America, religion, and revival are terms that go easily with each other. They bring up images of tent meetings, dramatic preaching, and mass conversions. Today, these are mostly nostalgic images of a past America where Christianity played a larger role in the public life and a call for repentance was more easily aroused. In the battle for the culture on the national scene, we have seemingly been outwitted those opposed to orthodox Christianity and many among us are unaware of what actual faith in Jesus Christ is. The need for revival is great.
But how specifically could we petition God for this revival? There are certainly many good approaches. The most important is starting out with a revival of faith and action in our own lives. We could all start by repenting of our own failures in our lacking of concern about others, and we could then rejoice in God’s mercy and love that we can start new today.
Here are a few things to think about praying for, some obvious, and some that you may not have considered:
Pray that we would pray. I recently read a book from a “Christian writer” who began the book by criticizing a seminar leader for taking a time of reflection and prayer and instead of starting by first calling the church to action. Yes, we should take action. But action not directed by God, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, is not what we need for revival. (I wonder what might have been accomplished if the church in the early 1900’s had spent more of its time on its knees praying verses fighting for prohibition counter to the Bibles own words.)
Pray for the giving over of buildings. America is full of minimally used and marginally maintained church buildings. Pray that many of them become alive, or that they would give over their buildings to those who would use them well to proclaim the Gospel, reach out, and serve their local communities.
Pray that Christians will use new media more to spread the true Gospel and not just to share good times, complain about the government, the news media, foreign interests, etc… (Though these can be worthy things to do if done in grace, perception of actual importance, and moderation.) But these uses appear to outnumber loving presentations of the Gospel to a lost and dying world 10,000:1. I heard it once said and believe it mostly to be true. What you really care about in this world is what will be on your Facebook page.
Pray that followers of, and families in, Christ would not be guilty of the sin of Balaam without falling into the sin of self-righteousness. That they and would stand out in the culture by wise and loving choice of focus and activity. Pray that the dependence on popular culture for relating to one another in the church would be replaced by activities of greater grace, and that the church would be full of more genuine fellowship.
Pray that pastors will proclaim the Gospel in the pulpit and that they and their congregations would desire for follow the Word of God in all aspects of life even under the possibility of persecution.
And Pray for a transformation of our political and cultural leaders that they would fear God and love their fellow man. That we would pray for those who persecute us, and their would be transformation in their hearts.
Let us see what God may have in store for us in the next decade.