Probably the greatest revivalist in American history was Charles Finney. Finney was convinced, through many years of Revival ministry, that God intended the church to live continually in a Revival state. He believed that this was the “normal” state of the church. Quite frankly, so do I. He was also convinced that if the church would just meet the basic conditions for revival, that is, deep repentance and heartfelt, agonizing prayer for the outpouring of God’s Spirit, then Revival would always result. He likened it to a field of wheat and said it this way, "If a farmer tills the soil and provides the right seed and conditions, then a great crop will always result. This is normal and expected. Revival is no more a miracle than a crop of wheat. Revival comes from heaven when heroic souls enter the conflict determined to win or die or if need be, to win and die! The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force." John Wesley was of a similar mind when he said, “Have you any days of fasting and prayer? Storm the throne of grace and persevere therein, and mercy will come down.”
God spoke to Ezekiel and said, Ezekiel 22:30 "So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one." (Ezekiel 22:30) Although this was a message of judgment on Jerusalem we cannot look at the state of the USA and brush away a statement like this and say that it does not apply to the church today. Statistically, corporate prayer is the least attended ministry in the church today and yet it is one of the most important.
There is nothing in Scripture to suggest that corporate prayers are more powerful than individual prayers, but when we look at the early church, we can see that it was an important principle that they practiced continually, "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42) After Peter and John were released from custody for preaching and teaching in the Name of Jesus they immediately gathered with a number of other believers to pray, "And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: "Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said, why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the LORD and against His Christ.' "For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus." And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness." (Acts 4:23-31)
The apostle Paul tells us through the Holy Spirit, "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all..." (1 Timothy 2:1-6)
All believers are called to pray for all men. This implies that before we pray for ourselves and our families that we should be praying for others, especially those who are in authority so that there will be peace in our nation and that the preaching of the gospel go unhindered. "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.(2 Thessalonians 3:1-2) This is why we pray for those in authority, so that the Word of the Lord may run swiftly, be unhindered, and be glorified.
"Whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (2 Corinthians 4:4) Satan plans are to try and stop the work of God from going forth. It is up to the church, that is, every individual believer as to whether or not the devil succeeds in his plans."And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it...And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 14:13-14, 16:23-24)
Believers have authority to ask and pray to the Father in Jesus’ Name. When believers pray God's will (His Word) they are not only reminding Him of His promises (Isaiah 43:26) but they give Him permission to move and rule over the situation no matter what it is. In these passage, two times, Jesus directs us on how to ask and what to expect. When believers stand on God’s Word, in the delegated authority that has been given to them, asking in the name of Jesus, God can do great things such as bringing many lost into His Kingdom. However, we must remember that pray or asking is only the preparation of the soil. A sower must still go out and sow the seed. For believers, the seed we are to sow is God's Word. (Mark 4:13-20)
A farmer can pray for a crop all year long, but if he
doesn’t prepare the soil and sow seed there will be no harvest. We can and
should pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest,
but if no one ever sows the Word there will be no harvest of souls. (Romans 10:14-15) So, let us "make a wall, and stand in
the gap before God on behalf of the land," our nation is depending on us.