It seems that there is so much emphasis today on relating to people. While I believe in developing strong relationships, this endeavor is a process. Trusting relationships are not built overnight. I firmly believe that the revival so many of us long to experience will be the result of gaining access into the lives of people with whom we do not have relationships – this will be done the same way Jesus did it: through compassion and the gifts of the Spirit. In other words, we should not forget relationships, but our focus should be on the supernatural and the power of God. Operating in the supernatural is a product of following the Lord’s leading. Following the Lord’s leading is a product of knowing Him – and this truly comes only one way: a CLOSET REVIVAL!
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
We will not see a revival among us until we start having some personal “closet revivals.” We need to develop and deepen our life of prayer and our fellowship with the Lord.
“My friends, if we are going to do a great work for God, we must spend much time in prayer; we have got to be closeted with God.” – D.L. Moody
Gypsy Smith was once asked how to start revival. He answered: “Go home, lock yourself in your room, and kneel down in the middle of the floor. Draw a chalk mark all around yourself and ask God to start a revival inside that chalk mark. When he has answered your prayer, the revival will be on.”
John Wesley was asked how he got crowds: “I set myself on fire, and the people come to see me burn.”
You need to develop your own fellowship with the Lord. People can pray with you; others can support you and help sustain you in times of trouble. No one, however, can do your personal praying for you.
As we develop our relationship with the Lord, we will learn to listen to Him. As we learn to understand His promptings and leadings, we need to start doing something with what the Lord gives us. Supernatural evangelism involves listening to the Lord and following His leading when ministering salvation and healing to people. At some point, the “closet revival” should translate into ministering to people who need the Lord. Prayer and obedience work together: the foundation is prayer, afterward we build upon it.
“But the people who know their God will be strong and take action.” – Daniel 11:32 (God’s Word)
“Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work.” – A.Z. Tozer
Consider the story of Martha and Mary as recorded in Luke 10:38-42. Jesus and his ministry team are visiting the house of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. Jesus is in the house! But, Martha is distracted from spending time with Jesus because she is too busy preparing food for everyone. She becomes upset with her sister because while she is worried about feeding everyone, Mary is sitting with Jesus, listening to Him. She apparently reached her boiling point because she complained to Jesus about Mary not helping her. In His reply to her, Jesus tells us what is truly important: The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it — it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” Luke 10:41, 42 (The Message) Spending time with Jesus is the essential thing – it is the main course! It is not that Martha’s work was unimportant. It is that what Mary was doing must come first. Without prayer, our work becomes burdensome.
“The way to get revival is to begin at the Master’s feet: you must go there with Mary, and afterwards you may work with Martha.” – Charles H Spurgeon
If we are too busy to pray, then, well … we are just too busy. The results of a lackluster or non-existent prayer life will be few. We can’t blame God for such a predicament. We must face the reality of the situation. There are many things in this life that are beyond our control. As free people, how we choose to spend our time is one of life’s choices over which we have complete control. Maybe we need to turn something off. Maybe we need to learn to say no. Whatever the case may be, we need to stop complaining, and start praying; stop trying to live through our own strength, and draw the strength to live from our Lord; stop putting work before prayer, and sit at Jesus’ feet first. If you don’t know where to begin, start by praying Ephesians 1:16-20 over yourself – and make it personal: insert “me” and “my” for “you” and “your.” Pray in other tongues. Go to the corporate prayer services at your church and hang around people who know how to pray so you can learn from them. Don’t make excuses – just start where you are and grow from there. It is your choice. Not only will that choice affect you personally, but there are other people who need you to make the wise choice. They are waiting for you to introduce them to the power of God.
“We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services, but few conversions; much machinery, but few results.” – R.A. Torrey