I quote from a timely article found in a recent issue of Revive magazine, a publication of Life Action Ministries. This issue in particular, calls for us to imagine revival everywhere. That is exciting to me. But I suspect that for many in Christendom, revival is little more than a term with which they are only familiar. Others, perhaps, have never experienced the Holy Spirit's pungent power working in a meeting, filling the whole room with His divine essence. Or, perhaps they have not read of any such wonderful workings of God among a needy and fallen people. Either way, we who have even an inkling of such a blessing and of the unbelievably dire need all around, need to be ardent in our prayers for God to bless as He has in the past, . . . poignantly, and powerfully!
In his article entitled, "Praying BIG," David Butts writes:
Incredibly, we come into the throne room of heaven when we pray. Jesus Christ has literally given us access to the control center of the universe!
For the last seven years, I've served as chairman of the National Prayer Committee here in the United States. I have a real burden to pray fo rour nation, and as I look at our nation, I see a desperate need for revival.
But as I travel across the country, I sadly have to admit that I'm not hearing the kind of praying that will produce revival. I don't hear bold praying. Instead, I hear "wimpy" praying.
Do you know what I mean? "Well, God, I've got an idea, and I'm not sure if You're interested, but if You are, here it is. Now do whatever You want."
This kind of prayer comes out of our mouths, dribbles down our chins, and falls on the floor. There's nothing that causes it to rise to heaven. There's no power there, no confidence, no faith.
The Bible teaches to pray differently. In fact, God's Word commands us to pray boldly, to pray with confidence: "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (Hebrews 4:16, emphasis added).
Now, this is convicting to me, and I suspect to most of my readers. But, oh, how needed it is! Citing Acts 4, Butts presents several principles that guide bold praying. (The principles in bold print are his, the part that follows is mine).
1. Pay attention to the One with whom we are talking. To this I say "Amen." Know God to be Sovereign, Creator, Controller, and Eternal. Just a few of these will alter the praying saint IF he believes them to be true of God! Our attitudes change in direct proportion to the nature of the Being with whom we have to do.
2. Pray according to the Word of God. Quote Scriptures that you've memorized, or better those hidden in your heart! Listen, it's what's inside of us that's going to come out when we pray. The reason so many pray such slight prayers is because they have such a slight knowledge of God and His Word. Why do so many we hear pray rote prayers? Because their understanding of God (if you call it that) is but a rote knowledge, Sunday School lessons and a few theoretical principles. But nothing seems to rise up from the depths of their being, since little has been planted there over the years!
3. Pray Big Prayers. Don't pray to escape pain or trouble; pray to become bolder in the face of opposition. This is an example of big praying. Pray for the infilling of the Spirit of God who empowers and emboldens any believer beyond their normal abilities. Way beyond! But who'd think to do this if most of their time is spent thinking about things, and purchases, and the next game? Oh, we have grown all too lax in our attention to things large. Most Christians (?) think far too small . . . and incorrectly. If the first two are in place, a right knowledge of God, and a thorough knowledge of the Word, then the last one will be far more likely. The more knowledge of God's Word, the higher the bar is set. And the higher the bar is set, the greater the chances that we will pray prayers accordingly, and have a faith to believe that God will answer!
God help us!