After some dry weeks, the rain in July and August has been refreshing. The grass and the garden soaked it up. We sing, “Open the floodgates of heaven; let it rain, let it rain!” We are praying that God would answer this prayer for our church, city, state, country, and the nations of the world. He has certainly done it in the past. Think Nineveh. After the preaching of Jonah, God brought conviction upon all the people from the king on down.
Jesus said, “When he [the Spirit of truth] comes, he will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). The king knew that he and all his people were under the judgment of a holy God. How? The Spirit convinced this pagan ruler. We will meet him and his people in heaven (Matt. 11:42). God could do that in a moment in other cities of the world–Tokyo, Mexico City, Moscow, San Francisco, Dubai.
He will do His part. We have two primary responsibilities:
- talking to God about people, and
- talking to people about God.
Most have a stronger focus on one than the other. Daniel Nash was a powerful intercessor for Charles Finney. Daniel arrived two weeks early and plowed up the ground through prayer to prepare it to receive rain. Finney the preacher relied so much on Daniel the pray-er that when Daniel died, Finney left revival preaching and went back to pastoring.
Peggy and Christine didn’t talk much to people about God, but they spent long hours talking to God about people. Peggy was 84 and blind; Christine was 82 and crippled. They seldom left their little cabin home. But they were convinced through prayer that God was bringing revival to their Hebrides Islands west of Scotland. They urged their pastor to send for Duncan Campbell. He came for two weeks–and stayed for two years. It poured down rain from 1949 to 53. Heaven credits two elderly invalids with calling faithfully on God and cooperating with Him to bring revival rain.
- WE CAN’T BRING REVIVAL WITHOUT GOD.
- GOD WON’T BRING REVIVAL WITHOUT US!
How marvelous is that. We team up with God. We do our part–prayer and proclamation, and He does His part–convicting and convincing. Persistent prayer by parents and grandparents of long-haired, pot-smoking hippies brought a powerful revival in the early 1970’s to more than 100,000 young adults in the Jesus People Revival. The epicenter of that downpour was a few miles from my home–Calvary Chapel. Meanwhile, urgent prayer by students at Asbury College in 1969 and 70 brought a sweeping revival on their campus, starting on February 3, 1970. That downpour spread around the country as they sent out teams on weekends. I remember hearing about it as a student in seminary.
So we pray, “I have heard of your fame. I stand in awe of your deeds. In our day renew it“ (Habakkuk 3:2). “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6). This refrain occurs three times in Psalm 80: “Restore us, O Lord God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!” The weather forecasters are calling for heavy rain. I’m praying for it and expecting it! What about you?