Ephesians 5:14 “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Luke 12:49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!”
I have been participating in 10 Days of Prayer for 5 or more years and I continually find that the Lord breaks into my life during this extended time of prayer and fasting. Of course there is both a NT example of this from the Ascension until Pentecost in Acts 1, and the OT example from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippor, but aside from that, the Lord has put it on our hearts for our times and we see that 30 cities are now part of this movement.
Jonathan Friz, the founder of the 10 Days, recently reported, “the amazing thing is simply this: God was showing up everywhere people gathered! That was the almost universal impression: When we came together, God was present in a way that was surprising and often exceeded people's expectations. It didn't matter if there were hundreds gathered, 50's, or just a handful. That was both my experience each night and a common refrain as I met with the leaders of the different nights.”
However, in our 10 Days in Manchester one theme has really grabbed hold of me—it is REAWAKENING to the call of REVIVAL. I started rereading Charles Finny’s “Lectures of Revivals,” and this morning I was looking over my bookshelves and pulling out several great books focused on revival. The passion for the lost has come back for me.
How did this come about? In my case it has been the influence of Pastor John Cerrato from First Baptist in Manchester. He continually talks about the burden of souls the Lord has given him. He hears the Lord say to him, souls will be “lost forever.” The reality is that we constantly get used to seeing people all around us who are not following the Lord and their path is headed for destruction. Once we comprehend this reality nothing can ever be the same in our lives. My life is already completely focused on advancing the kingdom and choosing priorities so I can be “even more fruitful,” John 15:2, but over the years I have regularly found myself getting complacent about seeing the lost go into eternity without knowing Jesus.
What must we do about this problem? Practically speaking I must remember that Jesus is the Savior of the world—not me. However, he has given me a call to my family and my church, and a ministry responsibility in my city, my state, and in New England. In my circles I must accept this burden of initiating a spiritual awakening among God’s people, and echo this call. Each one of us must be awakened again and carry this burden in the mission the Lord has given us. I know that I must remain in fellowship with others who share this burden and whenever 10 Days comes along—and other opportunities like this, I must allow the Lord to “fan into flame” this burden for the lost. I always pray for the lost out of duty, but the Lord has brought back the passion and now I’m feeling called to invite you to pray into this call until you also are spreading the fire until we are all ablaze.
Dick Kiernan is the coordinator of the NH Alliance.