Monday, November 13, 2006

Inner~Views: Insights to Guide Praying for Revival

Firestorms of Revival: How Historic Moves of God Happened and Will Happen Again...

Dr. Bob Griffin
Rockford Renewal Ministries

*Bob, what prompted you to write Firestorms of Revival?

I became overwhelmed by the conditions in our city and by the limited impact of Christian congregations to do much about it. In a prayer meeting in our City Council Chambers, I made an effort to pray after a speaker had shared how bad things were in our city and those of America. I began to weep and couldn't continue praying. It was after this that God, in a rather dramatic way, called us to begin Rockford Renewal Ministries. Being mid-way in my doctoral studies, I felt compelled to write on revival so I could learn how it comes--what we must do and what God does. My study gave me what I wanted to know. My passion for prayer and revival continued to grow as I served our city full time with a vision for a sweeping revival of the Church and another Great Awakening. After graduation I set a goal to one day write about revival from my reseach and personal experience as a "city reacher." I wanted the Church to know how revivals have always happened and how they will happen again. By God's grace and help, "Firestorms of Revival" was published by Creation House and released in September of 2006.

*From my reading of the book, you present scholarly research in a way that is accessible to the average person who simply has a passion for prayer - Why does the average prayer leader or pastor need to know so much about revival?

When things become difficult in the Church and society and leaders and pastors wonder what to do, an understanding of God's ways in revival will provide the answers and give them direction.

*How will an understanding of biblical and historical revival help prayer leaders transform the way their congregation prays about revival?

They will modify their priorities to give prayer a greater place as they understand that prayer is how God gets his work done and the key to historic revival. They will better understand the level of passion and energy that revival leaders have had in prayer. The stories of revival prayer are thrilling and give patterns for prayer that will be helpful. Congregations learn to pray when they are well informed, and as the pray, they grow in prayer.

*How should a prayer leader introduce revival-focused praying in a way that is fresh; biblicaly rooted but forward looking?

I read or tell brief stories of revival and what great revival leaders have said about prayer. I also share biblical texts on prayer with the amazing promises of God. I do these things at our two prayer gatherings in our office each week and at our community-wide prayer gathering every month. Passionate revival prayer and intercession is very difficult to sustain over a period of time. The Scripture and the stories of revival help sustain it.

*What sections of your book can be used by a prayer leader as the basis or format for revival praying?

I would suggest that the social transformation described in Characteristic 10, beginning on page 221 would "light fire." On page 248, appendix III, I give some tips on prayer that have been helpful to me. Prayer gatherings must be fresh and alive. Often they drift into bordom. Chapter seven is my signiture chapter: "Prayer: Faning the Flames of Intimacy with God." This chapter would be very helpful...the stories and the instruction. Revival characteristic 3 is prayer. To read the secion beginning on page 121, the quotes on the power of prayer and the stories, will be very helpful.

*Bob, write a prayer that prayer leaders can pray, asking the Holy Spirit to release a fresh wind of revival praying in their ministry

. . .One has been written for us. When I speak to gatherings of Pastors on revival and prayer, I sometimes concluded by passionately praying Isaiah 64 from the New Living Translation of the Bible, paraphrasing as led. I leave you with this prayer:
O Holy Spirit, in these days of drift...from knowing you intimately and radical first century obedience and impact, in these days of growing secularism and sensuality, release a new passion for prayer and repentance in our ministry. Open our heart-eyes to see all you can and will do if we will repent and seek your face. Your word is so very clear in 2 Chronicles 7:14. If we will humble ourselves and pray and seek your face...that's energy and passion...and turn from our drift and sin, you will hear us, O Lord. You will forgive us and you will heal our land.
O God, we come in the name of Jesus our Savior, to seek your face in humility and repentance and we ask that again, as a Pentecost, you would break through the heavens and send the fire of revival to flame across our congregations, cities and nation as you did then. O Lord, send the mighty rushing wind again in our day...the sheer noise of it drawing many to the scene and to Jesus. Draw us back to first love and motivate and mobilize us in redemptive transformational service. O Father, let the winds blow; let the fire fall; come in your manifest presence and let your Glory fill our church and city. We are desparate for your presence and power to revive us personally, to revival the Church in our day and to transform our city and Nation. Pray this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, Lord and soon coming King. AMEN!!

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