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Several years ago I had the opportunity to speak at a series of revival meetings at a church in North Carolina. Shortly before the Sunday evening services, the pastor came to me distraught. “I’ve just found out my sister in Texas is in a coma,” he said. “She’s not expected to live.”

He was not only upset due to the severity of her health situation, but he was also concerned because she had never come to faith in Jesus Christ. His sister had lived a hard life, and now she was facing death with no opportunity to hear the gospel.

Prayer with Humility

That night I asked the congregation to pray for the soul of this dear woman. We bowed before God and literally begged for her recovery and a positive response to Jesus Christ.

In our Monday night revival meeting, I asked the church to join in me in fasting and prayer as we continued to pour out our hearts before the Lord for this dear pastor’s sister. This plea extended through Tuesday as well. On Wednesday we received a call—God had heard our prayers.

Pray as if Your Life Depends on It—Because It Does

The pastor called to report his sister had revived briefly from her coma. She called out for her brother, saying, “I’m going to die and I’m not ready!” He came, shared the gospel with his dying sister, and she prayed with him to believe in Jesus Christ.

When word reached us, we rejoiced, but only briefly. We soon discovered his sister soon slipped back into a coma, dying twenty-four hours later.

My pastor friend mourned her loss, yet took joy in knowing his sister had received eternal life. The church considered it a miracle, a special intervention by God on behalf of the prayers of His people.

I’ll never forget that season of prayer. We prayed as if her life depended on it—because it did. We fought on our knees for the soul of one person who had yet to trust in Jesus. We asked the Holy Spirit to act—and He did.

We Desperately Need the Holy Spirit Today

I’m often asked, “What should be every Christian’s deepest desire?” Some mention changes in government. Others speak about the importance of family or the end of abortion in our nation. While these are important topics, God calls every believer to seek revival. This is something each Christian can pursue—for self, for family, for the church, and for our nation.

  • First, pray God would awaken your heart to the things of God. Let change begin with you.
  • Second, ask God to bring revival to your spouse, children, and grandchildren.
  • Third, seek God’s renewal upon your congregation and other churches across our nation.
  • Fourth, beg the Lord to bring revival to our country.

What if we took time today to pray for our nation the way a small North Carolina church prayed for the soul of one woman far from God? Would He intervene with a similar miracle? Could we expect His hand to point our families, churches, and country to a spiritual awakening?

James 5:16 reminds us, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 adds, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Despite the seemingly endless, nearly insurmountable challenges of our lives and nation, there is One whose power transcends every fear. We often look to God when all else fails, yet He calls us to lean on Him through every storm—before, during, and after. Only He can fix what is broken and He often chooses to bring forth His greatest changes in response to people who fight on their knees in prayer.

Written by Alex McFarland
Alex McFarland serves as Director of the Center for Apologetics and Christian Worldview, North Greenville University, located in South Carolina (www.ngu.edu). www.alexmcfarland.com