Five major traits characterize the great historical awakenings. First, the awakenings were preceded by gross moral and spiritual declension in the church. The church ceased to be a great lighthouse for a world in a stormy sea and was drowning in the waves of immorality and impurity. Because her eyes were filled with impurities, she could not see God in His splendor and majesty.
Second, God would, at the darkest moment, breathe on the hearts of a few individuals. They would begin to seek His face, and a revival of prayer would result. The Holy Spirit would show men and women the utter necessity of absolute dependence upon God.
Third, a visitation of God’s presence would come among God’s people. A fresh breath of life blew into the churches—the life of God in the hearts of His people. A new sense of purity of character grew among God’s people. The church experienced the holiness of God, and Christians were conformed into the image of Christ.
Fourth, a reaping of a great evangelistic harvest occurred—a renewal of the preaching of the old truths of the Bible. Pastors and evangelists preached the holiness of God, the corrupted nature of man, and Christ as God’s only provision for man’s sin. They preached that Christ must be received by faith and that man must be born again. They preached against sin and set forth the extraordinary love of God. And God gave the increase. The greatest times of evangelism took place during the great spiritual awakenings.
Finally, growth in the church resulted, and new movements and ministers were thrust into world evangelism. There were lasting results; the fruit remained. Although there were some excesses in each movement, in general the church made great strides in building the kingdom of God.
Grace-filled Father, I see the signs of moral and spiritual decline all around me, and I struggle in my own life towards the holiness of Christ! Open my eyes so that I can see the pitfalls of sin before I step blindly into them! Breathe on my heart as You have done in the past and form me into the image of Your lovely Son. Renew my heart with a deep desire to follow and teach Your Word, and to proclaim it boldly. Help me to show Your extraordinary love for all those You place in my path. Wake me up and wake up Your people to live out the life of Christ in such a fruitful way, that Your kingdom will explode into life all around us!
–Adapted from The Prayer Factor: Adventures with a God Who Hears and Answers by Sammy Tippit. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God for the beauty of his holiness (2 Chron. 20:21). Give thanks that he has removed the stain of sin from your life and made you holy. Confess any sin or unholiness that taints your life. Commit yourself to being holy, as God is holy (1 Pet. 1:16). Ask that you may be made holy through and through so that your spirit, soul, and body will be kept blameless (1 Thess. 5:23).
Pray for families undergoing severe marital strife, asking that God will rekindle a flame of love between husband and wife.
“God eagerly awaits the chance to bless the person whose heart is turned toward him.” —Anonymous
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