November 2011 – Our nation is in great turmoil, both financially and morally, with challenges too great for human understanding. Culturally, we are becoming more and more secular. Is there hope? My friend and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, Dave Butts, recently sent the first issue of PrayerConnect magazine, which urges Christians to pray and believe that God can still save America.
Dave is also founder and president of Harvest Prayer Ministries, a group I personally recommend. It is a non-denominational ministry whose purpose is to assist local churches in becoming houses of prayer.
2 Chronicles 7:14 promises and history records that, when God’s people pray, repent, and humbly seek His will, He pours out His Spirit and heals our land. In numerous pivotal periods in our history, God has moved, and entire cities have turned to Him. Prayer meetings have swelled into the streets, and millions around the world have felt the impact.
The moral impact of the First Great Awakening (1734-1760) is often credited with laying the foundation for our system of government after the American Revolution. The church was in a state of spiritual slumber but was suddenly endued with the power of Pentecost. As the message of repentance and the lordship of Christ was proclaimed in power, congregations across New England experienced the manifest presence of God.
As power fell from heaven in the Second Great Awakening (1790-1840), believers lay prostrate before God in repentance. On the American frontier, settlers in thinly populated areas gathered at camp meetings and went for weeks at a time with thousands eager to hear the gospel. Society was transformed as the awakening spilled out of the church and into the world. Upon their return home, most converts joined or created small local churches, which grew rapidly. Social reform movements sprang up to address evils such as child labor, alcoholism, poverty, slavery and the suppression of women. Missionary organizations were founded that still carry the gospel to the farthest corners of the world.
By 1857, hearts preoccupied by growing wealth had grown spiritually cold, and most had forsaken God completely. Then the Great Prayer Revival (1857-1858) sprang up in New York City when one businessman decided to pray that God would change people’s hearts. On September 23, 1857, he held a prayer meeting in the Old Dutch Reformed Church on Fulton Street. Only six people participated, but he persevered. Every week, more people came. When the stock market crashed, the prayer meeting was flooded with suddenly awakened souls. At its height, more than 10,000 were estimated in attendance.
Can prayer save America? Yes, it can. We have seen Him save our country in the past, and we should be calling on Almighty God to do it again. We need a new work of God for a new generation, so the world may know that there is indeed a God who lives, empowers and saves those who call on Him.
▶ For more information: www.harvestprayer.com 812-238-5504
▶ Click here for information about a prayer and fasting event sponsored by AFA.