A Call to Join Together in Prayer

Jonathan Edwards believed that God’s promises of revival depended on the prayers of his people. What are we waiting for?

In 1747, Jonathan Edwards wrote a short treatise encouraging God’s people to partner in prayer, asking God to move in their communities.

A “shortened” title of this treatise reads: “An Humble Attempt to Promote Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of God’s People in Extraordinary Prayer for the Revival of Religion and the Advancement of Christ’s Kingdom on Earth, Pursuant to Scripture Promises and Prophecies Concerning the Last Time.”

There is not time in this article to inspect the deeply biblical and theological concepts present in almost every single word of this shortened title. (But here’s a podcast on the topic.) What seems reasonably clear is that Edwards was convinced something powerful happens when the people of God come together and unite in prayer for what God has already promised. I hope you see the irony of this. He is asking people to pray together for what God has already said would happen. He says,

That which God abundantly makes the subject of his promises, God’s people should abundantly make the subject of their prayers. It also affords them the strongest assurance that their prayers shall be successful. With that confidence may we go before God, and pray for that of which we have so many exceeding precious and glorious promises to plead!

I am convinced this sort of unity in prayer is as much needed today as it was in Edwards’ time. I believe the church needs to come together in a visible way to pray specifically for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom on earth. I believe the people of God need to gather together to ask Christ to do what he said he would do when he uttered those five powerful words: “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18).

With this in mind, I invite you to join others doing exactly what Edwards exhorted in his treatise. In May 2020, we launched a yearly assembly of prayer, beginning with 3,000 people and 20 churches coming together to pray for Jesus to continue building his church. As thousands prayed for church planting in North America, I envision seeds were planted for what will become a movement of prayer.

This year, our EveryEthne team has set a monumental goal. We aspire to see 30,000 people and more than 100 churches commit to pray together on May 28, 2022. This date—coinciding with the Day of Pentecost—is strategic as we celebrate the birth of the church. There is no better time for thousands of Christ’s followers to come together, as Edwards would say, in Explicit Agreement and Visible Union in Extraordinary Prayer for the Advancement of Christ’s kingdom.

I am excited to see what the Lord will do as a result of thousands of people praying together for church planting in the United States and Canada. The greatest revivals in the history of the church have happened when people pray.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on January 18, 2021 and has been updated for relevance.

Will You Join the Movement?

There are billions of people around the world who don’t know Jesus. What can you do to help? You can pray! Join us in prayer on May 28, 2023 to ask Christ to bring more people to faith and continue to build his church throughout the world. Will you join us?