I did not do this to have a "first." We have revival meetings scheduled to start Sunday (October 5th-8th). The key to revival is prayer, I believe. As I prayed about what I would preach tonight, I felt led to turn our Sunday night worship service into a prayer meeting. It was challenging to think about how to include the congregation into a time of prayer for revival. The idea was for us to truly pray for revival and not just me preach about praying for revival. I was helped by reading about a church that did this led by Pastor Ronnie Floyd. Reading what they did was helpful for me in planning our prayer meeting for revival. We have had many prayer times for revival before, but I never tried to use a Sunday service as a prayer meeting for revival.
So, I chose to speak about 5-7 minutes on several different topics related to revival and then ask the church to pray about that specific topic. For some topics, I asked individuals to come to the microphone and lead in prayer. At other times, I would ask people to come to the altar and pray or pray in their pews. For one prayer time, I read a list of sins that a person might need to confess and asked them to pray that through as I read the sins. We sang songs between the prayer times.
So, the order of worship looked something like this:
Barry explains what the service will be like.
Song- Sweet Hour of Prayer-429
1. What Revival Could Look Like- Psalm 85:6
Prayer time led by an individual followed by congregational song-Shine on Us
2. Sin- The Revival Blocker-Isaiah 59:2
Prayer time at the altar while a song is played over the sound system. Barry closes the prayer time and then we sing- Take My Life
3. Cleansing and Renewal-1 John 1:9
Prayer time led by Barry suggesting sins that we might need to confess from the pulpit followed by song-Jesus Paid it All-249
4. Fully Surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and Experiencing the Fullness of the Holy Spirit-Luke 9:23 and Ephesians 5:18
Prayer time led by an individual and followed by song- You are My King- 305
5. The Glory of God and the Fulfillment of the Great Commandment and Great Commission- 1 Corinthians 10:31. Then, the congregational sings Lord, Be Glorified.
Praying for the whole family to experience revival
So, that's what we did. The idea was to look at what the Bible says about revival and to encourage all of us to pray for specific things. If I'm not careful, I can get real general and careless in prayer. What that usually means for me is that I am not praying anywhere near the effective and fervent prayer that God is looking for. I'll tend to say God bless people, help us to have revival, bless the people that are coming to sing and preach, etc. For me to experience revival, it is much more helpful to ask God to give me a vision of what real revival would look like for me. It is very helpful to ask God to search my heart for any sin that is blocking me from experiencing God's presence in a real and genuine way. Then, as I confess my sins and surrender to the Lordship of Christ in a fresh and deep way, I am much more likely to experience a fresh move of God in my life.
Feel free to pray for our upcoming revival. Feel free to pray for a fresh move of God in your own life, family, and church. We need it and God wants us to have a real and genuine relationship with Him.
Praying for revival in the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. A Church family that is willing to try something different to see God at work
2. That we can rejoice in God
3. Jesus loves me