Jonathan Edwards on Prayer
“But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy…
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the LORD
Shall be saved.’”Acts 2.16, 17, 21
An Humble Attempt
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
“It is evident from Scripture, that there is yet remaining a great advancement of the interests of religion and the kingdom of Christ in this world, by an abundant outpouring of the Spirit of God, far greater and more extensive than ever yet has been…It is often foretold and signified, in a great variety of strong expressions, that there should a time come when all nations, throughout the whole habitable world, should embrace the true religion, and be brought into the church of God.”
Edwards’ postmillennialism may be off-putting to some, but his argument is certainly worth considering more carefully. He firmly believed that God intended to fulfill the visions of Micah (4.1-8), Daniel (2.44, 45), and Isaiah (9.6, 7) concerning the coming and increase of His Kingdom. Edwards had seen sudden and significant awakenings in his day, and these encouraged him to seek the Lord for greater seasons of harvest yet to come. I sometimes get the impression that preachers today see the world, as depicted in the parable of the wheat and the tares, as a weed field, waiting to be burned. But does not Jesus teach, in fact, that the world is a wheat field, to be sown, cultivated, and harvested by faithful laborers? “Lift up your eyes… The fields are white for harvest… The harvest is plentiful…” Jesus taught us to hope, work, and pray for the harvest. By uniting in prayer for revival, we can nurture that hope, and help others to nurture it as well.
How are you leading your congregation into the work of sowing, cultivating, and harvesting in your community?
T. M. Moore
Ready for Revival?
Are you praying for revival? Are you gathering others to pray with you? Are you preparing your church for the coming harvest? You can, and you should. Two resources from our bookstore can help. The book, Restore Us!, can provide the rationale, resources, and encouragement you need to take up this calling as an ongoing aspect of your walk with and work for the Lord. Order your copy by clicking here. And our book, Preparing Your Church for Revival, shows you how to ready the hearts of church members and leaders for the work we look to God to do in our community. Order your copy by clicking here.
An Humble Attempt
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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.