Evangelist Greg Laurie's wife, Cathe, who leads a national prayer initiative related to the upcoming Harvest America in Philadelphia later this month, said she has been praying about the country's desperate need for revival. A nationwide prayer rally featuring the Lauries is planned for a live webcast this Sunday evening.
"We are praying for God to bring a revival to our country. We are desperate for it," Cathe Laurie told The Christian Post on Thursday. "Revival is a mystery. It's really a sovereign work of God, but at the same time we have our responsibility as His children who follow Him and long to see His work in the hearts of those being saved. Number one, is to have a burden for people to be saved, second, is to pray, and thirdly, is to do everything in our power to make it happen."
Laurie said that the Bible and history tell about times of exciting revival.
"I've been reading a book on the history of revivals in our country: the two Great Awakenings, the Fulton Street Revival, the youth revival that happened in the '40s and '50s, and I believe I was a part a revival in the late 1960s to early '70s called 'The Jesus Movement,'" she said. Her husband is also a "product" of the Jesus Movement, having attended the church of one of the most prominent leaders in the movement, Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel.
Laurie believes revival cannot be organized or orchestrated by people without the help of God. However, she said, "We can certainly put things in place, have our hearts beating with the same passion that the Lord has for the lost. We can do something. We don't need to just sit in our closet with our drapes shades drawn and our doors locked. God brings revival through human beings, through our being available to him."
She believes the biggest challenge is for people to "understand the idea that God wants to use us."
"We are perhaps all too complacent and comfortable with the ordinary in our Christian lives." Laurie said. "We are not tempted to dream big."
She adds, "My prayer today is that God would do it again. That He would tear open the heavens and send an awakening. I pray that it would happen at Harvest America and I am praying that it will happen in my heart, in the hearts of the people I care about, in my own family, in my own community, and that's where it starts."
Last month, the Lauries marked the 24th year of bringing the large-scale Harvest Crusade events to Orange County, Calif. SoCal Harvest exceeded organizers' expectations with a total three-day attendance of 105,000 and more than 9,263 people making professions of faith.
This is the second year for Harvest America, which on Sept. 28-29 will be transmitted from an arena in Philadelphia to "listening hearts" in hundreds of host sites across the United States – sites that include churches, gymnasiums, theaters, businesses, and living rooms.
When Laurie first heard the concept behind Harvest America prior to last year's event that was broadcast from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, she said she "wondered if anybody, first of all, could wrap their minds around the technology that was going to work and make it happen."
"When I first heard about the vision for Harvest America I felt a bit like that little guy with five loaves and two fish looking out at a multitude," she said. "I thought how in the world will this happen?"
In preparation for the Philadelphia event, the prayer rally webcast on Sunday evening at 5 pm PT/8 pm ET will include worship music, a presentation of Greg Laurie's prayer during this year's National Day of Prayer, Harvest Ministries' executive director John Collins hosting the 45-minute event, the Lauries talking about the Lord's Prayer, and prayer.
Laurie also encourages people to visit online the Harvest America website and put unsaved people's names on the site's "prayer cloud," which is essentially a prayer list, she said. Entering a name also registers the site user for a daily email that includes a prayer for a specific aspect of the Harvest America event.
On the Web: HarvestAmerica.com.