When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is to set them praying.” Those are the oft-repeated words of the 17th-century Welsh minister and author Matthew Henry.
Little did Henry know when he uttered those words that perhaps the greatest revival in the earth’s history—the Welsh Revival that took place from 1904 to 1905 and, many believe, is the root of every great revival in the world since—would break out in his homeland.
Indeed, the Azusa Street Revival, which is widely considered the birthplace of the modern-day Pentecostal movement, was inspired by intercessors who saw or heard how God was moving in Wales and prayed for the Holy Spirit to sweep over their city. And in 1906, He did.
Over 100 years later, our merciful God has set His people apraying once again—and Lou Engle has been partnering with Him to issue calls for massive intercession over America for more than three decades. Lou is a modern-day revivalist; a prophetic voice who has inspired a generation of youth to fast and pray for God’s mercy and labor for social justice.
When God called me in 2012 to make prayer my life’s work, I looked to the likes of Lou, IHOP’s Mike Bickle and Dutch Sheets—along with history’s intercessors such as Daniel Clary and Father Nash—for inspiration. What I discovered was that there are many different ways to pray for a nation.
You, for example, can walk out 2 Chronicles 7:14—”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 will heal their land.”
You can execute strategic Spirit-inspired prayer assignments in your city. You can launch a house of prayer, as I did four years ago. You can gather the masses at stadium prayer events that unite generations to cry out to God—or work on many other initiatives.
Lou has done all that and more and is pulling off perhaps his biggest, most pivotal prayer event ever April 9 at TheCall Azusa at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It was thrilling to interview Lou for our March cover story hear about how God called him to intercession for revival and learn about plans for what could be, prophetically speaking, a historic prayer meeting in America.
On the same day in Washington, D.C., pastors will band together to make an appeal to heaven. Meanwhile, Dutch Sheets, who birthed the Appeal to Heaven movement, has launched an app that encourages every Christian in America to pray for the nation 15 minutes a day—and equips us with the tools to do it.
When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is set them apraying. I’ve never before seen so many believers rallying together to pray—and crossing denominational lines to do it.
From The Response prayer events in strategic American cities to prayer rooms in revival centers and churches across America, God is uniting believers to pray for a nation in crisis, invading the seven mountains of society—arts and entertainment, business, education, family, government, media and religion—with the Word of God that promises not to return void but to accomplish that which it was sent to do.
As I wrote in my book The Next Great Move of God: An Appeal to Heaven for Spiritual Awakening, God is not done with America. He wants to bring a Third Great Awakening to the nation. I believe it’s a Great Awakening that will spill over into the nations of the Earth, just like Azusa Street.
For all the doom-and-gloom prophecies over America, there is yet a rising cry from respected voices from various streams of the body of Christ who sense God’s heart—and God’s hope—for America even in the midst of discipline.
Despite the reality that a degree of judgment has come to America—and that we may continue to reap from the wicked seeds we’ve sown for a longer season—many agree that God is not done with America. There is hope.
As Lou once said, “Now, many look at the state of the nation and are deeply discouraged, but I am filled with hope. I have read history; most great moves of God erupted in the darkest times of crisis and were preceded by years of intercession. Today, I have more expectation for the Great Awakening in America than I ever have had.”
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