And Jesus said: It is written; My house shall be called a house of prayer
It is imperative that we experience revival. But there is a problem. There is something in the way. God’s people are blocked by their own misunderstanding of theology. They are perishing for lack of knowledge. They have been taught that sovereignty means control when it only means authority. They have returned to a Calvinistic way of thinking sitting back thinking God will do His perfect will regardless of what the church does. They have been taught that revival is a divine intervention of God. While revival may be an intervention or an outpouring of God’s Spirit it happens in response to the prayers of God’s people. James 4:8-10 gives us the road map. He says: Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands you sinners (although he says sinners and not saints it’s because he is rebuking backslidden worldly Christians, read whole chapter for context), and purify your hearts you double minded. Be afflicted and mourn, and weep: Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up. The ball is in our courts. If the pastors won’t call their congregations to prayer and make His house a house of prayer, If only instead they sit back expecting the intercessors to do all the praying then we are all doomed as a nation. 2 or 3 intercessors may help save a church but it takes a praying Church to save a city or a nation. In other words it takes the churches of that city, if not all many, to bring revival to that city, and it takes the churches of a nation to save a nation as far gone as ours to bring a great awakening. WHEN WILL THE PASTORS CALL THEIR PEOPLE TO PRAY? WHEN WILL THEY BEGIN THEIR SERVICES WITH PRAYER CALLING EVERYONE TO THEIR KNEES? INSTEAD OF MUSIC AND PREACHING/ TEACHING, ANNOUNCEMENTS, PROGRAMS, & MAYBE AND SHORT OPENING PRAYER FOR THEIR SO GREAT MESSAGE. A PRAYING CHURCH WILL BRING THE SPIRIT OF GOD AND THAT IS ALL WE NEED.
A House Of Prayer
The church must become a praying church in order for revival and restoration in our nation. It is the only way! Pastors must begin their services with a call to pray! Stop trying to bring revival with an anointed praise and worship band with sermons afterwards on revival. That will not do! Only the Holy Spirit can bring conviction and only conviction can bring repentance and only repentance on a corporate level can bring revival just as only personal repentance can bring personal revival. And the Holy Spirit responds to prayer and crying out! If the church will pray diligently and cry out then He will bring conviction and tears and weeping and repentance will come and revival will come! Pastors need to begin their services with a call to everyone to their knees and let’s cry out to God! It’s nice that we have prayer events and God can use them. But only the intercessors show up and not all of them. Does God use intercessors? Yes, to bring conviction in the local church where they reside and to pray anointing on the pastor and come against spiritual strong holds. But we are too far gone as a nation and the churches don’t even have enough intercessors representing them anymore. 2 Chronicles 7:14 does not say if my intercessors who are called by My name will humble themselves and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways….It says if My people……. The church must again become a house of prayer. It is imperative that pastors start leading their people to pray rather than just saying a short opening prayer themselves. The church must begin to pray and cry out as a whole! It is the only way! Only the churches that become houses of prayer as God had ordained will experience revival!
“The Necessity Of Prayer”
Bob Ross Thomas
Our House of Prayer ministry is our main focus of this ministry. Everything else flows out of this. Our House of Prayer ministry is a combination of prayer, and praise and worship, which flow out of prayer. Nothing else happens without this. Worship and prayer is the cornerstone of our Christian life and walk and relationship with Jesus. We cannot do anything else without it. Ministry flows out of relationship.
Evangelism that is anointed and has power flows from the Holy Spirit. Anything else is mere words and powerless. If we’re not spending time in worship and prayer with Jesus then we have no power to do anything else. Jesus said to abide in Him and lets His words abide in us for without Him we can do nothing! To attempt to do something without Him is mere religion. And prayerlessness is the greatest sin of all to the Christian. When a Christian fails to spend time in prayer with God he is neglecting his relationship with God and walking in self reliance rather than dependancy on God which is pride and sin. If we are going to bear any fruit we must first abide in the vine. We must first know God before we try to make Him known.
Yet so many pastors don’t want their congregations to get under condemnation or get wrapped up in legalism so they don’t want to push their people to any particular standard of time in prayer so they say really very little of it except that it’s good and important. So the result is they are left to pray when and where they want which may only be 15 minutes on Wednesday. Unless they decide to go off to a ministry school or a disciple- ship school in a place like Youth With A Mission where they would be taught to spend no less than an hour a day with God. But most just stick with the local church. They may start out on fire but they end up just trying to hang on. Why? Because they have no spiritual life or strength because they have had no time with God. Why? Because if man is left to his own devises he will always choose the path of least resistance. If a Christian is left undiscipled in prayer he or she with the help of untamed flesh and help of the tempter who wants none of us to pray will likely choose to spend less and less time with God.
Most Charismatic or pentecostal churches start out on fire when they are first planted and the gifts of the Spirit are flowing. After a while though that all changes. Why? Well, just go and find out. For very one to two hundred people you may see one of them that comes to the weekly prayer meeting. Many want to come and sing songs and get preached to but so very few want to come and do carpet time before the Lord in prayer. No wonder we haven’t seen revival in America. Revival flows out of prayer and we don’t pray here. Oh we have our weekend events or one day events where we call the nation to prayer or repentance and have a prayer conference where a small number attend in comparison to the call. But then once the prayer retreat is over it’s back to the same old thing. Nobody wants to commit to prayer on a regular basis with consis- tancy. It’s too hard a work or boring for them. When in truth in the presence of the Lord is the most wonderful place to spend your time. When I spent time up north in Philly years ago and attended a church there it was the only one I’d ever seen where their prayer meetings were full. No wonder on Sunday morning God would just start healing people in the middle of the worship time. Any other church I have attended has always had one percent or less in attendance to their prayer meetings.
I remember several years ago when I heard people in the churches here in the US saying: We’ve found the secret. It’s cell groups like Paul Yongi Cho in Korea. Well, I already knew that was wrong. I had spent a year and a half in Korea in the military and attended Paul Yonggi Cho’s church as well as their all night prayer meetings and their fasting and prayer mountain. No, my friend. Cell groups wasn’t their secret to revival, prayer was. As a matter of fact, Pastor Cho wrote a book entitled: “Prayer: Key To Revival”. Until we learn to get on our knees regularly in America, I hardly see how we could experience true revival. I’m afraid it may take the judgements we’ve been hearing from the so-called doom and gloom prophets like major earthquakes and floods etc. before we get the sense enough to fall to our knees and pray. I hope not.
“When We Pray”
I lived in Korea from Nov. 84 – May 86. I attended Paul Yongi Cho’s church, his all night prayer meeting they have every night, and fasting & prayer mountain they have. It is incredible the way these people pray. I befriended an American missionary guy who lived at an apartment provided by Paul Yonggi Cho’s church (Yoido Full Gospel Church / Assembly of God) and another Korean guy that he hung around with. The 3 of us spent alot of time together. One day I asked the Korean guy about his cell group, it’s size and activity. One thing it was alot bigger in size than the American concept of a cell group, about 50+ people. He said every morning after he prayed one hour (his personal time with the Lord, He went and met with his cell group and prayed for another hour. 2 hours of prayer every morning before work, one by himself and one with his cell group. Cell groups in America meet once every week or two for an hour or so with a little prayer at the end. No wonder these people experienced unprecedented revival because they knew how to pray.
I have been involved in much Hispanic work through YWAM learning alot of Spanish in Spanish classes in YWAM and traveling throughout Mexico as well as a Spanish School in Guatemala. Now I speak Spanish fairly well, a, married to a Hispanic, and have attended and preached in many Hispanic churches around Nashville. I know many Hispanic pastors around Nashville. I have one that is a very good friend. I know most of the Hispanic churches around Nashville have the Spirit of God moving in their churches quite powerfully, I know why…they pray. Most Hispanic churches have a prayer vigil monthly or bi-monthly where they pray and worship through the night starting at 6 or 7 pm. and go to 2 am – 6 am in the morning. The people come in before the service and bow and pray at their seat before sitting to prepare their hearts before the Lord. Americans only do that if they know they have to take communion. I have been convicted myself sitting in a Hispanic church relaxing in my chair and have someone come up to sit beside me and get on his knees to pray at the chair beside me before sitting. In my uncomfortable spirit I thought how religious only to be rebuked for it by the Holy Spirit. He said My house shall be called a house of prayer.
My Sudanese pastor friend whom I co-pastored with for a year at his bi-lingual Sudanese church has monthly prayer & fasting days for the church. They don’t have just a few special intercessors show up that feel called to pray. The whole church comes. And it is a day filled with worship, speaking, and praying from morning to evening. The Spirit moves! Why? They pray!
The Figi Islands experienced a mighty revival many years back that literally changed the island, healed the land, the springs and streams, the coral reef, the crops and fruit trees and spread to all the neighboring islands. Why? Well in a time of civil upheaval and turmoil the president who was a Christian called all the pastors of different denominations to stop their bickering and come to his office and fast & pray in unity for the nation. Then he called them to call their entire churches to prayer and fasting. Next thing you know repentance happened and then revival broke out all over. The Indian Hindus that lived there started getting saved. The prison got converted and became a church. The land and waters, etc. were healed. Why? They prayed!
When will America return to prayer? We have no miracles because of our intellectualism, lack of faith and lack of prayer!
I can hear the Lord crying out to us through Ezekiel 33:11: As I live saith the Lord I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked (America) but that the wicked (America) turn from his ways and live, turn ye, turn ye, from your evil ways, For why will you die, O house of Israel (America)?
When will we begin to pray and cry out to God? When it’s already too late?
Seek, Pray, Cry Out Daily
My wife and I visited the Hispanic church we got married in today as my wife is Hispanic and I bilingual. He preached about parenting. He spoke about influencing and teaching and protecting your kids. At one point he made the point that in all we do in bringing rules, etc. to train and protect our kids. It will only breed rebellion if we haven’t loved them along the way and then he defined love or loving them as spending time with them. That’s how we show them our love is by relating to them/ having relationship and spending time with them. I thought about that in aspect to our relationship to God and our prayerless culture church in America. Although praise and worship is wonderfully important; as I have even written a book on it, it itself cannot sustain a relationship with God. worship and adoration and exaltation is very intimate and is our intercourse with God into His presence. But it cannot sustain a relationship with Him no more than a husband and wife can sustain a relationship through purely sex. A man and wife have to spend time together talking with each other, getting to know one another better and that is where the intimacy is built, not in the sex. Sex is only where there is a climax of expression of that intimacy. So with God we must spend time with Him talking to Him in prayer. Neither will reading the Bible (a book- written Word /logos) sustain a relationship with Him. He wants us to spend time with the WORD in prayer. Jesus said: Search the scriptures! For in them you think you have eternal life. But they are they which testify of Me and you will not come to me that you might have life. We don’t just come to Him once to receive Jesus and receive eternal life. We must come to Him daily to receive more life, more grace, more manna. Jesus is that bread/ manna from heaven and we cannot store up enough manna today for tomorrow. We must gather manna daily, we must spend time with Him daily. Seek Him daily. He purposed it as such that we would know Him in relationship. We must Pray! We must cry out to Him now!
Those which hunger and thirst after righteuosness shall be filled. Matt 5:6
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed,shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:6