Arise shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and a deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.
In the midst of devastating earthquakes and watching events as college campuses begin to awaken with God's Presence, I sensed the Lord say, “Just as the tectonic plates of the earth are shifting, so are the spiritual plates of heaven shifting unto My purposes.” In other words, God, the Lord of Hosts, is on the move. While on the USA Watch call 2/20/2023, the Native American Watch was featured with the history of their watch focusing on Isaiah 60:1-3! WAIT A MINUTE! We are in the midst of God moving to answer their prayers and the prayers of the saints that have gone before us. We are living in incredible times when darkness, deception, wars and rumors of war are escalating mixed with outpourings of His Spirit on college campuses. The spiritual dynamics between the two dichotomies, light and dark, can thrust us quickly like an earthquake shifting us from one spectrum to another.
With the outpouring of His Spirit evident in Asbury and other campuses, is this revival? Is it awakening? What is revival? Fighting presumption, the leaders of Asbury college don’t even know what to call it. How, then, should we pray and align with what God is doing to foster His purposes? How can we pray in agreement to see this outpouring prosper and grow in depth and width to go from transitory to transformational?
What is revival?
Such questions about revival and awakening have had me on a quest this week. We have all been in those powerful meetings where His Presence graces us and oftentimes touches us in meaningful ways but the experience is frequently transitory. Hopefully, the encounter is life-changing and continues to influence us. But that is not now. In light of the shakings around us, God is wanting to do more and He is calling us, as Watchmen, to join with Him.
The word “Revive” appears throughout scripture and is used in various contexts most of them pointing to our relationship with God. Psalm 119 has a 9 verses that reflect well the meaning of revive:
Ps 119:25, 107, 154 Revive me according to Your word
Ps 119:37. Revive me in Your way
Ps 119:40. Revive me in Your righteousness
Ps 119:88, 159 Revive me according to your lovingkindness
Ps 119:149. Revive me according to Your justice\
Ps 119:156 Revive me according to Your judgments
Revive in Hebrew is the word h2421. חָיָה ḥâyâ, also means to give life, to keep alive, save. Other similar words also center around giving life, h4241 מִחְיָה miḥyâ; preservation of life; hence, sustenance — preserve life. The suggestion here is that revival is more than a fleeting moment of enjoying His Presence, but rather points to a transformed heart that leads us into decisions and attitudes that promote life, individually and corporately for an enduring testimony to "God with us."
How then shall we pray?
If these outpourings are to last and bring a transformative change in our lives and culture, how then shall we pray to best engage with what God is doing? We desperately need divine intervention that is lasting and transformational. In seeking the Lord about this, here are some focuses to consider in your personal or corporate prayer time. May they inspire more:
- Pray for spiritual hunger and fresh encounter with His love. In this day, when knowledge is rapidly increasing, we can be satiated quickly with our knowledge, rather, Paul cautions, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up,” 1 Cor 8:1. Pray for encounters that are so strong that they will push back insecurities, rejection, doubt and unbelief. 1 Peter 2:2; Mt 5:6; Ps 63:1; 143:6; John 4:13-14; Rom 12:2
- Pray for repentance that leads to transformation. This goes beyond a simple “I am sorry,” to a heart change. This can involve generational strongholds that are hidden unless we turn wholeheartedly to the Lord. How do you know if it is there? Simply ask. God is faithful and just and knows our hearts better than we do. A good test of our humility is how we respond to correction. God is looking for the “humble and contrite heart, He will not despise,” (Ps 51:17). Ps 34:18; Is 55:8-13; 57:15; 66:2
- Pray for a “Fear of the Lord” encounter with a holy God individually and corporately. Proverbs 9:10 relays it as a gateway, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Asbury leadership is operating as such avoiding news media and not hyping or promoting it allowing God move. Psalm 33:8; 34:7; 111:10; Deut 5:29; Eccl 12:13; Pro 14:27; 19:23; 1 John 4:18; Phil 2:12-13
- Pray for the spiritual fathers and mothers to rise up as God restores the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers, Malachi 4:5-6. God is fashioning an inter-generational movement. Many in the younger generation coming out of broken homes live in anxiety and need the mentoring and security of the older generation to help get them into stable lifestyles. Statistics of suicide and transgender ideation is at epidemic levels. The cry for Malachi 4:5-6 is massive. 1 Cor 4:15; 2 Tim 2:2-5
- Pray for the prodigals to come home. These are sons and daughters raised in Christian homes who have now been taken off track by systems of this world and ploys of the enemy. Some have been taken into the drug scene or lifestyles that oppose biblical values. Anxiety, offense, hurt, and deception have been the ploys of the enemy to snare them. They need the extended hand of Christ inviting and loving them back home again. Luke 15:11-32
- Pray for exposure of the Nicolaitan Spirit, Jesus said, “But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (Rev 2:6). Ultimately, this manifests as spiritual pride…”know it all” attitudes. “Nicolaitans comes from the Greek word meaning "adherent of Nicolas" (Strong's Concordance #G3531) or "destruction of people" (Thayer's Greek Definitions). This second definition is further confirmed when we break down the word Nicolaitans. Niko is defined as a conquest or victory over others. The second part, lai, means people. The last part, tes, represents the word "the." Taken together, the word Nicolaitans means someone who is a conqueror or victor, a person who destroys the people.” (ref) or "To conquer the laity." Good leadership empowers people to do the work of the ministry, does not control or have to prove their power over others. 2 Cor 12:9; Mark 10:45; 1 Peter 5:1-3; Mt. 20:26; Phil 2:3-4; Pro 4:23
- Pray for revelation of rest or the Shabbat that will feed the spiritual culture. The work of ministry and of revival atmospheres can be invigorating but, in the end, can wear us thin. “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength,” (Is 30:15). The Lord created Shabbat to sustain and give life to His creation. He needed it and throughout Scriptures it is upheld as holy. Ps 116:6-7; Exod 20:8-11; Deut 5:12-14; Ezek 20:19-20; Is 58:13-14; Heb 4:9-10; Jer 17:19-27
- Pray for creative venues of discipleship in the word, worship, and prayer. 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Sam 22:31; Mt. 28:19; Mt. 26:41; Lu 21:36; John 8:31-32
- Pray for relational strength and a culture of honor to foster community. Through humility, foundations of God's word, corporate prayer and worship, communities of trust can develop that will have the spiritual strength to steward revival into a sustainable tranformative force. John 13:34-35; 1 Thes 4:9, 1 Cor 13:4-8
- Pray for the revelation of the importance of Israel as people encounter the Lord in new and fresh ways. Zech 1:14-15; Is 62:6-7; Rom 11:28
Restore us, O Lord God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved.
Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in You? Ps 85:6
Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in You? Ps 85:6
S. Rowe 2/21/2023