Saturday, August 2, 2008

Precept Ministries' call to weekly revival prayer

I just want to emphasize this move of theirs, as it is just what I've been wanting to see happen, and they are in a position to influence many across the nation to make it happen. Inspired by the Fulton Street prayer meetings of 1857 in New York City, that led to a great revival and the conversion of hundreds of thousands, they are calling for weekly prayer at noon on Thursdays through the election and even to Christmas Day.

UPDATE: I found the exact same instructions for this prayer project through James Dobson's Focus on the Family where it is linked but not attributed.

At least I suppose that means it's getting some wide coverage.

I'll quote most of their page here:


God has laid it upon our hearts to call the people of the United States of America to prayer on behalf of our nation.

In the inspiration and tradition of the Fulton Street Revival of 1857, we are calling for a grassroots movement of prayer around the cities of America for the welfare of this nation. Many believe that with the upcoming presidential election, the future of our country lies in the balance. . . .

Thursday Noon Prayer Meetings through the November Election
In the tradition of the Fulton Street Revival of 1857, we are calling those who fear God to come together for corporate prayer every Thursday at 12 noon for 30 – 60 minutes of prayer in churches and places of business. Ask God to rend the heavens and come down again in His mercy and lovingkindness, to visit this nation and turn our hearts back to a fear of God as He is revealed in His Word, the Holy Bible.


Some have asked for guidelines for these prayer meetings. These are given in light of that request with the prayer that the Lord Himself, by His Spirit, will clearly direct our prayers.


We suggest that these prayer meetings take place across our nation:

  • Every Thursday at 12 noon to 12:30 or 1 pm beginning on May 1, the National Day of Prayer and continuing at least through the elections or until Thursday, December 25 when we honor the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • In homes, churches and places of business which open their facilities so that people can conveniently gather together for corporate prayer.


  • Prayerfully seek God’s direction as to who you are to approach in beginning these prayer meetings and where they are to be. God has been stirring the hearts of people to pray and there are many pockets of prayer going on already. Remember there is to be no competition—rather a joining in the work of God.
  • Once you have a place to hold the meeting, ask God how to spread the word. This could be through church bulletins, public service announcements on radio and television, posters, cards to hand out to others, email and the internet. Finance what God lays on your heart. (Stations and networks across the nation will be carrying radio and television spots calling the nation to prayer.)
  • Seek God regarding a moderator who can begin and end the prayer meeting on time and possibly ring a bell after 5 minutes of prayer. Begin and end on time.
  • Have slips of paper at the door so those coming to pray will understand what is taking place and the guidelines for this time of prayer.
  • Ask God to draw people to these prayer meetings. You pray. God will gather.
  • Possibly begin with one hymn or song of worship but no more as the people have come to pray. Be very conscious of time if the prayer meeting is only to last for 30 minutes rather than an hour. Remember it is a time for prayer.
  • Read a Scripture that causes the people to focus on God and/or the condition of the United States of America. Some suggestions are:
Isaiah 63:19 – 64:4
Daniel 9:3-19
Ezekiel 14:12-20
Ezekiel 22;
22:1-12 22: 23-31
Ezekiel 9
2 Chronicles 20
  • Confess the sins of our nation and cry out to God for mercy. Ask Almighty God to visit our nation in the power of His HOLY Spirit.
  • Take your petitions to Him knowing “we do not have because we do not ask” or “we ask and do not receive because we ask with wrong motives – to spend it on our pleasures” rather than to conform to His holiness. (James 4:2-3, NASB)
  • Pray that our nation will return to a fear of God, that multitudes will be convicted of their sin and turn to Him that they might live righteously before Him. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34, NASB)
  • Diligently seek God to be merciful to us in the leader He will give us as the President of the United States. Leave politics out of your prayers and remember “It is He [God] who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding.” (Daniel 2:21, NASB)
  • Do not become discouraged if few attend the prayer meeting. Continue, persevere in prayer. At the Fulton Street Prayer meeting Jeremiah Calvin Lanphier prayed by himself for the first 30 minutes, when he was joined by one other person. Eventually five more joined him. Only six came to that first prayer meeting, but the Spirit of God grew it until it outgrew the church and they had to open the church down the street.

God will bring His people. You are only responsible for you. Do what God has called you to do and trust God to do the rest. This is a grassroots movement, which means it begins with people just like you who hear God’s call and move in faith’s obedience.

We believe that if God does not move in mercy in answer to our prayers, America will be judged. Corporate prayer, repentance, and the mercy of God are our only hope.

Thank You, Lord, for inspiring Kay Arthur to call for this prayer commitment, and I pray that You will draw many to it and that You will hear from heaven and heal our land.

Again, I'd like to add that repenting on behalf of all the sins of the churches belongs in here somewhere -- since the nation would not be in this situation if the churches had been living up to our call, and maybe some of my suggestions below will also ring a bell for some -- as well as a reminder that some groups could commit to fast as well as pray, and some groups could commit to meet more frequently or at more length also. The revival in the Hebrides came after a few months of prayer meetings by the church elders on two nights a week well into the night. The more prayer, the righter the prayer, the better.

Praise the Lord for this move.

Why we haven't had a great revival

Wondering if God might not want to give us a widespread revival in America, pondering what might be the reasons. (I mean the orthodox churches, the ones who adhere to the true gospel. There is no question why the apostate churches will not see revival, those that deny the supernatural for instance, the virgin birth, those that accept homosexuals as not needing repentance, even as pastors and so on; or the signs-and-wonders enthusiasts of the charismatic movement. They have their own "revivals" and they aren't what I have in mind).

Everything we need to be repenting of in our times of prayer for revival can be a barrier to revival if not repented of. When revival comes in great power, according to most of the descriptions I've read, it comes first in a conviction of sin that puts people into an agony of guilt before pressing them to repentance.

How far can we be from His will and still be blessed by an outpouring of His Holy Spirit? Are there areas of our practice in our Christian lives that need repentance, that could inhibit revival, that most of us are not even aware of?

How much does it matter if a church uses the new versions as opposed to the KJV? Could the uncertain sound of the trumpet (as it were) in the new versions keep Him from blessing a church? (see previous entries on this subject). Well, there have apparently been some local revivals in the last few decades where this wasn't an issue as far as I know, but I'd still like to see us go back to the KJV because the new versions have a shaky foundation and at least the KJV translators were many and they were Godfearing men, and they were NOT deprived of the best texts either.

How much does it matter that women no longer cover our heads in church? I have no doubt now that this is what Paul, and therefore God, wants of us. How much is God willing to overlook? Would it affect how susceptible a revival might be to demonic interference in it? If we want to protect a revival from such interference shouldn't we seek to be as obedient as possible even in the small things? And perhaps the head covering really isn't all that small an issue. Paul's exhortation is so specifically about the head I don't see how anybody can turn it into something else, can say that the covering of the head was merely a cultural symbol of female submissiveness in Paul's day, so that we can freely exchange it for any symbol of femininity in our day. I dunno. It's about the HEAD, people. It's about displaying the male head which is the glory of Christ, and covering the female head which is the glory of man, also her hair which is her own glory, in the presence of God. I dunno, but for the last two millennia women covered their heads in church, and out of church as well, which you can see in paintings of various periods in Europe and America, but interestingly, in pre-Christian Greece and Rome they did not cover their heads, at least not consistently. It seems to have begun with Paul's exhortation.

Related to this, does God mind that women have capitulated to the culture in so many other ways too? That we wear makeup and cut our hair short and so on? How far can we go toward dressing as fashionably as possible or as we can afford? How far can we go in accepting cultural standards, taking them for granted, just because they don't mean the same thing in our culture they would have meant a hundred years or five hundred or a thousand years ago? (Keep in mind that the culture of Europe for the last two millennia was strongly influenced by Christianity, and America until the 20th century as well, but the west today can hardly be said to be so any more).

These are just a couple of "little" things that have been different in the last century by comparison to previous centuries, making me wonder if they may be connected with the lack of a major revival in our time.

Another is the growth of the charismatic movement. They claim many revivals, but a great deal of the phenomena in those events are either fake or demonic. Leonard Ravenhill in many books and sermons strenuously exhorted people to seek revival, but he never saw revival himself in answer to his prayers, and in wondering why not I considered the possibility that his acceptance of some of the charismatic phenomena might be a reason.

Just ponderings.

I hope that Kay Arthur's attempt to get people praying for revival across the country will bear fruit.