A Note from Hixon Frank
Hixon Frank

James 5:16

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.”


Most of us love this verse for what it says bout prayer. We are less enthusiastic about confessing our sins to one another. And rightly so. We can be a tough bunch!

You have heard it said, “Pray for REVIVAL!” But what does that actually mean?

Sometimes we use it to mean “let’s pray that other people quit behaving like they are behaving.” Sometimes it means, “usher-in my preferred candidate or social agenda.” And sometimes it means, “we want an actual movement of God!”

While no expert, every revival I have studied, from the 3 (some say 4) Great Awakenings, The Welsh Revival, the Ulster Revival, the Pyongyang Great Revival, the Azusa Street revival, and even the “Jesus Movement” of the 1960’s and 1970’s, all had two things in common.

First, they had a common start in “Prayer Meetings” of some sort where people sought a closer connection with a Holy God.

And Second, they all involved public confession of sin.

Before we left Austin and moved to Tyler, a friend of mine described in great detail what happened in his small church during a “routine prayer meeting.” He gave the facts and ended with the statement, “I have never been the same since that night.”

Based on what he said:

I imagined myself in his church sitting with roughly 200 other people. Though I was tired from a long weekend and even longer work week, I needed to attend this Sunday Night “Worship and Praise Gathering” if for no other reason than to “check the box.”  After all I was a deacon and there were expectations for me to be involved in all church events.

I arrived a couple minutes late. Just in time to hear our pastor welcome everyone and the start of the first song. It wasn’t a song I preferred but I feigned a smile and sang along anyway nodding dutifully to people as they half-heartedly meandered in.

The second song, then the third, landed on me the same way, and l dismissed them like I did the first. My mind was a million miles away … at work …  paying bills… defending my position… winning imaginary arguments and wondering when the night would wrap up because I didn’t eat before I came.

 Several well-known church members were lined up prepared to pray at the microphones. I assumed they would pray, we would sing, the next would pray, we would sing some more and so on.

 I’d known the first man in line to pray for a while. He was a confident, bright, well-respected man who loved his church. As he approached the microphone his demeanor was completely different. Distraught, sad, and worried. He was unsure of himself.

 He started by quietly mumbling, “this is hard to do.” Since he had prayed many times in front of the church, everyone in the room took notice.

 He continued in a cracking voice by confessing, “I have been unfaithful to my wife and I am so sorry.” He tearfully gave more details but those are the words that echoed.

 After stunned silence, a group of men surrounded him (and his wife by this time) and prayed over them. They prayed openly and several began to weep with the couple.

 As they prayed, another man confessed to having a marriage in turmoil and others prayed for him. Then before you knew it, the room was full of people, at the direction of the pastor, praying earnestly together, weeping, and broken.

 Not sure what to do, I joined a small circle who were praying for the church. They prayed that we would be a light in the city. I could not explain what was happening, but I knew it was of God. When my turn to pray came, I found myself unexpectedly weeping over my own sin, my own marriage, my own kids, my own attitude and selfishness and materialism …  and anger and the list kept going.

 Our church was different after that night! We addressed real issues of sin. Gossip, slander, pride, unforgiveness, unfaithfulness, hate, judgement, and lack of love became regular points of conversation. Our church became known as a place of restoration and warmth rather than a place of judgement and finger pointing.

 We started judging our success as a church not by how many people CAME to our church, but by how many people we SENT out FROM our church to do things like plant other churches. Over the next 30 years we would plant 39 churches in our city alone. 

Our church isn’t perfect but was radically transformed because God chose to use one man’s confession to spark a revival that has impacted thousands of people in our city.

The cost of revival can be quite high! It requires prayer. It requires confession of sin. It requires a Holy God, who searched our hearts, to move in power…. 

But what if all we had to do is seek him and confess our sins one to another and pray?  

Maybe it is that simple?

What if…




  • Click here for Matthew West’s new song “Don’t Stop Praying”
  • Have a prayer request that we can present the Father for you? Click here
  • Pray for your neighbors by using this app