|Posted on January 3, 2020 at 8:15 AM|
GETHSEMANE PRAYER ACADEMY
PRAYER ACADEMY TUTORIALS 3
MODERN REVIVAL HISTORY
(A Chronicle of Some Post-Bible Times Revivals)
By Rev. Dr. Moses Aransiola, Ph.D.
Revival time is a most beautiful and desirable season to experience Christianity. Christians who came to the Lord during seasons of revival have been known to be more fervent than those who came to the Lord during seasons of spiritual decline in the Church. Every serious Christian should desire the glorious revival encounters of Christians in previous generations.
The history of revivals since the beginning of the Church age is a great resource for reliving the revival moves of the Holy Spirit today. Contemporary Christianity can profit from the principles, passion, and the prayer fire that birthed the revivals of old. For the Church to advance in its evangelical mission today, it must draw wisdom and inspiration from what God had done in the past through Christians of like passions.
The saints of old did not have the modern facilities we have today for communicating the gospel, but they had the Spirit of God and knew how to cooperate with Him through importunate praying and obedience. They did not even have all the Bible concordances and lexicons we have today, but they had fire in their bones acquired through tarrying before God in prayer.
I believe we can experience the revivals they experienced if we are willing to humble ourselves and pay the price they paid in prayer and sacrificial obedience. This catalogue of past moves of the Holy Spirit in the different nations of the world is an encouragement in this regard.
A. DEFINITIONS AND EXPRESSIONS OF REVIVALS
The greatest need of the world today is a mighty manifestation of the Spirit of God in revival power.
1. Revival is when God reveals Himself in awesome holiness and irresistible power.
2. It is when He visits the world of men to impart a fresh vision of His glory and grace and simultaneously to reveal man's sinfulness, inadequacy and desperate need of God's mercy.
3. During times of revival God's people are restored from backsliding, carelessness and inactivity.
4. They become preoccupied with the things of God.
5. They become intensely prayerful, attending God's house more frequently for fellowship and worship.
6. They develop a hunger for the preached word which illuminates and powerfully penetrates the hearts of its hearers, bringing conviction and corresponding response.
7. Believers develop a passion for souls and become deeply concerned about the spiritual welfare of the lost.
8. Consequently, during times of revival, gospel preaching takes on a new prominence and multitudes become converted.
9. Sometimes powerful anointings in special moves of God's Spirit produce physical manifestations such as deep conviction, tears, crying out, bodily prostrations, trembling, violent shaking or ecstatic laughter.
10. The results of true revival are equally spectacular.
11. The normal traits of ungodliness disappear. Blasphemy and filthy language, drunkenness and immorality, dishonesty and selfishness are all replaced by a sweet spirit of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
12. Sometimes entire towns or areas are affected. At other times whole nations are so blanketed with God's renewing activities that hardly any inhabited place is without some evidence of His glorious workings.
13. Revival in my own understanding and explanation is a supernatural divine presence and salvation outbreak or epidemic initiated by God that spreads fast and uncontrollably.
14. Real revivals are man desired, Spirit initiated or ignited, Spirit managed and prayer sustained.
B. A TYPICAL REVIVAL SCENARIO
(The American Visitation of God)
As the 18th century came to a close, the churches of America in the main were in a sickly state. False doctrines abounded. Dreary apathy prevailed. But in the midst of the national darkness, God was active in preparing an instrument. In the little town of Adams. New York, across the line in the year 1821, a young lawyer made his way to a secluded spot in the woods to pray. God met him there and he was wondrously converted, and soon after, was filled with the Holy Spirit. That man was Charles G. Finney. The people heard about it, became deeply interested, and as though by common consent, gathered into the meeting house in the evening. Finney was present. The Spirit of God came on them in a mighty, convicting power, and a revival started- It then spread to the surrounding countryside until finally nearly the whole of the Eastern states of America was held in the grip of a mighty revival. Whenever Finney preached the Holy Spirit was poured out. Frequently, God went before him so that when he arrived at a place, he found the people already crying out for God's mercy to save them. On one occasion, so the account goes, he was visiting a factory at the invitation of the factory owner. A lady on an assembly line looked sneeringly at the visiting preacher. His gaze met hers, .and immediately she fell under conviction of sin and began to weep for salvation. The reaction swept through the factory as everyone began to weep for their sins, so production had to be suspended in favour of the revival that broke out in the factory! Sometimes the conviction of sin was so great and caused such fearful wails of anguish that he had to stop preaching until it subsided. Ministers and church member were converted in their thousands during that visitation of God.
The 1850s found America again in a sad and sickened state just like the Nigeria of today, I guess. There was a great luxury on the part of few and great poverty on the part of many. Crime rates soared, violence was common, city streets were unsafe. Free love was espoused and homes and families were on the verge of collapse. Economic instability haunted the nation; unemployment raged out of control, corruption and injustice shamelessly walked hand in hand in high places. Racial division separated family and friends. Many wondered if “the land of the free and the home of the brave” was not writing the last chapter of its history.
In 1857, perhaps given the urgency of the severe national crisis which touched every area of life, God's people began to become serious about prayer for revival. There was a revival of prayer. This revival is often referred to as “The Prayer Revival”. There was first a revival of prayer, not causal passive prayer, but vital and important prayer. (Oh for such a prayer revival in Nigeria today!) That American Revival of 1857 from which has flowed almost a century of spiritual blessing, represents a challenge, even today. Like a spiritual tornado, the Spirit of God swept through the land, and the New England area of America became the centre of the great awakening, resulting in great numbers of people finding salvation. About some towns it was reported, “it was almost impossible to find anyone who had not been converted”. Like a great spiritual epidemic, tremendous conviction of sin swept through the land, and thousands turned to Christ. Drunkards, as they stood at the saloon bars, gamblers as they sat at casino tables, congregations as they sat in churches, even passengers on board of in-coming ocean liners came under the influence of this strange and wonderful move of God, and knelt to it in repentance, and found pardon. In many places, dance-halls, theatres and gambling dens were closed and emptied, new churches began to spring up everywhere, family altars were restored, and the spirit of prayer grew in intensity until anyone could cross the land and found a mid-day prayer meetings in almost any town. It was estimated that as many as 50,000 decisions for Christ were made in a week when this gracious visitation was at its height! Oh, Lord, I pray, do this for us in Nigeria.
“But how shall the doors of the nations be opened, and kept open, and how shall the powers of that oppress the nations be broken, and how shall labourers be sent into the harvest fields, with the anointing of God upon their ministries?”
C. WHEN REVIVAL IS NEEDED
Revivals usually occur after a prolonged spiritual and moral decline. By definition, a 'revival' requires a state of death, neglect or loss. This has always been true historically. The Church becomes apathetic to its master, its morals and its mission. It loses its zeal and becomes ineffective. Its worship becomes dull and uneventful and its membership declines. It needs to be 'revived' occasionally, for its own sake.
D. THE SIX MAIN WAVES OF REVIVALS IN HISTORY
There have been several very distinct periods of revival history since the 16th century Reformation. Their occurrence has often appeared as spasmodic, haphazard, unpredictable and irregular.
There have been six of these major periods or waves from the Reformation to the turn of the 20th century, from 1727, 1792, 1830, 1857, 1882 and 1904.
I have chosen to use the "wave" analogy to illustrate these six periods of time, when God poured out His Holy Spirit, reviving the Church and awakening the lost.
1. THE FIRST GREAT AWAKENING OF 1727 ONWARDS
Commonly called "The Great Awakening".
Historically, the beginning of this awakening can be traced to the Moravian community called "Herrnhut" (the Lord's watch), where a visitation from God was experienced after a period of prayer, repentance and reconciliation in 1727. Nikolas Count Ludwig Von Zinzendorf, a German, was the leader of the movement that began a 24 hour-a-day prayer meeting, which lasted the next 100 years. In the next 65 years that small community sent out 300 radical missionaries. Their revived German Pietism was destined to influence two other harvest fields, which were on God's agenda for that time - England and America.
PRACTICAL EFFECTS OF THE REVIVAL
The effects of the revival were phenomenal. Statistics are hard to find, but we know that 150 new Congregational churches began in a 20-year period and 30,000 were added to the church between 1740 and 1742, probably doubling its size. Moral results were equably noticeable. Nine university colleges were established in the colonies. The wild frontier society was thoroughly Christianized. Early missionary desire began to emerge, most notably in the ministry of David Brainerd among the Indians. His journals are essential reading for all those seeking revival.
REVIVAL IN BRITAIN
Back in Britain a massive movement of revival had begun at the same time and was bound up with the ministries of two young men, George Whitefield and John Wesley. Both had been members of the Holy Club in Oxford while they were students. Wesley went off, still unconverted, to America to preach to the Indians in 1736, returning in 1738. The only benefit of this venture was his contact with the Moravians, who he could not understand, but for whom he had a great respect. On Wesley's return, George Whitefield had been converted and was already preaching with great effect. For 34 years he exercised a most amazing preaching ministry, with revival signs often following him.
The height of Whitefield's ministry was at the famed Cambuslang Awakening in 1742, when 20,000 and 30,000 people gathered to hear him preach, followed by mass weeping and repentance for one and a half hours.
During George Whitefield's ministry he preached in almost every town of England, Scotland and Wales, crossing the Atlantic seven times; winning countless souls in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. He publicly preached an estimated 18,000 power-packed messages.
George Whitefield's friend, John Wesley, will go down in history as the architect of the 18th century evangelical revival. Converted in 1738, at the well-known Aldersgate Street prayer meeting, he proceeded to preach whenever the opportunity afforded itself, usually in church. Then, in 1739, at Whitefield's request, he preached in the open air at Bristol and followed Whitefield in his preaching places. There began those unusual manifestations which periodically attended his and Whitefield's ministry; falling, crying out, fainting, shrieking, convulsions etc.
Wesley was an itinerant preacher for 65 years. He traveled an estimated 250,000 miles on horseback to preach 40,000 sermons! He wrote 233 books, including his voluminous journals and a complete commentary on the whole bible. He left behind him 750 preachers in England, 350 in America; 76,968 Methodists in England and 57,621 in America. With Charles, his brother, he penned 9,000 hymns. Wesley's influence has far outrun his long life.
2. THE SECOND GREAT AWAKENING OF 1792 ONWARDS
This little-known 'Great Awakening' lasted about 30 years and its immediate effects were extraordinarily widespread. It also gave a remarkable impetus to world missions.
This awakening began as a prayer-movement in 1784, when John Erskine of Edinburgh re-published Jonathan Edward's earnest plea for revival prayer.
The beginning of the revival can be traced to the industrial towns of Yorkshire in late 1791, spreading through all areas and denominations. The Methodists alone grew from around 72,000 at Wesley's death in 1791 to almost a quarter of a million within a generation.
1. A remarkable result of these UK revivals was the founding the British and Foreign Bible Society.
2. The Religious Tract Society
3. The Baptist Missionary Society
4. The London Missionary Society
5. The Church Missionary Society and a host of other evangelistic agencies.
6. It also achieved considerable social reforms; evangelical Anglicans successfully fought for the abolition of the slave trade and prisons were reformed.
7. Sunday Schools began and a number of benevolent institutions were commenced.
THE AMERICAN VERSION
In the US the concept of prayer was very widespread from 1794 and by 1798 the awakening had broken out everywhere. Every state and every evangelical denomination was affected. Timothy Dwight, grandson of Jonathan Edwards, took over Yale College in 1795 and saw over half the students converted in just one year. Other colleges enjoyed similar movements of the Spirit.
All denominations were blessed by this revival. An utterly lawless community was transformed into a God-fearing one. The American Bible Society, American Tract Society, American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission.
The revival of 1792 onwards lasted around 30 years until around the early 1820's, but was soon followed by the 1830's revival.
3. THE THIRD GREAT AWAKENING OF 1830 ONWARDS
Fast on the heels of the Second Great Awakening, the third wave of heavenly power crashed on the shores of the evangelical world, this time without the usual decline. Asahel Nettleton and Charles Finney are names which dominate the American scene, while another American, James Caughey was the most notable revival evangelist active in England.
Finney's well documented ministry began in 1830 and netted 100,000 souls within one year!
The greatest effect of this revival was felt far beyond the boarders of North America and for centuries to come.
THE UK VERSION
In the UK revivals were widespread throughout the 1830's. Evangelists like Robert Aitkin and William Haslam held highly successful missions. Other noticeable personalities were J. N. Darby and George Müller who pioneered orphanage work, evangelism and missionary enterprise.
Scotland also boasted some great revivalists like John and Horatius Bonar, the revival veteran, Thomas Chalmers, Robert Murray McCheyne, W. H. Burns and his son, William Chalmers Burns.
On the wider international front, there were local revivals in various parts of the world, particularly in Scandinavia, Central Europe, South Africa, the Pacific Islands, India, Malabar, and Ceylon.
This awakening, which began in 1830 only lasted about 12 years ending around 1842.
4. THE FOURTH GREAT AWAKENING OF 1857 ONWARDS
This Great Awakening (often called the 3rd) was the greatest to date in its extent, effects and lasting impact. It began slowly in Canada, when 21 people were saved, and grew steadily until between 25 and 40 people were converted each day. Slowly reports of small awakenings began to emerge from various states in America. Then, in September 1857 Jeremiah Lanphier, a businessman and convert of Finney's (a decade before), began a noon day prayer meeting on Wednesdays in a New York church. The small but growing numbers decided to meet daily in early October. Within six months over 10,000 business men were meeting in similar meetings across America; confessing sins, being converted and praying for revival. It was a lay-led movement that harvested a million souls in two years. In 1858, from February to June, around 50,000 people a week were added to the church - in a nation whose population was only 30,000,000.!
THE UK VERSION
Across the Atlantic another million were won to Christ by 1865. This was in Britain's population of 27,000,000. Ulster saw 100,000 converted, Scotland 30,000, Wales 100,000 and England 500,000.
Evangelistic, missionary and philanthropic enterprises blossomed on every hand. Moody and Sankey enjoyed their greatest success. William and Catherine Booth, converted under the ministry of James Caughey, launched the Salvation Army and attracted great crowds to Christ. Charles Haddon Spurgeon preached to capacity crowds each week, filling the largest halls in London. Hudson Taylor began the China Inland Mission. David Livingstone and Mary Slessor propagated missionary work in Africa. Such was the impact of this fourth great awakening.
The revival also swept around the world. Rapid growth was reported in continental Europe, western Russia, Australia, The South Seas, South Africa and India.
5. THE FIFTH GREAT AWAKENING 1880 ONWARDS
This revival initially centred around the ministry of D. L. Moody, whose ministry may be described as "highly successful crusade evangelism interspersed with periodic revivalism". Moody began his ministry in Chicago and entered full-time Christian work in 1860, concentrating on his Sunday school and YMCA work. He was God's chosen vessel to take the sparks of the 1857-60 revival to ignite a fresh passion for God and for souls around the world. Moody traveled, with his singing evangelist companion, Ira Sankey, to England a number of times.
Revival results followed Moody and Sankey as they traversed England, Ireland and Scotland, filling the largest halls in the land.
Moody returned to England in 1881-83 and had an astounding effect on a new breed of evangelists in the U.S., Britain and across the world. His mission in Cambridge, in 1882, marked the beginning of a worldwide interdenominational student missionary movement.
Moody founded the Moody Bible Institute in 1883, with an emphasis on missions. The Christian and Missionary Alliance was formed during this time by A. B. Sampson and the Christian Endeavour Movement was born out of a revival in Portland, Maine, in 1880-1881.
Other evangelists, spurred on by Moody, threw themselves into the harvest. Andrew Murray exercised a powerful ministry in South Africa, as did John McNeil in Australia.
Revival hit Japan in the early 1880's, increasing the adult membership from 4,000 to 30,000 in five years. The China Inland Mission experienced a large influx of new missionaries. New missions were planted in many unevangelized fields and revivals were reported in India, Africa, South Africa, Madagascar, Australia, Central and South America.
We may well describe this resurgence "a missionary revival" which took the flame of the 1859 revival even further around the world in all nations – just in time for the great 20th Century awakening.
6. THE SIXTH GREAT AWAKENING
In 1902, Torrey and Alexander conducted meetings in Melbourne, Australia, resulting in over 8,000 converts. This news spread like wild fire, igniting a passion for prayer and a fresh expectation for God to work in similar ways everywhere.
In 1904, Torrey and Alexandra were in Cardiff, Wales and, in the light of a minimal response to the Gospel, they called for a day of prayer and fasting. Suddenly things changed dramatically and thousands were converted during the next 12 months.
On the day of prayer and fasting (according to Torrey) Evan Roberts received an anointing of the Holy Spirit with great power, in a meeting conducted by Seth Joshua. Here the Welsh Revival began. It was Sept 22nd 1904.
However, the roots of the revival went back further. Young Evan Roberts had been praying for revival and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit for 11 years. Through a vision he received, Roberts believed that God was going to win 100,000 souls. In response to a further vision, he returned home in Loughor from Newcastle Emlyn where he had been enrolled in a Bible College.
During his first few meetings the heavens opened. God's presence seemed to fill the air. Many were prostrated with conviction, others cried for mercy and many were so filled with the Spirit they pleaded with the Lord to stay His hand.
Soon the revival spread to other places in South Wales. Teams of young people assisted preachers like Roberts, Sydney Evans, Seth Joshua, Joseph Jenkins and R. B. Jones. The revival then took hold in North Wales. Within six months 100,000 had come to Christ!
The Welsh Revival was soon the main topic of conversation throughout the Christian world. Wherever the news went it seemed to cause passionate prayer and began to ignite revival fires everywhere. Christians across Great Britain turned to prayer and church membership increased throughout the land.
In Scandinavia a current revival was fanned into a mighty blaze, as a result of the Welsh Revival. Germany was similarly affected as the flame spread across Europe. Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, the Balkans and Russia experienced awakenings.
The United States felt the after-shock of the Welsh Revival in almost every place. Prayer, conviction and conversion spontaneously occurred, resulting in unusual church growth.
THE BIRTH OF THE PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENT
In 1906 the modern Pentecostal Movement was born in Azusa Street, in Los Angeles, after a succession of local revivals through 1905. News of the Welsh Revival encouraged more prayer and suddenly the Holy Spirit descended. Daily meetings were held for the next three years. Visitors flocked there to catch the power of the Spirit and they were not disappointed. One of the main vessels God used for this move was a black layman called W. J. Seymor. No one could have imagined that this was the beginning of the greatest and most effective missionary movement that the world had ever seen. It marked the birth of what was once called 'the third force in Christendom.' Some would argue that, 100 years later, it has grown into the largest and most powerful force.
Almost no country in the world was excluded from the effects of this incredible revival. Almost every nation, on each continent, received new power from heaven, a new passion for prayer and for the lost. Tens of millions have come to the Lord as a result.
E. MODERN REVIVAL IN SOUTH KOREA
South Korea was like Nigeria or any other third World nation in 1952 and 1953.
First, that nation was occupied by the Japanese before and during the Second World War. The Japanese terrorized and burnt down all churches, killed and imprisoned many ministers and Christians.
This continued unabated until Japan was defeated and humiliated in the Second World War. After that, Korea secured her independence. But no long after, in 1950, the communists led by the Soviet Union and China stirred up the North Koreans to overrun the South so as to impose their totalitarian rule on them.
So another savage war was fought. It took a combination of fourteen nations under the banner of United Nations to push back the communist North and deliver the country. So the country was in total ruin.
It was during and immediately after this crisis that God raised up men like Dr. Kung Chick Han, Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho and others. Their ministries had humble beginnings, but they held unto God for a mighty outpouring on their land They gave themselves to sacrificial and importunate prayers holiness and discipline. The Lord heard them and sent His revival to South Korea. Today, South Korea is a nation to reckon with in spiritual matters. It is the present seat of God's revival.
Pastor Yonggi Cho runs the largest single church in the whole world today - a church of almost 900,000 believers! He has an auditorium that can seat up to 30,000 people and they run about 7 services every Sunday, yet the church cannot contain the people. Every month he has 20,000 new people coming to his church to accept Christ. So, when he has accommodation problems he would just assimilate only about 10,000 converts and distribute out the 10,000 others to some other churches! Presently, about 15-20 churches are founded every day in South Korea. In South Korea, the spiritual birth rate is four times the natural birth rate. That is, if they give birth to one million babies a year, the Church of God would give birth to about four million new believers that same year!
There is no other nation in the world where that kind of thing is happening. The natural birth rate is usually more than spiritual birth rate. But not in South Korea. At the present rate, in ten years, all Korea would be Christian. They were a Buddhist country before, 98 percent Buddhist for that matter. But today, they are almost 30 percent Christian!
Furthermore, in Korea, there is no nominal Christianity. I found this out in Singapore too. Revival is there. When you go to either a Catholic Church or a Baptist Church or an Anglican Church or a Methodist Church or any so called Orthodox church you'll be amazed at what you'll find - spontaneous worship, speaking in tongues, deliverance, etc.' There is no orthodoxy in South East Asia. They hardly even use hymn books! You'll see Reverend Fathers in their cassocks blasting away in tongues! It's amazing.
There is hardly any difference between the Pentecostals and these churches. South East Asia is having its turn of revival. This was brought about by years of importuned and agonizing prayers. We can do it too.
F. SUMMARY OF THE WONDERS AND IMPACT OF PRAYER ON THE KOREAN CHURCH AND NATION
1. The heavens over the land are open.
2. There is a release and tangible manifestation of the life of God.
3. There is an enviable and noticeable Christian and national discipline.
4. There is a manifestation of the spirit of hard work, excellence and justice.
5. Koreans have a christianized and sanitized politics.
6. Rapid and sustained economic development is on.
7. There is abundance for all.
8. There is safety of life and property.
9. Foreign investors beg to be allowed to invest.
10. There is a general atmosphere of satisfaction and happiness.
11. Born-again Christians are now about one-quarter of the entire population of the nation (about 12.5 million Christians in a population of 44 million).
12. Church growth is four times faster than natural population growth.
13. Fifteen to twenty new churches are planted everyday in the nation.
14. Many of the mega churches (largest churches) in the world are located in the capital, Seoul.
15. The President of the nation is a born- again elder of a living church.
16. At least one-third of the members of parliament are born-again Christians - many of them elders and deacons in Pastor David Yonggi Cho's church.
17. Koreans have more titles for prayer meetings than anything in the church programme.
18. Christians in Korea pray and sing with tears in their eyes. There is a reality of divine life and a dynamic contact with the Living God.
19. There is a unique evidence of a giving and serving spirit in both the young and the old.
20. Korean Christians are always cheerful.
21. A Christian is a Christian in Korea - there are no two kinds of Christians - born-again and nominal. Everyone seems to be on fire for God.
22. Koreans are addicted to holy and sanctified living.
23. Koreans always appear serious in every area of life.
24. There is a manifestation of a sober, sincere and honest spirit.
25. Korean Christians and people are very humble, respectful and hospitable.
26. Many of the richest people in the nation are Christians and many of the biggest companies belong to believers.
27. Of the 200,000 young men drafted into the military service each year, 40% of the privates and 70% of officer claim to be Christians.
28. Every Saturday, close to 2,000 – 3,000 soldiers receive baptism in water.
29. Thousands of young University graduates are on their way to become missionaries.
30. There are about 521 prayer camps, mountains or prayer retreat centres all over Korea.
31. At least 1 million believers pray together in any major joint denominational outdoor prayer rally.
32. Korean churches and Christians are very united.
33. Most Korean Christians, churches run the 4:30am, 5:30am early morning prayers every day. The churches are full to the brim. All are crying and praying for national revival in their churches.
34. Korea is self-sufficient in food production despite the rugged terrain of the land. Almost every square metre of the land is under one form of cultivation or the other.
35. There is a permanent, regular and uninterrupted supply of electricity and water.
36. Koreans work, drive and pray both day and night
37. Almost all their utilities and infrastructures – automobiles, tools, clothings, machineries, sub-way and rail way system, drugs, electronics, roads and bridges, power plants, weapons, etc., are Korean made.
38. Churches are very rich and self- sufficient.
39. Most churches and denominations have standing missions board or department and have missionaries abroad.
40. Church buildings are built in form of the best university auditoriums and are always fully equipped with the latest state-of-the-art electronic gadgets. They are always fully rugged and air-conditioned.
41. The 62-storey skyscraper building - the tallest in South Korea is owned by a Christian brother.
42. The Korean nation is moving forward everyday - there is one kind of construction or the other going on - roads, bridges, sub--way system, buildings, parks, farms, factories, new towns, power-plants, etc.
43. God is surely and mightily moving in the nation of South Korea.
It can happen in our own nation too!
*The writer visited Korea in 1995 and verified most of these things himself.
With this cloud of witnesses as highlighted above, our generation is left without any excuse for spiritual and evangelical failure. If God did it in the past through ordinary men like us, He certainly will do it again if we follow the evangelical faith and sacrifice of those who obtained the promise of revival before us. I personally believe that our world is already overdue for another great move of the Holy Spirit.
PRAYER: THE PRECURSOR OF REVIVAL
(Application for the Spirit of prayer)
Dr. A. T. Pierson once said, “There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer.”
Let me recount what God has done through concerted, united, sustained prayer.
Not many people realize that in the wake of the American Revolution (following 1776-1781) there was an American national moral decline. Drunkenness became epidemic. Out of a population of five million, 300,000 were confirmed drunkards; they were burying fifteen thousand of them each year. Profanity was of the most shocking kind. For the first time in the history of the American settlement, women were afraid to go out at night for fear of assault. Bank robberies were a daily occurrence.
What about the churches? The Methodists were losing more members than they were gaining. The Baptists said that they had their most wintry season. The Presbyterians in general assembly deplored the nation's ungodliness. In a typical Congregational church, the Rev. Samuel Shepherd of Lennos, Massachusetts, in sixteen years said he had not taken one young person into fellowship. The Lutherans were so languishing that they discussed uniting with Episcopalians who were even worse off. The Protestant Episcopal (Anglican) Bishop of New York, Bishop Samuel Provost, quit functioning; he had confirmed (baptized) no one for so long that he decided he was out of work, so he took up another employment.
The Chief Justice of the United States, John Marshall, wrote to the Bishop of Virginia, James Madison, that the Church 'was too far gone ever to be redeemed.' Voltaire averred and Tom Paine echoed, 'Christianity will be forgotten in thirty years'.
Take the liberal arts colleges at that time. A poll taken at Harvard University had discovered not one believer in the whole student body. They took a poll at Princeton University, a much more evangelical place, where they discovered only two believers in the student body and only five that did not belong to the filthy speech movement of that day. Students rioted. They held a mock communion at Williams College, and they put on anti-Christian plays at Dartmouth. They burned down the Nassau Hall at Princeton. They forced the resignation of the president of Harvard University. They took a Bible out of a local Presbyterian church in New Jersey, and they burnt it in a public bonfire. Christians were so few on campus in the 1790's that they met in secret, like a communist cell, and kept their records in code so that no one would know.
How did the situation change? It came through a concert of prayer. God came in a massive revival as men united to pray. A sweeping revival turned the tide.
A. THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER, A PREREQUISITE TO REVIVAL
There are two kinds of means requisite to igniting a revival: the one to influence men, the other to influence God. Prayer produces such a change in us it renders it consistent for God to do as it would not be consistent for Him to do otherwise.
When the children of God pray fervently, they are in the right inner condition to enable God to hear them.
Prayer is in a chain of causes which lead to a revival, and is a cause which is as important as the proclamation of the truth. Many zealously preached the gospel to cause people to turn around but have laid too little emphasis on prayer. They preached eagerly, talked to individuals, and handed out tracts but, to their surprise, with little success. The reason why they could not achieve more was because they neglected the other form of support, which is fervent prayer. They forgot that the truth itself has no effect without the Spirit of God.
B. THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER AT WORK
What then constitutes a spirit of prayer? Prayer is the state of the heart. The spirit of prayer is a state of continual desire and anxiety of soul for the salvation of sinners. It is something that weighs people down. A Christian who has this spirit of prayer feels anxious for souls. It is the subject of his thoughts all the time, and makes him look and act as if he had a load on his heart. He thinks of it by day and dreams of it by night.
Sometimes this feeling is very deep; persons like Charles G. Finney were known to have been bowed down so that they could neither stand nor sit as this spirit rested on them. In the great Revivals of 1826, these experiences were common. It is just what Paul felt when he said: "My little children, of whom I travail in birth..."
This travail of soul is that deep agony which persons feel when they lay hold on God for such a blessing and will not let Him go until they receive it. This deep, continual, earnest desire for the salvation of sinners and God's mighty move is what constitutes the spirit of prayer for a revival.
When this feeling exists in a church, unless the Spirit is grieved away by sin, or lack of discipline, invariably there will be a conversion of sinners to God. This burning desire increases more and more until revival comes.
C. PRAYING THROUGH THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER
• And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn (Zech. 12:10)
• And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith the LORD was wroth against you to destroy you. But the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also. And the LORD was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time (Deut. 9:18-20).
The spirit of prayer helps you to pray with the energy and oil of the Spirit. It makes praying easy and enjoyable for the believer. This is the best way to pray. This mode of prayer is enjoyable and enduring. Satan and his demons are clueless and helpless when we pray in this mode. Even the praying person is helpless under the power of the spirit of prayer. The spirit of prayer may not obey the principle that says 'the spirit of a prophet is subject to the prophet.' When the spirit of prayer grips you, you cannot stop praying. Charles G. Finney, David Brainerd and Father Nash of old time America had such experiences. Men who are enslaved by the spirit of prayer may sit at a dinner table, about to bless the food, and the spirit of prayer comes upon them. The fire of prayer begins to surge in them. They may say, 'excuse me for a while,' and go into an inner room where they may spend another 12 hours in prayer. That is the spirit of prayer in operation. The scripture calls it the spirit of grace and supplication. The spirit of prayer makes you pray in timelessness. You may give yourself one hour to pray, but by the time you are done, you've prayed for 5 hours and it feels like 5 minutes. Sometimes, after spending such time in prayer the burden is yet to be discharged, but because you have to attend to some schedules, you go out with a raging volcanic fire inside of you, and until that burden is released, you are helpless, and you are so disorganized. You are so agitated such that you cannot do any serious work until that burden is released. This is called the spirit of prayer.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola the founder of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) in Nigeria was a man that obviously carried the spirit of prayer. That praying spirit is still in that denomination till today. His spirit lives on in that denomination even after his death. It was recorded that there was a time he was praying in the wilderness with some of his disciples. He was flat on his face for over 72 hours praying and groaning in the place of prayer. As he prayed, his men that followed him got tired and weary in the place of prayer, so they kept aloof watching him from afar praying. While he was praying, it was said that a big python crawled towards them and the other people with him took to their heels. Since the man of God was praying face down, he was not conscious of his physical environment. The python made straight for where he was praying and crawled over him. As the python went over him, it dried up instantly because of the spiritual current generated in the place of prayer. The python was literally electrocuted! The prayer fire generated by this God's general of prayer got the python electrocuted. This same man will go into the forest to pray and forest demons will be running in haste out of such forest at the other end. He was a carrier of great power through the spirit of prayer.
If we want to enter such dimension of prayer and have revival, we must be ready to pay the price. It is for those who are ready for spiritual enslavement and holy detention in prayer.
D. BENEFITS OF THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis (Col. 4:12-13).
1. The spirit of prayer makes prayer and worship easy, vibrant and lively.
2. It eliminates spiritual dryness. Not for a single moment do you experience dryness of any kind. The oil is ever flowing and the river of living water is ever fresh.
3. It makes us to pray when we feel like praying and when we do not feel like praying. With the spirit of prayer, you have no choice; you are helpless. Your lips and feet may be vibrating wherever you go because of the burning fire on the inside of you.
4. This spirit literally enslaves one in the place of prayer. You are not in control; the spirit is in control. Whenever you try to check it, your heart is in turmoil. This spirit is uncheck-able; you just boil and burn inside and nothing going on around interests you.
5. The spirit of prayer may not obey the principle of 'the spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet,' particularly, in the closet. In the public, you may try your best to apply some discipline and maturity, particularly when you are in church or running a church. But you later pay dearly for it when you're alone in the closet.
6. It makes prayer fervent and fiery.
7. It helps us in prophetic intercession. Prophetic intercession is when you labour in prayer for an unknown subject, just pouring out your heart, maybe in tongues or in your understanding. You keep praying, maybe for a couple of hours and then, the burden suddenly ceases or eases and then you feel light, and you sense a note of victory. Somewhere on this planet, victory has been achieved through your prayer. A life might have been saved, or something spectacular might have happened somewhere. Prophetic intercession is labouring for subjects that you do not understand naturally. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit uses you to pray for such things, as emergencies somewhere, without you even knowing the details. Sometimes, you may get to know later on. It is praying for subjects and issues that you do not have understanding of in the natural.
8. The spirit of prayer helps us to pray with precision and accuracy, because we are praying by the mind of the Holy Spirit.
E. STRUCTURES FOR RECEIVING THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER
1. Genuine salvation
2. Holy Spirit baptism
3. A word soaked life - your spirit man is soaked in the word of God
4. A life of uncompromising righteousness
5. A strong appetite for prayer materials
6. A heart cry for more of God, His power and His move - revival
7. A strong desire to be more prayerful
8. Regular contact and association with distinguished men and women of prayer
9. Readiness to pay the price
10. A ceaseless longing and cry for the baptism of the spirit of fire and the spirit of prayer.
F. HOW DO YOU RECEIVE THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER?
1. Acknowledge that there is a spirit called the spirit of grace and supplication.
2. Desire and hunger for it.
3. Cry for it as you cry for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
4. Seek for transference of that spirit.
5. Get occupied with God's work.
6. Have a definite prayer project: i.e. praying for certain notorious sinners to be saved, or praying for a gospel breakthrough in Arab nations, etc.
7. Be burdened for revival and divine visitation in your church, community, nation, and in the world.
G. APPLICATION FOR THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER AND FRESH FIRE
Fire is known for its military and aggressive nature. Fire is known globally as a problem solver. For those who have no respect for fire, they learn their lesson in a hard way as fire devours and kills instantly. The glory that accompanies both physical and spiritual fire is like that of the sun. The sun is a ball of fire that services the entire solar system, and its glory is seen by all creation. Fire is an aspect of God and His nature. It burns, consumes, destroys and does not compromise.
Fire is also a goal/result getter. It transforms wood to coal and ashes. The devil and his cohorts stand no chance when we use the fire of God against them in battle. This spiritual fire, however, must be generated from the altar of prayer and worship. A child of God whose prayer altar is fire saturated is the only one that can take the battle to the gates of the enemy. When the fire of God comes afresh on our altars, the glory of God will show brighter in our lives and communities.
SCRIPTURES TO STAND UPON IN PRAYER
Lev. 6:12-13, Zech. 12:10, 2Kgs. 1:10, Luke 24:49, Acts 2:1-4, Acts 19:11-15, Acts 4:31, Exo. 40:18-35, Lev. 9:7-24, I Kgs. 8:10-11, 2 Chro. 5:13-14, Isa. 11:1-4; Eze. 10:3-4, Hag. 2:7-9, Acts 4:31-34, I Pet. 2:9.
• If possible, place your right hand on your head or on your heart as you fervently and faithfully engage these specialized prayers.
• Pray them intentionally, aggressively, isolatedly (if alone), believingly and expectantly.
• When possible, pray these prayers at midnights or first thing in the mornings.
PRAY LIKE THIS:
1. Father, I confess and repent of my carelessness about my spiritual life; forgive me of any sin of indulgence that might have contributed to my present spiritual predicament.
2. Father, forgive me of the sin of spiritual indiscipline of not making prayer a priority in my life in Jesus name
3. In Jesus name, I command the demons of lukewarmness, coldness, and spiritual apathy to get out of my life right now.
4. I bind and cast out of my life, you spirit of excessive addiction to television, video, sleep, and telephone in Jesus name.
5. Food and sleep will not have dominion over my prayer life; henceforth, I shall devote quality time to prayer every day of my life in Jesus name.
6. I demolish every satanic altar raised to collapse my prayer altar; the fire upon my altar shall ever be burning in Jesus name.
7. I repent of any character flaw that limits God and His power in my life and ministry.
8. Father, wash me by the blood of Jesus; purge me thoroughly from all personal habits that insulate your power from my life in Jesus name.
9. Father, let every record of iniquities and transgressions of my ancestors insulating your divine fire in my life be cancelled by the blood of Jesus.
10. Father, let your fire from heaven enter into my spirit, soul and body, right now in Jesus name.
11. O Lord, cause your liquid fire to purge my spirit, soul and body from dead works in Jesus name.
12. You satanic strongman opposing fresh fire in my life, I arrest and paralyze you in the name of Jesus.
13. Territorial witches, wizards and occultists contending with the fire of God in my life, receive total disgrace in Jesus name.
14. Evil plantation in my life resisting the fire of God, be roasted by fire in Jesus name.
15. Stubborn agents of Satan in my family attacking my prayer altar; receive the arrow of fire in Jesus name.
16. Right now, I invite the spirit of grace and supplication; my life is available, fall on me now in Jesus name.
17. Mantle of fire, mantle of Elijah, fall on me, in Jesus name.
18. Fresh fire of the Holy Spirit from the altar in heaven, enter my soul right now in Jesus name.
19. Spirit of prevailing and unending prayers that rested on Moses, Elijah and Jesus Christ, fall on me now.
20. Father, release the extra-ordinary oil and unction of prayer and intercession upon me today, in Jesus name.
21. Anointing of travailing, prevailing and enduring prayers, my heart is available, enter in right now.
22. Holy fire of Pentecost, find me out and baptize me in Jesus name.
23. Grace to enjoy and endure in the place of prayer, fall on me in Jesus name.
24. Divine hand of grace, power, might, dominion rest on me from today.
25. I refuse to be a prayer outcast in Jesus name.
26. I shall not be a prayer collector or a prayer consumer, but a prayer donor and distributor in Jesus name.
27. Fire and anointing quenchers will never operate in my life again in Jesus name.
28. I receive divine cloven tongues of fire as of old, in Jesus name.
29. Spirit and fire of prayer, make my heart your permanent habitation in Jesus name.
30. Father, use me more than the Elijah of old in Jesus name.
31. From today, my spiritual temperature will always be at a boiling point level in Jesus name.
32. As Jehovah, the God of fire liveth, I shall never lose the fire of prayer, in Jesus name.
33. From today, I shall be cited as an example of a victorious prayer warrior in Jesus name.
34. I reject the work of any fire extinguisher in my life and ministry in Jesus name.
35. I receive the grace, space and discipline to sustain my prayer fire, in Jesus name.
36. My lamp shall retain its flame and keep burning till Jesus comes, in Jesus name.
37. I receive the grace to be a spirit and fire transmitter in Jesus name.
38. Father, use my prayer tremendously in my church, family, neighbourhood and in my community in Jesus name.
39. Father, I permit you to use and apply my prayer locally, territorially, nationally and globally in Jesus name.
40. By God’s grace all my children and family members shall be known as divine fire carriers in Jesus name.
41. Father, turn me to an outstanding prayer warrior and a result getter in my generation.
42. Evil forces behind spiritual instability and rising and falling in my prayer life, receive permanent disgrace in Jesus name.
43. I declare, I am strong in the Lord; I receive divine fire to neutralize all ancient tribulations in my life in Jesus name.
44. If I be a child of God, let every power that is troubling my life and destiny be judged by fire in Jesus name.
45. I receive fresh fire to resolve every problem that makes men to mock me in Jesus name.
46. O Lord, by your mercy, deliver me from stubborn powers that quench your fire in my life.
47. Every stubborn adversary contending against my acquiring fresh fire, be paralysed in Jesus name.
48. Any evil altar where the wicked has padlocked my destiny, father, let your fire consume it in Jesus name.
49. Let the authority of a child/man of God manifest in my life from today in Jesus name.
50. Let issues of life that cause men to mock me as a child/man of God, be resolved by God's fire immediately in Jesus name.
51. Let my life begin to magnetize every good thing that brings joy and fulfillment to a child/man of God in Jesus name.
52. Let the fire of God consume every satanic bondage in my life and in my family in Jesus name.
53. Let the fire from heaven consume every power challenging my testimonies in Jesus name.
54. Father, let your fire devour altars of witchcraft, freemasons, and the occult raised to hinder my progress and advancement in life, in Jesus name.
55. By the fire of God, I render my life uncomfortable for any evil spirits in Jesus name.
56. In Jesus name, I block every access route through which the wicked afflicts my prayer altar.
57. I command whatever is cooperating with spirit husband or spirit wife to expire by fire in Jesus name.
58. Father, make my life uncomfortable for every modern Delilah and Jezebel in Jesus name.
59. Powers of discouragement deployed to waste my destiny: expire by fire in Jesus name.
60. Altars of discouragement raised to frustrate my prayer life, be demolished in Jesus name.
61. Arrows of infirmity deployed by the wicked to waste my life; be roasted by God's consuming fire in Jesus name.
62. By the divine fire of God, I shall rule and reign over every household, workplace and neighborhood adversary in Jesus name.
63. I command all the good doors of my life that household and workplace and market place adversaries have shut to open by fire in Jesus name.
64. Troubles arranged on the pathway of my life: be aborted by fire in Jesus name.
65. By fire, I receive back all that I have lost in life and destiny; I declare a new season of grace and mercy beginning from today in Jesus name.
66. I invoke the divine fire of God to fast track my life in order to catch up and overtake those that have left me behind in Jesus name.
67. Father, give me prophetic listening and hearing ears in the place of prayer.
68. As the fire on our altars returns, let the glory of our churches also return in Jesus name.
69. By the power of Jehovah's heavenly altar, I command the glory and beauty of our churches to manifest now, in Jesus name.
70. As we raise community and national altars of prayer, let the glory of our churches and nation manifest, in Jesus name.
71. Father, let your fire fall in our churches and in our nation, In Jesus name.
72. Father, raise an Elijah church in our nation that will repair your altars all over the land.
73. O Lord, let your fire contend with those who contend against your Church, in Jesus name.
74. By the altars of Jehovah in our land, we sack all the anti-Christ altars and priesthoods in our nation, in Jesus name.
75. From the altar of Jehovah, we invoke Judgment and destruction to every altar of darkness affecting our nation.
76. Any satanic sect pointing evil fingers at the Church of God, we command fire from our altars to strike them now, in Jesus name.
77. Anti-Christ agenda against our nation: receive maximum disgrace, in Jesus name.
78. By the fire of our God, we command our nation to enter into her season of prophetic glory, in Jesus name.
79. In Jesus name, I receive a prophetic upgrade like Daniel to move a prayer warrior level to a prophetic intercessor level in Jesus name.
80. Thank you Lord for fresh fire upon all our individual, family, community, ongregational and national altars, in Jesus name mighty and precious name.
GETHSEMANE WORLD PRAYER CENTRE
Eleyele Roundabout, U.I.P.O. Box 14697, Ibadan, Nigeria.
Tel/Fax: + 234-805-848-2959, + 234-802-342-5075, + 234-803-492-7152
E-mail: Info@gethsempray.org, Website: http://gethsempray.org
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