A common thread has begun to weave itself through the American church. Of course, we have always shared the same faith, Lord, and blood of Christ that cleanses us from sin. Yet, this thread is something new, something different in the 21st century. Pastors are preaching about it; conferences are being held to discuss it; ministries have been formed to help expand it; intercessors are crying out for it! Like other things we share in common, this theme is shared across both denomination and generation alike.
What is it? AWAKENING!
The 21st century American church wants to know: "What must we do to experience another Great Awakening in our generation?" Historical patterns reveal what awakening looks like (20 Awakening Indicators), and what happens when we stifle awakening. Could God's sovereign timing be what makes the difference in our day? Without doubt, He is stirring His people to cry out in desperation for a fresh Christ-awakening, NOW!
Throughout her existence, America's history has been shifted because of small prayer meetings. Jonathan Edwards called a small congregation in Northampton to united, extraordinary prayer as a beginning point for the First Great Awakening. In 1794, prior to the Second Great Awakening, ministers began to call for prayer. Churches set aside the first Monday of each month to pray. Conferences for prayer and fasting were held. In the mid-1850s, a businessman by the name of Jeremiah Lanphier started a one-hour, noontime, weekly prayer meeting with only six people. A sweeping revival that resulted in cultural transformation was initiated almost entirely by laymen. It was nonsectarian (cross-denominational) and birthed through prayer ("Revival Born In A Prayer Meeting," Knowing & Doing, C.S.LewisInstitute.org).
The one common denominator of nationwide awakening has been a sense of hungry, prayerful desperation. The 2016 theme for our Cry Out America (who is Cry Out America?) prayer initiative is AWAKEN OUR NATION. When Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, preparing to bear the weight of the sin of the world, He awakened His sleeping disciples and asked, "Could you not stay awake and pray with me one hour?" (Matthew 26:40, 41) That wake-up call is still echoing for His church today!
On September 11, 2001 America experienced another critical wake-up call! This year, the 15th anniversary of that call is on Sunday. We are asking churches, "Will you dedicate ONE HOUR of your 9/11 morning worship services to crying out to the Lord for a Christ awakening in America?" We are calling to intercessors, "Will you join together that evening in your communities for ONE HOUR of extraordinary, united prayer? Will we Cry Out America?
True revival and spiritual transformation will only come as we awaken and join with Jesus in crying out to God in prayer. If Jesus is calling for an awakening among His people, can we join in asking God to grant that request?
What will happen if your ONE HOUR of prayer is synergized with all of God's people on 9/11 and throughout history, crying out—AWAKEN OUR NATION! We believe He will hear from heaven once again.
Jesus is praying ... Let's wake up and join Him!
Kay Horner is the executive director of the Awakening America Alliance.