And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard…” Luke 1.12, 13
Ministers of Scotland: Lectures on Revival VI
The Rev. Alexander Cumming, Minister of Dunbarney Parish
“No prayer ever ascends to the glorious fountain of mercy without some favour being wafted to us in return, just as no vapours ever ascend from the sea without afterward coming down in refreshing humidity on the soil: The vapours may ascend unseen, but they will return in refreshing and visible showers: Vapours may continue to ascend for days and weeks without any rain descending to fertilize the ground; in due time, however, they will be condensed in the aerial regions, the atmosphere will become loaded with dark clouds, the treasures of heaven will be poured down, and every particle that has been attracted upwards by the sun will rush down in exuberant showers to irrigate and fructify the parched earth. So it will be with the prayers we breathe upwards for mercies to ourselves and others: they may remain for weeks unnoticed; but the store of mercies is every day increasing, and will in due time be bestowed.”
What a powerful way of thinking about prayer for revival! Revival is a torrent, a downpour, a microburst, a flood of spiritual vitality which washes over a people and their culture, inundating and upending all that is wicked and opposed to God, refreshing the souls of sinners, and nurturing the fruits of righteousness on an extraordinary scale. It takes a lot of spiritual power to rain down on a nation like that. Imagine how many prayers it will take to fill up that store of mercy. And why should you and I not be adding to the store? What good reason can we give for not lending some time each week to increasing the store of imminent mercies by seeking the Lord in prayer for revival? How long had Zacharias prayed for a child? Long enough for God to grant him one. How long are we willing to pray for revival?
Have you talked with your church leaders about beginning an initiative of prayer for revival? Will you?
Join us to pray for revival!
To help you in preparing for revival, we have two brief books that won’t take you more than an hour to read. Preparing Your Church for Revival tells you what to expect as the Lord begins to move, and shows you how to get ready even now (click here). Restore Us! provides the rationale and means for praying together for revival. It includes 12 psalms to guide your times of praying together (click here).
All quotations in this series are taken from Ministers of Scotland,Lectures on Revival, Richard Owen Roberts, ed. (Wheaton: Richard Owen Roberts, Publishers, 1980). Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.