This morning, I woke and went into my study to continue my sermon prep, and I remembered a conversation I had the other day about Pete Greig's powerful talk during the New Room conference in 2016. This evening, as I was checking to see if Seedbed had any new blog posts to inspire some writing, there was his Prayer for Awakening. How perfect is that! Before I keep going, take a moment and listen to his powerful words.
Praying for Awakening
The 2016 theme of the New Room Conference was Awakening. It's not something that we can think about for a single year though. Seedbed says their purpose is to sow a great awaking. As I reflect on the beginning of the Methodism, I think about why John Wesley started his Holy Club meetings. He wants to bring an awakening to the Anglican Church because he saw a lot of people showing up to church and not living a transformed life. Wesley had no intention of starting a new church.
As I look at the church today, there are times I fear we have fallen back into the same patterns as the church was in during Wesley's day. Many Christians show up to church so they can check it off their "holy" to-do list. But has church actually transformed them? If we want an awakening to happen, we must make our interior life different. What better way than to pray.
We Must be Willing to Change
Warning: Don't pray for something without being open to whatever God is going to do. Many times, if we pray for an awakening, it going to start with us. That means we must be willing to do whatever God asks of us, including changing. I know, change is scary and hard. But just think of what could happen if we do. We could help improve our community in a way that's never happened before. We could bring a revival.
The most amazing things happen when we don't expect them but are only following God. In 1950, a prayer revival broke out at Asbury College during chapel. The students filled the alter four-fold and continued to hold services for days. Before the revival started, it was just an ordinary chapel. No one expected such a spontaneous movement of the spirit to occur.
We never know where God will choose to show his mighty hand, but we must be ready to be there when he does. So, shall we pray that he brings an Awakening to each of our churches and our towns?