Resurrection and Awakening
Acts 4:33- “And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus...”
By: Chad Clarkson, Executive Director, Houston Church Planting Network
He is risen! Once again, the church in Houston and around the world gathers together to celebrate Easter and be reminded that the tomb is empty. Jesus has risen and brings hope for our salvation through His sacrifice on the cross. Today, may our hearts be stirred in celebration and our lives motivated to action. For the apostles, the resurrection provided fuel for the proclamation and expansion of the gospel. As this band of Christ-followers gave testimony to the resurrection, people responded to this good news and the church began to grow. Supernatural things were happening as the prayers of the early church were being answered and people were being awakened to the gospel.
This is our third year of committing to pray together from Easter to Pentecost (a span of 50 days). We picked these 50 days as it is bookended by two of the seminal events for the church. The resurrection and Pentecost, which many consider the birth of the church.
The theme of our prayer for the 50 days this year is awakening. While revival and awakening are often used interchangeably, it really is more of a progression. Revival seems to be when God touches a community of faith and impacts the people of God. An awakening is when the wider society and community is impacted and involves lost people responding to Jesus and His gospel message.
One of the great theologians of the church was Jonathan Edwards, who experienced firsthand the First Great Awakening. One of the points of emphasis he made was that an awakening only comes because of God’s sovereignty. Awakening is God’s work. However, he doesn’t leave it there, and also answers the question, “Can Christians do anything?” Edwards answers his own question with a resounding “Yes! Yes, they can pray!” Edwards was by no means someone who just hoped for an awakening. He longed for it, prayed for it, worked towards it, and experienced it. May we have that longing to pray for an awakening here in Houston.
Our hope is that as we unite in prayer we would see God move in our hearts, our churches, and our city. Please consider joining us these next 50 days as we pray for our city. I look forward to watching how God responds.
As we reflect on the resurrection today may our hearts express love and gratitude to you God. We pray that you would stir our hearts to be people, who because of the resurrection, are motivated to proclaim your gospel to the world. May this be demonstrated through how we love people, serve the world, make disciples, and plant churches. I pray that the Spirit would awaken hearts in our city to your love, forgiveness, and grace. May you do something here in Houston that can only be explained as the supernatural movement of your Spirit. We love you. Amen.