Items For Prayer and Praise
By Lois J. Stucky
How heart-kindling it has been to prepare this revival issue of Herald of His Coming! I pray that God will stir all of us as readers and give us fresh encouragement to pray and believe for the greater works He wants to do in our hour. Even if our churches seem as barren as Abram and Sarai were at 100 and 90 years of age, remember God said to them, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14). And He gave them a son! A barren church yet brings forth souls when God moves on the scene.
In this age of education and technology and in this nation of energy and enterprise, it is easy even for committed Christians to get caught up in the mechanics of advancing the cause of Christ, and yet to lose the very heart out of it. Is that not what happened to the Ephesian church? They were diligent, persevering, upright, holding the truth carefully—an outwardly admirable church. But Jesus, as recorded in Revelation 2:4, could see into their hearts and He knew they had “lost [their] first love.”
Vance Havner, an American revivalist now with the Lord, once described revival as “falling in love with Jesus all over again.” Revival goes to the very core of our being, to our heart of hearts. Revival rekindles one there. And then all of life is affected. It is with good reason that Jesus is depicted as the Bridegroom and the Church as the bride. How could ardent love be better pictured?
Our spiritual love life is vital. Jesus tells us in the Bible that the first two commandments are to love God with all our heart and soul and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourself (Matt. 22:37-39). Revival is having the soul filled with love for God and man. This measure and quality of love can come into our hearts only through the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit can only shed this love in our hearts when sin and selfish love have been confessed and forsaken.
Dear reader, you may feel lonely in your longing for revival. But if you feel a stirring in your heart, it could be God wanting to start in your locality by making you a “live coal.” Seek God until you are glowing. Keep close to Heaven’s fire that you not cool off again. It takes only a spark to set dry leaves aflame. Do not despair if you are not a big blaze. Keep aglow and look for others to pray with. You can start with one partner, and later each of you can seek to find another to join you in prayer.
Jonathan Goforth, used of God for revival in China, had his heart kindled by reports he read of revival elsewhere in the world, as he labored in lonely China. He prayed and sought God mostly alone. In time revival broke out in his meetings.
Help Spread the Revival Message
In many places there are lone hearts or small groups “panting” after God, like deer panting after the water brooks. Herald of His Coming messages have proven refreshing to such ones, encouraging them to pray on. The prelude to revival is prayer, states an item in this issue. Let’s do what we can for revival in our hour. Pray! Spread the message! Strive for revival in our own hearts and local churches!