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The Duty to Pray

For the believer, prayer is not an option.

Jonathan Edwards on Prayer

“The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying,
‘Let us continue to go and pray before the L
ORD,
And seek the L
ORD of hosts.
I myself will go also.’”
Zechariah 8.21

An Humble Attempt
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
“Particularly we may observe the duty, with the attendance of which the glorious event foretold shall be brought on; viz. The duty of prayer…with regard to the duty of prayer; considering that prayer is here expressly and repeatedly mentioned; and also considering how parallel this place is with many other prophecies, that speak of an extraordinary spirit of prayer, as preceding and introducing that glorious day of religious revival, and advancement of the church’s peace and prosperity…”

Only God can bring revival to His people and awakening to the world. We can’t program revival into being, and if we neglect the means God has appointed for revival – the duty of prayer – we shall not be able to realize its fruit. Edwards called his readers to extraordinary prayer for revival, gathering together with one focus, and repeatedly beseeching the Lord to do what only He can do. Prayer sowed the seeds of revival in Edwards’ day, and it must do so again in ours. Edwards, following Zechariah, regarded praying and seeking the Lord for revival as every believer’s duty. But if those we serve do not see us busy about this duty, it’s certain they won’t consider it important for themselves. What would you say to Jonathan Edwards, and to those faithful multitudes whose prayers God honored to ignite and sustain the Second Great Awakening, to excuse yourself from taking up this duty as well?

Do the members of your church pray for revival? Do your church’s leaders encourage praying for revival in all the groups and ministries of your church? Should they?

An Humble Attempt

If you have not read Edwards’ book on praying for revival, I urge you to do so. We’ll send it to you in a free PDF which you can print or download to your e-reader. Just email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and request Jonathan Edwards’ An Humble Attempt.

Learn to Pray for Revival – and Pray!
We currently conduct three meetings to pray for revival, enlisting participants from around the country to come together in our online prayer room once a month – or once a week – to seek the Lord for revival. We use selected psalms to guide our time together, and spend around 30 minutes in prayer together. Join us. We’d like to begin a second weekly group, convening at 4:00 Eastern time each week, to seek the Lord for revival. If you’d like to be part of this group, or if you would like to join an existing revival prayer group, send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Fellowship of Ailbe is supported through the generous and faithful gifts of those who benefit from and believe in our work. Does the Lord want to use you in this way? Please look to Him in prayer over this question. You can contribute to The Fellowship of Ailbe by using the Contribute button at our website, or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
All quotations are from Jonathan Edwards, An Humble Attempt, &c. in Edward Hickman, ed. The Works of Jonathan Edwards(Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1834, 1995), Vol. Two, pp. 278ff.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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