Throughout the centuries God has brought periodic revivals to the Church. Most of us have heard of the “Great Awakenings” during which God breathed new life into His Church and thousands of people came to faith in Christ. There have been other revivals such as the Welsh revival that had such an impact on the culture that policemen formed quartets and entertained communities because there was virtually no crime. Other revivals, like the Fulton Street revival in New York, birthed out of a laymen’s prayer meeting, resulted in thousands coming to Christ.
It has been many years since America has experienced such a revival as we have read about in the past. Many in recent years have begun praying for God to bring revival to His Church once again. If we are to see a change, a turning toward God in America, we need to see revival in the Church.
During a time of prayer in the fall of 2017, I was asking the Lord to bring revival to the Missionary Church. I wanted to see revival in the larger body of Christ as well, but the Missionary Church is my tribe of churches and I longed to see a fresh move of God’s Spirit in our churches. As I was praying, I felt prompted to ask the Lord, “What would revival look like? If revival came, what would we see?”
In that prayer time, I sensed that the Lord was revealing to me six evidences of revival:
- There would be a longing for deeper intimacy with the Father – a desire for His manifest presence.
- There would be a greater sense of dependency; we would embrace the truth of John 15:5 that apart from Him, we can do nothing.
- There would be a greater desire for holiness – a desire to be holy people of God.
- There would be a greater brokenness for lost people. Just as Jesus wept over the City of Jerusalem, we would begin to weep over the lost in our communities.
- There would be a broader commitment to being and making disciples.
- There would be a broader commitment to living out Micah 6:8 – to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.
As I share these with other prayer ministries, I find that others are praying for these same works of God in their churches as well.
I shared with one pastor recently and he plans to build a sermon series around these six themes. Another prayer leader is building a prayer focus for his church around these themes.
There are devotionals on the SHIFT web site that you can use to provide some focus and starting points for prayer on each of these.
In a recent prayer time with leaders of the Missionary Church I heard prayers for each of these. Most in the room had not heard of these themes. It seems that God is putting a desire in the heart of the Church for what is on His heart.
30 days prior to SHIFT National Conference, we are inviting churches and individuals to join in 30 days of 24/7 prayer for the Missionary Church around these themes. Could it be that God is preparing our hearts for a fresh outpouring of His Spirit at this conference? May the revival begin; may it begin in me.