As people are gathering in Asbury and now other campuses, whether this is truly a revival or not, people are still praying and confessing confessing sin and committing themselves more deeply to God.
Many people appeal to the “Spirit” texts in Acts as both rationale (proof) that what is happening in Kentucky and other campuses is a “revival” and, also, among the sincere prayers that truly want God to do it again (like in Acts).
I'd like to give you, however, some prayers based on the contexts of thees “Spirit” texts in Acts, which have the marks of these Acts chapters (2, 4, 8, 10, 13, and 19), that are faithful to the text, and underscore the theological intent Luke wanted to pass on to the church long afterward . . . so, let us pray . . .
Acts 2: The promised Spirit falls and gives birth to the church in the presence of witnesses from all the known nations, i.e., all the corners of the earth. Yes. Do this again: may the church rediscover the falling of the Spirit so that it in its local expressions it will bear witness to the nations. And, may the Spirit renew the church’s desire for apostolic teaching, fellowship, and concern for the poor—and for what it means to be gathered together as church.
Acts 4: May the Spirit fall to shake us, the church, that we might learn to bear witness and boldly proclaim the gospel despite the nations raging. And may we, again, develop a concern for the poor, and as well hold all things in common as a witness to those that rage against us.
Acts 8: May the Spirit fall on us in such away that we accept the Samaritans among us, those who are different, unclean, born of the “wrong” ethnicity, may the Spirit throw us out of our temples and into new hinterlands to proclaim and live out the gospel.
Acts 10: May the Spirit fall on those whom we hate, our enemies, those who are among the “raging Gentiles,” so that we, the church, may rediscover the gospel is also for the “raging Gentiles.”
Acts 13: Although very rarely it is included in the revival proof chapter lists, it should be: May the Spirit might fall on us so that missionaries would be called and set apart and sent to the unreached around the globe and to those who are among us even now, the unclean, dirty rotten Gentiles so that they may hear and have opportunities to respond to the good news of Jesus Christ; may the Spirit drive us out toward the hinterlands and the ends of the earth.
Acts 19: Though not a falling of the Spirit part of the narrative, still may the Spirit move us toward unknown and unreached places and fill us in such a way to confront idolatry (even our own idolatries and the idolatries we kind of like having around so our identities as church can be maintained in this land).
Hear our prayers. Amen!
Chip M. Anderson, advocate for biblical social action; pastor of an urban church plant in the Hill neighborhood of New Haven, CT; husband, father, author, former Greek & NT professor; and, 19 years involved with social action.