Jonathan Edwards on Prayer
“For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other partunder heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.” Luke 17.24
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
“This is to distinguish Christ’s coming to set up his kingdom, from the coming of false Christs, which he tells us will be in a private manner in the deserts, and in the secret chambers; whereas this event of setting up the kingdom of God, should be open and public, in the sight of the whole world and with clear manifestation, like lightning that cannot be hid, but glares in every one’s eyes, and shines from one side of heaven to the other. And we find, that when Christ’s kingdom came, by that remarkable pouring out of the Spirit in the apostles’ days, it occasioned a great stir every where.”
In Psalm 126, the psalmist looked ahead expectantly to the day when God would revive His people. He had a vision of Israel’s “restoration” fully restored, and of the people, filled with joy and wonder, laughing and praising the Lord, as if their wildest dream had come true. And everyone around them can see this. The revived people of God declare that they are seeing the great things they had prayed for coming to pass all around them. And they aren’t alone. “Then they said among the nations, “The LORDhas done great things for them” (v. 2). To which the people reply, “The LORDhas done great things for us, and we are glad” (v. 3). The people of ancient Israel could see, if only with the eye of their hearts, the promises of God coming to fruition in them, in their congregations, and to the communities and nations around them. They prayed for such a harvest of God’s blessing, and sowed the seeds of revival through prayer, preparation, and diligent obedience toward the outcomes they sought. We won’t know revival until this is the way we pray, prepare, and live as well.
As you seek the Lord for revival, renewal, and awakening, what do you see? What are you expecting? Does anyone else share this vision with you?
Learn to Pray for Revival – and Pray!
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.
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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, Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, in Edward Hickman, ed. The Works of Jonathan Edwards(Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1834, 1995), Vol. Two, pp. 257ff.