18 Mar Prayer That Fuels Revival
When examining the “full armor” of God as outlined in Ephesians chapter 6 I have often seen drawings, books, and even toys of armor for children’s church to help grasp what is being shown in that passage. In seeing these things there is often one weapon missing because it does not come with an assigned item like a breastplate or helmet. This is “praying with all kinds of prayer and requests with the Spirit” in verse 18. I would like to suggest that the lack of an attributed item is due to the diversity of prayer.
Sometimes prayer is like a bow and arrow. Other times is like a battle ax. Other times it like a healing balm, and other times it is like match that sets a forest fire…or a Revival Fire. Grasping the importance of prayer is essential in partnering with God’s heart for a world-wide awakening. This gives insights beyond revival and includes personal application of prayer. The Spirit wants to lead us to “all kinds of prayer.” In other words, there is not one approach to prayer that has is to be utilized in every situation. We need the Spirit to help us know how to pray.
If you are familiar with revival history then you know almost all recorded revivals began with prayer. There is a type of prayer that leads toward revival. Before we get to that however I want to take a moment to emphasize the importance of knowing prayer approaches. Consider Mark 9.
This chapter contains the “Mount of Transfiguration” and deliverance of the oppressed boy. It is the later that provides the insight we need for this discussion. The disciples did not see positive results when praying for the boy. Jesus delivered the boy. Later the disciples asked why they did not see the deliverance when they prayed. Jesus told them “this kind cannot come out by anything but prayer” (verse 29). Wait a minute. Didn’t they pray for the boy? And yet Jesus said their failure was in the area of prayer? Other Gospel accounts add that Jesus told them it was because of their unbelief and that prayer was needed. Many study Bibles will also include notes to clarify that the phrase “and fasting” was added to later manuscripts as the earliest ones do not have that phrase.
So it seems there is a type of prayer that results in the level of faith needed to deliver that boy and bringing physical healing to him as well. Let us not be ignorant of the importance of levels of faith in regards to possibilities. Consider the “woman with the issue of blood” in Luke 8. She pulled power from Jesus without His specific volition. While we want to be careful to not make certain levels of faith into an excuse to not pray for someone we must allow Scripture to show us truth. That truth is, faith matters.
Therefore Jesus told His disciples that the deliverance needed was not related to the will of the Father or timing or unbelief in the boy (or family) or that they were not anointed enough. He told them it was because they had not prayed the prayer that leads to faith. They had not prayed the prayer of faith (James 5:13-16). Because they did not utilize the type of prayer needed they did not see the potential result. Are you following the Spirit to pray “all kinds of prayers and requests” for your life?
Just because they had seen miracles before and just because they prayed did not mean the will of God was being done. Jesus showed the will of the Father by delivering and healing the boy. Just because we pray does not mean the result is automatically God’s will being done. Perhaps we are not connecting to the appropriate prayer weapon needed. If we are using an ax when we need use an arrow we will fall short of the glory that is possible. You may think, “Wait! Isn’t that work?! Isn’t that earning something from God? What about grace?” There is a misconception about the work and grace. Grace empowers work. If we think grace is given so no work can be done then we have misdefined grace. The truth is “God rewards” those that work in prayer (Hebrews 11:6). However, the work of prayer is not necessarily equivalent to the amount of prayer as Jesus made clear in Matthew 6:7. We need wisdom in prayer.
I encourage you to build a relationship with the Spirit with a specific request to be led in prayer. Then our prayers can be more effective. Maybe if the disciples prayed for the hurting before they met the boy it would have been different. How often do we pray for those we have not met yet? Praying in the Spirit builds faith according to Jude verse 20. Many believe this is praying in other tongues. Do you do this? The Apostle Paul prayed in tongues more than others around him (1 Cor. 14:18). We only do consistently and a lot that which we have a high value for. He must have seen the importance of that type of prayer.
At the sake of being redundant, I want to invite you to take serious that there are “all kinds of prayer and requests.” How is the Spirit leading you to pray? You may see more happen as you align yourself to His leading.
In relation to revival, it is commonly connected to prayer. Most people familiar with revival would think of 2 Chronicles 7:14 as the blueprint for revival prayer. “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” This verse was not about an outpouring of the Spirit however. It was about the Israelites breaking their covenant and the path back to alignment with God’s covenant promises during that time period. The New Testament has believers waiting on the Spirit to come and praying in unity in Acts 2. In Acts 10 it has one man praying for several years and giving to the poor that came up to God and drew in an outpouring of the Spirit. In the Azusa Street revival in the early 1900’s revival came from people hungry for baptism in the Spirit. Seeing an emphasis on a specific biblical truth can be seen elsewhere in revival history as well. Please see my previous blogs for my definition of revival as it may be different than your background.
Prayer for revival in the New Covenant is pursuing God and is sometimes connected with a specific truth. Azusa Street Revival began with that truth but carried on with an emphasis on knowing God and following the Spirit. The truth may be a spark but the environment of revival continues with having God as the ultimate goal. With that in mind prayer for revival is a prayer to know God more and to have truth revealed to people. God may lead us to repent for things. He may call us to declare things over a city. He may call us to give to the poor. He may call us to extended times of fasting. He may lead us to seasons of intense worship. He may lead us to times of silence and waiting on Him. All of these and more can be elements of prayer. In your pursuit let Spirit-led prayer be a high goal so that our prayers are effective and powerful for His glory. Amen.