Devotionals

The Reviving Power of Revival Stories

"There is a fresh wind coming to the prayer movement!" This declaration was the Lord's response to my intercession concerning the weariness that had come upon the prayer movement in America.

A short time later, my attention was drawn to a dream given to Julie Meyer, a prophetic worshipper from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. This dream validated my own concerns for the prayer movement and confirmed that the Lord was about to infuse intercessors with life and strength once again.

In Julie's dream, she saw seven ambulances lined up, each with lights flashing. With great alarm in her spirit, she looked inside the first ambulance to see what was going on. She saw someone lying lifeless on a gurney. Next to the patient was an attendant who was working furiously to revive him. Julie immediately knew this attendant was an angel. The heavenly attendant then said to her, "I can't find a heartbeat."

As Julie went from one ambulance to the next, she found the same scenario—intercessors on gurneys with angels attending them, but unable to find heartbeats. One of the angels looked directly at Julie and confided, "It's the intercessors ... "

This dream resonated deeply within me. For a number of years, I have watched as the strength of the prayer movement has waned. Intercessors have prayed years for revival. But many of them have experienced hope deferred, and, as the Bible teaches, this has made their hearts weak or sick (Prov. 13:12). Traveling across America, I can attest to the truthfulness of the dream. It's hard to find a heartbeat.

Tell the Old Stories

As Julie's dream continued, suddenly one of the angels shouted, "I found a heartbeat! But it's very faint."

The other angels grew very excited and shouted, "What did you do?" They, of course, wanted to do the same thing to generate a heartbeat in their own patients.

The first angel replied, "Tell the old stories. When I started telling him stories of what God did in the past, his heart started to beat."

With that, the angels began telling the intercessors about the First Great Awakening, the Second Great Awakening, and other outpourings—right up through the Healing Revivals and Tent Meetings of the 1940s and '50s. As they did, the hearts of the intercessors started beating again.

At this point in the dream, an angel looked at Julie and directed her, "Tell the old stories of what God did in past revivals." Then the angel emphasized something that stirred my heart deeply.

"Tell the intercessors to put themselves in the storyline, because the old stories are their stories."

What a powerful and motivating thought: Past revivals are our revivals. Think about it.

We're all part of the same plan, which began centuries ago. Our role in this saga is just another act of the same play. Our battles are part of the same war they fought, and our awakenings are part of the same outpouring. Theirs is an earlier phase of ours; ours is a continuation of theirs. We're one body with one cause. God sees it all as one.

Each generation's intercession and efforts do not have to stand on their own. We can align with past movements and agree with past prayers—and add to them!

When we put ourselves in the storyline God is writing, we begin tapping into the strength and life of what He did years ago. We begin to experience the eternal purposes of God—not just those we feel are for our time. We experience the synergy of the ages.

This revelation opened my heart to a myriad of storylines that we as a generation could put ourselves into. We could see ourselves in the storyline of Charles Finney and believe revivals would be rekindled in our day that would save entire towns. We could agree with the prayers of Reese Howells for a revival anointing that would shake nations. We could join the efforts of Martin Luther King Jr. and see another wave of racial healing come to America with increased effectiveness. We could see our role in the greater plan of God, and in bringing ourselves into the story, release multiplied power for today.

Come Alive Again

Clearly, heaven's strategy is being released for seeing America fulfill her God-ordained destiny as a light to the nations of the earth. As we tell the old stories of revival—moves of God birthed through prayer—we are prophesying life and commanding hearts of intercession to beat again.

I am reminded of the Old Testament story of Ezekiel standing before a valley of dry bones. When Ezekiel obeyed the Lord's command and prophesied life, the breath of God blew upon those dry bones. And from that graveyard arose an exceedingly great army (Ezek. 37:1-14).

As we tell the old stories of God's outpourings in the earth, we will witness what Ezekiel did: a hopeless, lifeless movement will rise up as a mighty force in the earth once again. Only this time, it will bring forth much more than we've seen through past moves of prayer. Intercessors are tapping into past anointings as well as receiving new mantles to pray with apostolic authority, prophetic revelation and a contagious zeal.

Releasing stories of God's outpourings will release a fresh wind of the Holy Spirit over the praying church. Tongues of fire will spring up on the heads of intercessors around the world, and a storytelling anointing will ignite within them. They will go forth as a powerful prophetic voice to unleash a mighty wave of revival that will circle the globe. This new move of God will be the next, greater phase of outpourings we connect with, which commenced long ago.

Tell the old stories of what God did in past revivals and draw life from them. After all, they are your revival stories; outpourings you are destined to carry forth—with multiplied power—into today. Put yourself in God's great storyline and command your heart to beat in sync with past prayers and past movements that are still paving the way for the greatest Great Awakening!

This article is derived from Dutch Sheets' teaching, "Hope for Awakening," which is available from this online store. To read a transcript of Julie Meyer's dream in it's entirety, visit juliemeyerministries.com.

Dutch Sheets is an internationally recognized teacher, conference speaker and author of  The Power of Hope. He has written more than 20 books, translated into over 30 languages. His first work, Intercessory Prayer, sold nearly a million copies and is being used to empower believers worldwide for passionate prayer and societal transformation. He and his wife, Ceci, make their home in the Dallas area.

For the original article, visit dutchsheets.org.

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