Among the books I read during my vacation was Praying Hyde by Basil Miller, a biography of John Hyde (1865--1912), a missionary to India who became known as "Praying" Hyde due to amount of and power of his prayers. He is associated with the Sialkot Revival (1905-1911).
Missionary biographies always stun and shame me: stun me due to the commitment they bear for sharing the Word of God; shame me because I am so weak in my own commitment to the same.
And then I came across an article saying that 51% of Canadians believe religion to more harmful than good, Which then got me thinking to the current status of Christianity in Europe (circa 2015) and the US.
Which then got me to thinking: could not be the great Second Age of Evangelism of the West?
The Christian Church - at least in the West - is badly in need of a great revival (my opinion of course, but I would challenge you on it). The Church - as a whole - has either sought to become culturally relevant to the point that it is not longer Christian or Orthodox to the point that we have created "cultural Christians", who know the Scriptures (possibly) but not the power therein. It has become just another thing that we do in our lives, like working out or a club or practice.
Yes, I am aware that the culture is opposed to us, but this fact is largely of our own doing. We have chosen to ignore God's Word and God's Power and God's Scripture and then find ourselves shocked when our churches are word-less and powerless and fading. We accept the basic tenant of Viktor Frankl - that with a why, anything is bearable - but refuse to live out the Why of faith, believing that somehow lesser that the whys of the world. We have failed to actually act as if Christ was who He claims to be - The Son of God, the Ruler of this world - and live in light of that.
In other words, we have a lot of work to do.
But that does not mean that we should stop doing the other work either - "Go and make disciples of all the Nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" was the command of the risen Christ to his disciples (Matthew 28:19).
When the Church thinks of missions, it is almost always to parts of the Third World - Latin America, or Africa, or parts of Asia. And admittedly, the need is great. But is it cultural arrogance that prevents us from seeing that the First World is also heavy and golden, ripe for harvest?
It is not enough to say this, or to even start to do this of course, without prayer - which was Praying Hyde's great secret weapon in his missionary efforts. "Give me souls or I die" he cried out to the Father. And so, I have begun to pray every day for revival specifically in the West, of a great movement to replant vibrant churches throughout the West. It is not that such a thing will happen without anyone doing the work, of course - but without the prayers, nothing will happen.
The harvest, said Christ, is plentiful but the harvesters are few. He reminded us specifically to pray to the Father to send laborers into His harvest.