It’s a challenge Eastside Community Church is issuing to men, women, teens, and even children. It’s a simple expression of a heart prepared for God’s work—and it illustrates something critical about the revival we are praying and pleading for God to send. It involves a simple piece of chalk. This piece of chalk represents a turning point, a moment of surrender, a change of heart. It marks the difference between those who would pray, “Lord, change them,” and those with the humility to plead, “Lord, change me.”
We kneel to draw a circle around ourselves and then look to heaven expectantly, praying, “Lord God, send revival, and begin it right here in this circle!” This practice (traced back to the English revivalist Gypsy Smith) puts into action something we all know in our hearts: For any revival to sweep through our churches, or for any great spiritual awakening to blaze through our communities, the work of the Spirit must begin in individual hearts. It must begin in us (see 1 Peter 4:17). The old spiritual got it right: “Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”
The stories of revival history, along with countless current-day testimonies of God’s work, give powerful evidence that revival isn’t a result of human ingenuity; it isn’t dependent on superstars. Instead, it often starts in the hearts of average people whom God prompts to pray, repent, obey, take risks, and make sacrifices.
I look forward to seeing you on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm,
PS Be early this Sunday as we are changing things up at Eastside and don’t forget to park away from the building.