Exclusive: Greg Laurie declares ‘the only solution for turning our nation around is spiritual’
Published: 5 days ago
In 1947 Peter Marshall, chaplain of the U.S. Senate, said, “The choice before us is plain: Christ or chaos, conviction or compromise, discipline or disintegration.”
As we look at our country right now, I think we could agree that it is going downhill fast with the moral and spiritual breakdowns in our nation. So can a country ever turn around again?
I hope we all have gotten the memo that the solution is not political. No politician from any party will be able to turn this country around. Our primary problem is spiritual, and the only solution for turning our nation around is spiritual. That will come as a result of people praying.
I think America has two options before us: judgment or revival. If we don’t have a revival, then we are in big trouble in the United States. We know this much. Judgment is coming to America one day, just as judgment is coming to all of the world. That is inevitable. My prayer is that before judgment does come, we will have at least one more spiritual awakening.
The United States has had a number of revivals, or Great Awakenings, that have turned our nation around. The first was during the early 1700s, with such men as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield taking part. During two years of this revival from 1740 to 1742, between 25,000 and 50,000 people came to believe in Jesus Christ – and that was out of a population of only 300,000.
The Second Great Awakening took place during the days of the early frontier, the Wild West, from the 1790s to 1840. Preachers like Charles Finney were proclaiming the gospel at a time when the law was disregarded and sexual sin was rampant. People would come from everywhere to camp meetings, where makeshift structures with sawdust floors were set up in the middle of a forest. Itinerant preachers would ride on horseback from place to place, preaching the gospel. One lanky young lawyer who was dramatically impacted at one of those sawdust revivals was Abraham Lincoln.
The Third Great Awakening, from 1857 to 1859, had unique beginnings. A 48-year-old businessman named Jeremiah Lanphier began a prayer meeting on Fulton Street in New York. At first, not a lot of people attended this prayer meeting. This revival started slow, but it began to build. Then the stock market crashed, and soon hundreds of New Yorkers were gathering for prayer. Within six months, 10,000 people were gathering daily for prayer throughout New York City. It was reported that 50,000 New Yorkers came to faith from March to May, and they saw approximately 1 million people come to faith in Christ during that particular revival.
There was perhaps a Fourth Great Awakening. I think we could call the Jesus Movement from the late 1960s to the early 1970s a genuine revival in the United States. It turned around thousands of young people. Many of those who came to faith during the Jesus Movement are grandparents now. I know this because I am one of them.
I thank God for what he has done in the past, but here is my prayer: “Do it again, Lord.” That needs to be our prayer, that God would do it again. We need another Great Awakening, another revival, another Jesus Movement.
The prophet Habakkuk understood this when he prayed, “I have heard all about you, LORD. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2 NLT).
The psalmist prayed, “Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:6 NKJV).
We need to pray to that end – that God would send this revival. But what does revival mean exactly? Revive means to bring back to life again. We could use the word restoration in its place just as easily.
A revival is an invasion from heaven. It is when God is at work, and you can’t explain it. That is what I want to see again: a revival in which we don’t know how it started, but where people are packing out churches, are coming to Christ and are praying. That is what we need to see again.
Revival is kind of a church word. The secular culture doesn’t need revival; they need evangelism. And here is the interesting thing: Evangelism doesn’t necessarily produce revival, but revival always produces evangelism. Whenever there has been an awakening, there has been an evangelistic thrust that has come as a result. When God’s people are awakened, when they are restored, when they are revived, then they go out and start doing what they should have been doing all along, which is proclaiming the gospel. I pray that the church will have revival. And I pray that our culture will hear the gospel.
Will revival ever come again to the United States? No one can say with certainty. I hope it will. God gave the prescription for the healing of a nation in 2 Chronicles 7:14. God said, “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.” That is what we want. Lord, heal our Land. Lord, turn America in the right direction again. Turn America back toward You. Let’s pray to that end.
Don’t underestimate the power of prayer.