Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. James 5:16-18 NKJV
In a recurring theme in the Bible, confession of sin and corporate prayer are linked together as a prerequisite for God to answer passionate prayer.
R.A. Torrey commented: Prayer will do more to bring a deep and lasting and sweeping revival, a revival that is real and lasting and altogether of the right sort, than all organizations that were ever devised by man.
He went on to state: Every real revival in the Church has been the child of prayer. There have been revivals without much preaching; there have been revivals with absolutely no organization; but there has never been a mighty revival without mighty praying.
Prayer is perhaps the most neglected of all spiritual endeavors. We can love to read the word, memorize it and meditate upon it. We can attend church gatherings and fellowship with others of like faith. But until we enter the closet of prayer to meet alone with God and confess our sins of disobedience, pray for a sensitive and forgiving heart and turn to seek the face of God, we will not experience true lasting revival. It is in the secret place alone with God where the Holy Spirit will fill us with the power and fire of the presence of God enabling us to rise in faith and go forth with overflowing confidence that God will send a revival of power and salvation. We should pray for revival in fervent faith that God will hear us: Hear my prayer, O God; Give ear to the words of my mouth. Psalm 54:2
Here are some of the observations of great revivalists who have witnessed the power of God in revival in past generations.
“A necessary precursor of any great spiritual awakening is a spirit of deep humiliation growing out of a consciousness of sin, and fresh revelation of the holiness and power and glory of God.” – John R. Mott
“There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer.” – A. T. Pierson
“Every mighty move of the Spirit of God has had its source in the prayer chamber.” – E.M. Bounds
“The coming revival must begin with a great revival of prayer. It is in the closet, with the door shut, that the sound of abundance of rain will first be heard. An increase of secret prayer with ministers will be the sure harbinger of blessing.” – Andrew Murray
“Revival begins in the individual’s heart. Let it begin with you on your face alone before God. Turn from every sin that might hinder. Renew yourself to a new devotion to the Savior.” – Lee Roberson
“Let us return to the basic things of the Word of God and prayer and soul winning and revival. Let us pray, “O God, send a revival. Let it begin in me.” – Lee Roberson
“We need a sweeping revival where people confess their sins and get right with God, where folks turn out in bigger crowds at the church house than they do at the ball game, and where the old-time religion still gets top priority!” – Shelton Smith
“All revival begins, and continues, in the prayer meeting. Some have also called prayer the “great fruit of revival.” In times of revival, thousands may be found on their knees for hours, lifting up their heartfelt cries, with thanksgiving, to heaven.” – Henry Blackaby
“Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work.” – A. W. Tozer
“Prayer begets Revival, which begets more prayer.” – Jim Cymbala
“As long as we are content to live without revival, we will.”
– Leonard Ravenhill
Charles Finney emphasized the importance of obedience over experience: “The experience of revival is nothing more than a new beginning of obedience to God.”
“You never have to advertise a fire. Everyone comes running when there’s a fire. Likewise, if your church is on fire, you will not have to advertise it. The community will already know it.” – Leonard Ravenhill
We need a holy disruption by the Holy Spirit in our individual life, our churches and our nation – an interruption that powerfully stirs the heart of men and women to totally surrender to the almighty presence of a holy and righteous God. Send Your Presence, O Lord, I pray.