Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
A quick study of the history of revivals since the days of John Wesley through America’s Second Great Awakening, and into Billy Graham, and Dwight Moody in America reveals that at the core of these preachers’ message was a call to live a life separate and different from the world around us. Two favorite Bible verses that come to mind are Jesus is prayer in John 15 where Jesus told his followers to be in the world of not of the world. A second verse, in Peter's first book, describes Christ-followers as people who were called out of the world, a chosen nation, a royal priesthood and a holy nation. Yet just as much controversy surrounds these two vintage versus as does the way these verses were interpreted and applied. Through the centuries, these verses have been interpreted to mean many things.
No, I don’t think being a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation is about building walls around our religious club, and demanding that the world must learn, and keep our particular membership rules if they want to be included. Am I being too harsh? Maybe, but what does the church accomplish when we approach those who don’t come through the doors a Sunday morning with this kind of attitude? I believe that Jesus taught a lived a different interpretation of “in the world, but not of it.”
Jesus lived an example, and left us large footsteps to follow. His command to go into the world and make disciples of all nations was built on two other foundational pillars. Jesus said first that all authority under heaven was given to him, and therefore, we go forward in his power and unction. Secondly, Jesus lived an example that was in the world, eating with the “sinners and tax collectors” and those outside of the religious life of his time. He made a difference in their lives by the way He treated them. He gave up his rights to stay comfortably in heaven, demanding we meet the standard of the OT. He expanded the kingdom and gave us the same charge, by living a different sort of life. Then, after setting the example personally, Jesus’ asks us to:
For three years, the disciples watched Jesus's model these five principles in EVERYTHING he did. Jesus lived with power, focus, and love they had never encountered in anyone else. Jesus didn’t “have a ministry” he ministered. He didn’t write books or distribute podcasts; he gave divine, power-filled life to those he met. His platform pylons were driven deep into the bedrock of prayer. In fact, the only thing Jesus's apostle asked him to teach them was how to pray. They knew the source of his strength, wisdom, power and faith because, again, Jesus modeled a life built on prayer.
Like Jesus, the solution to powerlessness and path toward revival starts in prayer. The course corrections for a drifting life, ministry, or church are anchored in prayer. Like the example Jesus gave of what a revived life looks like, the early church left was the example of where revival starts.
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord, in one place.
(Acts 2.1 KJV)
The apostles left the mountain after watching Jesus ascend into the clouds and obeyed him. He told them to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit; they gathered together and waited. Because they listened when Jesus taught them about prayer, they followed his example, and applied the lessons. Then, when they were all together, gathered, obedient and open, and in one place, joining their voices in prayer and study of God’s word, he filled them with his Spirit’s power.
We don’t know when revival will start, but it always starts with God’s people. We don’t know when Jesus is coming back, but he’s asked us to be busy about the affairs of the kingdom until he does. Let’s start the New Year with a commitment to increasing the intensity, frequency, commitment and duration of our daily prayer.