By Jeff Ziegler
Published March 1, 1996
The Relationship of Prayer and God’s Law in Reformation
“There is a communion of men with God by which, having entered the heavenly sanctuary, appeal to him in person concerning his promises in order to experience, where necessity so demands, that what they believed was not in vain, although he had promised it in word alone.”
– John Calvin
It is interesting to note all of the various prayer movements which are springing up around the country. Most of these seem intent on seeing great spiritual awakening. Truly, I encourage such praying for our national sin is great indeed and corporate prayer, especially covenantally based prayer, is one of the great means in achieving a great Christian Renaissance. However, I do have concern that many of these movements have little understanding of the theological and historic underpinning of genuine awakening which brings societal reform.
While prayer is of paramount importance in arresting national moral atrophy, it is equally important to note that there are concrete Biblical steps which must be concurrent with such praying or which follow quickly on the heels thereof. The mighty revival and reformation during Israel’s captivity led by Ezra and Nehemiah, certainly had its genesis in prayer (Ezra 9:5-15; Nehemiah 1:4-11). However, the central theme of their reformation was not prayer in and of itself but, instead the answer which their prayers secured. That central blessing and purpose was the restoration of the Law of God in Israel as depicted in Ezra 7:10; 10:3; and Nehemiah 8:1-9; 9:1-3; 10:29. This restoration of the Law of God and the subsequent return to orthodoxy and fidelity which it wrought, was the chief reason for the sweeping re-ordering of Israel’s apostate society which now regained God’s favor.
The standard for a reformed society has always been and will always be the Law of God. Unfortunately, so many in the “revival prayer movement” see no need of restoring the orthodox and Protestant doctrinal foundations which are the bedrock for any lasting reformation. In fact, they shun any such standard and instead grasp at politically correct straws such as cultural and racial reconciliation, (whatever that means), and lowest common denominator unity which is said to be necessary as a testimony to the world.
However, if such unity has no orthodox creedal basis, if such a proposed unity refuses to confront evil,(without Scriptural standards evil cannot be defined let alone confronted), and if such unity harbors heresy on primary issues, then what standard is being raised as a “testimony” to the world in the first place?
The American “First Great Awakening” is often lauded as the epitome of revival. Much emphasis is given to the vast numbers of people who were swept into the Kingdom and the effect this had on society at large. Unfortunately, very little attention is given to the fact that the great leaders of the day Jonathan Edwards, Gilbert Tennant, John Rowland and English firebrand George Whitefield were in fact Calvinistic, covenantal in their approach to Scripture, theocratic if not outright theonomic in ethics and to a man, were postmillennial in outlook. Indeed, their theology formed their worldview, which in turn impacted the content and methodology of their pulpiteering. Thus, it was reformation preaching which brought the sweeping revival.
So, as important as prayer is to revival and reformation such prayer cannot be divorced from doctrine or anarchy will be the result.
That is precisely why The Puritan Storm is dedicated to the restoration of the fallen altars of our Puritan heritage for reformation cannot be had without Reformed doctrine!
Thus we by God’s grace must highly resolve to support corporate covenantally based prayer for revival (a return to orthodoxy), reformation (according to God’s Law) and reconstruction (coextensive with all of society). Yet at the same time we must engage antinomian (lawless) pietistic and mystical defeatists within the Church and overcome them. As they are displaced, we must doggedly continue to disciple pastors, train students, reform local churches, and mobilize such churches to act in enforcing the Crown Rights of Jesus Christ over all of society. In this way we will be in line with ministry of Ezra and Nehemiah.
So, let us hasten to action stations by mobilizing for prayer according to the covenantal standards of God’s Word. May we not equivocate, excuse or retreat until the Kingdom and the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole heaven and earth are given to the saints of the most high God. May God grant that every form of indolence and ignorance be driven from the Church, and that she in turn would drive iniquity from our land. For God has not given this task of dominion to any other institution but the Church. To speak of reforming the culture without reforming the arrogantly ignorant and impotent American Church is sheer folly!
Forerunner - Home » The Puritan Storm
Your comments are welcome!
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these six short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l
Running Time: 40 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)