Saturday, May 06, 2006

Why Prayers for Revival go "Unanswered"

===>NPPNote: As we conclude yet another National Day of Prayer with, as many believe, a still unrepentant Chruch and a lack of authentic spiritual awakening throughout our nation, these Insights from Francis Frangipane provide wisdom and encouragement ~ Phi

A true revival does not just happen. There are conditions that must reside in the human heart before the Lord visits His people.

*We Must Want Deliverance, Not Just Relief

Too often, ministries today seek to deliver people who are unwilling to repent of sins, who have not cried in their heart to God for help. The effect is that those prayed for may receive limited relief, but they soon fall back into sin and oppression. The key to successful deliverance is to discern if an individual is ready and willing to be released before we minister deliverance. Are they repentant? Have they put away their idols? Is their heart truly turning toward God?

God's pattern for us as individuals is also His pattern for the church and the city. Even as the Lord did not deliver us until we cried for help, so the war for our churches and cities will not be won until a significant number of us are crying to God in prayer. Christ's purpose in bringing the citywide church to prayer is to provide the proper heart attitudes to which the Almighty can respond.

Without the substructure of prayer and crying before God, deliverance, "binding and loosing" and other forms of spiritual warfare are significantly limited. Deliverance, according to Scripture, is the last stage of a process that began when a person's abhorrence for his present condition led him to cry to God for help . . .

We must not hurry this process nor be frustrated if our prayers do not immediately activate divine intervention. The Lord is waiting for the nation to break beneath the weight of its rebellion. Yet, in this we should be encouraged: Our intercession is the first fruits of what is destined to become a national response to the Almighty!

There may be, at times, flurries of spiritual activity, but before a national revival will come, there will be a nation crying to God. This period is called "the time of their distress," and it is not consummated in revival until the nation has been crying unto the Lord for a number of years . . .

Perhaps what delays revival in our times is that we are troubled, but we are not afflicted by the conditions of our society; though saddened, we are not yet weeping.

It must be acknowledged, however, that a growing number of God's people have truly surrendered to the vulnerability of Christ's compassions. They bear in their intercessions not only the needs of the people but the pain of the people as well. They are laying down their reputations, their jobs, yes, even their lives to see the sins of our society cleansed.

Although still a minority, these intercessors carry in their souls the anguish of their cities. They hear the cry of the oppressed; they know the suffering of both the unborn and the born. God is ready to respond to their prayer. Out of the womb of their distress, God shall bring forth deliverance.

The praying church should not limit the length of its dedication to intercession. God is looking for a life of prayer, not just a season. If the duration of time required to bring change can stop us, it is obvious that the preparatory work in our hearts is not deep enough to draw divine intervention . . .

Lord, forgive us for wanting relief instead of deliverance, for looking for shortcuts instead of Your perfect will. Master, we know that Your heart cannot refuse the genuine cry of the afflicted, that You cannot long bear the misery of Your people without acting on our behalf. So, we cry to You today! Send the rain of Your presence back to us! Cleanse us from our lusts for comfort and apathy. Bring us to the place where You can honor Your integrity and bring revival to our land! For Your glory we pray. Amen.

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