Is there a relationship between revival and prayer?

“Prayer is the engine of the church,” I sometimes heard as a little boy at a birthday party at our home. The way it was pronounced and the words themselves made a big impression on me. It sounded very important, although I didn’t understand what it really meant. In recent years, this deep truth has come more and more to life for me.


Revival preacher Charles Finney (early 19th century) often spoke about ‘influencing God’. “There are two elements necessary to promote revival: one by influencing men and the other by influencing God. The truth is used to influence people and prayer to move God. When I speak of moving God, I do not mean that prayer produces a change in God’s mind, attitude, or character. Prayer changes us in such a way that God is moved to do something, otherwise He would be inconsistent.” I think Finney explains very powerfully here that God wants to work with us because that is in His character. That moves me, challenges me and at the same time it also confuses me. Because working with the Most High is no small feat.


Every month, 10-15 Christians gather in the cozy waiting room of a dentist in Franeker to pray. They started that a year ago. Why did they start doing that? Why now? Because God is doing something in the hearts of these men and women. They experience compassion and passion for the church that is in such need. It hurts them more and more that more and more churches, people, young people and families are dropping out. That pain awakens in them the realization that only God can bring recovery. That pain brings them to their knees. It touches me. I know that they are an illustration for dozens of groups in our country. In whom the desire to pray grows. So that first of all we change. Our compassion and passion for the church and for the Netherlands is increasing. I think that moves God to touch us further. Special, right?!


As the church of Jesus, we are completely dependent on His blessing and work through us. Prayer is the key, the engine, the path to revival for the church in the Netherlands. Our first reflex in difficult circumstances is often ‘work harder’ or ‘better activities ‘. It is our comfort zone to take action. And pray? Well, does that really help? what should I say, many wonder. Which is why we often choose ‘not to go’. At least I have that struggle regularly.

Still, I want to encourage you to rethink the need for prayer. In the Netherlands things naturally go wrong, not automatically right.


Last night we gathered with a small group of prayers in Zwaagwesteinde to pray for the church in North Friesland. It was the most amazing moment of this week for me. Open, honest, and powerful prayers were offered before God. We experienced God’s presence and were guided by His Spirit. I hunger for the moment when large groups of followers of Jesus get down on their knees together and beg God to restore His church and proclaim the Gospel. Afterwards I was so glad I went.

And you?

Do you also feel that longing inside? Pray to God that He will further ignite that desire in you. We are on the eve of special times.
“Now the drops are already falling, send us your streams, O Lord.”

About Gerlof Wiersma

Man van Margreet - Vader van drie kanjers - Jeugdwerker, spreker en gepassioneerd voor de PKN

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