Recently I was challenged by the words of Bob Bakke. He was one of the featured speakers at the National Revival Symposium, hosted by Life Action Ministries in Buchanan, Michigan. This summit on Spiritual Awakening was led, by Byron Paulus. The line up included Bill Elliff, Richard Owen Roberts, Michael Catt, Brent Brooks, Doug Small, and Dave Butts.
Distilling the messages of these men down to a few brief words does not do their presentations justice, but my primary take away from one of Bob Bakke’s challenges was this.
“Live in the hope that God can bring Spiritual Awakening.
If there is no hope you will not pray. Hope is such a powerful drive to our actions. Introduce the theology of hope to your church and to your community.” Bob Bakke
At t the request of my pastor, I am preparing to preach on prayer, as our congregation celebrates the fifth anniversary of our birth as a church. I have been driven to focus on “The Role of Prayer in Spiritual Awakening. As I reflect on the firm foundation of a healthy church, I have been reminded of the priorities in building a home. Many rooms are optional, but I agree with my friend.
“The foundation of the church is prayer.” Bill Elliff
Prayer begins with a need for corrected vision. Night Vision Goggles and corrective lenses of prayer allow you to see with fresh insight, what God has done in the past when His people have called on His name. The promises of His Presence are still true.
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
“There have been cataclysmic occasions when God has stepped in to move a nation back from the brink of destruction. The movements last approximately 30 years, but have a shadow of influence over 50 years.” Bob Bakke
What is H.O.P.E.? It is Having Our Perspective Elevated.
Hope for the next Great Awakening begins with your first prayer for it. Prayer takes your helpless desperation for awakening and turns it into a hopeful expectation of awakening.
“When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is to set them a-praying.” Matthew Henry
What is H.O.P.E.? It is Having Our Prayers Expanded.
Know your Bible, and the evidence of past movements of God during the times of…
· The Bondage
· The Exodus
· The Judges
· The Nation
· The Captivity
· The Remnant
Know your nation’s history and church history.
· The First Great Awakening was described as a
“Surprising Work of God” by Jonathan Edwards. Pray for God to surprise you with another one.
· The 2nd Great Awakening took place in American during the late 18th & early 19th Century. It was influenced by a movement of God among the Ulster Scots in Europe, and swept the western frontier of the United States including Kentucky.
· The Fulton Street Prayer Revival of 1857 came on the heels of a national financial disaster, and out of population of 30 million, one million came to Christ.
· The Welsh Revival of the Early 20th Century led to a world wide movement of students who believed they would see the entire world turn to Christ in their life-time.
· The Jesus Revolution of the late 1960’s to early 1970’s was birthed in the midst of the chaos, confusion and corruption of a cultural revolution. No one saw it coming.
On the world scene, there are more Christians in China than Communists. Cambodia is experiencing a movement of God.
Christians in Muslim nations are facing a crisis of belief. Eleven Christians are martyred for their faith every hour of every day.
What is H.O.P.E.? It is Having Our Prayers Exceeded
· What are you praying for that is impossible?
· Are you praying for revival or survival?
· What are you praying for that without Awakening, it is not even possible to survive as a family, a church, a community or a country?
This question was one of the flashing warning lights on the dashboard of the church during the waning days of The Jesus Revolution. “If God took His Holy Spirit out of the contemporary church, would it make a difference, or would most of its work just continue uninterrupted?”
Note to Self: Answered prayer is the purpose of believing prayer. If you have no hope, you won’t pray for Spiritual Awakening. You are helpless, not hopeless. If you are hopeless, you may pray for The Rapture, but if you admit you are helpless, you will pray for Awakening. Your helplessness will birth an Awakening. Your hoplelessness will kill it. Have hope!
“The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5: 16
“I don’t pray because I am holy. I pray because I am not.” Doug Small
In times long past, God has released sovereign, cataclysmic manifestations of His Presence. Why not now?
There have been great nations, mighty cities, small town and obscure communities where God has invaded. Why not here?
God hears and answers the cries of His children when they pray to Him. If you believe in God, you believe in revival. Revival in a word is, “God.” Revival is nothing less than the manifest Presence of God saturating a community. Why not pray, “Father, we are helpless without You. Please surprise us with Your Presence and stay with us. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”