Day 7: America’s First Great Awakening

Day 6: Cleaning out the Rust
February 4, 2017
Day 8: Commitments and Indicators of Revival
February 6, 2017

If you think our current moral decay, increasing violence, and crumbling ethics are signs of an inevitable, darker, downward spiral, think again. Consider the uneasy twilight of the late eighteenth century. Illegitimate births were rampant. Alcohol, the drug of the day, was destroying families and wrecking futures. Thomas Paine was proclaiming that Christianity was dead— and certainly, the body of faith appeared to be in a coma.

Yet even as church rolls were shrinking and greed, sensuality, and family breakdown were becoming more widespread, America was about to experience a great spiritual revival. It would start small, in a handful of broken-down corners of society with a few people praying. In one year, it would spread like a wildfire through churches, seminaries, and families, changing the spiritual landscape of entire cities and towns. People would spend days and nights in prayer and worship. Christians, who believed God had given up on their nation, saw thousands of people, who admitted they were dead inside and who found new life through forgiveness, wrapped in a power they had never seen. This phenomenon would unfold for the next forty-five years. Although it was the first time America had experienced revival, it would not be the last.

Now, as then, Christian leaders are being brought to their knees through humble, public confession. Around the United States, in a growing number of pockets, prayer is exploding. People of all economic, racial, and denominational hues are turning back to God. Clearly, the spiritual hunger of our day offers conspicuous clues to historic parallels that cannot be denied. We can’t predict revival. We can’t plan revival. We can’t shape revival. We can only trust that when our nation reaches a point of spiritual, moral, and social no-return— as it appeared to do at least three distinct times in history— an extraordinary movement of God’s Spirit may move in extraordinary ways in response to prayer for God’s broken, contrite children. Every time God has moved in such a way in our country, He has done so through the simple confession, brokenness, and obedience of individuals. This is totally consistent with how God always seems to bring His people back to Himself. Might He do it again in this Jesus-Now Awakening!

Psalm 63:1 New King James Version (NKJV)
Joy in the Fellowship of God
A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
1 O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water. 

2 Chronicles 7:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 

Lamentations 3:22-23 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. 

Matthew 5:6 New King James Version (NKJV)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    For they shall be filled.


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Phillips, Tom (2016-11-01). Jesus Now: God Is Up to Something Big (Chapter 3 p. 64-77). BroadStreet Publishing Group LLC.

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