“Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation” (Luke 3:4-6).
We are right now living in desperate days. The Church in many parts of the world needs revival, and God wants to use each one of us to prepare the way for a mighty outpouring of His Spirit. I am sure that you sense the urgency of the hour. It is not hard to see that everything is not right. God is trying to get our full attention. It is truly time to cry out to the Lord and become men and women of fervent prayer. We need God’s intervention in our cities and nations. The valleys of defeat must be filled, the mountains of disbelief must be leveled, the crooked places of dishonesty must be straightened, and the rough places of disobedience must be made smooth.
It was almost 25 years ago on the mission field when I wrote the following two paragraphs in a newsletter. I find that today I must still ask myself the same questions I asked then:
“Am I desperate enough for revival? Do I realize the desperate condition of my country?” And if I trust in religious organization, material wealth, popular preaching, shallow evangelistic crusades, there will never be revival. But when confidence in my flesh is smashed and I realize my desperate wretchedness and emptiness before God, then and only then will God break through. ‘Lord, make me ready for revival. Revive me.’
I challenge you to join me in prayer for revival for our lives and for the nations. I call for prayer that is strong, prevailing, believing, God-moving, hell-defeating, devil-routing, sinner-saving, believer-sanctifying, Christ-exalting and worker-producing—prayer that takes all that we are and have. God Himself will motivate us to pray these prayers that have extraordinary consequences if we are only willing, willing to pay the price. Pray that God may fill us all with the very passion of Christ, with the power and persistence of the Holy Spirit, with the burdening sense of the Church’s plight and world’s appalling need, that the wheels of revival may be set in motion.”
“Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name. Restore us, O Lord God Almighty; make your face to shine upon us, that we may be saved” (Psalm 80:18-19).
How do we Personally Prepare the Way for Revival?
“The coming revival must begin with a great prayer revival. It is in the closet, with the door shut, that the sound of abundant revival will be first heard. An increase in the secret prayer of ministers and members will be the sure herald of blessing.” Andrew Murray
- Prepare yourself in the way of blessing through intensive prayer – Pray with all your heart, asking God to enlarge your prayer and worship life. Make time for God, and practice fasting.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray…” (2 Chronicles 7:14a).
- Be serious about personal revival – Instead of watching TV, pray. Don’t get caught up in the ways of the world. Lay aside those worldly pursuits.
“… and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14b).
- Become dissatisfied with sin and ask God to convict your heart – Be sensitive to His conviction.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
- Repent thoroughly – Don’t tolerate sin in your own life. Let godly sorrow over your sin touch you deeply.
“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight… Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place” (Psalm 51:4-6).
- Make restitution whenever possible – Make sure that your relationships are right.
“Live in harmony with one another” (Romans 12:16).
- Practice living the Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5 – 7 is the job description of holy living. Ask God to transform your life and teach you to live to please Him. Prayerfully study the Sermon on the Mount regularly.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:3-4).
- Choose to narrow your interests – If you narrow your interests, God will enlarge your heart. We can so easily be distracted from prayer, but revival calls for a focused vision on what really matters. This is the time to pray and hunger after God wholeheartedly.
“I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands” (Psalm 119:10).
- Make a new commitment to reach out to the lost – Pray an ask God for opportunities, and He will help you. Begin to pray, care and share Christ with those who do not know Him. Follow the example of Jesus.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10).
- Have faith in God – Begin to expect God to move through your prayers. Believe that He does want to pour out His spirit and bring revival.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).
Revival begins with us. It is each one of us getting our lives straight and turning from the crooked paths. Take seriously the need for personal revival. Take seriously the need for prayer. God is dealing with His Church.
“The great work of intercession is needed for this returning to the Lord. It is here that the coming revival must find its strength. Let us begin as individuals to plead with God, confessing whatever we see of sin or hindrance in ourselves or others. If there were no other sin, surely the lack of prayer is matter enough for repentance, confession, and returning to the Lord.” Andrew Murray
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff