Continued from How to Start a Revival.
Revivals start with prayer. That’s a great Sunday School answer. But what am I to pray? It is always wise to begin prayer by humbling yourself before the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Creator of the Cosmos. Confession is always a good thing. Admit you need revival in your own heart and life. Repent of whatever sins the Holy Spirit shows you and ask Him to pray through you (Romans 8:26-27).
Once you get yourself revived, you’re ready to pray like Paul. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“We constantly pray for you”. Not only is Paul constantly praying, he is praying for them. “Christians must pray for all things, of course, but prayers for people are infinitely more important, just as people are infinitely more important than things.” (E.M. Bounds, The Weapon of Prayer, Chapter 6.)
We are to pray for people: that they might believe on Jesus and be saved, born again. That they might live holy lives, “that God may count them worthy of His calling.” We pray that people might be filled with God’s power to do good things and fulfill every act prompted by their faith. And we pray that Jesus would be glorified in them. That is what Paul is praying for these Christians in Thessalonica.
What do you think would happen in our church if we began praying for each other in this manner? Can you imagine worship services where people gather in groups of threes and fours and pray for each other like this. Would God answer these prayers quickly and in amazing ways? Would lives be transformed? Can you hear the testamonies? I think revival would be around the corner.
“Praying is not child’s play – not a secondary affair, or a trivial matter, but serious business. Praying for others takes hold of time and eternity and things beyond the grave. It is a business that involves heaven and earth. All worlds are touched and influenced by prayer.” (Bounds, Ibid.) Who have you been praying for in this manner that Paul shows us? Start with those closest to you and see how God moves. He is anxious to answer these prayers.
Praying for others is so important that when Jesus teaches the disciples to pray, He says, pray “Our Father, give us our daily bread, forgive us, as we forgive, lead us, deliver us.” Jesus teached us to pray in the plural. When we pray the Lord’s prayer we are praying for others! Our families, our churches, every person that calls God, “Father”.
What are we waiting for? “To your knees!” is the clarion call to the church first and foremost!