Hab 3:2 "O LORD, I have heard your speech and was afraid; O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy." (NKJ)
STORY OF FRANCIS ASBURY:
The sun was lowering and the air was like an oven when the stranger rode into town.
With every step his horse kicked up little puffs of dust from the dry, powdery street.
No one had seen the likes of him before. He was a stranger to these parts. no one
knew for sure what to make of him.
Leather creaked as he slid out of the saddle. The
ground shook as the big manís boots
hit the street. He hitched his horse to the rail, looked around, stepped up on the wooden
sidewalk and headed toward the saloon.
When his lengthening shadow spilled through the swinging
doors a hush fell over the
crowd. The bartender stopped pouring. The dealer stopped shuffling. The bargirls
stopped shmooching their marks. Even the piano fell silent. Chairs creaked, and necks
craned as every eye tried to catch a glimpse of the stranger.
"Got any praying people around here?"
Those were the first words that Francis Asbury (an
itenerant Methodist preacher) asked
when he rode into a new town. "Got any praying people around here?"
Thatís how they became the largest and most influential
Christian denomination of the
19th and early 20th century. They knew that Godís work prospered when Christians
I. THE LAYMANíS REVIVAL
A. "...GOT ANY PRAYING PEOPLE AROUND HERE?"
1. We can win this battle in the same way that our forefathers in the faith won theirs.
2. But Iíve got to ask you something.
3. "...got any praying people around here?"
4. Where are the praying people in this place?"
B. THE LAYMAN'S PRAYER REVIVAL OF THE 1880'S
1. Throughout American history there have been six major eras of widespread revival.
2. Of these the Laymanís Prayer Revival is the most unique.
3. It began prior to the Civil War, but continued unabated through the war and to the turn
of the century.
4. Estimates of conversions are listed between three hundred thousand and one million.
5. Over one hundred thousand alone in the Confederate Army.
6. That, however, is not the most unique feature of this revival.
C. UNIQUE FEATURES OF THE LAYMAN'S PRAYER REVIVAL
1. The first startling feature was the dominance of lay leadership and the absence
of the famous itinerant evangelists of previous eras.
2. The second startling feature was that it began with prayer meetings rather than
3. Distress over religious decline led to a stirring among religious leaders in the summer
and autumn of 1857.
4. Spontaneously, all over America, noon prayer meetings for businessmen, huge prayer
gatherings of clergy, and extensive house-to-house visitation by lay people lead to a
nationwide revival that some historians believe preserved us through the Civil War.
II. REVIVAL COMES THROUGH
A. MANY OF TODAY'S EVANGELISTS HAVE IT WRONG
1. Many believe that revival comes through slick advertisements and extenive planning.
2. They think you can have a revival if you can get enough billboards and posters.
3. They act like a revival comes through buying ads on TV and radio.
4. They treat a revival as though it was some large political campaign with God as the candidate.
5. But, revival has never come through such means.
6. Revival has always come in answer to the prayers of God's people.
B. DO YOU WANT TO SEE REVIVAL HERE?
1. I believe that God wants to see spiritual revival here.
2. Why do I believe that?
3. Because the Bible says so.
4. Turn in your Bible to 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
1 Timothy 2:1-4.
1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and
thanksgiving be made for everyone
2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and
quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,
4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of
5. God wants people to be saved. But he wants us to pray for them.
6. Godís will is done in answer to prayer.
7. That is why I say that prayer is vital to the success of any ministry.
C. IT'S TIME TO PRAY
1. According to God's Word, it's time for us to pray.
2. When we begin seeking revival and winning the lost, we become involved in
3. The only way that a spiritual battle can be won is with spiritual weapons.
4. 2Cor. 10:4 tells us that we have the spiritual weapons which we need.
5. The main weapon is intercessory prayer.
6. In Eph.6 Paul describes the Christian's armor.
7. Armor is used for defensive purposes, and all of this armor is used to defend you.
8. In verse 18, Paul describes how to go on the offensive.
9. Our offensive weapon against the devil is prayer!
10. To win this spiritual battle, you must pray!
11. If you want to have revival, you must pray!
12. If you want to win souls, you must pray!
III. PRAYER AVAILS MUCH
A. THINGS HAPPEN WHEN WE PRAY
1. I want to tell you when we pray here, God moves!
2. When we pray here God moves in Africa.
3. When we pray here, God moves in India.
4. When we pray here, God moves all over the world.
5. When we pray here, God moves here!
B. ABRAHAM PRAYED LOT OUT OF SODOM
1. I think about Abraham when I think of prayer.
2. When the angels came and said we're going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah,
Lot was in Sodom along with his wife and children.
3. Lot was Abrahamís nephew and he didn't want him destroyed with all of the
rest of those people.
4. When the angel said we're on our way to destroy Sodom, Abraham stood before
the Lord and prayed.
5. That's what prayer is! Prayer is standing before God.
6. There was a city that was about to be destroyed, but there was a family that Abraham
wanted out of there before hand.
7. So, Abraham prayed Lot out of Sodom.
8. Thereís a bunch of drug addicts that are going to be destroyed out of America.
9. Is there a young man that you want saved out of that group before hand?
10. Thereís a bunch of homosexuals in America that are bound for hell according
to God's Word.
11. Is there a nephew or a son that you want saved out of that group before hand?
12. This old world is dying to go to hell! It's headed for destruction!
13. Is there a man, woman, boy, or girl that you want saved out of this world before hand?
14. They don't have to go with them if we will pray.
What about you? You don't have to go Hell. You don't have to stay in that crowd. The bible says, "He has delivered us from the power of darkness. He has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son." Thank God there's power to deliver. Have you called on the name of the Lord? Have you prayed and asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins and to come into your heart? Have you asked Him to save you?
One day a kindergarten class went on a field trip to a local fire station. After the children had an opportunity to examine the fire trucks, the firefighterís gear and their quarters, one of the firemen began to talk to them about fire safety. He said, "If you think your house might be on fire, the first thing you should do is go to the door and feel it to see if it is hot." He continued, "The second thing you should do is get on your knees." He asked, "Does anyone know why you should get on your knees?" One little boy in the front raised his hand and said, "You get on your knees so you can pray that God will get you out of that mess!"
That wasn't the answer the fireman expected, but he agreed that it was
good advice. Have you prayed that God will get you out of the mess that
you are in?