A template for authentic revival – Part 7
Extraordinary prayer prevailed at Pentecost. For ten days, the disciples were in the Upper Room praying before Pentecost. After the day of Pentecost, the momentum of prayer increased. In Acts 4: 31; we see the result of their fervent prayer. “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31 NKJV). Fervent prayer continued all through the Acts of Apostles (Acts 3:1; 12; 5-13; 13:1-3; 16:25-31). We must ask God to restore such extraordinary fervour for prayer in our congregation.
E. M. Bounds said: “Every mighty move of the Spirit has had its sources in the prayer chamber.”
Another feature of Pentecost day was the manifestation of miracles, signs and wonders. Revival times are when God displays His miracles, signs and wonders. The salvation of three thousand souls was a miracle of its own since before now Peter and the other disciples had not won souls. Thereafter, other miracles occurred through the life and ministries of the disciples. Many miracles happened in and through the ministry of Peter (Acts 3:1-10; 5:12-16; 9:32-43). We need a restoration of the supernatural in our midst. Our passion and heart cry in this generation must be, “Lord, do it again.” The question is: can we experience another Pentecost? The answer is, “yes, we can.” I believe that miracles happen today, but we need to see more authentic miracles happen. We seem to have more of fake miracles that promote self than authentic miracles that glorify Christ today.
Before Pentecost, Jesus commissioned His disciples to go for cross-cultural missions. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” After Pentecost, in obedience to the Holy Spirit, they were led into cross-cultural missions. We praise God the Church in Nigeria is into cross-cultural missions, but we need to sustain that effort. Local missions and cross-cultural missions are still alien to many Churches, especially the newer Charismatic churches whose resources are often channelled to unprofitable ventures.
Pentecost empowered and licensed laymen for the work of the ministry. In the power of the Holy Spirit, they went about proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus. The Charismatic revival in Nigeria released the potential of many youths, some from within their churches and many others from the university campuses.
Pentecost gave rise to communal living and sharing. Revival gives rise to social concerns and acts of mercy; it has ethical dimensions that affect society. As observed by John H. Armstrong, “Even those who despise revivals must admit that authentic awakenings have helped to build hospitals, taught the illiterate to read, clothed the naked, fed the poor, moved the entire nation to act more justly, and provided employment for many who hitherto were unemployed. We must always look to Pentecost as the plumb line of what to expect in the coming revival.
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