How to Make January 31st Have Lasting Impact
There is little doubt that many modern churches need more than a brief one time emphasis of prayer and repentance. God may be little impressed if efforts at repentance do not involve a commitment to lasting change. Toward making January 31st a lasting return to God, each believer and church should prayerfully consider steps that may be helpful to them. Toward lasting repentance, I urge every believer and church to prayerfully consider six potential steps.
Potential Steps for Lasting Repentance and Revival
1. Every believer should commit to a significant daily quiet time. In modern America, a major problem is the fact many believers either have no regular quiet time or one that is brief and incomplete. To be biblical and complete, quiet times should generally include five elements. For biblical quiet times there should be (1) a time to seriously mediate on what God is saying through Scripture, (2) praise and worship of God, (3) a time for honest searching and repentance, (4) a time in kingdom intercession and (5) personal petitions. While of course, these are not to be viewed as legalistic requirements or a ritualized formula, they should at least be fairly consistent.
2. Commit to powerful prayer times for and with your family. A widespread problem in today’s Church is a neglect of teaching on family prayer. In light of horrific divorce rates and widespread church drop-out among students, family prayer and Bible reading have never been more crucial!
3. Churches should commit to regular corporate prayer meetings that are kingdom focused. From the New Testament Church to all generations of spiritual awakenings, kingdom-focused corporate prayer was central. Corporate prayer is a non-negotiable essential for fully empowered New Testament churches. Today’s voluminous activities, programs and studies can never be substitutes for the power of corporate prayer.
4. Churches should commit to an intense focus on evangelism, discipleship and missions. These three essentials of the Great Commission cannot be “theoretical” priorities. They must be intense, consistently “practiced realities.” Many churches definitely need to make these higher practiced priorities.
5. Churches should commit to periodic, solemn assemblies and strong emphases of church-wide repentance. Throughout both biblical testaments and Church history, solemn assembly type emphases are crucial to God’s manifest presence among believers. Today’s generation will be no exception. Programs, entertainment and strategies cannot substitute for periodic church-wide repentance.
6. Officially adopt and promote a covenant to pray for revival and spiritual awakening. Such a covenant can be placed in bulletin insets, wall posters or Bible book marks for easy daily use. Specific prayer covenants help believers pray biblically and in united agreement. They are powerful for use in corporate, small group and individual quiet times. (For tools to aid with all six steps, contact the BGCO Office of Prayer or the resource section of our website.)
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