Prayer conference encourages humility that leads to confession, repentanceby Emily Rojas, BSCNC Communications
John Franklin believes revival has a ripple effect.
When Franklin spoke at the Awaken statewide prayer gathering at First Baptist Church, Charlotte on the weekend of March 11, he and the others said that when people turn their hearts back to God, the effect is contagious.
“If God’s people call on Him … eventually, the aggregate weight of enough prayer will tip the scales,” Franklin said. “God will pour out His spirit, and revival will come.”
It’s the process of getting to that point of tipping the scales that takes some work, however. Drawing from the same verse, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Franklin, Pastor Mark Harris and Richard Owen Roberts explained how different aspects of this verse are key to starting a period of revival within the Church.
The verse reads, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Practically, humility is a necessary aspect of revival because it goes hand in hand with the confession of sin. Roberts, speaking on humility, said that the essence of sin is self. If a person is solely focused on themselves in pride, they will not see their own sin.
“We need people who admit to the world that God is everything, and they’re nothing,” Roberts said. “What do you have left when you’re totally empty besides the opportunity of being filled with the very righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ?”
Franklin said pride is the sin that God usually deals with first when convicting people of sin because it normally drives the most separation between a person and God.
Once Christians have repented of their pride, they can confess their sin to others. The remarkable thing about that, Franklin said, is that confession of sin drives those who hear the confession to confess their own sin and ask God to restore relationships that had been torn apart. Confession causes a chain reaction of confession — and that creates a ripe environment for God to begin revival.
Still, this first step — repentance and confession of sin — does not come on its own. Ultimately, it is God who changes hearts, and sometimes, Christians feel that their prayers for God to change hearts are just not working. Harris, however, spoke about the fact that God does hear the prayers of His children, and He is willing to bring revival.
It’s not that God’s not paying attention to us, Harris said. “It’s not that we have to somehow wrangle with God, that we have to somehow overcome His reluctance to bring revival. No — what we need to overcome is our reluctant hearts.”
Even when our fellowship with Him is broken, God is still willing to align our hearts with His mission, bring revival and change lives. We are the ones who need to believe Him and humble ourselves. And that means that as far as revival goes, there is hope.
Editor's note: If you would like to learn more about prayer conferences in North Carolina or other prayer resources, please visit praync.org or contact Chris Schofield at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 395-5102 ext. 5514.