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How to Prepare for Revival

How to Prepare for Revival

How to Prepare for a Revival:

After years of planning and preaching revival meetings I have learned a few things. The first thing I have learned is that a revival meeting isn’t necessarily a revival-it is often times only a meeting. In fact, I am thoroughly convinced that only a handful of people in our generation have experienced true, ground shaking, sin breaking, heart piercing, life changing revival. True revival doesn’t end at the final amen of the week. In fact, when true revival comes, that is only the beginning.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in meetings. I am interested in seeing a God glorifying, church transforming revival that leads to a spiritual awakening of even the most hard hearted within the community. Keep in mind, neither you nor I can bring about revival. Only God can do that. But, we can prepare ourselves, and the church, and petition our almighty God for such a revival within the church and spiritual awakening in the community. If you are planning a revival meeting here are my suggestions to help prepare your church for true revival.

Prepare by Preaching:  

Naturally you need to plan the when’s, the where’s, the who’s and things such as this. But that’s the easy part. Once those tasks are accomplished you as the pastor need to plan on preparing the church for revival; plan on preaching, plan on promoting, plan on praying, and plan on seeking the favor of God. The church will only be as enthusiastic about revival as the one behind the pulpit and will only be as prepared as the pastor prepares them and as they pray and trust in God to be.

Start off by preaching a series of messages that will prepare the church for the up coming revival. Preach on getting spiritually prepared, the need for prayer and fasting, the need for seeking God, the need to go and tell others, the need for revival in and of itself, among other things the Lord may lead you to preach on in this time of preparation as you seek His direction. Through the preaching and the promises of God’s word build the church up for an anticipation and expectation of revival.

I firmly believe that we aren’t seeing revival in our day because the people of God are not hungry for it. They aren’t hungry for it because they don’t see the true need for it. Therefore, the pastor should, through the Word of God, convince the congregation that they truly are in need, and that God can, and will, bring about revival if we are truly hungry for Him and sincerely seek Him. Through the proper preparation of preaching the truths of God’s word, revival should be desired, prayed for, and expected within the congregation prior to the actual revival meeting.

Prepare by Promoting:

Let everyone, and I mean everyone, know you are having a revival. There are countless ways to get the word out. As a pastor, you already have too much on your plate. For this reason, I highly recommend forming a promotions committee/team. They can make posters, purchase yard signs and banners, arrange advertisement, organize community canvassing and form a plan to get the whole church involved in a variety of ways.

For churches that can afford it, radio, television, news paper, and social media advertisements are a good means of promotions. However, I have found over the years that word of mouth and personal invitations are always the best means of getting folks to come. We have a whole host of ways to invite people these days. I know social media has it’s downsides but it has proven to be a great resource for promotions as well.

Be sure to get your Sunday School classes, R/A’s, G/A’s, Awana’s, and youth groups involved. Find some innovative ways to get the whole church plugged into promotions and personal invitations. This is not only a good way to invite people to your revival services, it will also unite the church in its anticipation for the revival. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have revival start prior to the evangelistic team showing up?

Prepare by Prayer:

We don’t simply want a house full of people-we wan’t the power of God. No revival has ever occurred apart from prayer. Prayer is fundamentally the most important aspect of revival. In truth, it only takes one or two to seek the face of God for revival. However, prayer doesn’t just petition God for revival, it also prepares the prayer warrior for it. The sad reality is the majority of Christians will never seek God for revival. However, I am thoroughly convinced if we can gather the church to pray we will have it.

I have preached revivals where droves of sinners were saved and a multitude of church members were moved to the alter in prayer and repentance. I have preached the same sermons with the same personal preparation in other churches where the only one’s who moved were the ushers passing the plate. What was the difference? The churches preparation for revival by prayer. When I know a church is prayed up, I know the fire will fall. God will always honor His people’s prayers. Just look at God’s promise of II Chronicle 7:14. In essence God said if you do your part, I will do my part and “I will hear from heaven.” Strongly emphasize to your church how important praying for revival is and get them on their face before a holy God praying. Pray and believe that God will rise up prayer warriors.

Plan a minimum of a month in advance for the church to start corporately praying for revival. Set aside a time in the week where praying for the revival will be the only focus. Train a prayer team consisting of mature Christians how to pray through the revival services by praying through the points of the messages that God would pierce the churches heart with His truths and bring repentance to the sinners. Train them how to pray through the time of invitation for the Holy Spirit to have His way. As an evangelist, I will always recommend a time to be set aside everyday for the pastor and the revival team to pray together. Invite the whole church to come 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or an hour prior to the revival to come in and pray with and for the revival team as well as the revival meeting itself.

Prepare by Petitioning God’s Favor:  

I know many churches have spring and fall revivals because that’s what they do and that’s what they’ve always done because that’s what the church expects. If you are having a revival because you want to fill a spot on the calendar-don’t expect one. It probably won’t happen. Or, if you want a revival because you believe God needs to come straighten your church folks out over some issues, or if you are wanting a revival to fill more pews, don’t expect it. Why? Because none of those things honor God and none of those things are seeking Him.

When true revival comes it is messy, ugly, painful, and sometimes humiliating. But, the end result is always beautiful and glorifying to the Lord. What is revival? Revival is when God shows up, and God takes over. It is when God has His way in our personal lives, our churches, and our community. So, what/who do we want for revival? God! God, we want You, God, we need you, God, we are not sufficient without You, dear Jesus, we can do nothing apart from You.

Again, we can’t bring about revival. The best churches, the best prayer warriors, the best planners, the best musicians, nor the best preachers can bring about revival. Only God can. But we can, and we should, seek His face and His favor, and only His face and His favor, and, when He chooses to bring about revival He will do what He sees fit to do. He is God after all. Remember, He is a rewarder of those who seek Him! (Hebrews 11:6)

I also believe in the power of praying through God’s word. How better do we know His will? In most of my revivals, I preach through the principles of II Chronicles 7:14, therefore, I give this suggested prayer guide of praying through II Chronicles 7:14.

Pray through II Chronicles 7:14

For yourself and for the church

“If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

  • Ask God to revive yourself and His people
  • Ask God to rise up workers called by His name especially evangelists and teachers.
  • Ask Him to strengthen, anoint, embolden, and encourage those who are working.
  • Ask God to humble yourself and the church to trust only in His power and live in obedience.
  • Ask God to give yourself and the church a strong burden to pray for revival in the church and salvation to the community. Ask Him to rise up prayer warriors.
  • Ask God to give yourself and the church a strong desire and longing for Him; that we would seek His face. Pray the the church would only be satisfied with the power and presence of God.
  • Ask God to bless the church with His presence, Sunday School, prayer services, and the revival meetings. “Do not hide Your face from Your servant.” Psalm 69:17
  • Ask God to reveal any sin within yourself or the church and that the church would turn from any wicked ways.
  • Ask God to convict the church of righteousness that the whole congregation would live holy before Him.
  • Ask God to hear from heaven and send revival upon our church.
  • Ask God to forgive yours and the churches sin, then cleanse, and restore to righteousness to the church, and nation.
  • Ask God to heal our land and send a mighty spiritual awakening into your community where many will be saved. Ask that it would spread near and far.
 
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Posted by on October 12, 2016 in Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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God Will Heal the Land!

God Will Heal the Land!

God Will Heal the Land

            Throughout the course of history, we find men like Jonathan Wesley whom God used to bring about great awakenings that lasted for years and drastically transformed the spiritual landscape of the land. Thousands of people were drawn to the Lord, churches were started, and existing churches repented and returned to their first love. Someone once asked Mr. Wesley why people would travel for miles just to come hear him preach. His simple response was, “I set myself on fire, and the people come to watch me burn!”  Oh, how desperately we need the fire of God to consume us today so this lost and dying world will come watch us burn and be drawn to the Lord!

Every great awakening throughout history began with a group of people discerning the spiritual signs of their present age, seeing the spiritual drought, and recognizing the devastation of the devourer, and the pestilence that plagues the land. They then humble themselves and prayed to a holy God, seeking His face and turning from their wicked ways. As they begin to trust Him, they begin to realize the power of God and the fact that they are His called children. Upon this recognition, they realize that through the power of God He has called them to be His anointed servants to turn this world upside down in His name and for His purposes.

God has not only promised in II Chronicles 7:14 that He would hear from heaven and forgive our sins; He also said He would heal the land. We are the instruments that God has chosen-the church of the living God, the congregation of the called-to bring about this great moving of His mighty hand. When we choose to live in accordance to the tenants of II Chronicles 7:14 removing self out of the way and surrendering to God’s will, God will then fill us with the fire of His Spirit sending us out into this world so they can watch us burn.

God is the only hope America has. Apart from Him this country will continue to dive deeper and deeper into the cesspool of immorality facing the destructive consequences of their actions. Looking at Europe as an example that today is a land of pure secularism strongly rejecting the gospel, we see how quickly a land can turn its back upon God when the church fails to stand in the power of God. We see churches like the Metropolitan Tabernacle in England where the mighty man of God, Charles Spurgeon, was the pastor a hundred years ago and saw thousands come to know the Lord. Yet, today, it is more of a museum than any resemblance of what God once did through His power and might. Unfortunately, unless there is repentance within the churches of America, we will soon follow that same path.

            We have, unfortunately, already seen America slipping further and further away from God. America was once considered to be a Christian nation. Not long ago I heard many people make statements that we are one generation away from no longer being a Christian nation. Today, I am thoroughly convinced that we are no longer a Christian nation. There are more people in the U.S. that claim to be Christians with their lips than any other nation, but how many are truly living for and serving the Lord? We have traded the God of the Bible for the God of self, the God of celebrity and fame, the God of politics, and the God of materialism.

Have we gone too far as a nation? Of course not! However, as God’s people, called by His name, how long will we choose to sit on the sidelines and watch this nation go to hell? Will we merely watch this nation get further and further away from God? It will become a nation in which it will be much more difficult for our children and our grandchildren to come to know the Lord.  America will then become a nation where our churches will turn into museums, and Christianity will be viewed as an ancient religion.

God is our only hope as a nation. However, when we choose to accept the call God has placed upon us as His people and humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, God will then hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land. We have seen through history and in God’s Word what He is capable of when man surrenders himself fully to the Lord. However, I agree with the great evangelist D. L. Moody when he said, “The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him. I will try my utmost to be that man.” The challenge of this book is for us to all agree with D. L. Moody and try our utmost to be that man-to strive to be the people of God called by His name-humbling ourselves and praying, seeking His face, and turning from our wicked ways so He will hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal this land. So, I challenge you in the name of Jesus: Let’s stand up, and step out to reclaim this land for the Lord! Let us loose the power of Almighty God on this unsuspecting world. Let us reclaim this land in the name that is above all names, Jesus!

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 23 Praying for Revival

Day 23 Praying for Revival

The Power of Prayer is in the Blood

            As we continue to talk about the total dependency upon God in prayer, we find a scripture that seems to contradict dependency on God and promote self-righteousness. James 5:16 says, “the effective prayers of a righteous man can accomplish much.” It gives the appearance of contradicting other scriptures such as Romans 3:10 which says, “there is none righteous, not even one.” It even seems to contradict Jesus words as Jesus Himself said in Mark 10:18, “No one is good except God alone.”

            Upon closer consideration, we discover through this seemingly evident contradiction that although we have no righteousness of our own, through faith in Jesus Christ, God has given to us righteousness. (Romans 3:22). I Corinthians 1:30 tells us, “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.” By God’s design, when our faith is in Jesus, we are in Him; and if we are in Him, His righteousness is in us. We cannot stand in our own righteousness because we have none. However, through Christ we have a perfect righteousness. The bible says in Hebrews 4:16 that we can “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Through the righteousness that we have in Christ, which is given by our faith in Him, we can come with confidence before the throne of God.

The temple that Solomon built and dedicated to the Lord was not the same temple that was in existence when Jesus walked upon this earth; however, it had the same basic design. On the inside of the temple was the Holy Place where only the priests were allowed to come in and minister. In the back of the Holy Place was a veil that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. All the priests were allowed into the Holy Place every day to perform their ministerial duties; yet, only the High Priest one time out of the year on the Day of Atonement was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies.

Inside the Holy of Holies was the very presence of God. Sin cannot enter into the presence of God, so the High Priest had to have all his sins confessed and repented of before entering the Holy of Holies. If he hadn’t, he would have been consumed by God’s presence. However, when Jesus died upon the cross, God’s work of redeeming mankind was over. The Word of God, in Mathew 27:51, tells us that the veil that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies was torn in two from top to bottom. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, God had made His presence available to all who would call on Him and put their faith in Him.

Many times we get the impression that God hears and answers some people’s prayers more than He does others. However, Romans 2:11 says, “There is no partiality with God.” God doesn’t sit up in heaven saying, “I think I’m going to answer this person’s prayer today and not that person’s.” Remember that “the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” and that our righteousness is not found within ourselves but in Jesus. I Timothy 2:5 tells us, “for there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” With faith in Christ we pray through Christ, and Christ alone, directly to the throne of God.

Day 23 Prayer Guide

  • Ask God to reveal any sin or mindset that would prevent Him from hearing your prayers.
  • Repent of any such hindrance and ask for God’s forgiveness.
  • Ask God to remove any doubts and keep you focused on Him.
  • Seek the Holy Spirit to consume you during this time to lead you. Be obedient to Him.
  • Spend some time praising God for the fact that He is able. Quote some scriptures or some of His characteristics to Him in praise.
  • Pray that the people of God will repent of sins and mindsets that dishonor and hinder Him.
  • Pray that God would reveal prideful attitudes of self-sufficiency and bring about repentance.
  • Pray that Christians will know the importance of intercessory pray and walk in it.
  • Pray that God would raise up prayer warriors with a heart for revival in our churches and a great awakening in our land.
  • Pray that our churches will be houses of prayer.
  • Pray that the people of God will stand in faith knowing God can reclaim this land.
  • Pray that our churches would be devoted to, and peruse the things that honor God.
  • Pray that the people of God would see the need for revival and begin to seek God for it.
  • Pray specifically for revival in your church. Pray for your pastor and church leaders.
  • Pray that the people of God will be broken hearted over the lost.
  • Pray that the church will be a gospel centered church with a heart to evangelize the world while starting in their own back yard.
  • Pray that the power of God would fall on the church moving them to prayer and sowing the gospel seed.
  • Pray for a great awakening in your community. Name off streets and neighborhoods.
  • Do not be judgmental in this, but pray that if there is any within the church who do not have a genuine relationship with Jesus that God would convict their heart and save them.
  • Make a list of individuals who are not saved and begin petitioning God for their salvation.
  • Pray for repentance of sin and a great awakening in our nation.
 
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Posted by on March 12, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 22 Praying for Revival

Day 22 Praying for Revival

Humility in Prayer

As we look again at II Chronicles 7:14, we discover that all of the elements of this verse are linked and flow together. In other words, you can’t have one element of this verse without the others. Take for example humility, which we discussed in the last chapter. God said in this verse, (II Chronicles 7:14), “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray.” We see that humility and prayer go hand in hand. You can’t have true prayer apart from humility; and apart from humility we will not pray-at least not a prayer that God will honor.

We pray for many reasons. We should pray when we are happy or when we’re sad, when we’re hurting or when we’ve been healed, when we’re in need or when we have an abundance. We pray because we are in need. We are either in need of asking God for provisions or we are in need of giving God praise. Both of these are acts of humility. To admit to God that we stand in need of asking is an act of humility. We have come to the conclusion that we are not self-sufficient and are truly in need of that which we cannot provide for ourselves. To give God the praise for the provision is also an act of humility, realizing that He is the only one who can provide.

In our rebellion of independence and self-sufficiency, we neglect to turn to God in prayer. In like manner, our churches so often fail to lift up the needs of the church ministry or the ministers who serve-not to mention the greatest need which is the lost and un-churched of the community in which God has placed that church. Sure, we pray because that is what we are supposed to do. But, have our prayers become meaningless ritualistic routines based upon tradition, rather than that of totally dependent children calling out to their loving Father?  A father is one who is waiting in anticipation to hear the voice of His child and act accordingly? Have our prayers lost the compassion of Christ, being broken-hearted over the complacency of the church and the lost condition of the community, compelling us to call out to the Father?

So often we jump right into our planning process with our organizational skills, ready to get the ball rolling in whatever plans we have made for ourselves. However, we fail to recognize that this is exactly what they are-plans we have made for ourselves. If we want the hand of God’s blessing on our lives, we must discover what God’s plans are. God has said in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD.” How then do we discover what God’s plans are for our lives? James 1:5 says, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” That is a promise straight out of the Word of God that we can stand on.

The most aggressive, well-planned, thoroughly organized, and fully staffed evangelistic programs will not reclaim the land for the Lord. Nor will the most educated minister, nor the most well-funded ministries, nor the most active and zealous congregation redeem the land for the Lord. Only the people of God who choose to tap into the power of God by humbly calling on God and whole-heartedly leaning on God would see the land redeemed.

There is no doubt that the Apostle Paul was a powerful warrior in God’s army. God used him in phenomenal ways. However, Paul knew exactly where his power came from. He asked the church in Ephesians 6:19 to “pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel” He understood that if he stood to preach the Gospel in his own power, he would fail miserably. He needed the people of God praying for him. If we will ever see this world won over with the gospel message of the Lord Jesus Christ, it will happen only with the people of God standing up in God’s anointing that has come through the prayers of God’s people in total and complete dependence on the power of God.

Day 22 Prayer Guide

  • Ask God to reveal any sin or mindset that would prevent Him from hearing your prayers.
  • Repent of any such hindrance and ask for God’s forgiveness.
  • Ask God to remove any doubts and keep you focused on Him.
  • Seek the Holy Spirit to consume you during this time to lead you. Be obedient to Him.
  • Spend some time praising God for the fact that He is able. Quote some scriptures or some of His characteristics to Him in praise.
  • Pray that the people of God will repent of sins and mindsets that dishonor and hinder Him.
  • Pray that God would reveal prideful attitudes of self-sufficiency and bring about repentance.
  • Pray that Christians will know the importance of intercessory pray and walk in it.
  • Pray that God would raise up prayer warriors with a heart for revival in our churches and a great awakening in our land.
  • Pray that our churches will be houses of prayer.
  • Pray that the people of God will stand in faith knowing God can reclaim this land.
  • Pray that our churches would be devoted to, and peruse the things that honor God.
  • Pray that the people of God would see the need for revival and begin to seek God for it.
  • Pray specifically for revival in your church. Pray for your pastor and church leaders.
  • Pray that the people of God will be broken hearted over the lost.
  • Pray that the church will be a gospel centered church with a heart to evangelize the world while starting in their own back yard.
  • Pray that the power of God would fall on the church moving them to prayer and sowing the gospel seed.
  • Pray for a great awakening in your community. Name off streets and neighborhoods.
  • Do not be judgmental in this, but pray that if there is any within the church who do not have a genuine relationship with Jesus that God would convict their heart and save them.
  • Make a list of individuals who are not saved and begin petitioning God for their salvation.
  • Pray for repentance of sin and a great awakening in our nation.
 
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Posted by on March 11, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 21 Praying for Revival

Day 21 Praying for Revival

Humility will Lift us Up

Just as Satan is the perfect example of pride bringing us down, Jesus is the perfect example of humility lifting us up. Philippians 2 explains how Jesus humbled Himself to the obedience of His Father by becoming a sacrifice for us. Verse 8 says, “He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Because Jesus humbled Himself by giving of Himself as a perfect sacrifice, the very next phrase in verse nine says, “for this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.” The reward for Jesus great act of humility was the highest of all exaltation.

Although there will never be any other name exalted above the name of Jesus the Bible assures us that if we humble ourselves in obedience toward God He will exalt us. As we have already discussed, Peter says in I Peter 5:5, “God is opposed to the proud. The good news is that the rest of the verse say but gives grace to the humble.” With this statement in mind, Peter says in the next verse, “therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.” The consistency of God is clear throughout his Word that He humbles the proud yet He exalts the humble.

Sometimes we feel as though we should be honored or that we deserve exaltation. We may feel as though we deserve special recognition because of who we are, what positions we hold, how gifted or how well-educated we may be. However, with the humility of Christ in mind Philippians 2:5 says, “Have this attitude in yourself which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:6 tells us that Jesus is God; yet, verse seven says, He “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” If anyone deserves exultation it is the Son of God, the God who took upon flesh, Jesus Christ. Yet, He chose to humble Himself. To have the attitude of Christ is to have a humble attitude.

Paul stated in Philippians 3:4, “If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more.” He wasn’t bragging; he was right. He began to state his credentials in the next few verses as being a man who had everything according to the flesh going for him. When you examine his life, you realize that he was born into the right family, he was born into the best citizenship, he had the greatest education of the day, and he greatly excelled in his former occupation. He had every reason in this world to proudly stick his chest out and brag in the flesh.  Yet he stated in Philippians 3:7-10, “but whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

Paul demonstrated in every area of his life as having the attitude of Christ. Although he was a well-accomplished man, he chose only to boast in the Lord. His life was by no means an easy life. I often look at Paul’s life and ask myself, could I have been strong enough to endure all he went through in his life for the Lord? One of the most misused verses in the entire Bible is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him, (Jesus), who strengthens me.” To hold that verse in its context, Paul is saying that regardless of what I face in life (good or bad), in Christ He will get me through it. If I humble myself before Him, He will lift me up.

Day 21 Prayer Guide

  • Ask God to reveal any sin or mindset that would prevent Him from hearing your prayers.
  • Repent of any such hindrance and ask for God’s forgiveness.
  • Ask God to remove any doubts and keep you focused on Him.
  • Seek the Holy Spirit to consume you during this time to lead you. Be obedient to Him.
  • Spend some time praising God for the fact that He is able. Quote some scriptures or some of His characteristics to Him in praise.
  • Pray that the people of God will repent of sins and mindsets that dishonor and hinder Him.
  • Pray that God would reveal prideful attitudes of self-sufficiency and bring about repentance.
  • Pray that the body of Christ will have the mind of Christ-humility.
  • Pray that the church would never put their hope in man and their hope would be in God alone.
  • Pray that the people of God will stand in faith knowing God can reclaim this land.
  • Pray that our churches would be devoted to, and peruse the things that honor God.
  • Pray that the people of God would see the need for revival and begin to seek God for it.
  • Pray specifically for revival in your church. Pray for your pastor and church leaders.
  • Pray for humility upon the people of God that leads to total obedience.
  • Pray for humility upon the people of God that leads to total dependency on Him.
  • Pray that the people of God will be broken hearted over the lost.
  • Pray that the church will be a gospel centered church with a heart to evangelize the world while starting in their own back yard.
  • Pray that the power of God would fall on the church moving them to prayer and sowing the gospel seed.
  • Pray for a great awakening in your community. Name off streets and neighborhoods.
  • Do not be judgmental in this, but pray that if there is any within the church who do not have a genuine relationship with Jesus that God would convict their heart and save them.
  • Make a list of individuals who are not saved and begin petitioning God for their salvation.
  • Pray for repentance of sin and a great awakening in our nation.
 
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Posted by on March 10, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 20 Praying for Revival

Day 20 Praying for Revival

Pride Will Take us Down

A few years ago God called me to plant a new church. Starting a new church from the ground up was a great challenge, but I knew this was God’s plan for my life. Unfortunately, I knew nothing about starting a new church, so I started seeking some advice from some experts, people who were leaders in the field. I did get some great and valuable advice from many of them. However, I could not believe some of the things I was hearing from some. They started talking about having the right worship team that would give pleasing performances, and saying that I needed to preach ear-pleasing sermons that wouldn’t make lost people feel uncomfortable; that we needed to look only for people who looked like us, acted like us, and talked like us; and that our building needed to be appealing to the eye whereas to draw people in. We needed to do all of these things that are appealing to the senses. They told me that those things would draw the crowd in. And, I was under the impression that it was God who added to the number of the church. I wonder where I came up with that silly idea? Maybe in Acts 2:47?

This may buck everything we have ever been taught about church growth, but I’m not interested in drawing crowds. A good concert promoter can draw in a big crowd to almost any venue, but what has he done for their souls? I’m not interested in drawing in the crowd for performances. I’m interested in the power of God poured out for the purpose of our being sent out, just as it was on the day of Pentecost. Yet, we have become so prideful in our performances that we have not made room for the power of God to move in our midst. Sure, I desire to see our buildings full of people every Sunday because I know every soul represented is a soul that God loved enough to send His Son to die for. However, if they come in for our performance, their ears will be temporarily tickled. But if they come because of the power of God, their lives will be transformed for eternity. Acts 2:43 says of the first church, “everyone kept feeling a sense of awe.” Their sense of awe was over the power of God, not the performance of man.

Regardless of how talented or persuading we may be, God will not bless the efforts of man that are centered around glorifying man. God will only bless submission to His lordship that brings honor and glory unto Him. Just as Joshua stood before the “Captain of the host of the Lord” Joshua asked in Joshua 5:13, “Are you for us or for our advisories.” His simple response in the next verse was “No.” God is not for men; man is to be for God. The only way to be used of God is when we humble ourselves before Him.

James 4:6 tells us that “God opposes the proud.” If therefore, I am being prideful, arrogant, or self sufficient, I am in conflict with God. In Luke 18 Jesus was telling parables on the subject of prayer. In verse 11 & 12 He said “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ The Pharisee was basically telling God, “Hey, God You ought to be proud to have someone like me on Your side.” Notice however, that Jesus said he “was praying this to himself.” God wasn’t about to receive such an arrogant, self-centered, and self-serving prayer. He opposes the proud.

Proverbs 16:18 tells us, “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.” Satan is the greatest example of this. When we think of Satan, we think of him as a gruesome, demonic being that has nothing beautiful or glorious within his being. That is a true picture of who he is today. However, before the fall he was beautiful. Before the fall his name was Lucifer, which means “brilliant one” or “shining one.” He was spectacular to look at. However, that is not who he is today. We view him in distaste today because of his pride. Ezekiel 28:17 says, “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you.” Isaiah 14 tells of how Satan tried to dethrone God and exalt himself above God. Due to the devil’s pride, God humbled him.

The beauty that God gave to Satan caused pride and rebellion to come into his life. Instead of giving glory to the creator, Satan tried to find glory within himself. As a result, he was cast out of heaven, and eventually he will be eternally humbled. I Corinthians 10:12 says, “therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” If we are standing on the rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ, we are standing firm. However, if we are standing in our own strength, we will fall. God has given us all gifts and talents of many sorts. However, those are to be used to bring Him glory and not to bring ourselves glory. When they produce pride in our lives to glorify and magnify ourselves, we too will fall.

Day 20 Prayer Guide

  • Ask God to reveal any sin or mindset that would prevent Him from hearing your prayers.
  • Repent of any such hindrance and ask for God’s forgiveness.
  • Ask God to remove any doubts and keep you focused on Him.
  • Seek the Holy Spirit to consume you during this time to lead you. Be obedient to Him.
  • Spend some time praising God for the fact that He is able. Quote some scriptures or some of His characteristics to Him in praise.
  • Pray that the people of God will repent of sins and mindsets that dishonor and hinder Him.
  • Pray that God would reveal prideful attitudes of self-sufficiency and bring about repentance.
  • Pray that the church would never put their hope in man and their hope would be in God alone.
  • Pray that the people of God will stand in faith knowing God can reclaim this land.
  • Pray that our churches would be devoted to, and peruse the things that honor God.
  • Pray that the people of God would see the need for revival and begin to seek God for it.
  • Pray specifically for revival in your church. Pray for your pastor and church leaders.
  • Pray for humility upon the people of God that leads to total obedience.
  • Pray for humility upon the people of God that leads to total dependency on Him.
  • Pray that the people of God will be broken hearted over the lost.
  • Pray that the church will be a gospel centered church with a heart to evangelize the world while starting in their own back yard.
  • Pray that the power of God would fall on the church moving them to prayer and sowing the gospel seed.
  • Pray for a great awakening in your community. Name off streets and neighborhoods.
  • Do not be judgmental in this, but pray that if there is any within the church who do not have a genuine relationship with Jesus that God would convict their heart and save them.
  • Make a list of individuals who are not saved and begin petitioning God for their salvation.
  • Pray for repentance of sin and a great awakening in our nation.
 
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Posted by on March 9, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 19 Praying for Revival

Day 19 Praying for Revival

The Congregation of the Called

God has created us to be a sociable people. Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to forsake “assembling” with one another. An interesting fact is that the word “church” is not found anywhere in the Greek New Testament to describe a building or a location. The word that is used in the Greek New Testament is ecclesia which translated is assembling or congregation If, therefore, the “church” is in fact the assembly or the congregation, it is then in no way, shape, or form a building, an address, or a location. It is the people of God gathered together for the purpose of worshiping and serving God. If we then refuse to participate in “church” we then are refusing to live in obedience to the scripture previously mentioned, “Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some.” We are forsaking assembling or congregating with other believes as God has commanded us too. Again, we have been so bold as to tell God “No.”

One of the necessities of congregating with other believers is that we are there to help strengthen one another. We fellowship for the purpose of helping one another carry loads we cannot carry on our own. Just prior to the Word of God telling us not to forsake assembling with one another, Hebrews 10:24 says, “let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” Just after that verse the Word of God tells us not to forsake assembling together. Then again just after God’s Word tells us not to forsake assembling together, Hebrews 10:25 says, “But encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” I believe one of the great purposes of God’s people assembling together is clear. We need to draw strength from one another, encourage one another, stimulate one another for good deeds, and love one another.

If the church is not living up to this standard then the church is in rebellion against God and needs to repent. Jesus said that through this standard we would be a witness to the world when He said in John 13:35, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” If the church is busy backbiting, fussing, fighting, and arguing, it dishonors God and leaves a distasteful reputation of the church in the community.

Acts 2 tells us some amazing things about the first century church. Verse 42 tells us that they had all things in common, and verse 47 tells us that they had favor with the community. Even though they were of greatly diverse backgrounds, they had all things in common because they were all focused on Jesus. They also had a good reputation in the community due to the fact that they were pursuing God’s plans and not their own. They humbled themselves before the Lord; and through their humility, the Lord was glorified. Are we glorifying the Lord with our actions?

One of my most proud moments of the church was just after Hurricane Katrina. The eye of the storm passed right over the church and the community I was pastoring in south Mississippi. We stocked up on supplies like we were told to in preparation for the hurricane. However, we, like most others, prepared only for a few days, not realizing it would be weeks before we would see again any resemblance of a grocery store. We could drive to other towns, but the closest gas that was available was at least seventy-five miles away. What little gas we had was rationed for the generators.

It didn’t take long to figure out that Uncle Sam and Red Cross were not prepared either. The church was a Red Cross shelter, but all we received from them was a roll of toilet paper, a box of mosquito repellent, and some registration forms. I’m not fussing. No one, myself included, was prepared for such a catastrophe. The U.S. had never seen anything like this before. However, God was not overwhelmed. In a very short amount of time, the church (God’s assembly) started showing up from California to Maine and everywhere in-between! They brought food, baby supplies, toiletries, and everything you could ever imagine. God used it all. We set up the church’s gymnasium as a distribution center, giving away all we had. I shed more tears of joy that week as we saw grown men crying when we gave them something as simple as water, mothers overwhelmed when giving them diapers, and children overjoyed when giving them toys. I was amazed as so many people with so many needs poured into the church. I saw people that had previously told me that they would never step foot in a church, come. By the way, they continued to come!

Through the tragedy and chaos of Katrina we saw the church being the church. Our sanctuary lay in ruin; yet, our church was more of a church in that time than they had ever been while sitting in that sanctuary. I hate the death and destruction that Katrina caused but would trade nothing for the privilege of seeing God’s people rise to the occasion. But the question then arises: Why do we wait for tragedy to strike to rise up to the occasion? This world is in constant chaos. The devil is the constant and present destroyer. Imagine a world where the church, the assembly of God, the congregation of the called, would continually rise to the occasion and be the church. Katrina brought about the realization of physical needs. As I write this, years after Katrina, the church is still tending to those physical needs.

The constant chaos and destruction the devil is placing on this world, however, is a spiritual devastation. A devastation that leaves a wake of destruction far worse than Katrina, or any other physical disaster, ever could. Why does the church not rise to the occasion in spiritual matters with such urgency as they do with physical matters? I believe it’s due to pride in our hearts that says, “They got themselves in this mess; they need to get themselves out of it.” It’s not because we don’t see it because we do. It is in our faces everyday; and if we don’t see it, it is because we choose not to see. When we say they deserve what they get, we fail to realize we could not get ourselves out of the mess we made of our lives through our sins and rebellion against God; neither can they. I promise you; we don’t want what we deserve! Are we so prideful as to think that we are better than they or that they deserve what they get, yet we do not? Stephen told the religious leaders of his day in Acts 7:51, “you men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit.” Has this become who we are today?

If we as the assembly of God (the congregation of His called) run to this world with urgency in our hearts ministering to their spiritual needs and hurts, they then will come to the realization of the true and biblical nature of the church. Most importantly they will turn to the Lord. Remember, Jesus was asked by the prideful of heart why He was eating with sinners. He said in Mark 2:17, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” I personally thank God for that.

As I close each service of the local church I pastor and just before we walk out of the door to our building, I ask a simple question, “What time is it?” They then respond, “It’s time to be the church.” From time to time I then ask, “Why do I ask that question?” Someone will then respond with something like, “Once we walk out of those doors, we don’t cease being God’s people.” We need to constantly be reminded that the church isn’t a building; it is the congregation of the called. We walk humbly before God and men while ministering boldly in that name that is above every other name, the name of Jesus. We have pridefully become lost within the walls of our buildings that we call the church, making it all about us. However, God has called us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19.20). Are we again telling God no?

Day 19 Prayer Guide

  • Ask God to reveal any sin or mindset that would prevent Him from hearing your prayers.
  • Repent of any such hindrance and ask for God’s forgiveness.
  • Ask God to remove any doubts and keep you focused on Him.
  • Seek the Holy Spirit to consume you during this time to lead you. Be obedient to Him.
  • Spend some time praising God for the fact that He is able. Quote some scriptures or some of His characteristics to Him in praise.
  • Pray that the people of God will repent of sins and mindsets that dishonor and hinder Him.
  • Pray that God would reveal prideful attitudes of self-sufficiency and bring about repentance.
  • Pray that the church would never put their hope in man and their hope would be in God alone.
  • Pray that the people of God will stand in faith knowing God can reclaim this land.
  • Pray that our churches would be devoted to, and peruse the things that honor God.
  • Pray that the people of God would see the need for revival and begin to seek God for it.
  • Pray specifically for revival in your church. Pray for your pastor and church leaders.
  • Pray for humility upon the people of God that leads to total obedience.
  • Pray for humility upon the people of God that leads to total dependency on Him.
  • Pray that the people of God will be broken hearted over the lost.
  • Pray that the church will be a gospel centered church with a heart to evangelize the world while starting in their own back yard.
  • Pray that the power of God would fall on the church moving them to prayer and sowing the gospel seed.
  • Pray for a great awakening in your community. Name off streets and neighborhoods.
  • Do not be judgmental in this, but pray that if there is any within the church who do not have a genuine relationship with Jesus that God would convict their heart and save them.
  • Make a list of individuals who are not saved and begin petitioning God for their salvation.
  • Pray for repentance of sin and a great awakening in our nation.
 
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Posted by on March 8, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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