It's Your Awakening: How Revival Depends on You

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Dutch Sheets with the Appeal to Heaven flag.
Dutch Sheets with the Appeal to Heaven flag. (Courtesy)

God's shown up during powerful spiritual awakenings in America's past centuries. Many believe without another such awakening, the country could slide into a long, dark decline. But Christians who want a national revival have to realize they have a part to play first.

Christian leaders and authors who've been speaking and writing about a possible Third Great Awakening say it can't happen till believers one by one get desperate, get praying and get their own hearts revived first.

Charisma Magazine Senior Editor Jennifer LeClaire writes about all this in her book, The Next Great Move of God.

"Will we use our faith? Will we pray? What will we do? I believe God is watching and I think the decisions we are making in this period are just vital," LeClaire told CBN News.

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It's not something she just writes about, but actively pursues.  She joins with a number of other Christians eager for revival in a Pompano Beach, Florida, prayer room several times a week.

Time to Get Desperate

LeClaire said she's certain God wants to move, but says, "We know that He's waiting on His people who are called by His name to humble themselves, repent, turn from their wicked ways."

Eddie Hyatt, a historian and pastor, has written about what it takes to ignite a Third Great Awakening in his book, America's Revival Heritage.

"This is a very critical time and God's people in America need to fall on their knees, fall on their face and cry out to God," Hyatt stated.

Popular preacher Dutch Sheets travels to all 50 states and told CBN News he finds these desperate believers everywhere he goes.

"There's nowhere I go where I don't find a core of believers that are passionate, serious, desperate, understanding our true condition," he said. "You have to be blind not to know that America's in real trouble. But they are going after this thing in prayer. And that's where it always starts."

LeClaire agreed, saying, "When you want to see a nation transformed, it does, it starts with us. So we ask the Lord, 'Show us Your glory, show us Your power. Lord, if there's something in us that is in Your way, help us to get it out of Your way. We want to go full-on for You. We want to make an impact in our generation for You.  We want to do this for You.  Help us.' God loves those prayers." 

Invasion from Heaven

Hyatt added, "We don't need a religious meeting that's been worked up from below.   We need an invasion from heaven where God comes down and heaven invades earth. And God comes down and touches people's lives."

In his book, An Appeal to Heaven, Sheets talks in-depth about God prodding him over the last two decades to pursue a Third Great Awakening.   While depravity is obviously rising in the nation, Sheets said as he prays for revival, he's come to a certainty sin won't stop God from moving.

"I'm not asking based on our merits. I'm asking based on the fact that God loves to save," he said. "While evil increases, so does the grace of God. And there can be both happening at the same time."

Hyatt has studied how Colonial-era Christians, like Preacher Jonathan Edwards, were moved mightily by the Holy Spirit to pray long and hard for revival before the First Great Awakening swept over the colonies in the mid-1700s.

Hyatt quoted Edwards, saying, "'When God purposes to do a thing in the earth, He first sets His people praying for the very thing that He intends to do.'"

"Give Me New England or Let Me Die"

And Edwards himself was the perfect example.

"I read that before he presented his message, 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,' he had been praying for 18 hours," Hyatt said. "And he'd been crying out to God, 'God, give me New England or let me die.'"

But Hyatt and Sheets pointed out that America, before and during its birth, was much more aware that God is real and active.

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