We are pleased to reproduce the latest Newsletter of Rev Tony Higton’s, Network for Revival.
Network for Revival August 2019
How to pray for Revival: Pray in holiness
I want to deal with three major foundations for prayer for Revival in this and the next two issues of Prepare! – Holiness, Faith and in-depth Intercession. The Lord has taught me so much since I have been praying for Revival and I want to share it with you. I’m sure he has a lot more to teach me later but I’m concentrating on these three for the time being.
The Lord has made some amazing promises to answer our prayers, which I will expand on next time, but he has laid down certain conditions for answering our prayers. One of them is faith which is the subject for the next issue. But there is a condition in the following promise:
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (Jn 15:7).
I believe God wants us to be bold in our prayers and to step out in faith. But that cannot be separated from the condition laid down in this promise.
Sadly, many Christians, including church leaders, don’t pray as much as they should. Revival will not come without a deep and growing commitment to prayer. But there is another serious weakness in the modern church. Often there is little stress on holiness.
We live in an age which emphasises human rights, and, obviously, this is good in some ways. But there is a danger of being the “Me generation.” “You can’t tell me what to do. I am free to do my own thing.” “I decide how I should live my life.” “You must respect my freedom.” “You must respect my freedom to hold my own opinions.” This can lapse into a me, me, me approach to life which can affect Christians.
We live in an age of media brainwashing. We are heavily and repeatedly bombarded with secular ideas and morality. Some of this is through drama, which has a powerful effect. And if we are not careful this gradually lowers our moral and spiritual standards.
We live in an age of wall to wall entertainment. Even the news programmes have a significant aspect of entertainment and humour. Again much of this is acceptable. But it can condition us to take an entertainment approach in the church. There is a place for humour and drama in the church. But sometimes the entertainment can undermine the message we proclaim. We entertain people rather than challenge them. We preach a ‘nice’ message, not a challenging one.
Jesus’ message contrasts with much modern approach in the church. He said: ‘Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10:34-37 cf Lk 12:51-53). He puts it even more graphically “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life – such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple … In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples” (Lk 14:26-27, 33).
One of the conditions of his answering our prayers is his words remaining in us. These profound challenges are part of his word. Putting them into practice is an important part of abiding in him. If we are going to pray for revival we need to examine our lives and see if we are true disciples, rather than taking a modern me-centred, compromising, easy-going approach. We need to take stock and ask the Lord to show us any weaknesses in our discipleship – any sins we tolerate or regularly fall into. Without that, our prayers and his amazing promises to answer prayer will be undermined.
Revival is about holiness, so we intercessors for Revival have to take the lead in holiness. But be encouraged – it is a most encouraging and rewarding path to take.
Quotations about revival
“My one aim in life is to secure personal holiness, for without being holy myself I cannot promote holiness in others.” (John Wesley).
“Again and again revival has only come in power to God’s people when Christians have realised how infinitely holy God is in His wonderful nature and how heinous sin is in His sight. When people humble themselves before God, and when repentance and confession are complete, then revival tides may begin to sweep over a church or area.”(Revival Fire by Wesley Deuwel).
“We know that God can give us a great many things, but He cannot give us His best gifts unless we hunger for them. For instance, He cannot make a man wise if he refuses instruction; He cannot save a man from his sins if that man wills to hold on to his sins with both his hands; He cannot make a man holy if he has not aspirations after a holy life. Is it not true that the need of the Christian Church today is just holiness; a people desirous of walking in the ways of God?” (Duncan Campbell, the Price and Power of Revival).
“The presence of God was so powerful that you were constantly living in the expectation that something was about to happen. You would feel a sort of excitement inside yourself.” (Donald John Smith, Lewis in “Sounds from Heaven” by Colin & Mary Peckham p. 87)
“It seemed that the only thing we spoke about was God and the things of God. We went through the day waiting for the evening meetings. The converts followed the meetings from village to village, gathering strength as they went on. It was a wonderful time.” (Chirsty Maggie, Lewis in “Sounds from Heaven” by Colin & Mary Peckham p 87).
Lord, make us fit instruments to be used by you as you move us towards Revival.
God bless you