after the people’s giving (or lack of it) in chapter 3, verse 8: “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me . . . in tithes and offerings.”

God did not go after the corrupt priests or marital infidelity, even though both were present; He went after the heart issue of selfishness and deceit. If a man robs God, what else will He do? If he cheats the One who sees all and knows all, what would keep him from taking bribes, playing favorites, or being unfaithful to his wife? Could it be that robbing God in tithes and offerings was and is the root issue that holds back the blessings of God in revival?

The giving level per member in current churches is said to be about three percent of income. A tithe is ten percent of income, plus offerings on top of that. It would appear that God has as much a case against us as He did against the people in Malachi’s time. There are many excuses we could give, but the fact is, our lack of giving is the greatest evidence of our corrupt faith.

God is not particularly practical, in our thinking, as He receives offerings. In Old Testament times the offerings were killed and burnt on the altar. The only benefit God received, other than seeing the sacrifice of the people and their trust in the Giver of all, is the smell of the offering as it wafted up to heaven.

God gave a promise in Malachi 3:10-12. He told the people that if they gave tithes and offerings as prescribed, He would “open for [them] the windows of heaven and pour out for [them] such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). He summed up this promise in verse 12: “All the nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land.”

Does that sound like revival? Could the key to seeing and experiencing the manifest presence of God in our day, in our land, be repenting of our churlishness and being biblical givers?"

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Revival should thrill us!

When there is talk of revival, the reaction from people will vary. There will be some who careless. Yet, as Christ-followers, we should be elated to dream and pray about the prospect of revival.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones put it this way: "I do not understand Christian people who are not thrilled by the whole idea of revival. . . . If you want a perfect exposition of 1 Corinthians 1:25-31, read books on revival."

Praying for and excited about revival


Monday, January 28, 2008

Mondays and Revival

Good morning. Mondays are always a good day to remind ourselves of what revival really is. Henry Blackaby and Claude King put it this way...

"Revival is a return to spiritual health after a period of decline into sin and broken fellowship with God... Revival is for God's people when they need to be forgiven and restored to life, spiritual health, and vitality"

Praying for revival!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Turning Our Attention to the Unborn

Let's turn our attention to the unborn. John Ensor submitted the following on the Desiring God site.

Pray for the Third Wave
Latinos and Blacks Join the Fray As Roe vs. Wade Turns 35

By John Ensor January 22, 2008


The end of abortion as a business is in sight when the prolife movement is not only joined by, but led by, the African-American and Latino Christian Community. I call it the Third Wave.

The First Wave of the modern prolife movement was the Catholic Church. In the late 60’s, as abortion “rights” were argued for in New York and California, many Catholic doctors, ethicists, and laypeople understood the horrifying truth of abortion and began to organize. They opened educational offices to explain fetal life; launched political efforts to elect prolife leaders and started “emergency pregnancy services” to help women struggling with pregnancy issues. The modern prolife movement was born. It was considered (disparaged as) a “Catholic” thing.

In the late 70’s, the Second Wave arose. The Evangelical Church joined the Cause. One rushing tributary formed when Francis Scheaffer and C. Everet Koop produced a book and film called Whatever Happened to the Human Race? Evangelical pastors and lay people were awakened to the biblical and historical call to cherish and defend innocent human life. Evangelicals flooded into the prolife movement as volunteers: writing, marching, electing, and starting neighborhood “crisis pregnancy centers.”

Now we are on the cusp of the Third Wave. A trickle of courageous Black and Latino Christian leaders are exposing the inhumanity of abortion and the pernicious racism of the abortion industry. There are quiet discussions and emerging plans among some leading black pastors concerning abortion. Pregnancy help centers (the “first response” for most churches answering the call to cherish and defend innocent life), as a movement, have learned how to “go medical” over the last dozen years. They have added ultrasound services and multiplied their life-saving impact dramatically. They are waking up and slowly mobilizing to “go urban.” This is the only way forward. Why?

Because over the last 35 years, as 2,000+ pregnancy help centers got established, mostly in white, suburban and small towns of America, the abortion business has consolidated into our nation’s cities. Over 90% of abortion facilities are now in urban neighborhoods. Black and Hispanic women suffer 56% of all abortions while representing only 25% of the female population. This means the abortion business is gorging itself on the blood of minority children all the while appearing as compassionate servants of the poor. It also means that the business of abortion cannot survive without the silent approval of the Black and Latino neighborhoods and the churches and pastors that lead them. It means that until our movement penetrates the heart of the Black and Latino church, there is little progress to be had. This is the wave of the future that leads toward progress.

But the hard truth is that Black pastors largely dismiss the prolife movement as a “white issue.” The majority of leaders resent the fact that the people now calling for the rights of pre-born children descend from people who dismissed the rights of African-American adults. This may be an unfair perception. It may be racial suicide. But it also means that when the Third Wave finally comes, abortion will be ousted from these communities and mortally wounded as a practice in America.

Therefore, as we pause to acknowledge the 35th year of legalized child-killing in America, pray for the third wave! God, in his all-wise providence, appears to have limited the progress of both the civil rights movement and prolife movement. Perhaps because he wants to make from two separate streams one mighty river: His summons to his people is: “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the rights of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:3-4).

Father, arouse and unite your people to be cross-bearers for child-bearers. Imbue our church leaders of every race with moral clarity and courage to name what is the clearest expression of the human indignity in our country: child-killing. Let reconciling grace flow like a river. Let humbling grace make possible Black and Latino approaches to the great work before us. Color our prolife ranks, marches, assemblies, conferences, and staffs with the richness of Black and Latino Christian servants. To them belong the honor of leading us to victory in the abolition of abortion, for the establishment of righteousness in the land and for the glory of your name.

John Ensor is the author of Answering the Call: Saving the Innocent One Woman at a Time. He is the Executive Director for Urban Initiatives for Heartbeat International, an organization dedicated to helping Christian communities establish pregnancy help centers for those at risk for abortion. He is currently working with Heartbeat of Miami.


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Monday, January 21, 2008

What Does a Revival Do?

Well, Billy Sunday gave a pretty answer to the above question:

"A revival does two things. First, it returns the Church from her backsliding and second, it causes the conversion of men and women; and it always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the Church. What a spell the devil seems to cast over the Church today!"

Friday, January 18, 2008

Corrie Ten Boom on the Importance of Prayer

Good morning. A little snow is falling here in Omaha, NE. It will be bitter cold this weekend.

Corrie Ten Boom once said: "When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy."

Let's make the devil angry through praying.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pray Often...

I am about to go to bed, but I will post the following quote on the importance of consistent prayer...

"Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan" (John Bunyan)

Good Night,


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Where Does Revival Begin?

“Revivals begin with God's own people; the Holy Spirit touches their heart anew, and gives them new fervour and compassion, and zeal, new light and life, and when He has thus come to you, He next goes forth to the valley of dry bones…Oh, what responsibility this lays on the Church of God! If you grieve Him away from yourselves, or hinder His visit, then the poor perishing world suffers sorely!”

Andrew A. Bonar

Friday, January 11, 2008

It begins with us (followers of Jesus) and not those outside the church

A basic truth about revival is that is begins with God's people within the church...

“Revivals begin with God's own people; the Holy Spirit touches their heart anew, and gives them new fervor and compassion, and zeal, new light and life, and when He has thus come to you, He next goes forth to the valley of dry bones…Oh, what responsibility this lays on the Church of God! If you grieve Him away from yourselves, or hinder His visit, then the poor perishing world suffers sorely!”

-Andrew A. Bonar

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Do we agonize in prayer?

I know that I should pray for revival often (and I do); but do I agonize in prayer for it? Does it make a difference. Yes!

Charles Spurgeon it this way...

“Shall I give you yet another reason why you should pray? I have preached my very heart out. I could not say any more than I have said. Will not your prayers accomplish that which my preaching fails to do? Is it not likely that the Church has been putting forth its preaching hand but not its praying hand? Oh dear friends! Let us agonize in prayer.”

Pleading for Revival!


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A Concert of Prayer at Harvey Oaks Baptist

Good morning. This evening at Harvey Oaks Baptist Church, there will be a concert of prayer at 7 pm. This is in the middle of the annual week of prayer. Below is Jonathan Edward's classic article of prayer and revival. May God refresh us in 2008 with a powerful spiritual revival.

A Humble Attempt to Promote the Agreement and Union of God's People Throughout the World in Extraordinary Prayer For a Revival Of Religion And The Advancement Of God's Kingdom On Earth, According To Scriptural Promises And Prophecies Of The Last Jonathan Edwards

The Future Glorious State of Christ's Church

'This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, 'Let us go at once to entreat the LORD and seek the LORD Almighty. I myself am going.' And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat him'(Zech. 8:20-22).

In this chapter Zechariah prophecies of the future, glorious advancement of the Church. It is evident there is more intended than was ever fulfilled in the Jewish nation during Old Testament times. Here are plain prophecies describing things that were never fulfilled before the coming of Messiah, particularly what is said in the two last verses in the chapter where Zechariah speaks of 'many people and strong nations worshiping and seeking the true God,' and of so great an addition of Gentiles to the Church that the majority of visible worshipers consist of Gentiles, outnumbering the Jews ten to one.

Nothing ever happened, from the time of Zechariah to the coming of Christ, to fulfill this prophecy. It's fulfillment can only be in the calling of the Gentiles during and following apostolic times, or in the future, glorious enlargement of God's Church in the end times, so often foretold by Old Testament prophets, particularly by Zechariah. It is most likely that the Spirit of God speaks here of the greatest revival and the most glorious advancement of the Church on earth, the blessings of which will benefit the Jewish nation.

Indeed, there is great agreement on this point, between this prophecy of Zechariah, and other prophecies concerning the Church's latter day glory. Consider Isaiah 60:2-4,

'See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm.'

Without doubt, this entire chapter foretells the most glorious state of the God's Church on earth, as does Isaiah 66:8, Micah 4:1-3 and Isaiah 2:1-4:

'In the last days the mountain of the LORD'S temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.'

'Many nations will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.' '

'The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.'

Nothing whatsoever has happened to fulfill these prophecies. Moreover, since the prophecy in my text (Zech. 8:20-22) and the following verse agrees with them, there is reason to think it addresses the same times. Indeed, there is remarkable agreement in the description given throughout this chapter with the representations of those times elsewhere in the prophetic books.

Though the prophet is at times referring to the future smiles of heaven on the Jewish nation, yet the Spirit of God doubtless refers to events far greater than these, of which these are but faint resemblances. The Jews had just returned from the Babylonian captivity, Chaldea and other countries, and resettled in Canaan where they were experiencing great increase of both numbers and wealth.

We find it common in the prophecies of the Old Testament that when the prophets are speaking of the favors and blessings of God on the Jews, attending or following their return from the Babylonian captivity, the Spirit of God takes the opportunity from there to speak of the incomparably greater blessings on the Church, that will attend and follow her deliverance from the spiritual Babylon, of which those were a type.

The prophet, in this chapter, speaks of God's bringing his people again from the east and west to Jerusalem (vs. 7-8), and multitudes of all nations taking hold of the skirts of the Jews. Although this prophecy literally refers to the Jews return from Babylon, its fulfillment cannot be seen there for no such things spoken of here attended their return. Therefore, it must refer to the great calling and gathering of Jews into the fold of Christ, and to them receiving the blessings of His kingdom, after the fall of the Antichrist and the destruction of the spiritual Babylon.

The Power of Prayer

In Zechariah 8:20-22 we have an account of how this future advancement of the Church should occur. It would come to fruition as multitudes from different towns resolve to unite in extraordinary prayer, seeking God until He manifests Himself and grants the fruits of his presence. We may observe several things in particular:


Some suppose that prayer includes the whole of worship to God and that prayer is a part of worship during the days of the gospel when sacrifices are abolished. Therefore, this can be understood as a prophecy of a great revival of religion with true worship of God among His people, repentance from idolatry, and growth of the Church.

However, it seems reasonable to me to suppose that something even more special is intended regarding prayer given that prayer is not only repeatedly mentioned, but that this prophecy parallels many other prophecies that speak of an extraordinary spirit of prayer preceding that glorious day of revival and advancement of the Church's peace and prosperity. It particularly parallels what the prophet later speaks of the 'pouring out of a spirit of grace and supplications' as that which introduces the great religious revival (Zech. 12:10).


Scripture says, 'They shall go to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of Hosts.' The good that they seek for is 'The Lord of Hosts,' Himself. If 'seeking God' means no more than seeking the favor or mercy of God then 'praying before the Lord,' and 'seeking the Lord of Hosts' must be looked upon as synonymous. However, 'seeking the Lord' is commonly used to mean something far more than seeking something from God. Surely it implies that God Himself is what is desired and sought after.

Thus, the Psalmist desired God, thirsted after Him and sought after Him:

'O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee. My flesh longeth for thee, in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is, to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary ... My soul followeth hard after thee ... Whom have I in heaven by thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee.'

The Psalmist earnestly pursued after God; his soul thirsted after Him, he stretched forth his hands unto Him. All of God's saints have this in common: they are those that seek God. 'This is the generation of them that seek Him.' 'Your heart shall live that seek God,' etc.

If this be the true sense of this phrase 'seeking the Lord of Hosts,' then we must understand that God who had withdrawn Himself, or, as it were, hid Himself, would return to His Church, granting the fruits of His presence and communion with His people, which He so often promised, and for which His Church had so long waited.

In short, it seems reasonable to understand the phrase, 'seeking the Lord of Hosts' means not merely praying to God, but seeking the promised restoration of the Church of God after the Babylonian captivity and the great apostasy occasioning it is called their 'seeking God, and searching for Him;' and God's granting this promised revival and restoration called His being 'found of them.' (See Jer. 29:10-14)

The prophets occasionally represent God as being withdrawn and hiding Himself: 'Verily thou art a God that hideth thyself, O God of Israel, the Savior. I hid me, and was wroth.' The prophets then go on to represent God's people seeking Him, searching and waiting for and calling after Him. When God answers their prayers and restores and advances His people, according to His promise, then He is said to come and say, 'Here am I' and to show Himself, and they are said to find Him and see Him plainly.

'Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I ...'

'But Israel will be saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation ... I have not said to Jacob's descendants, 'Seek me in vain.' I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right.'

'The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. In that day they will say, 'Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.' We wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.' (Isa. 58:9; Isa. 45:17,19; Isa. 25:8-9)


'the inhabitants of many cities ... yea, many people and strong nations.' Many people from all over the world will unite to seek the Lord.

From the the prophecy, it seems reasonable to assume that this will be fulfilled in the following manner: First, God's people will be given a spirit of prayer, inspiring them to come together and pray in an extraordinary manner, that He would help his Church, show mercy to mankind in general, pour out his Spirit, revive His work, and advance His kingdom in the world as He promised.

Moreover, such prayer would gradually spread and increase more and more, ushering in a revival of religion. This would be characterized by greater worship and service of God among believers. Others will be awakened to their need for God, motivating them to earnestly cry out to God for mercy. They will be led to join with God's people in that extraordinary seeking and serving of God which they see around them. In this way the revival will grow until the awakening reaches whole nations and those in the highest positions of influence. The Church will grow to be ten times larger than it was before. Indeed, at length, all the nations of the world will be converted unto God.

Thus, ten men, out of all languages and nations, will 'take hold of the skirt of' the Jew (in the sense of the Apostle), saying 'We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.' Thus will be fulfilled, 'O thou that heareth prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.'


It is a visible and voluntary union that was first proposed by some of God's people with others readily joining in over time. Those who live in one city will declare to those of another city, 'Let us go' etc. Many of those who hear their declaration will not only join with them but will make the call for the unity in prayer known to still others. As a result, the movement will grow, prevail and spread among God's people.

Some suppose that the words, 'I will go also,' are to be taken as words spoken by the one making the proposal. He states this expressing his willingness and desire to do what he is asking his hearer to do. But this is to suppose no more than is expressed in the phrase, 'Come and let us go ...' itself. It seems more natural to me to understand these words as being the consent or reply of the one to whom the proposal is made.

This is much more agreeable to the flow of the text which represents the compliance of great numbers of people in this movement. And though if these words are thus understood, we must suppose something understood in the text that is not expressed: Those of other cities will say, 'I will go also.' Yet, this is not difficult to conceive of as such figures of speech are common in the Scripture (Jer. 3:22; Ps. 1:6,7).


'Let us go speedily to pray,' or, as it says in the margin: let us go continually. Literally translated this means, 'let us go in going.' The Hebrew language often doubles words for emphasis (e.g., the holy of holies signifies that which is most holy). Such doubling of words also denotes the certainty of an event coming to pass. For example, when God said to Abraham, 'in multiplying, I will multiply thy seed,' God implies that He would certainly multiply his seed, and multiply it exceedingly.


We sense God's pleasure, and the results prove tremendously successful. From the whole of this prophecy we may infer that it is well pleasing to God for many people, in different parts of the world, to voluntarily come into a visible union to pray in an extraordinary way for those great outpourings of the Holy Spirit which shall advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ that God has so often promised shall be in the latter ages of the world.

An Example From History

Let me relate a brief history of what has happened in Scotland:

In October of 1744, a number of ministers in Scotland, considering the state of God's Church, and mankind in general, believed that God was calling those concerned for the welfare of the Church to unite in extraordinary prayer. They knew God was the Creator and source of all blessings and benefits in the Church so they earnestly prayed that He would appear in His glory, and strengthen the Church, and manifest His compassion to the world of mankind by an abundant outpouring of His Holy Spirit. They desired a true revival in all parts of Christendom, and to see nations delivered from their great and many calamities, and to bless them with the unspeakable benefits of the Kingdom of our glorious Redeemer, and to fill the whole earth with His glory.

These ministers consulted with one another on this subject and concluded that they were obliged to begin such prayer and attempt to persuade others to do the same. After seeking God for direction, they determined that for the next two years they would set apart some time on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings every week for prayer as one's other duties would allow. More importantly, it was decided that the first Tuesday of each quarter (beginning with the first Tuesday of November) would be time to be spent in prayer. People were to pray for either the entire day or part of the day, as they found themselves disposed, or as circumstances allowed. They would meet in either private prayer groups or in public meetings, whichever was found to be most convenient.

It was determined that none should make any promises or feel under strict obligation to observe every one of these days without fail; for these days were not holy or established by sacred authority. However, to prevent negligence, and the temptation to make excuses for trivial reasons, it was proposed that if those who resolve to pray cannot take part on the agreed upon day, they would use the next available day for the purpose of prayer.

The primary reason for this cooperation in prayer was to maintain, among the people of God, that necessity of prayer for the coming of Christ's Kingdom, which Christ directed his followers to do. We are, unfortunately, too little inclined to pray because of our laziness and immaturity, or because of the distraction of our own worldly, private affairs. We have prayed at times, but without special seasons for prayer, we are, likely, to neglect it either partially or totally. But when we set aside certain times for prayer, resolving to fulfill this commission unless extraordinarily hindered, we are less likely to neglect it.

The return of each new season will naturally refresh the memory and will cause us to remember these teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the obligations we have as His followers. We will be renewed in the importance, necessity and unspeakable value of the mercy we seek from God, and by frequent renovation, the vision to pray will be kept alive in our hearts at all times. Therefore, those ministers from Scotland determined that such gatherings would help encourage greater prayerfulness among God's people for revival throughout the year. They also believed that the quarterly gathering would encourage and strengthen people to pray, especially if they knew that many other Christians in so many distant places were praying for the same things at a same time.

It was thought that two years would be a sufficient trial period, after which time would be given to evaluate fruitfulness of the endeavor. It was not known but thought best to allow some time to make some adjustments if necessary. The time period, though short, was thought sufficient to judge its fruitfulness. Those involved would have the opportunity to communicate their thoughts, and perhaps improve, on this manner of prayer.

As for promulgating this concert of prayer, the ministers decided to simply pass the word through personal conversation, and correspondence with others far away, rather than any formal advertisement in the press. At first it was intended that some formal paper outlining the proposal should be sent around for proper amendments and improvements, and then agreement. But after more thoughtful deliberation, it was concluded that this would only give rise to objections which they thought best to avoid in the beginning.

Great success seems to have met their labors for great numbers in Scotland and England, and even some in North America joined with them. As to Scotland, many people in the four chief cities, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Dundee joined. There were also many country towns and congregations in various other areas that participated. A Mr. Robe, of Kilsyth, stated that 'There were then above thirty societies of young people there, newly erected, some of which consisted of upwards of thirty members.'

The two years ended last November. Just prior to this, a number of ministers in Scotland agreed on a letter, to be printed and sent abroad to their brethren, proposing to them, and requesting of them, to join with them in continuing this concert of prayer, and in the endeavors to promote it. Almost five hundred copies of this letter were sent over to New England, with instructions to distribute them to the Massachusetts-Bay area, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Carolina and Georgia. Most were sent to a congregational minister in Boston along with a letter from twelve ministers in Scotland. Other copies were sent to other ministers in Boston, and some to a minister in Connecticut.

The proposal, dated August 26, 1746, opens with an explanation of the purpose and times for the concerts of prayer, and an entreaty to the ministers to communicate their opinions after the two year period had completed.

The ministers then go on to assure their Bostonian brethren that the concerts are not to be seen as binding; men are not expected to set apart days from secular affairs, or 'fix on any part of ... precise days, whether it be convenient or not.' Nor are they to be seen as 'absolute promises, but as friendly, harmonious resolutions, with liberty to alter circumstances as shall be found expedient.' Because of such liberty these prayer times cannot be judged to infringe upon those 'religious times' appointed by men.

The letter also asked ministers to consider composing and publishing short 'persuasive directions' regarding the necessity of prayer, either by particular authors or several joining together. Without such repeated reminders men are apt to become weary and begin to neglect their duty. Ministers are also asked to preach frequently on the importance and necessity of prayer for the coming of the Lord's Kingdom, particularly near or on the quarterly times.

The Boston ministers are to understand that these prayer concerts are not restricted to any particular denomination, but is extended to all who have 'at heart the interest of vital Christianity, and the power of godliness; and who, however differing about other things, are convinced of the importance of fervent prayer ...'

It was proposed that the prayer should extend for seven more years and the ministers agreed to this. However there was concern that zeal for spreading news of the concert would wane because of the length proposed. Nevertheless, it was agreed that the first period of time (two years) was too short.

If persons who formerly agreed to this concert should discontinue it, would it not look like that fainting in prayer Scripture so ardently warned against? Would this not be particularly unsuitable given the need of public reformation?

Those ministers in Boston said of this proposal: 'The motion seems to come from above, and to be wonderfully spreading in Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland and North America.'

Monday, January 07, 2008

Are We Hungry For Revival?

I just finished reading the article below by Jill Austin.

Are You Hungry for Revival?
by Jill Austin

2 Chronicles 16:9 - For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.

Revival is not born out of mass movements but out of a series of solitary decisions.

Over the last several years, I have traveled to more churches and nations than I can count. Many have gathered together and called others to pray, fast and walk in unity. First, the meetings are packed by the mounting momentum of trying out new ideas. Then, slowly, the meetings dwindle down; one or two intercessors are the sole watchmen left on the wall. The faithful few glumly look around at the empty rows of chairs.

We get discouraged when we don't see others manifesting the same enthusiasm for revival that we have. We worry, "How can our city be transformed unless the pastor of that major church is involved and all the meetings are filled?" But I tell you, beloved, God is not focused on the empty chairs!

Rather, He is focused on the chairs that are filled! You are there. He has drawn you there. He is going to begin His work with you. Revival starts today. Revival starts with you.

He has hand-chosen you, before the foundations of the world, to embark on a journey into the fullness of your destiny. Do you want to be His voice rather than man's echo?

If so, will you return to Him as your first love? Remember, God must first set our hearts ablaze with radical passion for Jesus. Intimacy is what ignites revolution.

Is the presence of the living God fully taking up residence in your heart? If that has not happened, then why are you expecting that to happen in some kind of public meeting? Revival starts with you! Personal transformation must precede city transformation. Let a revolution begin today-and may it begin with you!

Prayer: Oh Lord, I ask that You would radically revolutionize me. Cause revival to burn so deeply in my heart that others can't help but be changed! Oh Lord, You are truly all I want! I love You and I want to know You more. Tenderize my heart again. I want to return to You as my first love. Where my heart has drifted and gotten lukewarm, return me back to You. God, I give you permission to do whatever it takes to make me wholly Yours. Set me on fire.

Yes, Lord set me on fire!


Sunday, January 06, 2008

What is Hindering Revival?

Millions of Christians are praying for revival to sweep our churches and communities. Yet, revival has not come. Why is that?

Well, Jonathan Goforth believes the reason is that we still depend on our own strength rather than the Spirit of God...

"If revival is being withheld from us it is because some idol remains still enthroned; because we still insist in placing our reliance in human schemes; because we still refuse to face the unchangeable truth that 'It is not by might, but by My Spirit."

Praying for Revival


Friday, January 04, 2008

Does Revival "Thrill" Us?

When we hear the word "revival", are our hearts and minds filled with the excitement of what God can do in our lives and churches and communities?

Martin Lloyd Jones said: "I do not understand Christian people who are not thrilled by the whole idea of revival."

Praying that God will excite us about the coming revival!


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Time is Precious

As we begin this new year, we should remember that this may be our last year on earth. Thus, every moment and day is a gift. David Brainerd, who lived a short life from 1718 to 1747, wrote in his journal...

"Oh, how precious is time, and how it pains me to see it slide away, while I do so little to any good purpose. Oh, that God would make me more fruitful and spiritual."

Praying for Revival in 2008!


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Below is today's Breakpoint article.

Reflections for New Year's Day
'Amazing Grace'

January 1, 2008

At the end of December 1772, an Anglican priest in the poor parish of Olney worked by candlelight on his New Year's Day sermon. He would preach on the text of 1 Chronicles 17, verses 16 and 17. That passage was David's response to God after Nathan informed him that his descendants would be enthroned forever as kings of Israel. David, the once poor shepherd boy, the man who would have repented of adultery and murder, responded to the news by saying, "Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my family, that you have brought me thus far?"

That pastor was John Newton, and those words struck a deep chord in his heart.

In those last days of 1772, Newton found himself running out of empty pages in his journal, a bound book of 300 pages holding 16 years worth of entries. As he came to finish that journal and start another, his mind was drawn to the pages of his past: the story of his life from his days as an unregenerate slave-trader to becoming a child of God.

Newton would have remembered when his rebellious spirit got him thrown off numerous ships, publicly flogged, and ousted from His Majesty's Navy. He would have remembered the shipwrecks and the mutinies—and then the transformation of his heart by the power of the Gospel. As Newton considered those days gone by, he would have asked as David did, "Who am I, O LORD . . . that you have brought me this far?"

As was his habit, Newton set to work composing a hymn to illustrate his New Year's Day sermon. In that hymn, he would tell his poor congregation of lace-makers and low-paid artisans about the dangers and snares he had faced. He would reflect on the amazing grace that had saved a wretch like him.

Those now-famous words of "Amazing Grace," first sung in the small parish of Olney on New Year's Day, 1773, lingered in obscurity for many years. Even as Newton counseled the young William Wilberforce and encouraged him to stay the course in the long battle against the slave trade, the words to "Amazing Grace" were little sung in England. But the Olney hymnal, later published by Newton, caught on in the Americas.

The words of "Amazing Grace" would surface again some 80 years later in a book that would change the course of this nation, Uncle Tom's Cabin. In it, the slave, Tom, at his lowest point, sings the words of "Amazing Grace." Two verses hardly sung today were sung by Tom: "And when this mortal life shall fail/And flesh and sense shall cease,/ I shall possess within the veil,/ A life of joy and peace." These words of the ultimate hope in God, even in the face of deep injustice, forever entwined the words of "Amazing Grace" with the plight of the slaves.

But it all began in that dark little study in the waning days of a year gone by, when one man took the time to reflect on God's goodness to him.

This New Year's Day we would all do well to pay tribute to Newton by imitating his gratitude to God and his heart for the lost. We would do well also to set aside some time to reflect on what God has done in our lives—how He has delivered us from slavery to sin. And we would do well to consider how we, in this new year of 2008, can sing God's praise with our lips and with our lives.