29th April - Thought For The Day - Future DNA
Words by Bev Jones
There seems to be quite a bit of talk about spiritual revival at the moment, about a work of God across the nation as we seek out different ways of doing things. I wonder if it’s because things are actually so different for us that we’re desperate to see something good coming out of these hard times. Or is it that God’s people are spending more time in prayer, and sense a movement of the Spirit within them and dare to hope that the same is happening to others? Whatever is igniting these thoughts of revival, perhaps it’s not to do so much with the hard time we find ourselves in, but rather, what happens during this time – and indeed what has been happening before it. R.A. Torrey an American evangelist gave this prescription for revival:
“I can give a prescription that will bring a revival to any church or community or any city on earth.
First, let a few Christians (they need not be many) get thoroughly right with God themselves. This is the prime essential. If this is not done, the rest that I am to say will come to nothing.
Second, let them bind themselves together in a prayer group to pray for a revival until God opens the heavens and comes down.
Third, let them put themselves at the disposal of God for Him to use as He sees fit in
winning others to Christ. That is all!
This is sure to bring a revival to any church or community. I have given this prescription around the world. It has been taken by many churches and many communities, and in no instance has it ever failed; and it cannot fail!”
Photo by Aaron Burden via Unsplash
Mark Batterson on being asked how to start a revival said:
“Go home, lock yourself in your room, kneel down in the middle of your floor. Draw a chalk mark all around yourself and ask God to start the revival inside that chalk mark. When He has answered your prayer, the revival will be on.”
All the great spiritual revivals in history have started with prayer – usually many, many years before the actual revival begins. Torrey’s prescription would seem to endorse that, but both he and Batterson identify the crucial element – that it first starts with individuals being right with God. Individuals who have encountered God, and as a result, been transformed from the inside out.
Photo by Kristina Litvjak via Unsplash
It feels that we are at a time of great change at the moment – that perhaps many things will never be the same again, and so the choices that we make at this time are important. The things that we devote our time to will matter. I have come to understand that at times of transition in my own life, I have two choices – I can desire God’s presence even more, or I can try to navigate through myself. Experience has taught me that the former is the only option worth considering because as Pete Greig puts it:
‘the choices that we make at times of transition are disproportionately important as they set the DNA for what’s to come.’
If we want to see revival in our nation, then perhaps Richard of Chichester’s prayer is where we need to start:
May I know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly and follow thee more nearly, day by day.
- Bev Jones