What is Awakening and Revival? Why Pray?
“Every true revival … has had its earthly origin in prayer.”
- R.A. Torrey
The vision of Prayer4Awakening is for Christ followers to be encouraged to pray for spiritual awakening. It is our heart’s desire that Jesus Christ would first be glorified. For decades it has been our prayer that renewal would come to the Church and His people, that God’s Word would be spread throughout the earth so all people may hear and respond to the love of Jesus Christ.
We desperately need spiritual awakening!
Values, beliefs and morals are in transition while our world financial institutions collapse. Pandemics are rampant. Violence escalates. Poverty intensifies. All as the earth convulses.
It is a chaotic age when the entire world is caught between chaos and order.
We must ask God to intervene. Why? Just a few reasons:
- Jesus prayed and if we are His followers, then we too will pray.
- The disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray.
- The Scripture commands us to intercede.
- In this relationship of love it is natural to spend time together.
- Our need is obvious and The Lord God of Hosts has the power and provisions to answer.
What is awakening? An awakening is a period of cultural transformation. Usually it begins with a crisis of beliefs and values which produce a lack of trust for authority and institutions. This deep seated change of focus and direction can last several decades. Awakenings are times of revitalization, restructuring and redefining that can transform an entire nation, even an entire world.
What is Revival? It is transformation of individual lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. It could be called soul awakenings. It is a time of passionate regeneration of Christ’s followers and His A community saturated with God Church as well as a conversion of unbelievers. When led by the Spirit of God , the church re-focuses on the love of Jesus Christ, the study, teaching and preaching of God’s Word, evangelism, missions and social justice. Duncan Campbell summarizes it as “a community saturated with God.”
- Brian Edwards
History tells us that each of the Great Awakenings was preceded by times of concentrated prayer. This was true especially among college students and youth.
Some historical examples of awakenings and revivals:
The First Great Awakening began in 1734. After only one century
after the founding of the nation, the moral and spiritual conditions
were decaying. But a minister from Holland, Frelinghuysen began
praying fervently for revival to come to the colonies, first with
himself and his church, and then with his larger community.
Then Jonathan Edwards, a pastor in North Hampton, Massachusetts, experienced the anointing and power of God. He preached Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God which shook his church and then the young nation. God brought George Whitfield, a remarkable pulpiteer from England, to preach to thousands. The results were amazing. Mass conversions were reported (about twenty percent of England), social and education institutions were born (Princeton and Dartmouth), the poor were helped, and the cause of missions was extended.
The Second Great Awakening began in 1792. Conditions again were deplorable. John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States, stated that the Church “was too far gone ever to be redeemed.” Tom Paine and Voltaire claimed that Christianity will be forgotten in 30 years.
But a Baptist pastor named Isaac Baccus gathered ministers to pray. In 1784 they wrote a circular letter, asking all believers to pray for awakening. Revival broke out on college campuses then spread to camp meetings. Churches were filled. Thousands came to know Jesus Christ. It was during this time that William Carey started the modern missionary movement.
In 1857 the United States was in an upheaval of economic downturn and spiritual apathy. The Third Great Awakening most likely began when Jeremiah Lamphier issued a call to prayer at the Old North Dutch Church for New York businessmen. Thousands of men responded to his invitation. The outcome was more than a million people were saved in one year. Revival broke out in the Confederate Army with thousands of conversions. The spiritual impact moved out to sea where sailors spread the gospel from ships.
The Fourth Great Awakening began in Wales in 1904. Evan Roberts, a coal miner, was convicted of his sins and turned to God in prayer and repentance. He prayed “Oh God, bend me.” He called the young people in his church to prayer and repentance. Prayer meetings broke out all over Wales. The social and spiritual environment was radically transformed. The revival spread to America. There were thousands of conversions but the most amazing impact was among students responding eagerly to God’s call to foreign missions.
Some believe that the Fifth Great Awakening is now taking place in Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Our world is longing for the refreshment of God.
Would you be a part of such a movement?
For more information on spiritual awakenings: