If one can see it, there is a silver thread that stretches from heaven to earth. Hunger draws the cord taut, faith makes it vibrate, but prayer is the outstretched hand that pulls upon the cord.
When this happens, invisible realities shift. Angels ascend and descend on the ladders of our dreams. We pull down answers as treasures from heaven; the mysterious Eternal becomes the throbbing Now. The curtain on the stage of history lifts and God once again reveals Himself as the central character. Many descriptive words could be used to capture this action. Unveiling. Presence. Breakthrough. Historically, we have used another word: Revival.
But revival, so often equated to obvious actions of God, like the visible evidence of a bloom on a flower, is typically preceded by arduous years of cultivating soil and roots. For 15 years, Lou Engle and TheCall have invited millions of believers around the world to go deep, to follow both the humility of Joel 2 and the bold witness of John the Baptist. Lou dared to mimic a few simple exonerations from Scripture, and we dared to follow his lead.
I, like many of you, am one of those who heard. In a small, imperfect way, we answered the call. In a wilderness of moral decline, rather than abandon hope, Lou taught us to press our faces into the deep soil of our mother nations during times of great solemn assemblies with fasting and whispered prayers for mercy. These were wild, foolish years, 15 of them. At times it seemed as if the simple message of repentance was too small, too hidden, to matter. Would revival ever bloom?
Yet beneath our feet, the ground knew better. As earth grew heavy with groans and tears, we came to know better, too. Deep within our souls the Spirit bore witness to an everlasting cry: "God is faithful! He will answer in the day of power!"
Imperceptibly, year after year, that silver cord tightened. Our vision expanded. Voices raised. A necessary climate of expectation began to ferment in our souls. What began in weakness and trembling slowly became a broken, deafening roar. A glorious storm of expectation gathered on the horizon. Something was shifting. Yes, we knew the revival stories of old: Great Awakenings. Wales. Azusa. Hebrides. Tent Revivals. Healing Revivals. Latter Rain. The Jesus Movement. African Crusades. The Chinese Underground Church explosion. The Argentine Revivals. Toronto. Brownsville.
But where were we in this crescendo? Would history and heaven bend toward our cries? We seized this hope, only to eventually realize that an unshakable hope had seized us in the process. We had come to what physicists call an Event Horizon. There could be no turning back. Hungry, thirsty, full of faith, we cried out all the more: we must have revival now. For whom? For our children, our grandchildren. For the future of the nations and—dare we say it?—the final harvest, we did not pray from what we lacked in the Spirit, but from the position of what we had gained. We sensed the Psalm 110 Christ marching into history again.
Aslan was on the move.
How does God move? "See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them" (Is. 42:9, MEV). God speaks. He declares. The principle is this: before something occurs, He calls it forth. This is the instrumentality of faith, and the Spirit was telling us to believe again. Sometimes we are too timid to name the thing and call it forth because it is easier to hedge our bets and shrink back, lest we be disappointed.
Yet love and desperation has finally surpassed our fear.
Thus, we call for revival. We call for it now.
Across the earth, intercessors are haunted and compelled by the possibility that God has scheduled an even greater visitation for our day than the most glorious revivals of old. Could something already be en route to eclipse every movement of the recent and distant past? In the invisible realm, intercessors of every stripe—evangelical, charismatic, Pentecostal and Catholic—felt the silver cord tremble in our hands. If prayerless vacuums have been responsible for eventually swallowing every previous revival, then the patient wisdom of God has been made plain. The Holy Spirit has preemptively architected a massive, global Worship-Prayer-and-Missions movement. Could this sustain the next wave in perpetuity unto His return? Since any true awakening brings enormous pressure and conflict, the next great revival now has a global anchor in prayer. "This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes" (Ps. 118:23).
But there is still more. Not only has prayer been made central, but this generation lives and moves with a rare combination—I'll call it "desperate confidence"—that our Father has indeed heard our cry and that history actually pivots around prayer. This is no small thing. It means we are coming to know that are no longer orphans; we are growing in maturity as sons and daughters.
Why? Because we are no longer defined by unbelief, but by the loving expectation that our Father is pleased and will surely answer our cry. While the shift is not complete, we no longer beg, we believe. We stare skyward not with fear but a smile, knowing that the promised rain shall surely come. Already, we declare, drops are falling. Mercy has heard our invitation and is arrayed for the full battle of love. This was never a natural battle. It was always a supernatural groan; God within His people, on earth, crying back out to Himself.
My friends, such prayer shall surely be answered. Such love will surely prevail. Salvation will surely come in the day of power. Reach up and reach out. Do you feel it? The silver cord is tight.
There is no slack. Revival is ready.
Dean Barkley Briggs is an author and a disciple who serves as national director for a diverse family of contending houses of prayer called Ekklesia Prayer Communities. He has written several books including Ekklesia Rising: The Authority of Christ in Communities of Contending Prayer.