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Prayer & Revival | Time to Wake Up—Spiritually

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 9, 2023 3:00 am

Prayer & Revival | Time to Wake Up—Spiritually

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 9, 2023 3:00 am

Ever been behind the wheel on a long road trip? The endless miles of highway can be fatiguing. We can actually feel sleepy . . . at 65 miles an hour! Sometimes we go through life at 65 miles an hour . . . but spiritually speaking, we’ve practically fallen asleep. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how to wake ourselves up spiritually, and how that’ll have an impact on our culture, as well. He’s explaining the biblical prescription for a societal spiritual awakening.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. For more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk, enroll in Pastor Greg's free online courses.

Sign up at Take more opportunities to pray. Leave your comfort zone and share your faith. Ever been behind a wheel on a long road trip? The endless miles of highway can be fatiguing. We can actually feel sleepy at 65 miles an hour. Sometimes we go through life at 65 miles an hour, but spiritually speaking, we've practically fallen asleep. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how to wake ourselves up spiritually and how that will have an effect on our culture as well. He's explaining the biblical prescription for a societal spiritual awakening. So we're talking about the Jesus revolution.

You know it's interesting. In the days of the Jesus movement, we didn't call it the Jesus revolution. It was Time magazine that came up with this idea. They called it a revolution. We didn't call it that, but in many ways it was a revolution. What is a revolution?

Generally we think of upheaval, radical change like the French revolution, but the word revolution also means turning around and returning to something. And I think that's really what we need in America. We need to turn back to God.

You know I can't think of a time in our nation's history for the years I've been alive and maybe even before in studying history when America has been more divided than we are right now. And we love to point our fingers. You know we point our fingers at Hollywood and all the junk they churn out.

And they do deserve some blame of course. We point our fingers at Washington D.C. But you know when a nation is breaking down, God does not point His finger at the White House.

He points His finger at His house. At the church. Because revival, as we pointed out last time, is what the church needs to experience. A spiritual awakening is what America needs. A revival is what the church needs. And I quoted this verse last time. Second Chronicles 7.14. It is really God's prescription for revival or restoration. And it applies to any person or any nation where God says, if My people, which are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will forgive their sins and heal their land. So I want to talk about prayer and revival.

Because that's really what needs to happen. We need to start praying like we've never prayed before. Revival is getting back to the Christian life as it was meant to be lived. Revival is sort of like being in love for the first time or in the bloom of first love. In fact the Bible even compares our relationship with God to that of two newlyweds. Or someone in the first love relationship.

In fact in the book of Ephesians Jesus talks to the church there and says, you know, loose paraphrase, I know you guys are active. I know you're busy. You're doing a lot of great stuff. But here's my issue with you. You've left your first love. Now how many of you are in love with somebody right now?

You're in love with somebody. Okay. Are you with them? Are you with them here? Have you told them yet?

Do they know or is this the first time they're hearing it? You know when I was a kid in school I was always falling in love with girls that never knew I existed. You know I'd have crushes on girls.

Right. And so maybe there's someone you think, oh I wonder if that's the right one for me. So you write their name and your name together you know. And you play around with their last name is your last name if you're a girl. And you know that's the kinds of things that people that are in love do. And you've got the butterflies and the stomach and you're nervous and your mouth goes dry and all those things that speak of a new love. And then you get married.

Okay. And then things change. As I've said marriage is a three ring circus.

There's engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering. No. That's a joke. But sometimes it's that way. But I bring this up as an illustration because this can be like our relationship with God. You know when you first come to Jesus you're all excited. You're all fired up. You want to go to every church service. You can't go to too many church services.

You can't wait to get up in the morning and hear what the Bible has to say to you. Prayer man. You just love to pray. You're always praying. In fact sometimes you pray too long which isn't the worst thing a person can do. Sharing your faith that's just natural.

You're always initiating conversations about Jesus Christ. But the thing is is as time passes we start taking these things for granted and it's possible to sort of leave our first love. You don't lose it but you can leave it. So speaking to people who have left their first love Jesus says, remember from where you have fallen. Repent and do the first works quickly. So the three R's of getting right with God or we could say the three R's of revival are remember. So if there was a time in your life as a Christian when you had more fire for God. You had more passion for Jesus.

Remember it as a point of reference. Then repent. Literally repent. You know change your direction.

That's what repent means. It means go in the opposite direction and then repeat. Do the first works quickly. Listen to this. If you want to see a revival then do revival like things. So instead of overly mystifying it just get back and do those things you used to do. Don't wait for some emotion to overcome you. Just start your day reading the Word of God if you feel like it or not. Take more time to be with God's people in worship. Take more opportunities to pray. Leave your comfort zone and share your faith. You know it's interesting that one of the great awakenings that happened in America that I mentioned last time was what is called the prayer revival in New York City. It started as a prayer meeting on Fulton Street in New York.

And it started very small. But then the stock market crashed and everyone basically was freaking out and calling on God. You know when things are going well we might say, well we don't really need God all that much.

Oh trust me. We need God. We need God badly.

But maybe we are just not willing to realize how desperate the situation really is. What is revival? Charles Finney who was a part of one of the great revivals said quote, revival is nothing more or less than a new beginning of obedience to God.

Billy Sunday a great evangelist talked about revival and he said this, they tell me a revival is only temporary. So is a bath. But it does you good.

You know. So it is a good thing when it happens. So revival is not only returning to one's first love in Jesus but it is also waking up from sleep. Often in the Bible lethargy, laziness, and sleep is used as a picture of a person that is complacent in their relationship with God. In Romans 13, 11 it says it is more urgent right now. The day of the Lord is closer than it has ever been.

Time is running out so wake up because our salvation is so close. You know the funny thing about going to sleep is you don't always know that you are asleep. Others do because you are snoring right. But sometimes when my wife and I are dozing off she likes to watch, how do I put it delicately, boring things on TV. Which actually helps because I watch things that get me too stimulated. She will say turn that off and then she likes to watch a show called, I don't know if you have ever seen it, The Great British Bake Off.

You ever seen that show? It is like so boring. And so I fall asleep and Kathy will say, are you sleeping? And I don't know why but I deny it. No I wasn't sleeping. Why do we deny it when we are sleeping? Someone calls us at three in the morning, were you sleeping? No.

Yeah. And you just woke me up thank you very much. So that is how it can be sometimes spiritually. You don't realize that you are spiritually asleep.

Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Nothing better than that. I mean your days are full of joy. You have peace of mind.

And there is just nothing better than that. I was addicted to cocaine for so many years and struggled with the flesh. I mean I hated it. I tried so many times to quit. I just asked the Lord to make me hate it. And finally He did. I just got so sick of it.

He took it away. And I have that personal relationship with Jesus Christ and there is nothing better than that. I absolutely love listening to Pastor Greg's messages every night while I am on the road. And I just wanted to call and let him know that.

So God bless you and thank you so much. If your life has changed because of the ministry of harvest, would you let Pastor Greg know? Just call 866-871-1144.

That's 866-871-1144. Well Pastor Greg is pointing out today how a spiritual awakening in the culture depends on revival in the church. We are learning the steps toward that goal today as we prepare for the release of the feature film Jesus Revolution on February 24th. Revival is getting back to the Christian faith that was lived out in the first century. You know it has been said that revival is when God gets so sick and tired of being misrepresented He shows up Himself. And periodically we have to rescue Jesus from modern day Christianity. It gets all caught up in religious stuff and ritualistic stuff and all kinds of things that have nothing to do with Jesus. This is why we called it the Jesus Movement and the Jesus Revolution.

Everything. It is about Jesus. And when we are focused on Jesus everything seems to find its right place. So God wants to send a revival. One person wrote it down this way. And I quote, If all the sleeping people will wake up, if all the lukewarm people will fire up, if all of the dishonest people will confess up, if all the disgruntled people will cheer up, if all the estranged people will make up, if all the gossipers will shut up, if all true soldiers will stand up, if the dry bones will shake up, if all the church people will pray up, then we can have a revival. I like that. So here is point number one.

If you are taking notes. If you want to see a revival you need to confess your sin, humble yourself, and pray. You need to confess your sin, humble yourself, and pray. And in a moment we are going to look at a passage of Scripture where that happened.

Where God's people began to pray like never before. But before we do that let's pray. Lord teach us to pray. Your disciples said that to you one day and you gave them an answer. You gave them what we call the Lord's Prayer. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sin as we forgive those who have sinned against us.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Lord we want to know how to pray more. Lord we want to pray more. But we don't pray as much as we ought to.

We'll admit that. So give us a heart to pray. Teach us to pray.

We ask it in your name. Amen. Here's something to think about with sleep. You know when I get sleepy is when I overeat.

I get real tired. Think about Thanksgiving when we all commit the sin of gluttony nationally. Right. So we eat turkey and mashed potatoes with gravy and sweet potatoes. Maybe with melted marshmallows.

At least we do that. And then you have biscuits or cornbread or muffins or you know rolls or something like that. And of course pumpkin pie.

I think it's a law. You have to have pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. But I don't know about you but I want to go into a coma afterwards. And then you wake up and what do you do?

You go have a turkey sandwich or something like that. But so here's a funny thing about sleep. You know it's it's not always just a bad thing.

It can happen when you've been fed really well. So you know you can come to church and be fed the Word of God and study the Word of God and actually how shall I put it. I don't want to say overeat because I don't think you can over study the Bible.

But let me say it this way. You can study the Bible without any application in your life or putting it into action. See if you just eat and you don't exercise you're just going to become well spiritually obese. You'll be a real holy roller. We'll have to roll you out of the church right. And I think there has to be a place for understanding we need to give out what God has given to us.

We're blessed to be a blessing. But there are things that can hinder our prayer life. The Bible says that if we have idols in our heart the Lord will not listen to us. So what's an idol?

Well you know an idol can be anything. It could be a guitar. It could be a car. It could be a house. It could be your body. It could be some device that you have. A phone or whatever else.

It could be a career. It could be so many things that you're more passionate about than God. So the idea of not having another God before him is make God number one in your life. The first commandment is put God first and have no other gods before me.

And then he says don't make any graven images. So if we have an idol in our heart God won't hear us. Another thing that can hinder our prayer is unconfessed sin. You know because the Bible says that if we have iniquity in our hearts the Lord will not hear us. So I think it's really important for us to confess our sin.

In fact that kind of brings us to the text I want to look at. Nehemiah chapter 9. And this is the story of a massive prayer meeting that happened. And this prayer meeting took place after the people of Israel who had been held captive in Babylon for 70 years were freed. And talk about idols. They were like in idol central.

They were idols everywhere. In fact the reason they ended up in Babylon is the Israelites kept taking God for granted and turning to these stupid false gods. So the Lord said, ok you guys want false gods and idols?

I will send you to a place where you have more than you can shake a stick at. After 70 years in Babylon they were allowed to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. They were led by Nehemiah. So after the walls were rebuilt and everybody was back in the land a prophet priest named Ezra gave a powerful message. And after he was done speaking the people prayed. So Nehemiah 9 verses 1 to 4. I am reading from the New Living Translation.

On October 31 the people assembled again and this time they fasted and dressed in burlap and sprinkled dust on their heads. And those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners as they confessed their own sins and the sins of their ancestors. They remained standing in place for three hours while the book of the law of the Lord God was read aloud to them and for three more hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord. So don't talk to me about services going too long.

I mean check this out. For three hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord. And for three hours they stood in place hearing the message.

So that sounds like revival to me. So what do they do? They prayed with passion and they confessed their sins. The Bible says if we will confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But the problem is people will say today well you know I don't really think that is a sin. My opinion is this isn't a sin and that is a sin. Well it is really not up to you or me to decide what a sin is.

We determine what sin is by what God says. And actually the word confess means to agree with God. And the way we know what God thinks about things is by reading the Bible. So they read the Word of God.

They heard the mind of God. Then they knew it is sins to confess. But I think sometimes we think of sins as just breaking a commandment. And sins are that. When you step over a line or you do a thing that the Bible tells you you should not do like break one of the commandments. Some preacher recently said he doesn't think we need the Ten Commandments anymore.

I could not differ more from that. God gave us the very Ten Commandments. They are written by the finger of God.

Now He wants us to go beyond them. Because in the commandments Jesus pointed out in the Sermon on the Mount you have heard that it has been said you shall not murder but I say to you if you are angry with your brother without a cause it is the same thing. Or you have heard of the law you shall not commit adultery. That is one of the commandments. But I say to you if you look at a woman with lust in your heart you have committed adultery.

So He wants us to go further than them but He certainly doesn't want us to do away with them. But they help us know what right and wrong are. But then there are other kinds of sins. Not just sins of commission but sins of omission. The sin of omission is when you don't do what you should do. The sin of commission is when you do what you should not do. Again the sin of commission is when you do what you should not do, break a commandment, cross the line. The sin of omission is when you don't do what you should do because the Bible says If we noted a good and we don't do it, it's sin. We don't think of sin that way. Well, I didn't think lustfully today and I didn't cut anybody off on the freeway and I didn't cuss once and I didn't lie and I didn't steal, so I guess I haven't sinned and the Lord led you. Why don't you go over there and share the gospel with that person right now?

There's no way I'm gonna do that. Wait, could that be a sin? Could that be the sin of omission? If the Lord spoke to your heart and said, put down the cell phone and pick up my word and you said no, could it be a sin to not obey God again? To him that knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. So there's a lot of things that can qualify as sin so I think we have to acknowledge that in our life. That is why in the Lord's Prayer, which is a template for all prayer, he shows us we should ask God to forgive us of our sin every day.

Go back to it again. Our Father who art in heaven, hallelujah would be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sin as we forgive those who have sinned against us. Just as surely as you need daily bread, and that just means you need everything from God. Bread means food, clothing. It's funny, back in the 60s we used to call money bread. We'd say, hey man, you got any bread?

Okay, so, but that's really true. Bread just means everything. Everything you need in life, you ask God for it, but then forgive us our sin. So just as surely as I need to ask God for his provision, I need to also ask God for his forgiveness.

Good insight from Pastor Greg Laurie today on the importance of confessing our sins, and how that sets the stage for humble, effective prayer. And then we hope you're making plans to see Jesus Revolution. Opening day for this film is February 24th. The movie sort of walks us through that era. Yes, a very young Greg is in this film, played by Joe Courtney, beautiful job on his part in his acting. It shows the story of young Greg with his mother, Charlene, played by Kimberly Williams Paisley. She was the bride and father of the bride, and she's an amazing actress. She did an incredible job playing my mother, this tragic figure, this Marilyn Monroe lookalike who would hang around at bars and get picked up by men, and the sad life that we had together, which sent me on a search as a young man. And it shows in a very honest and real way my search through drugs and other things, trying to find meaning in my life, and I eventually come to hear the gospel. It's also a love story where I meet Kathy, and the actress Anna Grace Barlow plays Kathy, and she does such an amazing job.

And so it's a love story, and it's a story of how two very unlikely characters came together. Chuck Smith, played by Kelsey Grammer. Again, Lonnie Frisbee, played by Jonathan Rumi.

It was like nitrometh glycerin in a spiritual explosion happened as a result. So hey, I can't show you the film, but why don't you listen for a moment? Here's a scene from the film where Chuck meets Lonnie for the first time. So Chuck said to his daughter, they were watching television and all the crazy hippies, and he wanted nothing to do with them and thought they all needed to get a job and get a haircut.

But his wife, Kay, had a heart for reaching them. So Chuck says, if God sends me a hippie, I'll talk to him. So Chuck's daughter, Jan, runs into hippie evangelist Lonnie Frisbee and brings him home.

And so Chuck meets Lonnie for the first time, and here's what happens. So tell me about yourself, Lonnie. How do your people? My people?

I like the sound of that. You know, it reminds me of the words of Jesus. To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation?

What are they like? I was up in San Francisco for a long time, living in Haight-Ashbury, on the streets, all over. And we did everything and everyone. But that was the point. You see, the drugs, it's a quest. For what? For God.

How can you not see that? There is an entire generation right now, searching for God. Man, we thought acid was gonna save the world. Thank you.

Thanks, man. But that was a lie. As much of a lie as what we were rebelling against. And what brought you to that realization?

I kept searching and searching, and I just finally got to the end of it. And there was still a void. And my people? Well, they're a desperate bunch. And desperation? Man, there's power in that word.

What would it take for you, Chuck Smith, to be desperate? Jeanette tells me you're a pastor. Yes.

Currently. I know we must seem pretty strange. But if you look a little deeper, if you look with love, you'll see a bunch of kids that are searching for all the right things. Just in all the wrong places.

So to answer your question, how do I describe my people? They're sheep without a shepherd, chasing hard after lies. And the trouble is, your people reject them. So I ask you, pastor, how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? We can only walk through doors open to us. In your church. Well, that's a door that's shut. That's a scene from Jesus Revolution.

Chuck Smith, played by actor Kelsey Grammer, and Lonnie Frisbee, played by actor Jonathan Rumi. It's a movie you don't want to miss. February 24th is the official release of Jesus Revolution. Begin making plans now to bring someone with you to see this film. And by the way, there will be a special national preview showing February 22nd, two days earlier. It features special bonus content, including an easy-to-understand presentation of the gospel by Pastor Greg. To get tickets to this special preview, February 22nd, go to

Now that', Again, And thanks so much for partnering with us as we share the gospel in this innovative way. You partner with us as you support the film at your local theater. And you partner with us when you send a donation to support sharing the gospel. In fact, a thank you for your generosity right now. We want to send you the book that tells the story in more depth.

It's also called Jesus Revolution. We'll send you the book to thank you for your investment. So get in touch today. Our 24-7 phone number is 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or go online to And one other thing, if we may. You may be familiar with 2 Chronicles 7.14, which says, 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Well, Pastor Greg is asking us all to follow that biblical direction, to humble ourselves and pray each day for revival in the church and a spiritual awakening in the culture.

It's our 7.14 campaign. Would you pray with us each day at 7.14? At 14 minutes after 7, we're all praying for revival and praying that the movie Jesus Revolution would help light the fire.

Thanks for joining us in that. Well, next time, more insight on the important role of prayer as we seek to bring revival to the church and to our individual lives. More from Pastor Greg's series, Jesus Revolution. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. Helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-09 05:49:58 / 2023-02-09 06:01:48 / 12

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