Prayer is woefully lacking in the modern church. Few Christians have the kind of healthy devotional prayer life that brings them into a place of intimate communion with God on a daily basis. The pressures of daily life inhibit devotion. We appear to be Sunday believers. There has been an increased level of corporate intercessory prayer in the church, including city-wide and cross-congregational intercession. But, we have yet to reach the point that we are recognized by our love for one another. Rather than being known for our love and passion for Jesus Christ, we are more commonly known for our denominational differences. This is a stumbling block to the unbeliever. Jesus admitted that many would stumble over Him. I do not believe that He intended that people would stumble over the behavior of His church.
The revivals of the First and Second Great Awakening forever changed the culture of the Anglo-American world and laid a foundation of Christian values. Corporate prayer had a significant impact in birthing those revivals.
Prayer is one of the essential conditions of revival. Almost every revival has been preceded by praying committed believers. The foundations of the First Great Awakening were laid by a group of Moravians who started a 24 hour a day prayer meeting that continued for 100 years beginning in 1724. It was missionaries from this same Moravian community that the Lord used to start John Wesley upon his journey to Christ. Moravians from Hernnhut were instrumental in leading Wesley to his own baptism of fire or second work of grace. It was Wesley’s preaching that fueled the Second Great Awakening.The 1857 revival in New York City began with a call to prayer by a single businessman and within six months more than 10,000 others were praying with him in various meetings around the city.
God’s word says, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2Cor. 10:4-5) Our minds must be transformed to understand that we are waging a different kind of battle than what the world sees. That battle will be won by the Lord of Hosts. He will join the battle when we corporately humble ourselves and pray.