A Prayer We Need For The New Year1
With the start of the New Year, I am reminded of the First Great Awakening in America during the 1730s and 1740s. This was a time of great religious revival in America and parts of Europe. A revival is twofold, first, in the sense that a revival happens when a large group of people is transformed by the power of the gospel and second, a revival happens when Christians take their spiritual lives more seriously, desiring to be holy like Christ.
Therefore, with the start of 2019, as a church family, let us earnestly devote ourselves to praying for revival in our community, our state, our country, and the world. That God’s glory would be displayed by every tribe and tongue (Rev. 1:6-7; 7:9), that men would repent and trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (Acts 3:19-20), and that Christians would take more sincerely their sanctification and living a life that is holy and blameless (Phil. 2:15; 1 Pet. 1:16).
A revival is solely a work by the power and grace of God. A revival is not contingent on our prayers and God does not change His mind when we pray or if we pray more. We need to pray for revival, firstly, because we want to see Christ’s power and glory displayed in saving the lost. Secondly, we need to pray for revival because we desire to see the Holy Spirit increase our affections to be holy and live a life like Christ.
One of my favorite stories from the First Great Awakening is about George Whitefield. Whitefield did open-air preaching to coal miners in England. These coal miners were not a merry band of kind workers but they were some pretty rough and tough men whom you would not want to quarrel with. As they came out of the coal pits, their faces black from working in the mines, Whitfield nervously preached the gospel to them. While he continued to preach, he saw white streaks slowly begin to appear on their faces, cutting through the blackness. Their tears were trailing down as they repented and sought the Lord. This was only possible because of the power and grace of God’s gospel.
As we strive to be a church that prays, let us pray for revival on a weekly basis. Praying to God to help us become more holy and praying for people who do not know Christ to be transformed by His saving work. Let us not be intimidated by other religions, the big cities, secular colleges or the continually-changing scientific theories of the day, but let us be firmly rooted in the divinely inspired and inerrant Scripture that has recorded the good news of Jesus Christ as we pray to our Lord and Savior.