Twelve years ago a South African businessman, Graham Power, felt God nudge him to organize a prayer gathering in the city of Cape Town. About 45,000 Christians responded to the call by jamming into a rugby stadium in March 2001 to intercede for their nation.
That was the beginning of the Global Day of Prayer, an event that will likely involve millions of Christians in 220 nations on Pentecost Sunday, May 27. This year organizers are encouraging people to extend their prayers for 10 days prior to the event, beginning on May 17. They are also urging pastors to fuel the prayer with sermons about the necessity of the Holy Spirit’s power.
It’s obvious the Holy Spirit is orchestrating this grass-roots movement, and I hope you will join it, either by attending local gatherings during the next 10 days or by focusing your personal prayers on the need for a fresh Pentecost. I believe we are on the verge of a new season of spiritual awakening, and the concentration of prayer this month is a key to unlock it.
During these next 10 days I will be meditating on the first chapters of the book of Acts and praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the United States. If you’d like to join me, you can use the following prayer points as a guide:
1. Lord, send the wind of sincere repentance. The original outpouring at Pentecost triggered a wave of repentance that resulted in 3,000 conversions. This level of raw conviction is never the result of eloquent sermons, staged events or man’s programs. Only the Holy Spirit can do this. The greatest miracle on earth occurs when a sinner’s heart breaks before God and he or she is born again. Lord, unleash a flood of conversions in America! And as sinners repent, let backslidden Christians, disillusioned believers and weary saints return to You.
2. Lord, send the wind of spiritual renewal. Many churches in the United States are feeble and powerless, and some are dying. Many denominations are paralyzed by the spirit of religion. Many pastors are battle-scarred and discouraged. But one breath of the Holy Spirit can bring life to dry bones! Lord, send the refreshing wind of Your presence into lifeless congregations. And with your wind, send a flame on every Christian’s head—especially those reluctant Gideons and timid Timothys who know they are called but need Spirit-inspired confidence.
3. Lord, send the wind of a youth awakening. When the winds of Pentecost blew the first time, Peter preached from the prophet Joel, saying, “ ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions’ ” (Acts 2:17, NIV). This promise is still ours to claim. A huge percentage of America’s youth are fatherless, addicted, abused, sexually confused or somehow at risk. Lord, raise up and strengthen ministries to reach our schools and college campuses. Give students the courage to stand for Christ and speak for Him. Send another Jesus movement to this generation.
4. Lord, send the wind of supernatural demonstration. The most pitiful heresy ever hatched was the idea that God stopped doing miracles after the Bible was written. Forgive us, Lord, for limiting You! We need the power of Pentecost today more than ever. When the first Pentecost occurred, normal people were “clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49), and they began to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons. Forgive us, Lord, for being so smug and sophisticated that we pulled the plug on Your power. (And forgive us, too, for misusing, merchandising and exploiting the Holy Spirit’s gifts for personal gain.) Unleash the miraculous in the American church. Let the same miracles that are occurring in Asia, Africa and Latin America become common in our nation.
5. Lord, send the wind of bold evangelism. When the first disciples were touched by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they declared “the mighty deeds of God” (Acts 2:11, NASB) to every racial and ethnic group that had gathered in Jerusalem. We need this boldness in the United States because we have become the largest English-speaking mission field in the world. Many of our communities have no gospel witness—and many Christians never share their faith with anyone. The true anointing of the Holy Spirit always results in evangelism. Lord, turn up our volume! Raise up laborers to touch every sector of American society, including our forgotten and ignored Native American reservations. Send immigrants to this nation who can reach their own ethnic groups. Let the gospel be preached in every language spoken within our borders.
6. Lord, send the wind of divine intervention. Our nation is in desperate crisis. Families are disintegrating, morality has eroded, perversion is celebrated, and our culture is becoming hostile to biblical faith. Unless the Lord answers with His holy fire from heaven, we are sunk. Lord, deliver us from evil! Extend Your mercy and send a Third Great Awakening. Amen.
J. LEE GRADY is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. You can find more details about the Global Day of Prayer at globaldayofprayer.com.
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