We are pleased to reproduce the latest Newsletter of Rev Tony Higton’s, Network for Revival.
Network for Revival July 2020
We have looked at four motives for prayer for revival:
Pleading the love of God: He loves his church and wants to bless it. He loves unbelievers and doesn’t want any to be lost. See http://networkforrevival.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Prepare-17-February-2020-1.pdf
Pleading the name of God: The name of God is being gravely dishonoured by the failings of the church and the godlessness of society. See http://networkforrevival.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Prepare-18-March-2020.pdf
Pleading the Kingdom of God. God’s Kingdom is hindered by a failing church and hastened by prayer and preparation for revival. See https://networkforrevival.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Prepare-19-May-2020.pdf
Pleading the Blood of Christ: The shed blood of Jesus is the foundation for our prayers and we are meant to keep it in mind cf. Communion. See https://networkforrevival.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Prepare-20-June-2020.pdf
In this issue we look at the 5th motive for prayer for revival
Praying for Revival: Pleading the Promises
By nature, I take a careful, critical approach to important issues. I seek good reasons for believing something and want to avoid all naivety and jumping to conclusions. That attitude clearly has value but it also has dangers. It is easy to lapse into rationalism and lack of faith. And I’ve done that in the past. One example is to take a rationalistic approach to God answering prayers. Many of us believe God answers some prayers but he doesn’t answer others. So he might not answer my current prayer. That sounds so reasonable. We can easily tag on the end of our prayers “if it be Your will” which sounds humble but actually is often a spiritual get-out clause which really means “If this prayer isn’t answered, don’t blame me, it’s God’s responsibility.”
Of course, the New Testament does teach that there are conditions to prayer being answered and I’ll list them below. But they are conditions we can fulfil, by his grace.
Yes, I’m aware of the “Name it and claim it” groups who sometimes “claim” (or demand) inappropriate things from God in prayer, such as personal riches. But such extremism must not put us off biblical prayer in faith.
The fact is that the New Testament teaches that the Lord promises to answer prayer. Here are the relevant promises:
- “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Mt 21:22).
- “I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you receive it and it will be yours” (Mk 11:24).
- “I say to you: ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Mt 7:7).
- “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven” (Mt 18:19).
- “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (Jn 14:14).
- “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).
- “If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him” (1 Jn 3:21-22).
Note the conditions:
- Praying in faith (Mt 21:22; Mk 11:24) – Trusting the Lord and believing his promises.
- Persisting in prayer (Mt 7:7 in the Greek is present continuous “keep on asking … seeking … knocking).
- Agreeing with someone else in prayer (Mt 18:19), if appropriate.
- Praying in the name of Jesus (Jn 14:14), which means praying in harmony with his character (not a selfish prayer).
- Being in a close obedient relationship with the Lord (Jn 15:7 cf 1 Jn 3:21-22). This will help us to pray in harmony with the Lord’s will.
We have a choice. We can take the way of faith – trusting in the Lord and his promises (whilst fulfilling the manageable conditions) or the way of human reason – ‘some prayers are answered, other aren’t, so this one might not be.’ It is clear that the Lord wants us to pray in faith, i.e. believing his Word. We believe his Word because he is, of course, utterly trustworthy.
So, let’s pray in faith for Revival. I do this every day and include the following words “Remember your covenant, Lord (Jer 14:21). Lord, you promised. I believe you keep your promises but please show that your promises are honoured. Lord, you have bound yourself to answer prayer, primarily in your Word.”
The Lord has bound himself to answer prayer and that means he will act and bring about Revival. We can pray for him to hasten it. I suggest you meditate on the above promises.
Relevant quotations about Revival
“Revival is not something that is worked up; it is something that is prayed down” (From: Baptise with Fire by Arthur Skevington Wood).
[About the Hebridean Revival] “Why have these places been so favoured? Why has the Lord been pleased to shower His blessings and reveal His presence in these remote parts? Why? Because they prayed! They prayed expectantly; they prayed persistently; they prayed whole-heartedly; they prayed believingly. They learned to pray as they prayed. The Holy Spirit has taught them in their praying … As we pray God teaches us to pray. No book on the subject, no sermons, no advice can substitute for the Spirit as a teacher in prayer. It is in prayer that the Spirit cries out within us for souls to be won. We sometimes have to pray through a period of unbelief. Don’t lose heart in the battle. Sometimes God will give you a promise upon which to stand as you determinedly pray through to victory” (Colin & Mary Peckham).
It is appropriate to repeat what Duncan Campbell wrote “Just as I am walking down the aisle, along with this young deacon who read the Psalm in the barn. He suddenly stood in the aisle and looking up to the heavens he said, “God, You can’t fail us. God, You can’t fail us. You promised to pour water on the thirsty and floods upon the dry ground-God, You can’t fail us!”
Soon He is on his knees in the aisle and he is still praying …. Just then the door opened–it is now eleven o’clock. The door of the church opens and the local blacksmith comes back into the church and says, ‘Mr. Campbell, something wonderful has happened. Oh, we were praying that God would pour water on the thirsty and floods upon the dry ground and listen, He’s done it! He’s done it!’ When I went to the door of the church I saw a congregation of approximately 600 people. Six hundred people–where had they come from? What had happened? I believe that that very night God swept in Pentecostal power-the power of the Holy Ghost. And what happened in the early days of the apostles was happening now in the parish of Barvas.”
God bless you,