“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).
The Bible warns us against thinking that revival is something that we accomplish, through our efforts (Psalm 85; Isaiah 63:15-17; Isaiah 64; Zechariah 4:6; John 3:8; Acts 2: 7, 12). In the final analysis, human beings cannot predict its timing, precipitate its unfolding, or preclude its appearance. But, while we acknowledge God’s sovereign work in revival, it is important that we not use this truth as an excuse to do nothing. God can and does use secondary means. Often He chooses to work in grace through our prayers, Bible studies, worship, fellowship, sacraments, and daily obedience. Like Jesus, we want to do what we see the Father doing (John 5:19). When the Spirit of God moves us to certain actions as a precursor for revival, we must obey. Although our action does not bring the revival, if we do not do those things He has commanded, it is doubtful we will ever see revival.
As Philippians 2:13 states above, even when we do certain activities, it is as a consequence of God’s activity in our lives.
Father, my heart longs to walk in obedience to Your purposes, and yet my flesh is sometimes so weak! Forgive my arrogance for thinking that by my effort or accomplishments I can do anything that will bring about the moving of Your hand. Help me to be sensitive to the working of Your Holy Spirit in my life and in the circumstances and lives around me so that my life will bring glory to Your kingdom!
–Adapted from Revival 101: Understanding How God Ignites His Church by Dale Schlafer. This book is available at prayershop.org.
Praise God for the depth of the riches of his wisdom and knowledge (Rom.11:33). Give thanks that “from him and through him and to him are all things” (11:36). Confess times of thinking that God owes you favors or explanations (11:35). Commit yourself to thinking deeply about God until you come to the end of your ability to understand. Ask God to help you reach that point with wonder and amazement rather than doubt or cynicism (11:33-36).
Pray that God will help all believers to be students of his ways with eyes to see and minds to understand more of his caring control. Ask that God’s kingdom will soon come in fullness.