I am convinced that now is the time for America’s Reawakening.
In 2010 I had given up hope of America ever seeing another national, spiritual awakening that would revive the churches of America and stem the tide of secularism, immorality, and false religion that is flooding our land.
My hope, however, was suddenly and dramatically restored one hot summer day as I pulled onto the highway to begin a two-hour drive to fulfill a preaching invitation in another city. Without any expectation of any such thing happening, God began moving on me by His Spirit and for the next 7 hours my mind and heart were flooded with thoughts of hope and faith that America “could” see another Great Awakening.
For the first time, I saw that America had been birthed out of the First Great Awakening that shook Colonial America between 1726 and 1770. Not only that, but at critical times in our nation’s history, she has been preserved by national awakenings such as the Second Great Awakening (1801-1840), the Great Prayer Awakening of 1857-58 and the Charismatic Renewal/Jesus People Revival of the 1960s-70s.
I am convinced that the time has come for another Great Awakening across our land. This is necessary because politics does not offer the answer for the multitude of ills plaguing our country. Neither does Hollywood and the entertainment industry. Neither does the educational system.
Only another great, national spiritual awakening will save America, and I am convinced that now is the time for “America’s Reawakening.” This Reawakening will begin with the church in America getting its act together in three areas: (1) Recovering the Sense of Divine Destiny, (2) Recovering Our Prophetic Witness and (3) Giving Priority to Prayer.
Recovering Our Sense of Divine Destiny
Secularists have known that for America to be “fundamentally transformed,” she would have to be severed from her Christian roots. This is what Alexander Solzhenitsyn was referring to when he said, “To destroy a people you must first sever their roots.”
This is why secularist historians have purged their histories of any mention of the deep faith of America’s founding generation. As a result, children in America’s schools and colleges never hear of the prayers and Bible readings that dominated the nation’s founding.
Cut off from the nation’s Christian past, this generation has been robbed of any sense of national identity and destiny.
The truth is that America was founded by people with a deep sense of Divine destiny. They envisioned a land of individual and religious liberty from which the Gospel would be taken to the ends of the earth. This is obvious from many historical documents.
Take, for example, the 1643 opening statement of the constitution of the United Colonies of New England. It reads,
Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the Liberties of the Gospel in purity with peace (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 52-53).
The First Continental Congress opened in 1774 with an extended time of Bible reading and prayer. During the Revolutionary War, no less than 15 proclamations for days of prayer, fasting and thanksgiving were issued by the Continental Congress.
George Washington, who began an American tradition by taking the oath of office with his hand on a Bible, once said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 137).
Yes, America’s founding generation had a sense of Divine destiny. Many of those at the 1787 Constitutional Convention believed that God led them in the formulation of the U.S. Constitution. This was the conviction of James Madison, the chief architect of the Constitution, who declared,
It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in critical stages of the Revolution.
That the Founders wanted Christianity to spread from America’s shores to the 4 corners of the earth is obvious from public prayers that they prayed. For example, Washington once prayed, “Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind, and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy Son, Jesus Christ” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 138).
Samuel Adams, Founding Father and governor of Massachusetts, proclaimed a Day of Prayer in 1795 while serving as governor of that state. In this proclamation, he asked the people to pray a specific prayer. He said, “Pray that the peaceful and glorious reign of our Divine Redeemer may be known throughout the whole family of mankind.”
This sense of Divine destiny in the founding generation has been almost extinguished by secularist historians who have re-written our history and severed our roots.
There is, however, still a flicker of hope that must be fanned into a flame by recovering the truth of America’s spiritual birth. By doing so we will take control of our future for as George Orwell said, “Whoever controls the past, controls the future.”
Recovering Our Prophetic Witness
This Reawakening will require that the church remember its reason for being. We are not here to be fashionable, popular or applauded. We are here to be His witnesses.
We are here to hold forth the word of Life. We are here to be salt and light to this generation. We are here to be the conscience of the nation and prophetically challenge her thinking and behavior.
A church that is looking for cultural and social acceptance can never be a prophetic voice to the nation, for she will inevitably compromise her message so as not to offend the culture.
As I survey the religious landscape, I think this may be the biggest sin of the American church--loving the praises of people more than the praises of God; being more concerned with what certain segments of society might think than with what God thinks.
As a result, many churches have hedged and dodged speaking clearly about controversial social issues such as sexuality, marriage and abortion. Like Esau, they have exchanged their birthright for a bowl of beans. They have laid aside their prophetic witness in exchange for temporal social and cultural acceptance.
“America’s Reawakening” requires a godly remnant regaining their voice and being a clear witness to this generation of the truth that is in Jesus.
Giving Priority to Prayer
Jonathan Edwards once said, “When God determines to accomplish a certain thing in the earth, He first sets His people to praying for the very thing He intends to give.” That many are being deeply stirred to pray for another national, spiritual awakening is a sign that it is something near to the heart of God.
Prayer, therefore, is a key element in seeing another Great Awakening in America. When Jesus drove the merchants and money-changers from the temple he admonished, It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations but you are making it a den of thieves.
According to Jesus, prayer is to be the primary activity of His house. Interestingly, there have been great revivals without great preaching. There have been great revivals without great singing. However, there has never been a great revival without great praying.
This is how the Great Prayer Awakening of 1857-58 was born. Joseph Lanphier, a home missionary with the Dutch Reformed Church in New York City, became weary at the minimal response he garnered passing out tracts and witnessing to people on the streets and in places of business.
He, therefore, set aside those activities and began a noon prayer meeting open to all. As he gave priority to prayer, a spirit of prayer was unleashed across the nation with tens of thousands coming to Christ.
Charles G. Finney told of a prayer meeting in Boston in which a man stood and declared that he had just travelled almost two thousand miles from Omaha, Nebraska and had found “a continuous prayer meeting all the way” (Hyatt, The Great Prayer Awakening of 1857-58, 22).
In this revival, people gave priority to prayer meetings over conventional church services. Finney said that the general impression seemed to be, “We have had instruction until we are hardened; it is time for us to pray” (Hyatt, The Great Prayer Awakening of 1857-58, 22).
As a result of prayer being given priority, hundreds of thousands were swept into the kingdom God, an entire people were freed from slavery and the nation was preserved through its darkest hour, the Civil War. This is why my book, The Great Prayer Awakening of 1857-58, bears the subtitle, “The Prayer movement that Ended Slavery and Saved the American Union.”
What is You Part?
Yes, I am convinced that now is the time for “America’s Reawakening.” Will you be a part of this great work of the Holy Spirit? Here’s what you can do.
Firstly, acquaint yourself with America’s spiritual birth and recover that sense of Divine destiny that was part of the consciousness of America’s founding generation. Secondly, commit yourself to be His prophetic witness to this generation. Thirdly, make a commitment today to giving priority to prayer, particularly for another Great Awakening throughout the land.
This is the time for America’s Reawakening!
Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author, historian and ordained minister.He has written numerous books on Spiritual awakening and on America's Christian birth. These books are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. He has founded "America's Reawakening" to help ignite and give guidance to America's next national spiritual awakening.