by J. Edwin Orr
( 1 Samuel 7:5 ).
We recall that Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord and cried : "I will not let thee go except thou bless me" (Genesis 32:26). He prevailed. In consequence, his name was changed from Jacob, the sup planter to Israel, a prevailer with God. We know also that Mizpeh means the "place of watchfulness" - and it was the rallying place of the tribes.
Let us read this verse, the declaration of Samuel, very literally : " Gather all the prevailers with God to the place of watchfulness, and then prayer will be fruitful. "
Prayer will bring revival. But it must also be united prayer. Dr. A. T. Pierson, the noted church historian and missionary statesman, has said : " There has never been a revival in any country that has not begun in united prayer, and no revival has ever continued beyond the duration of those prayer meetings. " The idea of praying for revival in one section of the church only is both ludicrous and profitless. We must pray unitedly for the whole household of faith.
"When God intends great mercy for His people," said Matthew Henry, " He first of all sets them a-praying." But prayer must be real prayer. One may say truthfully that much that goes under the name of prayer is nothing more than hot air, and it rises no higher than the roof. True prayer is the cry of a child to its Father.
Prayer will bring revival, and if ever you hear of an intensive prayer meeting, take it as a sure of blessing to follow.
The people of God hearkened to the advice of Samuel. They meant business. They prepared. They fasted. And they said there : " We have sinned against the Lord"
~ (1 Samuel 7:6)
True searching of heart follows the seeking of God's presence in prayer, and it invariably produces conviction of sin. They confessed their sin. I can not imagine from the Bible narrative that these tens of thousands recited the words together : " WE have sinned against the Lord." No: rather it must mean that they individually and collectively confessed their sins to God and sought His pardon.
If you have miss any earlier part of "Conditions for Revival" , Please go back to Part (I) and (II) :