This prayer guide is not a formula for revival, for there is no such thing except for obeying the principles of God in the Scripture (e.g. 2 Chronicles 7:14). It is meant to be a list of helpful suggestions to get us started in praying for purity, for the church, and for effective evangelism. The key is that we confess our sins and pray as the Spirit leads us according to the commands of Scripture.
Step #1: Personal Revival
Note: If gathering for corporate prayer, this should have been done before assembling together. However, it may be necessary to take a few minutes to reflect before the Lord over the state of one’s own heart before interceding for the saints and the lost. IF WE DO NOT FIRST CONFESS OUR SINS, WE CANNOT EXPECT GOD TO HEAR OUR PRAYERS (Isaiah 59:1-3).
“Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." (James 4:8)
There is no mystery about what it takes to experience the manifest presence of God. We must confess and repent of sin, drawing near to God. We know that He will then draw near to us, guiding us to lose our double-mindedness and gain the mind of Christ.
“Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.” (Psalm 19:12)
Yet there are likely sins that are hidden to us that we ought to repent of as well. This is the humble reality of the fact that we are not yet perfected. Having confessed and repented, the following verse promises us that our prayer will be of use.
“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:21)
Now we are ready to intercede and implore the Lord for corporate revival.
Step #2: Church Revival
Here we pray according to Scripture for the church as a whole. As Ephesians 6:18 says, “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” See examples of topics below. Note: It is helpful to read the associated Scriptures to use as guidelines as we pray.
- Pray for devotion and purity to essential doctrines. (Jude 3)
- Pray that false teachers will be discovered and put out from the flock. (Revelation 2:20)
- Pray that the church will rediscover its first love of the work and person of Christ. (Revelation 2:4)
- Pray that unity, love, hope, holiness, and good works will be manifested by the church so that it can be effective salt and light. (John 17:21; John 13:34-35; 1 Peter 3:15, Hebrews 12:14; Matthew 5:16)
- Pray that pastors would preach the Word faithfully, reproving and exhorting as necessary. (2 Timothy 4:2)
- Pray that Christians will grow up into maturity in the knowledge of Christ and His Word. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
- Pray for more Christians to devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word. (Acts 2:42)
- Pray for God to raise up workers and evangelists for His harvest. (Matthew 9:37-38)
- Pray for brokenness over the eternal state of the lost. (Luke 15:8-9)
- Pray for marriages and families to be strengthened. (Ephesians 5:22-6:4)
- Pray for humility. (1 Peter 5:6)
- Pray that the church will seek the wisdom of God and not of man. (James 1:5)
Of course, this is just a sample of things to pray for as there are many things we could pray for concerning revival and the church.
Step #3: Evangelization of the Unsaved
A revived church must engage in evangelism. However, the Bible makes it very clear that no one seeks after God unless the Holy Spirit first draws him. Therefore, we must pray that God would open hearts to repent and receive His Son.
- Pray that the captives of the devil would be released. (2 Timothy 2:26)
- Pray that the dead would be made alive in Christ. (Ephesians 2:1-7)
- Pray for the lost to repent. (Luke 13:5)
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. (John 16:8)
- Pray for seeds to sprout and take root because they fall on receptive hearts. (Luke 8:4-15)
- Pray for revived Christians to be faithful in witnessing. (Acts 1:8)
We ought also to intercede on behalf of specific individuals for salvation, we ought to pray for specific social ills in the community, and we ought to pray for our leaders.
Let us remember that effective prayer is not checking off a checklist, but it is praying as the Spirit leads us according to God's Word for the things with which He burdens our hearts. It is never about doing things for God, but it is about God accomplishing His reviving work in and through us such that it touches others as well.