Bruce Snell is a businessman who loves getting rousted out of bed at 3:00 a.m. “I have this intimacy with Jesus. Seven days a week, He awakens me in the dark. An uninterrupted time of prayer follows. I talk to Him. I tell Him the things that are on my heart about my family, my work, my life, but most of all, I ask Jesus, ‘What is it that you are speaking to me, Lord?’ One morning, the Lord Jesus said to me, ‘The altar, Bruce, stay at the altar.’ At the altar is where we are altered! At the altar of prayer is where I leave everything that weighs on me. At the altar is where I reach out and reach up and bring everything, every praise, every concern, every longing, every sorrow, every joy to Jesus. I leave it all with Him, and I leave it all in prayer.”
Do you see more clearly why prayer is the heartbeat of both personal revival and the Great Awakening now before us? Charles Finney noted that revival is simply normal Christianity. In a normal family relationship, you expect clear communication between all the members. For the Christian, prayer is that clear line of communication in an intimate relationship with God.
We see in the parable of the Prodigal Son how prayer shows the early beginnings of revival. As the son returned home and reestablished his communication and relationship with the father, the father turned to the elder son and said, “Your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found” (Luke 15:32). Why does God want us, as individuals, to pray so that He can corporately address the needs of His prodigal church? It’s beyond us. It’s beyond human understanding why God would want our silent longings and muttered whispers.
Yet, He does. And through our prayer, revival begins. Prayer unleashes power. Power is necessary for the revitalization of the church. A revitalized church is a unified and Christ-focused church. A unified and Christ-focused church is necessary for evangelism. Evangelism is necessary for discipleship. Discipleship is necessary for a maturing, reproducing church. A maturing, reproducing church is necessary for the building of the kingdom. And the building of the kingdom is necessary for the return of Christ. Revitalization, evangelism, discipleship, and building the kingdom for His return— it all begins in prayer— prayer that begins in the heart of God and moves to the heart of the Christian, whose heart is turned toward God.
Romans 12:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Luke 15:20-24 New King James Version (NKJV)
20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
Matthew 7:7-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
To stay up-to-date with Jesus Now Awakening:
Phillips, Tom (2016-11-01). Jesus Now: God Is Up to Something Big (Chapter 5 p. 125-127). BroadStreet Publishing Group LLC.