Lesson 2

The Heartbeat of Revival

(Acts 1 & 2, Matthew 6)
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Introduction: How do we start a revival? Can we start a revival? Last week we learned that the church of the end of time is spiritually lukewarm. We discussed ways in which we can personally move from lukewarm to hot. What about moving the entire church to hot? When I was in college, I experienced revival. There are times at Regent University, where I teach, that I feel the Holy Spirit and the spirit of revival. How do those things happen? Let's dive into our study of the Bible to see what we can do to spark a revival in our church!

  1. Preparation and Revival


    1. Read Acts 1:1-2. Who is teaching the disciples? (Jesus and the Holy Spirit!)


    2. Read Acts 1:3-5. Was John the Baptist a revivalist?


      1. Were the disciples to be revivalists?


        1. Would they be better than John? (They would have more powerful gifts.)


        2. Why was John not able to baptize in the power of the Holy Spirit? (Read John 16:7 and John 16:12-15. John the Baptist was preparing the way for Jesus. Jesus was limited by His human form. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would come after Him in a way that would allow God to live in all of His followers. There was an inherent order to this.)


    3. Read Acts 1:6. As Jesus is floating up into heaven, His disciples ask Him a question. What do you think about this question? (If I had been Jesus, I would have kicked the nearest disciple in the ear for asking this! Had they not yet figured out that Jesus was not setting up an earthly kingdom? How frustrating!)


    4. Read Acts 1:7-9. Is Jesus' answer to their question contained only in verse 7? Or, is He continuing to answer in verse 8? (I never noticed this before, but Jesus says that "restoring the kingdom to Israel" has a spiritual component. If I'm right, the promise of the power of the Holy Spirit is part of restoring the Kingdom of God.)


      1. Why do you want revival in your heart and in your church? (To restore the Kingdom of God!)


      2. What does Jesus say is the key to revival and reformation? (The Holy Spirit.)


  2. Prayer and Revival


    1. Read Acts 1:12-14. The disciples are following Jesus' command in Acts 1:4 to wait in Jerusalem for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. When someone tells you to "wait," do you pray?


      1. Why do you think that the disciples, Mary and Jesus' brothers were "constantly in prayer?"


        1. What does that mean? Are you repeating your request? If prayer is talking to God like you would speak to a friend, why would you repeat yourself? That would annoy my friends.


        2. Can we be "constantly in prayer" without any repetition? (If you look at the rest of Acts chapter 1, you will find that the disciples are working on a leadership issue. Perhaps they were not repeating their prayers. It is clear that they were not constantly in prayer from the time they were in the upstairs room until the time the Holy Spirit was poured out in power.)


    2. Read Acts 2:1-4. Jesus promised them a gift, they prayed for it, and what did they receive? (The Holy Spirit.)


      1. What let them know their prayers had been answered? (The sound of violent wind, tongues of fire on each one of them, and speaking in "other tongues.")


        1. Why would the Holy Spirit come in such a way?


    3. Read Acts 2:5-8. What kind of gift of "other tongues" is given to the disciples? (We are told that "each one heard them speaking in his own language." The gift was speaking in such a way that others understand you. Sounds like the ability to speak a foreign language.)


      1. What ideas does this suggest about the reason why the Holy Spirit came as He did? (To get the attention of the people. Much like Jesus' miracles attracted the attention of the crowd, so the wind, fire and tongues drew the attention of the crowd.)


    4. Read Acts 2:37-41. Is this revival? (Yes!)


      1. How did it start? (With a promise, prayers and the power of the Holy Spirit.)


  3. Prayer Conditions


    1. Read Mark 1:35 and Luke 5:16. What do you find in common in these texts? (Jesus withdrew to a private, quiet place where he could be alone to pray.)


      1. Do you want to be alone?


      2. Is there any time in your life when you are alone? (We think we need to be constantly entertained. We are surfing the Internet on our phones, watching television, texting, or listening to music. We have no time for private thoughts.)


    2. Read Matthew 18:19-20. This shows that not all prayer is to be solitary. What is the advantage of praying with others?(Praying with others involves agreement. This creates an obstacle to selfish prayers. It helps our prayers to be more reasonable and considered. God promises that He will be there if only two are praying together. It is an assurance of His presence in very small groups.)


  4. Lord's Prayer


    1. Read Matthew 6:5. I once heard a man praying about how much oil his country produced. He was not asking for help, he was giving production numbers. What kind of prayer is described in this text?


      1. What does Jesus mean when He says, "they have received their reward in full?" (They wanted others to be impressed with their prayer, well, that is what they get and all that they get.)


    2. Read Matthew 6:7. Recall we discussed the "constantly in prayer" question earlier? What does Jesus say about repetitious prayers? (Constant prayer has to be in the nature of a discussion with God. Just repeating the same thing over and over is "babbling." God doesn't like it any more than you like to hear babbling.)


    3. Read Matthew 6:9 the first part. What is Jesus giving to us? (A model for prayer. A pattern for prayer.)


    4. Read Matthew 6:9 the second part. What does this teach us about how we should start each prayer? (We start with praise to God.)


    5. Read Matthew 6:10. What are we asking for here? (That God's will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.)


      1. Does this have anything to do with us? (Yes! It is both a prayer about our own behavior and a promise to help ensure that God's will is done on earth prior to His return.)


    6. Read Matthew 6:11. Are we allowed to pray for things that we want? (Yes.)


      1. What do you think about the placement of this subject in Jesus' model prayer? (It comes right after praise to God and a discussion of God's will being done on earth. It is early in the prayer, but it is subordinate to God's will being done on earth.)


    7. Read Matthew 6:12. When you pray do you begin with a request for forgiveness? (I suspect most people do.)


      1. What does the model suggest about whether we should start our prayers with a request for forgiveness?


      2. What condition is placed on receiving forgiveness? (We need to be forgiving toward others.)


    8. Read Matthew 6:13. Would God lead us into temptation? (Read James 1:13-14. This tells us that God does not tempt us.)


      1. In light of James' statement, what do you think "lead us not into temptation" means? (James tells us that our own evil desires lead us into temptation. Right after we confess our sins, Jesus reminds us to avoid the things that bring us into sin.)


    9. Read Matthew 6:13, the last part. What does it mean to pray for deliverance from evil, or the evil one? (This is where we pray about our own spiritual and physical life, and the lives of others who we want delivered from evil.)


    10. Friend, do your prayers resemble the model given to us by Jesus? Prayer is key to unleashing the power of God for reformation and revival. Will you, today, decide to focus more on your prayer life?


  5. Next week: The Word - The Foundation of Revival.

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Lessons on Reformation and Revival

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