Posts Tagged ‘revival’

Pentecost Sunday 2023–“Happy Birthday, Church”

May 28, 2023

Today, May 28, 2023, Pentecost Sunday, many Christian believers joyfully say, “Happy Birthday, Church!”  Pentecost also corresponds to Shavuot, a Jewish festival of historical and agricultural importance, occurring fifty days after Passover when the Book of the Law was given to Moses. Notably, the Christian feast of Pentecost means “fifty” and takes place on the fiftieth day after Passover.

John the Baptist prophesied of the first Pentecost where Jesus Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire.  Jesus Christ ended his earthly ministry with a promise to his disciples that they would be baptized with Holy Spirit, far beyond John’s baptism in water. He told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the fulfillment of the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit, from whom they would receive power to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. After Jesus’ ascension to heaven, they returned to Jerusalem to wait to be endowed with power from on high.

On the Day of Pentecost, just as promised, “a rushing mighty wind” filled the house, and tongues of fire came to rest on each of them and all were filled with the Holy Spirit.  After the coming of the Holy Spirit, the disciples and those who were added to the Church daily went forth to tell the world. This was the beginning of the Church as we know it.

The fire of Pentecost fell and ultimately transformed the lives of those present, and they in turn transformed the world with their witness of the saving grace and power of the Holy Spirit. Since that time, revival fires have burned brilliantly for a season and then subsided and lay smoldering in the frigid dark nights of those who have lost their way.

Paul R. Dienstberger describes the circumstances out of which revivals have been birthed. “…[T]here appeared to be cycles like the book of Judges. First, a period of spiritual fervor and blessing, then a falling away, then a revival of spiritual activity, then religious regression, and the cycles continued to repeat the pattern.” In their desperation, while at what the Psalmist declares is “their wit’s end,” the people cry out to God. Such heartfelt cries have gone out at various times for God to “send another Pentecost.”

At various times and seasons the fire of “another Pentecost” was reignited. One such revival that swept through a nation and ultimately spread abroad was the Welsh Revival of the early 1900s, and parallel to that occurrence was the Azusa Street revival in America in 1906 and the years following leading up to the Jesus Movement of the 60s. This move of God is depicted in the recently released film, “Jesus Revolution.” Since that time believers have been seeking to catch the wave of the next approaching revival movement. As the Twentieth Century drew to a close, various prophetic words spoke of another move of God, a coming “spiritual tsunami” that would dwarf all preceding movements.

In discussing revival movements, A.T. Pierson notes,

“There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer.” In light of that statement, not only America but the entire world has been united in prayer in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The recent prayer movements have brought together churches, pastors, leaders, and individuals across the globe to pray for miraculous healing of our lands from the coronavirus and a spiritual awakening among the nations. Today, May 28, 2023, is not only Pentecost Sunday but also the Global Day of Prayer for Jerusalem and the Nations.

Here is an  original psalm of celebration for the Birthday of the Church:

The Song of Pentecost

Acts 2:1-4

Those with ears to hear seek your song of grace.

With no song to soothe the soul, all is lost.

Your melody makes life a quiet place

When the heart sings the song of Pentecost.

There in Eden’s garden fell the first frost

Where stillborn silence chilled the human race.

The purest harmony with God was lost.

Those with ears to hear seek your song of grace.

Voices of patriarchs could not replace

The inner melody from God.  At most

Their sound was an echo, only a trace.

With no song to soothe the soul, all is lost.

With the sign of blood upon the doorpost

Moses led Israel toward the promised place.

The lyrics of the Law were their guidepost.

Your melody makes life a quiet place.

Man hears life’s sublime music in the grace

By Jesus Christ, who died and rose to post

A higher law that death cannot erase

When the heart sings the song of Pentecost.

Sound of a rushing mighty wind: signpost,

The prelude to the promised song of grace.

With the outpouring of the Holy Ghost,

The song of Pentecost can now embrace

Those with ears to hear.

We close with “Prepare the Way”  featuring Bethel Music

Rainmakers: Seeding the Clouds for Revival

October 23, 2022
What are rainmakers and what does it mean to seed the clouds for revival?

Recently, Grace Covenant Church, Chantilly, VA hosted the 2022 Prophetic Conference with the theme “Releasing the Rivers of Revival.” Pastor Jim Laffoon was the speaker for the evening session on Friday, October 21, 2022, and he encouraged participants to become “rainmakers” who would “seed the clouds” for an outpouring of a great revival to flood and transform the world with the presence of the Lord, God Almighty.

The message inspired a poetic response incorporated in a previous blog post that I have revised and reposted in this blog entry “Rainmakers: Seeding the Clouds for Revival”

According to the Oxford Languages dictionary, “A rainmaker is a person who attempts to cause rain to fall, either by rituals or by a scientific technique, such as seeding clouds with crystals.” Pastor Laffoon exhorted us as believers with a passion to see change and become change agents that we are to pray fervently for an outpouring of the life-transforming presence of God across the globe. His words inspired this poetic response:

We Are Rainmakers

 17 Elijah was as human as we are,

and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall,

none fell for three and a half years! 

 18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain

 and the earth began to yield its crops.

James 5:17-18 (New Living Translation)

We are rainmakers, and we seed the clouds once more,

That God might revive the earth as He did before.

Even as Elijah prayed and You sent the rain,

We are confident that You will do it again.

Our fervent prayers for revival You will not ignore.           

Those moved with compassion are what you look for.             

Your desire is to show us mercy and restore.    

Our prayers are that you would one more time send the rain.         

We are rainmakers.                                   

The whole world seems engulfed in chaos; we, therefore,

Call on You to fulfill Your promise and pour                                    

Out the power of the former and latter rain.

When we express a great need, you do not restrain,     

But as we call unto You, You do even more.

We are rainmakers.

In the Bible, we find rain is the life source for agricultural people whose lives are dependent upon crops. In the Land of Israel God, indeed, sends rain in due season in two specific forms:  the former rain and the latter rain. In the Middle East, the former rain occurs in October or November, accompanying the planting of crops, while the latter rain occurs in the Spring, around March or April, just before the harvest. Prophets Jeremiah, Hosea, and Joel all speak of both seasons of rain.

In Acts 2, on the Day of Pentecost, Peter addresses the multitude in referring to the Prophet Joel:

Acts 2:16-18:

16 No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:

17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,
    ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
    Your young men will see visions,
    and your old men will dream dreams.

To appreciate the promise of God who will send the latter rain when He pours out of His spirit upon all flesh, think of what happened when God opened the windows of heaven and “poured” out the rain. Genesis 7 gives the account of Noah and the ark when the heavens opened, and it rained for forty days and nights. In the last days when God opens the windows of heaven to pour out of His spirit on all flesh, do you think the outpouring will be any less great than the first time God poured out?  God predates Morton salt whose motto is “When it rains, it pours.”

Anyone who is spiritually observant can sense that a great outpouring of the spirit of God is about to take place. In a similar way, one can tell when a torrential downpour is about to occur. To answer the question posed by current weather conditions,, here is my advice: “Pray and get ready for rain!” As Zechariah 10:1 exhorts:

Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so, the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

The Book of James also reminds us of the importance of prayer in conjunction with the harvest.

James 5:7:

Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen.

James goes on to illustrate what can happen when a man of God prays:

James 5:17-18:

17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! 18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.

The Old Testament account reveals that after a three-and-half-year drought, Elijah heard the “sound of abundance of rain.”  He sent his servant to investigate, but he saw nothing in the sky. Elijah told him to go check again seven times. After the seventh time, the servant saw a cloud about the size of a man’s hand. Shortly thereafter “that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain.” 

God still answers prayer. His desire is to bless more than ours is to ask. Let us continue to pray for rain, the latter rain, an abundance of spiritual outpouring, which God promised to send before the abundant harvest toward which we are steadily moving. “Pray, the Latter Rain is on the way!” and remember, “We Are Rainmakers: Seeding Clouds for Revival.”

Alvin Slaughter offers a musical benediction to our prayer with “The Latter Rain.”