Prayed-Down, Preached-Up, Heaven-Sent Revival
By Joe H. Hankins
…No nation can forget God and continue in the direction America is going and survive as a free people much longer. Peace cannot continue in any other foundation except a foundation of righteousness. We have got to have a revival!
We need a revival that will stop the flood tides of sin, the lawlessness and ungodliness that are literally swamping our nation and the world. We need a revival that will put an end to the dead formalism in our churches and make them soul-winning stations for God, a revival that will set them on fire with the power of the Holy Spirit, that will break the hearts of our people for a lost world.
Ask for the Old Paths!
Oh, how we need to seek again the old paths and walk in them (Jer. 6:16), not merely because they are old, but because they are right! We need a revival that will restore unto our people a sense of discrimination between right and wrong.
It is a sad day in the life of any people when they lose their sense of right and wrong. You know, we are in a day when sin has lost its exceeding sinfulness in the thinking of nearly everybody. Even the church leaders have lost their sense of sin!
Sin that nailed the Son of God to the Cross must be exceedingly dark and wretched and black in the sight of Almighty God. If it took a remedy like that to save this old world from sin, I tell you sin is no small thing!
We have got to have a revival that brings conviction of sin! We need a prayed-down revival, a preached-up revival, and a heaven-sent revival.
A Prayed-Down Revival
Oh, how we, as the people of God, need to come again to mighty prevailing, intercessory prayer! Not just the ordinary kind of praying – but praying that will not let go until the fire from heaven falls, and the winds of heaven spread it as a holy conflagration over the whole earth.
If we are to pray for a revival, we need to begin with ourselves! We preachers, deacons and elders and stewards, Sunday School teachers, young people’s workers, as well as the rank and file of the members, need to do some honest confessing of our sins. We need to go on our faces before God, and do some real heart-searching of ourselves.
Every one of us who names the name of Christ needs the courage to face our lives on our knees while God turns on the searchlight! Oh, how we need that kind of praying!
We need such praying as Daniel did yonder by the river Babylon. Read again the ninth and tenth chapters of Daniel. Hear him say, “I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes” (Dan. 9:3). And then, “I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth…till three whole weeks were fulfilled” (Dan. 10:3), as he cried to God.
At the climax of that heart-cry, when he was pouring out his very soul to God, you hear him saying, “O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for Thine own sake, O my God: for Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name” (Dan. 9:19). There you can hear the sob and the sigh of a broken heart. At a cry like that, no wonder God sent the angel Gabriel from heaven down there by the side of that river to that man of God!
We need to do the kind of praying that Hezekiah did when the hosts of Sennacherib had surrounded the walls of Jerusalem. They had carried everything before them like a storm, and then Sennacherib sent a letter to Hezekiah that said, in effect: “You need not trust in your God! These are the people who thought their gods would deliver them, but look at them and what has happened to them! The best thing you can do is to surrender now, and save what you can!”
The man of God took that letter and went to the house of God and spread the letter out before God and said, “O Lord of hosts…incline Thine ear, O Lord, and hear; open Thine eyes, O Lord, and see…save us from his hand” (Isa. 37:16-20). And that night, in answer to that heart-cry, an angel of God from heaven came into the camp of the Assyrians; and the next morning 185,000 lay dead in the valley. The God of Israel had answered that cry. Sennacherib left and never came back again! That is the kind of praying we need today!
We need the kind of praying that took place where the church went down on its knees and prayed until “the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).
We need the kind of praying that the church did when Herod put Simon Peter in prison after he had beheaded James, and had planned, after the feast of unleavened bread, to bring Simon Peter out and cut his head off. “...But prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him” (Acts 12:5). When Peter was loosed from his bonds at the midnight hour, the church was still in that prayer meeting.
That is the kind of praying we need today! If there ever was a condition, if there ever was a time, if there ever was a task, if there ever was a challenge – that would put God’s people on their faces in agonizing, heart-broken prayer – it is today! If it is not done today it will never be done! What in the world will it take to send us to our knees to pray?
I shall never forget these words by Lee Scarborough: “People are saying that civilization and Christianity have come to the crossroads. I am telling you, Christianity is not at the crossroads; neither is civilization at the crossroads. We are at the jumping-off place! We are standing unsteadily on the brink of an abyss.” How true! We need a revival that comes only in answer to prevailing, heart-broken prayer!
A Preached-Up Revival
We need a preached-up revival. Just as there never has been a great revival that was not born in prayer, just as truly there never has been a great, sweeping revival that did not come in by mighty, earnest, red-hot passionate preaching of the whole counsel of God!
Men need to know that God will punish sin! They need to be told of the depravity of the human heart and the utter hopelessness of man apart from the new birth. They need to be warned and taught from the Word of God that sin will bring judgment, retribution, heartache, the wrath of God, and that it will separate a soul from God and send it to hell.
Oh, how people need to be brought face to face with the stark reality and the awful fact of sin! Sin is not just a little breaking out on the skin that can be treated by the salve of a social gospel, but is an awful, ugly, deadly cancer of the soul. Sin is a deep-seated, loathsome disease that is eating the heart out of humanity, and cursing, blighting, damning, wrecking and ruining those who tamper with it!
Oh, hear me! You had better play with forked lighting than to tamper with sin! You had better sit on a keg of high explosive powder and play with a diamond-backed rattlesnake than to toy with sin as people are doing today!
There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that if the preachers everywhere would stand up and cry out against the sins of our land for one year, all the powers of hell could not quench the revival fires that would break out! If this is true, then how are we preachers going to answer to God if we fail to do it? The blood of this generation will be on our hands! (Ezek. 33:1-20; 2 Tim. 4:1-5).
“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chr. 7:14).
A Heaven-Sent Revival
The kind of revival we need is an old-fashioned, Holy Ghost, heaven-sent revival from Almighty God that will break the stubborn, hard hearts of God’s people; that will humble their proud spirits; that will bring them down in sackcloth and ashes, confessing their sins and crying to God for mercy and cleansing! Then again they will arise in the power of His might to shake this old world for Christ!
– Reprinted from an earlier issue of Herald of His Coming.