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More Diligent Improvement

In times of revival, people want to grow.

Jonathan Edwards on Prayer

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 1 John 4.17

Distinguishing Marks
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
“The Spirit that is at work, takes off persons’ minds from the vanities of the world, and engages them in deep concern about eternal happiness, and puts them upon earnestly seeking their salvation, and convinces them of the dreadfulness of sin, and of their own guilty and miserable state as they are by nature. It awakens men’s consciences, and makes them sensible of the dreadfulness of God’s anger, and causes in them a great desire and earnest care and endeavour to obtain his favour. It puts them upon a more diligent improvement of the means of grace which God has appointed; accompanied with a greater regard to the word of God, a desire of hearing and reading it, and of being more conversant with it than they used to be.”

For many Christians today, their experience of Christ is good enough. They’re happy and blessed; they like their church and Christian friends; and they’re surrounded by the comforts of the world to a satisfactory extent. Because they don’t spend much time in prayer, and only about the same in the Scriptures, they don’t have a sense of the greatness of Christ – His infinite beauty, unbounding goodness, and unfathomable truth – and they are not convinced that they need much in the way of Christian improvement. They know that the Scriptures, when they address the life of faith, use such terms as “press on” and “grow” and “increasing” and “exceedingly abundantly more.” But such ideas are not sufficiently motivating to the ends they prescribe, since we feel certain that, when the judgment comes, we’ll just point to Jesus, punch our ticket, and robe up. They don’t live toward the judgment to come, toward the day of seeing Jesus face to face, toward having to give an account of their lives as to the degree of gratitude for Christ’s suffering they have shown. They only live toward the promise of blessing then and there, and are too easily satisfied with spiritual matters in the here and now. “In this world” they are not at all like Jesus was when He walked among us. When the Spirit of God moves among a people for revival, all that changes. Growing in Jesus, becoming more like Him, pressing on toward the Kingdom, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God – these are the concerns that abound when the Spirit is stirring within us for revival.

How is it apparent that your church is “in this world” as Jesus would be, were He actually there with you?

If Men Will Pray

What might God do, if men will begin to take more seriously the work of prayer? Our book, If Men Will Pray, works through Paul’s teaching in 1 Timothy 2.1-8, and guides men step-by-step in a deeper, more consistent, more fruitful and enjoyable life of prayer. The book is designed to be used by two men, praying together and encouraging one another over a one-month commitment. Watch this brief videoto learn more. Order a copy for yourself and a friend, and start enlisting men to seek the Lord and revival right now (click here).

Jonathan Edwards on Prayer
We have put together our 8-week series of Jonathan Edwards on prayer into a 28-day morning and evening meditation entitled, Give Him No Rest. To each of these 56 meditations we have added a prayer prompt, to guide you in taking the words of Scripture and Edwards to heart. This is an excellent resource for personal use, family devotions, or a staff-and-church-leaders study in prayer. And it’s free. For your copy of Give Him No Rest: Jonathan Edwards on Prayer, simply 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, 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.

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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