From Pastor Johnny

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Can Revival Happen Here? Day 4 Conclusion


Real revival can happen in the midst of God’s people. Remember Jeremiah Lanphier and the prayer revival? There was nothing special about Lanphier.

“One of the six at the first Fulton Street meeting was a twenty-one-year-old Philadelphian. ‘Why not a prayer meeting in Philadelphia?’ he thought. He and some of his fellow members of the YMCA asked for permission to hold a meeting in the Methodist Episcopal Union Church. The start was dismal. Only about forty came. The meeting was moved to another building more centrally located. Still the crowd stayed around sixty. But suddenly there was a change. On March 8, 1858, 300 people were present. On Wednesday, March 10, 2,500 people jammed into a larger auditorium. Seats were set up on the stage. After that, not less than 3,000 people attended the meeting every day.

“Early in 1858 the revival power poured over the Appalachian Mountains and into the West. Every major town fell before it—Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, Omaha —and on to the Pacific Coast. In Chicago, where 2,000 showed up for prayer in the Metropolitan Theater, a newspaper commented: So far as the effects of the present religious movement are concerned, they are apparent to all. They are to be seen in every walk of life, to be felt in every phase of society. All have been more or less influenced by this excitement. And everywhere, it was a revival of prayer. There was no hysteria, no unusual disturbances. Just prayer.

“The revival rolled on into 1859 and 1860. There is no telling how long it might have lasted if the Civil War had not broken out. Some writers say that it carried right through the war.

“When the revival was at high tide through the nation, it was judged that 50,000 persons a week were converted. And the number who joined the churches in 1858 amounted to almost 10 percent of the country’s total church membership! In comparison, with a population in America of over 330 million, that would mean 33 million people being converted and joining churches in the next two years. And, since only about 66 million Americans attend church each week, seeing 10% converted would mean a 50% growth in our churches over the next two years.

“Lanphier’s dedication to the work came only after a struggle and total surrender to God. He testified: ‘The subject was laid upon my heart and was a matter of constant consideration for some time. At last I resolved to give myself to the work, and I shall never forget with what force, at the time, those words came home to my soul: ’Tis done, the great transaction’s done, I am my Lord’s, and He is mine; He drew me, and I followed on, Charmed to confess the voice divine.’”


God's People Can Achieve Careful Success - Day 3

Track Expected Opposition to God’s Will:                 Nehemiah 2:9-10

Then I went to the governors in the region beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of it, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.

            When stepping forward into a plan that is structured and risky, if it is God’s plan, there will be opposition. Christians should not be shocked or dismayed when opposition arises. This is an experience that God’s Word claims will definitely happen.

          God has designed His Kingdom, and our lives on this earth, with the opportunity to succeed with careful, prayerful, Spirit led steps. Moving forward successfully often requires God’s people to face fearful and careful steps.

  Michael A. Guido of Metter, Georgia, columnist of several newspapers writes:

      “An artist in Mexico lost his right hand while working on a statue.  But he did not give up his work.  He learned to carve with his left hand.  His beautifully finished masterpiece was called ‘In Spite Of.’”

            Despite it all, God has an opportunity for His born-again followers to proceed with careful success. What is your first step?



in Prayer

When I Need to Cry Out to God - Day 4

Prayerfully Hold to Revelation:  Neh. 1:8-11

“’Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’ Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.’”

            Nehemiah’s prayer turns to reminders of what God had spoken to Moses. He was anchoring his prayer in the reality and truth of God’s revelation – His Word. Anchoring our prayers in God’s Word is a safe and powerful step to take.

            Undergirding all our cries to God is our absolute confidence that His Word is trustworthy.  We can hold on to God’s Word as surely as the sun is in the sky.

            Oftentimes, as we live day to day we do not think about how temporary everything really is. Buildings we walk in and out of every day we assume to be permanent.  Streets we drive or walk we assume to be there forever.  Yet, when a natural disaster strikes, we may be reminded of the temporary nature of many things.

            On February 5, 2008 a stream of terrible weather hit eastern Arkansas and west Tennessee.  Union University, a Southern Baptist liberal arts school, was ripped apart by a 90 second natural disaster. 

            Angela Abamonte, of Woodstock, Georgia, is a student at Union University.  The Christian Index reported that she and 19 other female students huddled together in a dormitory bathroom singing hymns of praise.  At one point, as they sang, the exterior wall of the dorm was peeled back, and the shredded material tossed aside.  Only the fiberglass tub between them and the wall, was there to protect them.

            Suddenly, that dormitory those girls figured to be there for decades to come, was shredded.  It is unsettling when the permanent becomes an afterthought.  It is then that we are reminded how temporary and untrustworthy things are, except....

            In the OT times God’s people were ripped out of their nation and deported to a land called Babylon. They were planted there, because the conquering nation wanted to eliminate Israel and God’s people.  There was a preacher who God sent to comfort a people who now had NO sense of permanency or stability. 

            In the darkest hour, the first step to seeing God work is learning to cry out to Him. Crying out to God is a powerful step in seeing God work in our situation.

            Once a person is born into this world, we are quite possibly the most vulnerable we will ever be. A newborn baby cannot talk about his pain, walk to tell someone, or express concern. The only thing a newborn can do to express pain, fear, hunger, or discomfort is cry out loud. He or she has learned that, to get help, he must cry out.

            Learn from the infant. Crying out to God may be the beginning of His work in your life.