By Bob Bakke
Troubles are buffeting our nation. Respected voices say that our nation, as it was conceived, is lost, and the American Church forever diminished.
In spite of these voices—and without being Pollyannaish—I count myself among those who see the U.S. as ripe for revival and spiritual awakening. I’ve studied the often-grizzly stories of Church history. I personally experienced the riots, the burned-out cities, the assassinations, the threat of nuclear war, and massive political upheavals of the 1960s. Yet, in the midst of tragic times throughout history, we have had many awakenings in our land—both in the colonial period and since our nation’s founding.
God’s people are being rattled from their small, distracted, complacent, and lackadaisical faith. They are being confronted in their sin, perhaps as a separating of the wheat from the chaff (Matt. 3:11–12).
While God’s people need a fresh wind of the Spirit to enliven, embolden, and refine their faith [revival], an unbelieving world is realizing they need God [spiritual awakening]. This sounds like a confluence ripe for God’s intervention, and I think we are seeing evidences of such.
What might spiritual awakening look like in our day?
Let’s keep it simple. Act 1–2 reveals the qualities present whenever the Spirit revives His people and awakens the lost. In Jerusalem, Pentecost’s transforming power of the Spirit on His people arose out of sustained and earnest prayer. The transformation produced powerful preaching. That preaching resulted in profound repentance and faith. And that profound faith launched and sustained a radical way of life that impacted every facet of the city.
There are hopeful signs of a coming spiritual awakening. We should be deeply impressed with the quantity and quality of prayer being mobilized across our nation. The bride of Christ is waking up to the dangers in front of her. A unity, unlike any in previous generations, is forming.
This unity is diverse, multiethnic, and multinational. The one thing missing, however, is vision. I believe God will provide it, but we must pray for that united vision.
I believe we are, indeed, ripe for revival and spiritual awakening. Let’s ask God to give us the vision to see what its fulfillment would look like. And let’s ask God to give leaders the wisdom to embrace it.
- Praise God that there is always hope for another Great Awakening in our nation! Ask God to inspire your prayers with belief that it is His heart to do it again.
- Praise God for how He is alerting His Church to pray with unity and urgency for a coming spiritual awakening. Pray for your leaders to embrace such a vision.
- Pray through Acts 1–2 by paying attention to the ways the Holy Spirit poured out life and power to the Church. Ask Him to do it again.
- Pray that your church will be inspired to lift up hopeful prayers that go beyond distracted and complacent faith.
- Pray for a vision of prayer for revival that is diverse, multiethnic, and multinational.
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