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The Lord Himself

If in prayer we do not seek this, we seek amiss.

Jonathan Edwards on Prayer

When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, L
ORD, I will seek.
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.”
Psalm 27.8, 9

An Humble Attempt
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
“The good, that is to be sought by prayer; which is God himself…This is the good they ask for, and seek by prayer, The Lord of hosts himself. To seek God, as the expression may perhaps sometimes be used in Scripture, may signify no more than seeking the favour or mercy of God. And if it be taken so here [in Zech. 8:20-22], praying before the Lord, and seeking the Lord of hosts, must be synonymous expressions. And it must be confessed to be a common thing in Scripture, to signify the same thing repeatedly, by various expressions of the same import, for the greater emphasis.”

For people to seek the Lord together in prayer is “a common thing in Scripture,” as Edwards noted. This explains, no doubt, why our meetings for prayer are so frequent and so well attended. Oh wait. They’re not? Perhaps we ourselves need revival before we can see revival in our world? Revival occurs when people gain a renewed experience of the Lord, whether through conversion or by having the eye of their heart opened to the larger vistas and greater power of the Gospel of the Kingdom. The substance of revival – or, the “good” – to be sought is thus not merely more people in church, or even happier people at church, but God Himself. He calls us to seek Him and promises that, if we will, He will make His presence and power known to us in reviving ways. How much more glorious is this when we join to seek the Lord and the revival only He can bring!

How would you counsel a young man, just beginning his ministry, to lead his people in a focus on seeking the Lord and revival as a fundamental aspect of their calling to follow Jesus?

J. Edwin Orr on Revival

If you need convincing of what God can do when He brings revival, and of the role praying for revival can have in seeing great blessings come to pass, watch the brief video by Dr. J. Edwin Orr, “The Role of Prayer in Spiritual Awakening.” It’s an older video (1970s) and well-worn, but the message and challenge are sound. Set aside 25 minutes today, then click here, and hold on to your seat as the foremost historian of revival calls us to consider what could happen in our day, and how we should be preparing for it.

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.

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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