Our ignorance of Church history hinders our ability to pray for revival.
Without a knowledge of Church history, we miss the benefit of seeing how God has worked in prior times and in various cultures. And we cannot appreciate the influence our predecessors had on their culture and the changes they wrought as they served the Lord faithfully in their day.
Justin Martyr (ca. 100-165 AD) is an early Church father who is worthy of our attention. He studied philosophy extensively, but none seemed satisfactory to him until he was introduced to Christianity. His eyes and heart now open to the truth of Jesus, Justin went on to become one of the preeminent defenders of the faith in the second century. His zeal for the Lord earned him the martyr’s crown at the hands of the Roman emperor.
Justin defended Christianity and boldly challenged the societal mores of his day. He spoke out against exposing babies (an early form of abortion) and sexual licentiousness. He also challenged Roman Emperors to pursue justice and to halt their unwarranted persecution of Christians. All the while, Justin was willing to offer his life for his convictions, and eventually paid the ultimate sacrifice.
To understand Justin’s boldness in addressing the Roman emperors, and his ardent love for truth and justice, consider his contrast of those living for an earthly kingdom with those seeking a heavenly one:
For if we looked for a human kingdom, we should also deny our Christ, that we might not be slain; and we should strive to escape detection, that we might obtain what we expect. But since our thoughts are not fixed on the present, we are not concerned when men cut us off; since also death is a debt which must at all events be paid.
Fearless, visionary, confident in the Lord, committed to making Him known: This is the legacy of Justin Martyr. His example should encourage us to seek revival, renewal, and awakening in our day.
Let us pray that, just as Justin Martyr, we too may have such conviction, boldness, and love for God’s kingdom.
Ralph Lehman, Men’s Prayer Coordinator
T. M. Moore, Principal
Visit the website to watch the brief video on using our booklet, If Men Will Pray, to begin enlisting other men for a deeper, more satisfying, and more powerful life of prayer (click here).
Download “Men of the Church: A Solemn Call” for free by clicking this link. Make copies for all the men you know, and urge them to join you in this movement of Men at Prayer. Order your copy of Restore Us! and start your own regular Revival Prayer Group.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.