We are pleased to reproduce the latest Newsletter of Rev Tony Higton’s, Network for Revival.
Network for Revival February 2020
Pleading for Revival: Pleading the love of God
Prayer for Revival needs to be more than an item on our prayer list, prayed for briefly on a regular basis. We need to PLEAD with God for Revival. Members of the mailing list will be at different stages in prayer and I don’t want to pressurise anyone to go beyond what they can cope with at present. But we all need to go deeper into intercession from where we are at the moment. And we all know how to plead. We did it as children when we were trying to induce a loving parent to give us something we really wanted which seemed to be delayed! That’s what we need to do when we are praying to our loving Father about Revival.
Let’s remember that Christianity is all about love. We believe in a God who is not just loving – He IS love. We know that, but I wonder if we really take it seriously enough. We are confronted with a church which often fails, sometimes very seriously. We are confronted with a society much of which is increasingly godless. But we have a God who IS love!
Yes, God’s love is stern as well as kind (Rom 11:22) so he strongly disapproves of this failure and godlessness. We need to remember that and not fall into the widespread error amongst Christians that God is only “nice.” His judgment won’t seem nice! But God’s love is rich in kindness. Those of us who are parents have strongly disapproved of our children’s bad behaviour but we have loved them all the same.
In the kindness of his love, God’s heart must be breaking at the sight of the failure in the church and the godlessness of much of society. (He is not bound to feel upset, as we are, but he chooses to allow himself to be grieved at human sin). God has a covenant of love with the church. He is “the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments” (Dt 7:9). Yes, there is reference to our loving and obeying him but we know God is merciful. The Cross shows that. We need to plead that God will keep his covenant of love with his church.
Moses records how he “lay prostrate before the Lord those forty days and forty nights” about disobedient Israel. He added “I prayed to the Lord and said, ‘Sovereign Lord, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed…” (Deut 9:25-26). That is pleading prayer. We need to plead in prayer that he won’t allow his church to die of old age or to go off the rails theologically and morally so that it becomes irrelevant. It is not enough to criticise the church and to lament its failings. We need to turn that criticism and lamenting into pleading prayer for Revival. Plead his covenant of love, despite our failure.
Peter writes that the Lord “is patient … not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). He “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4). Therefore we can plead these truths in our prayers for Revival in society. So many people in Britain are heading for a lost eternity. We should weep over that (literally or metaphorically). But God is on our side. He doesn’t want anyone to perish. What a wonderful truth to plead in prayer!
Descriptions of Revival
Referring to the Hebrides Revival 1949-52 Colin and Mary Peckham wrote: “So many spoke of the love that existed among the people of God. Bonds were formed — forever! Numerous quotations could be given from people to confirm the fact of this wonderful unity amongst those who were heart and soul in the meetings. They loved one another! Jack MacArthur speaks of preachers staying with them in their home and of the love which embraced these who were really an extension now to their own family. ‘Love was shown,’ he says, ‘by all sorts of people.’ Chirsty Maggie from Arnol says: ‘We loved everybody! It did not matter to which church anyone belonged. They were all enveloped in the wonderful love of God! We just loved them all.’ Catherine Campbell says, ‘Our hearts were so full of love that we could not keep it in.’” (“Sounds from Heaven” by Colin & Mary Peckham p 96).
Credibility of prophecies about the End Times
In our prayers for Revival we need to keep an eye on the bigger picture – what is happening in society and the world. We need to note their significance. I am well aware that some people jump to naïve conclusions about current fulfilment of End Time prophecies and other people avoid the subject altogether. I think we need to avoid both of those approaches. Click here for a brief paper “Credibility of prophecies about the End Times” which is an attempt to look at the subject carefully noting the relevance of modern developments and trends. I sense that much of what is going on in the world today is very significant and we need to note it and pray about it.
God bless you,