The following outline is taken from my Prayer Storm Study Guide and corresponds with the related chapter in my Prayer Storm book. This material carries one of the four major themes the Holy Spirit spoke to me to call forth: 1) Revival in the Church, 2) Prayer for Israel: All Descendants of Abraham, 3) The Greatest Youth Awakening the World Has Ever Seen and 4) Crisis Intervention through Intercession.
Prayer for Another Great Awakening—Youth
And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. Joel 2:28-29 NKJV
The Time Has Come for Another Great Awakening
In 1967, a youth revival known as the Jesus Movement broke out, sweeping across the country, exploding on college campuses and in coffee houses.
The Catholic charismatic renewal, one of the largest movements in neo-pentecostal history, started the same year and ushered thousands of Catholics and Protestants into fresh encounters with Jesus, including the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
In 1967 also, Jerusalem was once again brought under the control of the Jewish people and the state of Israel. This marked the shifting of eras; the dispensation of the times of the Gentiles began to shift to the time when Jerusalem will become the last days' focus for God's activity in the earth.
All of this has significance for us today, more than 40 years later, because we need another great awakening, specifically a youth awakening, in order to see God's plan come to fruition.
Revolution—Always Begins With Young Adults
Revolutions always start on campuses. Almost every revolution—bad or good—has started with students on college and university campuses. From Marxism, communism, and Nazism to the Moravians, the Azusa Street revival, and the Jesus People movement, every one has started with students or has had a great influence on students, who are hungry for change and willing to lay down their lives for a cause.
1. The campuses are where the future leaders are living and being trained.
2. More than 550,000 international students attend American universities and 600,000 more attend foreign universities.
3. Statistics show that more than 77 percent of all Christians make a decision for Christ before the age of 21.
Campus ministry, Cambridge style: In 1799, an evangelical move of the Holy Spirit began at King's College, Cambridge, England. By 1877, students from across Cambridge's 17 colleges organized the Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union (CICCU), which in turn caused an increased interest in salvations and missions. An evangelistic campaign led by D.L. Moody and Ira Sankey resulted in a noticeable increase in enrollment in theology schools and involvement in missions, including the launching of the "Cambridge Seven" to China, led by C.T. Studd, who had been a well-known cricket player. More than a century later, CICCU still exists and has helped with the formation of organizations such as InterVarsity, Campus Crusade for Christ, and the Navigators.
The First and Second Great Awakenings: The First Great Awakening in North America and Europe was ignited by a Yale University graduate named Jonathan Edwards and by Oxford students John Wesley and George Whitefield. The Second Great Awakening was sparked by Timothy Dwight, the grandson of Jonathan Edwards, at Yale University. After his 1797 message to Yale students, nearly half of Yale's student body came to Christ in a few short months.
The "Haystack Five": Samuel Mills was a freshman at Williams College in Massachusetts in 1806, when he met with four friends for prayer about revival and world missions. When a rainstorm hit, they took refuge under a haystack and continued to pray (thus becoming known as the "Haystack Five"). "When the rain subsided, Mills stood up, slammed his fist into his hand, and announced, 'We can do this, if we will!'" These five young collegians stepped out in faith and not only initiated the first nationwide student movement, but also began the first six mission agencies from North America.
Student Volunteer Movement: In 1886, a 20-something young man named Luther Wishard, newly appointed leader in the YMCA, heard the story of the Haystack Five. Inspired by the story, he committed himself to a revival of the same vision and went on to found the Student Volunteer Movement, which became the largest missions movement of all time.
Over the next generation, students on every campus in the U.S. committed themselves to the "evangelization of the world in this generation." Over 20,000 of them sailed to the foreign mission field, and over 80,000 others had personally committed themselves to prayer and to financially support those being sent out.
Evan Roberts and the Welsh Revival of 1904: At the age of 13, Evan Roberts began to seek the Lord. When he was 26, revival came to his hometown in Wales. He taught the people to pray two simple prayers, "Send the Spirit now for Jesus Christ's sake," and, "Send the Spirit now more powerfully for Jesus Christ's sake." God's Spirit came so powerfully that 100,000 people were born again.
The Prophetic Promises of a Great Youth Awakening
1) Read your Bible with an eye toward young adults. You can see how readily God engages this generation for His purposes—even before colleges and universities existed. Biblical prophecies about the first and second comings of Christ are not confined to the prophetic books of the Old Testament. A surprising number are found in the Psalms.
The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet." The Lord will extend Your mighty scepter from Zion; You will rule in the midst of Your enemies. Your troops will be willing on Your day of battle. Arrayed in holy majesty, from the womb of the dawn You will receive the dew of Your youth. Psalm 110:1-3 NIV
This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight. 1 Timothy 1:18
2) When prophecy (Biblical or personal) is neglected, the prayer movement is weakened. Prophetic utterances strengthen our resolve in prayer and obedience, providing significant focus.
A. In 1975, the prophet Bob Jones had the first of a series of encounters with angels who spoke about an outpouring of the Spirit that would be characterized by prophetic intercession. In 1984, the Lord showed Bob that prophetic intercession would need to be joined by "compassion and worship" to be complete. The combination of these anointings would results in several things: revival in the Church, power evangelism in world missions, justice in society, pockets of mercy ("cities of refuge"), and worldwide intercession for Israel. Between 1975 and 1983, Bob was given over 100 prophetic revelations about a worldwide youth movement.
B. In 1995, I had an intense dream and visionary experience in which I saw stadiums filled with young people praising God. I heard this piercing word, "The stadiums will be filled as out of the belly of the Promise Keepers movement shall come forth a Youth Extravaganza that will rock the nations." I'm expecting to see the fulfillment of this word.
The Law of Night and Day Prayer
"And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly..." (Luke 18:7-8 NIV).
Why should 24/7 prayer and worship arise today?
1. 24/7 worship and prayer is done in Heaven and, therefore, should be done on earth.
2. 24/7 worship and prayer releases God's justice on the earth.
3. 24/7 worship and prayer fuels the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:19).
4. 24/7 worship and prayer hinders the plans of the devil.
5. 24/7 worship and prayer releases revival breakthrough.
6. 24/7 worship and prayer prepares the way for Christ's second coming.
The role of prayer in student revivals: In order to understand revival, we must understand the role of prayer in the history of revivals. J. Edwin Orr, the famous revival historian, said, "Young people in student-led prayer cells have been at the forefront in almost every awakening." Even the Moravians have a share in this fact. (By the time Count Nicolas Ludwig von Zinzendorf had graduated from the equivalent of high school at the age of 16, he had started no fewer than seven different student prayer groups, and he continued his prayer disciplines while he was a student at the University of Wittenberg from 1716 to 1719.)
Maturity and Strength
We need to move in the spirit of Elijah, which means, we need to say, "God, give me a spiritual son or daughter." Young people in this "fatherless generation" need to look for spiritual parents who encourage them and intercede for them, helping them find their God-given passions and destinies.
Elders must bless young people with their time, knowledge, wisdom, strength, vision, and every good thing, treating them like full-grown plants and like "corner pillars," bestowing on them a high appraisal of their value and helping them to envision their future in the family of God. They must help them in practical ways by providing necessary resources and releasing authority to them to accomplish their God-given commissions. "Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants, and our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace" (Psalm 144:12).
Moves of God always involve the younger generation. Every one of us must pray for awakening and renewal among young people.
With a Heart for this Generation,
James W. Goll
Encounters Network • PrayerStorm • Compassion Acts