The early church—the church in revival—was not only birthed in prayer, but it was also fed and sustained in prayer. The same should be true for us. We need to pray now more than ever. I believe the spirit of prayer is gaining momentum and will rise more and more. We are entering into some great and mighty things, not only in our corporate meetings but also in our personal, private prayer times.
It is easy to look around us and feel discouraged, but God has done great things in this nation in the past—and He will do it again. Remembering the victories of the past will stir up our vision for the future so that we do not grow weary in prayer.
America has experienced several awakenings. In the 1730s and 1740s, God poured out His Spirit on the colonies. The conviction was so great that one could walk through town and hear people in their houses loudly crying out to God. People coming to America on ships would be hit by the Spirit's conviction even while still 100 miles out to sea. People were saved by the thousands, and whole towns were drastically changed. Leaders in this first awakening included Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield.
The second awakening began in 1790 and lasted 50 years, until 1840. Charles Finney was one of the primary leaders in this revival. When he preached, bars shut down; jails emptied; and whole cities changed. Why did his preaching have such a dramatic impact? The power behind the movement was prayer. Charles Finney credits his success and the awakening to the labors of a man named Father Nash, who would go to a city ahead of Finney and spend several weeks in prayer before Finney began preaching. Sometimes he did this alone, sometimes with a small group of other intercessors. Nash was not a preacher but an intercessor. Finney was known in the headlines, but Nash was the one who labored in the Spirit. He uprooted things, tore down things, built things and prepared the way in the Spirit.
Father Nash is such a fantastic example to us as intercessors. He laid aside the pleasures of the world and picked up the mantle of prayer, choosing to lay down his life for others by standing in the gap as an intercessor. His prayers literally paved the way for people to be able to see the truth of God and experience His love. His prayers set captives free and birthed revival because he allowed Jesus, the great intercessor, to rise up in him and have expression through him.
We are called to do the same. Like Father Nash, we can birth revival in this nation through partnering with the Spirit in intercession until we see heaven come to earth. As Finney said, "The key which unlocked the heavens in revival was the prayers of Nash and others who laid themselves before God." Let the same be said of us.
Listen to this episode of The Purpose Project with Margie Fleurant on Charisma Podcast Network to learn more about the principles of intercession.
For more teachings and content from Margie Fleurant on prayer and intercession, follow her on Facebook and Instagram @MargieFleurantMinistries, and follow Margie on YouTube for video content including prayer calls, teaching and events. Check out Margie's books and other audio content at margiefleurant.org/store.
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