Prayer is the most powerful force in the Universe. Prayer has saved people's lives, healed people from sickness and disease, rescued victims from the hands of oppressors, and given warriors victory in battle. Prayer has delivered the down trodden from poverty, the addict from bondage... and Prayer has turned enemies into friends, failures into successes, and sinners into saints.
On this page, we discuss our prayer focus. In Matthew 18:20, the Bible says, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." In Matthew 7:7-8, the Bible says, "Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asks, receives; and he that seeks, finds; and to him that knocks, it shall be opened." But, keep in mind, the Bible also says in Psalm 66:18, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will hear me." Let us examine ourselves and be worthy to have God hear and answer our prayers. Let us say as it says in Psalm 66:18-19, "But verily God hath heard me; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which has not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
The Great Need For Our Churches Today—PRAYER & REVIVAL
By: Dr. Vince J. Massa
The Apostle Paul tells us in II Tim. 3:1, “THIS know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” The word, “perilous” means dangerous, hazardous, full of risk. It is evident as one looks at our country and the world that:
- we are living in perilous times
- we are living in the “last days” of the church age before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His bride.
Now a question naturally arises for believers as we consider our country, the world and the times in which we are living. What are we going to do? Will we resign ourselves to the fact that this world is going to become increasingly more wicked (II Tim. 3:13) before the Lord returns and think that the best we can do is hold out and hold on until the rapture? Will we hide in our houses and obey Godless politicians who would have us to believe that lockdowns are the only way to stop a pandemic, and keep silent as they march our country towards socialism, Marxism and globalism? Or will we rise up and fight (I Tim. 6:12; II Tim. 4:7) against the evil which seeks to overtake our churches, our families and each of us individually?
I believe that the Bible and history tell us that we are to fight. The great need and the great fight concerns prayer and revival. Let me give you two examples; one from scripture and one from history:
I. Judah’s Revival Under King Josiah
King Josiah was the 15th king to reign over Judah after Israel became a divided nation. He was the grandson of King Manasseh, the most wicked king and the longest reigning king of Judah. Manasseh sat upon the throne for 55 years. With his idolatry, which included the sacrificing of children to heathen deities. Manasseh led Judah to commit what we may say was an unpardonable sin. The Bible says of him in II Kings 24:4, “for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the Lord would not pardon.”
Two years after his grandfather’s death, Josiah becomes the King of Judah at the tender age of eight. One surely would not think that a child king could temporarily stop the judgment of God from falling on a nation? But Josiah does that, for he reigns 31 years in Jerusalem and the judgment of God does not fall on Judah until after his death. Nor would one think that Judah would have a spiritual revival, but it happens because of the leadership of King Josiah who honored God. Here are some of the things that Josiah did that led Judah to revival:
- When he was 16 years old “he began to seek after the God of David his father”- II 34:3. Does not the scripture say in II Chron. 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face….”?
- At the age of 20 he began a clean-up campaign to “purge Judah and Jerusalem” (II Chron. 24:3) of its idolatry (II Chron. 34:4-7). II Chron. 7:14 goes on to say “If my people…. And turn from their wicked ways…”
- At the age of 26 he begins a campaign “to repair the house of the LORD his God” (II Chron. 34:8). It was during this period of time that “a book” was discovered (II Chron. 34:14). This book is made reference to “10” times in the chapter. The book was the law of Moses. The book is read to the king by Shaphan the Scribe (II Chron. 34:18) and when the king hears the words of God and the judgments of God which would fall upon the Jews if they sinned, the king rends his clothes (II Chron. 34:19) and this ultimately leads him to prayer. (II Chron. 7:14) “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face…”
The two things necessary for revival are the Word of God and prayer. Josiah was convicted of sin by the Word of God and that led him to prayer. The word of the Lord that came to him from Huldah the prophetess was “Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, (that’s a man praying) saith the LORD.”
- The ultimate result of all that Josiah did was a revival. The king and the entire nation made a covenant before the Lord to walk after him and keep his commandments, which they did “all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers” (II Chron. 34:31-33) And Israel kept a Passover after this which out-did any Passover kept by David, Solomon or any other king of Israel. (II Chron. 35:17-19).
So you see in the midst of the most evil time in Israel’s history, God gave His people REVIVAL. I say to you, if God did it for Judah back then, could he not and would he not do it for HIS PEOPLE and OUR CHURCHES NOW, if we like Judah would turn to Him with all our hearts? I, for one, believe it could happen even in these “perilous times” before the Lord returns. Let us seek to go out with the shout of REVIVAL!
II. America’s Revival – The Second Great Awakening
America experienced two national revivals. The 2nd Great Awakening began in the year 1857 when our country was going through some very dark days, America was a troubled nation:
- Politically – The nation was being torn apart and divided politically over the slavery issue. In November of 1860, Abraham Lincoln would be voted in as the sixteenth President of the United States, and in April of 1861 the Civil War began.
- Spiritually – A Baptist preacher named William Miller had gained notoriety and a large following by predicting the Lord Jesus Christ would return to the world on October 23, 1844. The result of Miller’s failed predictions was that many who had embraced his teachings turned away from the churches and for more than 12 years church attendance and spirituality in America was on the decline.
- Economically – In the year 1857, Americans would experience a great economic depression which stopped businesses everywhere. America was going thru troublous times, but God was at work!
On Sept. 23, 1857 a businessman turned city missionary of the Dutch Reformed Faith began a noon hour prayer meeting in downtown Manhattan, New York. On the first Wednesday afternoon, 6 people showed up. The second Wednesday there were 20 present, and on the 3rd Wednesday there were 40 people praying. The prayer meeting was changed from a weekly meeting to a daily noon hour prayer meeting. In 6 months’ time there were 10,000 businessmen gathering daily in New York City for prayer. The revival that began in New York jumped to Boston then to Philadelphia and then went out to the western parts of the American frontier and south into Texas. It is estimated that in about a 2-year period a million people were saved and added to the churches in America. The revival that began here even jumped across the Atlantic to Ireland, England and Scotland.
I have given you these two examples, one from Scripture regarding Josiah and one from our history in America to show you that God is able to bring revival in the most difficult times among the history of nations. If the Lord did these things back then, could He not do it again during the “perilous” times in which we are living?
I think He can and I think He would, IF we as Christians would seek Him, desire Him and PRAY for God to give His churches revival before the Lord Jesus Christ returns!