Madison prayer is for ‘revival’
An enthusiastic crowd answered “A Call for Prayer” in Madison in the first of its kind service designed to spark a revival that speaker Dr. Robert Jeffress believes will spread across the country.
“We need a revival in our country, and it has to start at the local level,” said Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, who preached on the importance of prayer at the service last Thursday in Madison. “God, tonight we are praying for a great revival.”
Jeffress along with singer-songwriter Dickey Lee of Nashville, who sang “The Old Rugged Cross,” led the service held at First Baptist Church in Madison that united members of other denominations, pastors and mayors from other cities in a call for prayers for the city, the state, and the nation. Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler called for the prayer service “in the city prayer is building” because “the greatest gift we can give each other is the power of prayer.
“You are here today for a reason,” Butler said as the 500 prayer warriors in the sanctuary responded with calls of Amen. “This is probably the most important meeting ever in this city. I believe if we continue, we will lead other cities. There are things we can do in this community if we turn it over to our Lord.
“We’re going to have a revival. What’s happening is not by accident, it’s not because of me. I believe this is what our Lord is leading us to do. I’m calling on our people to let it begin here and let it begin tonight,” she said.
Jeffress said people need to realize the importance of prayer in their lives and in their faith. “Do you believe in the power of prayer?” he asked, and members throughout the audience answered with a resounding “Yes.”
Prayer, is not easy, even for people of faith, Jeffress said, but God will always listen.
“You’re always going to struggle with prayer. Let’s face it, prayer is always hard work. Pray for whatever is in your heart and leave the results to God. Be honest with God,” Jeffress said. “God wants you to pray big things. We serve a big God, and he can handle big prayers.
In praying, Jeffress said people need to pray “whatever is in your heart and leave the results to God. God’s will is to keep bad things out of our lives.”
During his 40 years as a pastor, Jeffress said he’s never known a community leader to call for a service of prayer blessings on a community. “I preach often that my nation will be blessed by God. I believe Mayor Mary is returning the city and the nation back to Christian values.”
Lee, who’s been performing for more than 70 years, said he was honored to be a part of Madison’s prayer service. “This is the first time I’ve done one of these. I’ve prayed about this since being asked to come months ago.”
A member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Lee said he prays every time before he steps on a stage to perform and especially before Thursday’s service. Besides spurring on a revival of prayer, Lee said he wanted to make sure everyone left the service “knowing Christ better.
“To me, Christ is where it starts. It starts at the cross like in the old hymns. I hope these words I sing mean something to someone out there,” Lee said before the service began. “I’m hoping people will see Christ when I sing.”