Revival: Prayer is Not a Substitute for Obedience

By A.W.Tozer

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”John 14:21

Intensity of prayer is no criterion of its effectiveness. A man may throw himself on his face and sob out his troubles to the Lord and yet have no intention to obey the commandments of Christ. Strong emotion and tears may be no more than the outcropping of a vexed spirit, evidence of stubborn resistance to God’s known will….

Revival PrayerNo matter what I write here, thousands of pastors will continue to call their people to prayer in the forlorn hope that God will finally relent and send revival if only His people wear themselves out in intercession. To such people God must indeed appear to be a hard taskmaster, for the years pass and the young get old and the aged die and still no help comes. The prayer meeting room becomes a wailing wall and the lights burn long, and still the rains tarry.

Has God forgotten to be gracious? Let any reader begin to obey and he will have the answer. “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him” (John 14:21).

Isn’t that what we want after all? The Size of the Soul, 20-21.

“Lord, help me to obey Your commandments. My spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak! I long to live in that obedience, in order that I may know the Father’s love and manifestation to me. Amen.”


“15 Blow a trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly, 16 gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing infants. Let the bridegroom come out of his room and the bride out of her bridal chamber. 17 Let the priests, the Lord’s ministers, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, “Spare Your people, O LORD, and do not make Your inheritance a reproach, a byword among the nations.  Why should they among the peoples say, “Where is their God?”  Joel 2:15-17

Dear brothers and sisters in the body of Christ on Cape Cod,

God has drawn our attention to the dark spiritual condition of this peninsula to which He has sovereignly called us. Families are in distress, broken by divorce. Given the rampant abuse of pornography, drugs, and alcohol and the advance of secularism in our day, hope is in short supply.

It is generally acknowledged that somewhere around 5% of the population of Cape Cod has a vibrant relationship with God. Were we to allow a generous increase to even 10%, the vast majority of the population does not have any real hope for eternity. While there may be a few bright spots among our churches, generally the churches of Cape Cod are hindered in their witness, which is compounded by church members who are not sure how to live for Jesus Christ in this world. The stark truth is that the church of Jesus Christ is in trouble – and this is an intolerable situation. God has also drawn our attention to His mercy as our only hope.

Therefore, several pastors and leaders on Cape Cod believe God is calling us to fast and pray for His Presence to come in power among us, bringing spiritual awakening. We believe that there needs to be a sense of holy desperation(not despondency) for God to move in our midst. We share the sense that Daniel, Nehemiah and the apostles in the Book of Acts had for revival. That sense of holy desperation/hunger/thirst for God to move, was a common and critical ingredient in biblical and historical revivals.  We don’t believe that fasting earns us anything from God, and we don’t believe that we fast to try to convince a reluctant God to bring revival, but as you know fasting subjects the flesh and heightens the sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.

Jesus blessed those who are hungry and thirsty for Him (Matthew 5:6), and rebuked the self-satisfied (Revelation 3:17).

We have chosen Tuesdays as the day we are fasting, but there is no particular “magic” to that day: it’s simply a desire to be united in this effort. So far there are about seventeen pastors and leaders fasting on Tuesdays at this time, and so we urge you to join us. And we further urge you to encourage your brothers and sisters in the body to do so, each one engaging with God for His power to visit the Cape. If Tuesdays do not work for you, choose another day of the week and fast with us on that day!

As you know, fasting is one of the spiritual disciplines, and it is certainly not one of the easier disciplines to do. We prayed, asking God to grow in this area, and in answer to our prayer, God is giving us grace to fast one day each week.

What kind of fast shall you choose? We do not want to be taken up with rigorous rules and obligations, but to walk in grace. Therefore, ask God what He would have you do. Should you refrain from all food? Should you eat only vegetables? Allow the Lord to direct you to fast in a way that is possible for you, but is also spiritually stretching. God will give you whatever grace you need to engage in this discipline of the Spirit – and God knows we all need to grow in discipline! We are never going to rise to the level of maturity to which God is calling us without learning how to exercise discipline in our lives.

We encourage and challenge you to fast one day each week.  Please join us! Use the meal times to seek God’s face and ask him to move in your life, in your family, in your neighborhood, and especially throughout Cape Cod. We invite you to join us to labor together as the united body of Christ on Cape Cod, towards experiencing the reality of what God invited us to: The Glory of God in our midst and the subsequent outbreak of revival on Cape Cod! Let us come together in fasting and prayer for a mighty move of God among us!

Your brothers and sisters in Christ,

Pastors Frank & Donna Alexander, Grace Chapel Assembly of God, Wellfleet
Pastor Percy Ballah, Faith Assemblies of God, Hyannis
Pastor Sheldon Clarkson, Outer Cape Christian Church, Truro
Pastor Ed de la Cour, First Baptist Church in Pocasset
Elder Gerry Dorman, Anglican Church of the Resurrection, Brewster
Deacon Stephen Duffy, Mid-Cape Worship Center, Dennisport
Pastor Erik Eskelund, Living Hope Family Church, Hyannis
Rev. Dr. Nick Gatzke, Osterville Baptist Church, Osterville
Pastor Myron Heckman, Cape Cod Bible Alliance Church, Brewster
Rev. Dr. John-Paul Lotz, Church of the Redeemer, Osterville
Pastor Henry Perry, Mid-Cape Worship Center, Dennisport
Dr. Mamdouh Riad, Cape Cod Bible Alliance Church, Brewster
Pastors Stephen & Dalene Russell, New Life Christian Center, Dennisport
Pastor Mac Smith, Bay Community Alliance church, Buzzards Bay
Rev. Alan Wilmont, Anglican Church of the Resurrection, Brewster

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