Fasting And Prayer For Revival
By Bill McLeod
No Christian in his right mind would deny that there is a crying need for revival in Canada-America and the world. One week’s exposure to our daily newspapers would provide all the evidence we could possibly need. Christians, however, are not agreed as to the possibility of revival, nor yet as to the means to be used to usher in such a time of blessing.
A study of the great revivals of the past will clearly show that they were preceded by times of wickedness and apostasy. Indeed, the very idea of "revival" presupposes a time of declension. Looked at from this angle we definitely qualify. "It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law" (Psa. 119:126).
Fasting and prayer are often found together in the Word of God and usually connected with some great need in the life of the nation of Israel, or perhaps in the life of some individual. Fasting has been called "praying without words." It is a method whereby we can humble ourselves before God. "I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom" (Psa. 35:13). Note also that in this verse it is connected with prayer. Demons are routed when God’s people fast and pray (see Matthew 17:19-21). In this context it is clearly stated also that fasting and prayer are an antidote to unbelief. This is extremely important when we think in terms of prayer for revival. Unbelief is at the bottom of all failure in this area. I have an excellent book entitled A History of American Revivals of Religion by Rev. Calvin Colton. It was published in 1832. It has some remarkable insights into revival and, among other things, it shows so clearly the place of faith in revival. Revivals back in those days came whenever God’s people believed they would come and they never came where this kind of faith was missing.
Fasting is mentioned almost thirty times in the New Testament. It is commonly thought of as an Old Testament matter but obviously it is not. It is found in both Testaments and it is also found in the history of the church. Many revivals were preceded by times of fasting and prayer. Finney tells how that when a revival began to decline in power they would set aside time for fasting and prayer and inevitably the work of God would surge ahead once more.
Would you join concerned Christians in setting aside one day a month for fasting and prayer as a minimum effort towards the seeking of God’s power in revival? We do not want you to get under a sense of legalism or bondage but rather make it a time of real joy and anticipation. Times of refreshing only come from the presence of the Lord. Let us seek Him for such a time in these days. See Acts 3:19 and Jeremiah 29:13.
– From Revival News, Canadian Revival Fellowship.