Taking a Risk for Revival By Ola Nordstrom
This summer I started a project to build a prayer cabin, a place for prayer, intercession and rest in the Lord. I took a risk doing something that I had never done before – building a “house” is outside my comfort and knowledge zone. My number one prayer this summer has been ‘HELP’. It all started with a dream that the Lord gave back in 2009 to have a small place up on the hill for me and others to come from the nations to pray for the nation of Scot-land for revival and that the people of Scotland would GO out to the nations in this hour.
I believe that God has made “knitted together in the mother’s womb” – the Scots for such a time as this, a passionate and warrior-like people, brave enough to go out to the ends of the earth to make Jesus
known. The whole Middle East is shaking and people are seeking answers. Who is brave enough to GO to Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Somalia etc with the good news in these days?
My prayer in Ayrshire is that we ‘the church’ would wake up, be revived and pray with passion, unity and prophetic expectation for a great revival in Scotland again.
Mark Stibbe defines revival as ‘a season ordained by God in which the Holy Spirit awakens the church to evangelize the lost and awakens the lost to their desperation for Jesus’.
The Bible uses the image of harvest to portray this phenomenon.
Notice the three parts:
1. This is something sovereign. 2. It begins with an awakening of the church 3. It is accompanied by an awakening in society as a whole.
Mark Stibbe also lists five top characteristics of a revival
that also can be seen in Acts 2.
1. Divine visitation – a sense of God visiting in sovereign power.
2. Anointed preaching – a new boldness in preaching the gospel.
3. Radical Convictions – the John 16:8 profound conviction of sin.
4. Substantial Conversions – ‘accelerated Grace’, radical Kingdom advance.
5. Social Transformation – The rivers overflowing the banks of the church.
He lists some of the preconditions? Looking at the stories of previous revivals there are some divinely orchestrated preconditions.
1.Passionate intersession – desperate prayers for God to move in power
2.Newfound unity – reconciliation within and between churches and leaders
3.Intimate adoration – the church ministering to Jesus as the passionate bride
4.Prophetic expectation – God-given sense of anticipation about revival
5.Heart felt repentance – brokenness over past sins, failures and defeats
Why do revivals happen? There are a number of answers, but chief amongst these must be God’s compassion for the Lost.
Evan Roberts prayed: ‘Lord bend the church and save the world’.
A move of God like that is what I’m praying and longing for! In the story of the virgins in Matthew 25 they were waiting for the Bridegroom to arrive; the five wise ones had brought extra oil so
that they would be able to go the dis- tance if He would tarry. The wise ones were ready, watchful and useful for their task, having plenty of oil for their lamps. They were ready to honour Him. Are we awake with oil in our lamps and with jars of extra if He would be ‘late’? In 2 Peter 3:9 we read that;
‘The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance’.
He is waiting for us to awake to be His hands, His feet and His mouth to pro claim the good news of the gospel to our neighbours. This is a season for ‘brave hearts’ of Scotland to arise to take a stand in Faith being light and salt for their community. I heard recently some one say that that faith is spelt R.I.S.K.
Yes there is a risk that we make mistakes, are laughed at, are told that we can’t do this, are spit on and maybe even beaten up as we start walking out what God wants us to do. I think as we ‘love our neighbour’ we fill up our jars of oil. Seeing the thirsty, hungry, naked and in prison so we can meet their needs, making a difference for someone else’s eternity.
I’m praying daily that we would see a network of homes of H.O.P.E across Ayrshire and Scotland. Homes where people are active in Praying, Caring and Sharing the gospel with their neighbours on a day to day basis, being a lighthouse in the deep darkness!
Let’s stand together, take a risk, pray and act for a divine visitation of God in Scotland again.
Let us know how we can help you with starting a prayer group or making your home a Lighthouse of Prayer.
Ola Nordstrom is a member of the PfS Core Team and also of the staff at YWAM’s Ayrshire base.