If in an inferior covenant, God was willing to forgive Sodom and Gomorrah if just 10 righteous people could be found (not even trying, not even praying) why do we think we need 10,000 “prophetic intercessors” in a nation’s capital, or 100,000 people in an arena to beg, groan, and wail for revival in an era of a better covenant, based on better promises? If the cross indicates that God works through weakness, and if God’s work is done by neither might nor power, but by His spirit, if Gideon won with a few, why do we spend countless hours trying to amass numbers, size, and success? It is just unbelief saturated anti-gospel carnal drive for significance and money veneered with a 2 Chr. 7:14 proof text.
Is God’s attitude toward us in the day of a better covenant made in the blood of His Dear Son, when there are not ten, but millions of righteous in the land who are more than just “present,” somehow now less than it was for Sodom and Gomorrah? It’s sheer nonsense, gross error, and an insult to the Person and Work of Christ to think so. Yet our modern prayer and revival movements are built on exactly this kind of thinking.
Bultmann called self-effort the Primal Sin. Our prayer effort is included. Being passionate for prayer is of itself, of no spiritual significance. Jesus said that hypocrites love to pray, especially at length, and in public. (Matthew 6:1-8). Many so-called “prayer warriors” have deeply unresolved personal issues of striving for spiritual significance. All of Jesus’ public prayers, that we know of, can be said in three minutes or less. Long-winded public praying is not a sign of advanced spiritual status. It is the vocalization of unbelief and the testimony of spiritual immaturity.
Abba has found the Man to stand in the gap and make up the hedge. He is not looking for another. That Man is the resurrected God-man in glory, Jesus Christ. New Testament intercession is about experientially entering into His burden and identification with the oppressed and the outcast, not the arm-twisting persuasion of a reluctant God through our “intercession.” Jesus said His Abba IS NOT LIKE a corrupt earthly judge who, being eventually worn down, grants a petition. the parable of the unjust judge is a parable of CONTRAST, not a model for “persevering prayer.”
The only work that impresses God is the work of His Dear Son. Our work in prayer is not more persuasive than Jesus’s work on the Cross. Prayers that either do not understand or that misrepresent the work of Christ, are prayers that God cannot answer, regardless of how many people are praying them and how sincere, passionate, and moved by them the petitioners might be. Our approach to God, and God’s response to prayer is based solely on the Person and Work of His Son. There is no other foundation for “revival.”
God is not withholding revival from us pending some activity on our part. God is for us, not against us. His disposition toward humanity is favor. His provision is Christ. His requirement is faith. Our necessary response to the Christ-Act (Christ’s birth, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, glorification, spirit outpouring and indwelling) is to believe, receive, and activate our faith with obedient works. Works are not dirty. They’re the fruit of saving faith. For those who can believe it, (let him who has ears, hear) every day since the Day of Pentecost has been a day of revival. The Holy Spirit is out, alive, and active in the earth. He’s not skittish. The dove landed on the Messiah, fire landed on the church (We shouldn’t swap metaphors)! He’s not hiding from us, waiting for us to sing a magic chorus or prayer in order to release revival.
We are as “revived” as we want to be.
This blog is an excerpt of our book: Revising Revival: 2 Chr. 7:14, A New Covenant Perspective available at www.stevecrosby.com
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 Rudolph Bultmann. Existence and Faith, p.81.
 Being passionate for prayer is of itself, of no spiritual significance. Jesus said that hypocrites love to pray, especially at length, and in public. (Matthew 6:1-8).
Your words hit home with me, because I find as believers so many (too many) look to prayer as a work. The fact is that most people pray for things they already have been freely given in Christ!
I can’t tell you all the years I have labored in prayers, and fasting and prayer, trying to obtain what I already have through relationship with Jesus.
What God did was extend love and relationship – we love Him because He first loved us. Heb 7:25 tells us that Christ ever lives to make intercession for us – this is not just “praying” this is opening up access to and extending relationship. He is the way to the Father, He actually became the prayers He prayed – because He did not only stay in His prayer closet, but went out and shared the love.
We are told those in the world who are without God, are without hope in this world (Eph 2:12), we are told to always speak of that hope (1 Pet 3:15), because Christ in us is the hope of glory (Col 1:27).
More and more I am stepping out of my prayer closet, and leaving the safety of the four walls of the church building, and I am following the example of Jesus to share love and extend relationship.
Yes – our hope, our only hope, is in Christ. Not our works, not our prayers, but on the finished work of the Cross. If this is real, then we have been reconciled and given the ministry of reconciliation – and we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to make a positive difference in the world today.
Revival is ours to have and ours to share.
Thanks, Jay. Amen . . . your experience matches mine to a T. Decades of fruitless, striving, straining, and frankly . . . faithless prayers that accomplished nothing other than feed my ego that I was engaged in some super spiritual exercise to “change the world for Jesus” through mystical spiritual exercises, when I don;t even know the names of my neighbors. Revival is not complicated, not mystical,but it is costly. Our ego and obedience. . . just get on doing what He told us to do and we would have all the ‘revival’ we could handle. It just won’t “feel” good, or feed our ego. His kingdom gets built instead of our ministries.
“The Holy Spirit is out, alive, and active in the earth. He’s not skittish. The dove landed on the Messiah, fire landed on the church (We shouldn’t swap metaphors)! He’s not hiding from us, waiting for us to sing a magic chorus or prayer in order to release revival.
We are as “revived” as we want to be.”
If there is no ongoing revelation of what was said of His son, Jesus, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, not ever experiencing (knowing) that the impartation of the Father’s intense loved that flowed, not only flowed into him, but into all of his forth coming family…think about it!