01 October 2012

Forty Days to November
Day 4: Great Awakenings

One very popular television and talk radio host has recently declared that we are in the beginning stages in America of the Third Great Awakening.  I'd sure like to think so, although I personally feel I'm on the edge of some precipice looking down into a deep fog-filled crevasse. I am a huge fan of faith. Faith allows me to live One Day At A Time.  Faith gives me a great amount of comfort in all of God's mysteries, histories, and miracles. But gosh it's been hard to hold on to that faith for what lies ahead for the future.  By remembering God's role in some of history's greatest times, faith helps. Because future faith transfers into hope.

Jonathan Edwards
In Northampton, Mass, 1734, America's moral conditions have been recorded as being very low there and throughout the Colonies. Jonathan Edwards began preaching a message that stressed the importance of an immediate, personal spiritual rebirth. A revival began in his church among the youth and then spread to the adults.  Edwards wrote that "in the spring and summmer following, anno 1735, the town seemed to be so full of the presence of God; it never was so full of love, nor of joy, and yet so full of distress, as it was then." Two years later, some 300+ converts were added to Edwards' church, and then news of the revival spread throughout New England.
George Whitefield

The movement was continued by Methodist Preacher George Whitefield.  He spent 9 years preaching across the Colonies.  He preached to a crowd of 5,000 on the Boston Commons, and to 8,000 at once in the open field.  Between 1740 and 1742, up to 50,000 people were added to the New England Church, resulting in a huge changing of the region's moral tone. Thus was the beginnings of what was gaining the name as a "Great Awakening."

The revival spread into the Middle Colonies and on through to the Southern Colonies among denominations such as the Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists spreading rapidly shortly before the American Revolution. The First Great Awakening increased people's opposition to the Anglican Church and to the royal  officials who supported it. Out of this a spirit of democracy and independence spread in thought and actions, and then inevitably bring America its political freedoms.

Patriot's Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I value my political freedom as a gift from You. May I never take for granted the opportunity I have to know You, to follow You, and serve You. I pray Your Will increasingly inspires more and more Americans to know You and to know what You have given them: Freedom.

Patriot's Promise: 1 Peter 15-16 - "This is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men - as free, yet nor using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God."

First Great Awakening

NOTE: All source material(unless otherwise noted)from God's Promises for the American Patriot by Dr. Richard D Lee & Jack Countryman; In God We Still Trust by Dr. Richard D Lee; and The American Patriot's Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America(NKJV) by Richard G Lee (general editor).

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