Today I make good on my promise. What do we need to do to participate in revival? Notice I did not say: “What must we do to start a revival?” We can study past revivals all we want but we will not be able to start a revival.
I want to start with the preachers. The title above suggests that we need to revive preaching in America. It also suggests what we need to preach. We need to preach revival. Who is preaching it? Are you? Why not? We cannot start a revival, but we can participate in the revival that God starts. How? By being in agreement with His message.
Preachers, are you still preparing a sermon? Why a sermon? No one needs your sermon. Your people need a fresh word from God for them at this particular time. How can they hear unless you preach God’s Word — not your word. God is speaking to the Church. He is speaking to you. It is time to humble yourself learn how to listen to what He is saying.
How do you do it? Spend time with Him in prayer. Get together with your intercessors and pray. Get into God’s presence and listen. Then pray what He gives you to pray and preach what God gives you to preach. Leave your prayer list behind as well as your sermon notes.
And do not try to take over the prayer time and impose your program. Your seminary training does not qualify you to lead prayer. Let those who practice prayer do it. Set an example of humility before your people. Please don’t pray like the pastors do at the pastors meetings. Just let the intercessors know and let God know that you are hungry for revival. (Maybe you don’t have intercessors — just elders. Elders should be intercessors. I will write more on this later.)
You might say that I am not a prophet. I can’t speak God’s Word. Then get out of the pulpit. You may not serve in the office of a prophet, but God wants you to preach prophetically. You may say you are a liturgical preacher and must follow the lectionary readings. Well, did not Jesus follow the lectionary of the synagogue? And yet He preached prophetically. He also taught. It is possible to teach prophetically as well.
Maybe the prophetic word will not be profitable? (Although some modern day “prophets” who sell books and conduct seminars might disagree.) Maybe the prophetic word will not be popular? This is a lie from the enemy. Many in America are desperate for a Word from God. How will you know unless you preach the Word. Even if it is not received in your church, your commission is to preach the Word in season and out. You step into the revival and there will be those who step in with you. If you do not, revival will pass you by and you will be held accountable for not warning the people.
Are you desperate enough to listen and preach what God gives you? He does not need your help to start a revival. He needs your faithfulness. Are you desperate enough to pray in agreement with your intercessors? Are you desperate enough to put your programs aside? Are you desperate enough to let the Spirit of God move in the midst of your congregation without your control or taking any credit?
God was doing a new thing in Jonathan Edwards’ day. Edwards was faithful. He just preached the Word.
See Preaching the New Lectionary for preaching revival in a liturgical setting.