Thursday, August 13, 2015

Will there be another awakening and where will it start?

Tomorrow night I will speak at the last of four worship events we've had at a downtown theater this Summer. The goal of this ministry was to connect Millennials and God through music and gospel through the use of a nontraditional setting. That was our goal. Unless something radical happens tomorrow night, that goal will not be completely reached. We have preached the Gospel. We have worshiped the Lord. We have done so in a nontraditional setting where Christians from many different congregations have come together, and that is no small thing. Lives have been changed, and all of that is very good. But, we have not accomplished our goal of connecting large numbers of disconnected Millennials with God. So, what will we do tomorrow night?

We will worship God together again, with the great desire that He be glorified. That is always a very good thing. We will present His Word. Hearts will be encouraged, and we hope and pray that lives will be saved. I will also invite the people from the different churches to revive a neglected biblical practice, one that always accompanies great spiritual awakenings. I will ask them to unite in fervent prayer with fasting. Why, because we didn't reach anyone and now we are desperate? No, because I believe that another great awakening is desperately needed, and that it could happen in a small town like this one. This summer of Avenue Live may be at an end, but the kingdom of God knows no end. So, we will worship, and pray, and call to prayer for the glory of God.

Two of the last great awakenings in this nation began in small towns. The Second Great Awakening that swept the frontier, began in the small village of Cane Ridge, Ky. The Jesus Movement of the 70's was sparked by testimonies from two college students who had been in a powerful campus revival at Asbury College in Wilmore, Ky, population 3,000. (Note: Baptists didn't start either movement. God did, and He used preachers as diverse as Presbyterians and Methodists to spark those two great moves.)

Will there be another great spiritual awakening in our nation? If awakening is my great hope, then prayer will be my great ministry and the call to prayer my great message. Matthew Henry wrote, "When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is to set them a-praying." And, if God is calling His people to prayer, He will call them to prayer through preachers proclaiming the call. Every time I have been part of localized outpourings of the Spirit of God, fervent prayer and fasting were practiced. History records the same. Fervent prayer accompanies the great movements of God.

Where will it start? Well, why not here? Great need precedes great outpourings, and we are certainly in need. We are small in number, but just as great in sinfulness and brokenness as the greatest cities. Perhaps the only thing lacking is a great desire for His presence, His power, and His ways. I know of no more effective way to get that great desire than by prayer and fasting. Could it be that the only thing that is lacking is for the people of God, those called by His name, to humble themselves in repentant prayer, seeking His face as they turn from their wicked ways?

Let it be and let it begin with me, here, in our small corner of the world.

(Thanks to Mark Snowden, and his blog, Is Awakening Imminent And Will You Be Included, for inspiring this post.)