Jonathan Edwards on Prayer
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God… Colossians 1.9, 10
An Humble Attempt
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
“Such being the state of things in this future promised glorious day of the church’s prosperity, surely it is worth praying for. Nor is there any one thing whatsoever, if we viewed things aright, for which a regard to the glory of God, a concern for the kingdom and honour of our Redeemer, a love to his people, pity to perishing sinners – love to our fellow-creatures in general, compassion to mankind under their various and sore calamities and miseries, a desire of their temporal and spiritual prosperity, love to our country, our neighbours, and friends, yea, and to our own souls – would dispose us to be so much in prayer, as for the dawning of this happy day, and the accomplishment of this glorious event.”
This only makes sense. God wants His people to be revived; He desires sinners to be converted; He longs for the joy of salvation to be known and the glory of Christ to be celebrated over all the earth. Why would we not make prayer for this a central feature of our lives and ministries? Only God can give such revival, but He is not likely to give it where people do not eagerly long and earnestly plead for it. We are not experiencing revival now because God is not persuaded we really want it. How can we persuade Him? Edwards would say, pointing to Zechariah 8, by joining together regularly, with the singular purpose of seeking the Lord for revival. What good reasons could there possibly be for not taking up this holy challenge?
Are you praying regularly for revival? Do you lead others in praying for revival? How would you respond to someone who said that praying for revival wasn’t important enough for him to make the time for it?
T. M. Moore
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
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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.