A. It is the Father’s pleasure to release the kingdom to and through His people by prayer (Luke 12:32).
32“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” – Luke 12:32
Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance but laying hold of His willingness. – Martin Luther
B. One way to intercede for a greater manifestation of the kingdom is to contend for the fulfilment of prophetic promises—biblical prophetic promises, contemporary prophetic promises, and personal prophetic words—particularly those related to revival.
C. The foundation of our ministry must be on Jesus and our relationship with Him as confirmed in the written Word of God. We must never receive prophetic promises that do not honour the Word or that contradict it. The Scriptures are the final authority on all matters of faith, including prophetic promises.
D. Prophetic promises are often invitations rather than guarantees. There is a dynamic relationship between prophetic promises and persevering prayer. As our faith is stirred by God’s promises, we are energized to sustain prayer for the full release of these promises. Prophetic promises help us persevere in our faith and obedience so that we do not draw back in times of pressure and difficulty.
E. Paul exhorted Timothy to fight the fight of faith according to the prophetic words that were given to him (1 Timothy 1:18). We value biblical promises most, but we should not neglect personal prophetic promises that are confirmed by the Spirit. Such prophetic promises help us to persevere with faithfulness in our ministry assignments and not quit when the assignment is difficult or small.
18This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare. – 1 Timothy 1:18
II. PARTNERSHIP WITH GOD: THREE STAGES
A. First, God initiates what He wants by declaring it in His Word and stirring our heart to believe for it.
B. Second, we respond in obedience and prayer with faith, speaking God’s will back to Him.
C. Third, God answers our prayer by releasing what we pray for into the natural realm.
D. The Lord is over the whole process of releasing revival. He sends prophetic encouragement to stir His people to persevere in prayer and faith, and then the Spirit helps them to pray. The Lord then answers the prayers by releasing His blessing in a greater measure. It is a glorious cycle! Revival starts with Him, prayer is initiated and sustained through Him, and the glory goes back to Him.
36From Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory. – Romans 11:36, NASB
III. BIBLICAL PROMISES FOR A GREAT OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
A. I am convinced that the greatest outpouring of the Spirit in all history will be released just before Jesus’ second coming. The Body of Christ worldwide in the generation in which the Lord returns will participate in the greatest revival ever to occur. In this great revival, the Holy Spirit will release the types of miracles recorded in Acts and Exodus, combined and multiplied on a global scale.
B. The Bible contains many promises related to the end times. Jesus is coming back for a glorious Church that is walking in holiness, without any blemish or compromise (Ephesians 5:27).
27…that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. – Ephesians 5:27
C. Promises found in the Scriptures confirm that the Body of Christ worldwide will see various expressions of “revival” that will come to greater fullness in the end times. I identify five:
C (i) We will see the emergence of a victorious, unified, anointed church that is full of God’s glory.
22“The glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one.” – John 17:22
C (ii) The Church will live in love, humility, and purity as a Bride who is fully prepared for the Lord by living according to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7; Revelations 19:7).
7“The marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” – Revelations 19:7
C (iii) John prophesied a great end-time harvest from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Revelations 7:9). I expect this great ingathering of souls to exceed one billion new souls coming to Jesus.
9…behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne…14These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes…in the blood of the Lamb. – Revelations 7:9, 14
C (iv) The spirit of prophecy will operate in the Church and rest on every believer.
17“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” – Acts 2:17
C (v) The Body of Christ will fulfil its primary calling to make disciples as we win the lost and build His Church—a kingdom community expressing the two great commandments to love God and people and fully engaging in the Great Commission (Matthew 22:37-39; 28:19).
37You shall love the Lord…with all your heart…38This is the first and great commandment. 39The second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.
– Matthew 22:37-39
19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always.” – Matthew 28:19-20
D. We embrace a tension as we pray for the full release of the Lord’s prophetic promises of revival—we experience a partial release of power now, while earnestly praying for the fullness of the Spirit.
E. Some who pray for a historic outpouring lose sight of ministering in God’s power in the present, while some who are ministering to people on a regular basis now lose sight of contending in intercession for a historic breakthrough of the fullness of all God has promised. They pour out all their energy in ministry and do not have the zeal to contend for a greater breakthrough in the future.
F. We can walk in the measure that God has ordained for us now as well as seek for the fullness of what He has promised. We can heal the sick and win many to Jesus now, even before the time when great multitudes will come to Jesus in the fullness of end-time revival with power.
G. We are to take hold of God’s power today while we contend for the fullness for tomorrow. In other words, we can have a “present-tense relationship” with Jesus and experience His power now in our ministry and at the same time pray for and anticipate the fullness of all that God promised.
H. Jesus spoke of the kingdom as if it had fully come and as if it were still yet to come. As George E. Ladd puts it, the kingdom of God is both “already” but “not yet”—it is already here but not yet fully here. The Bible teaches that the kingdom came to earth in part with the first coming of Christ, but that the complete manifestation of biblical prophecies concerning the kingdom of God will occur at the end of this age when Jesus Christ returns again to reign as King over the nations of the earth.
This resource has been adapted from International House of Prayer University Free Teaching Library. We are grateful to Mike Bickle for making all his resources on prayer freely available for use.