“…revive us, and we will call on your name” (Psalm 80:18).
As the Church today begins to be aware of our great need for revival, the question arises, “How does such a revival come?” One matter is clear: revival comes by the sovereign will of God and not because we have scheduled one. It doesn’t even come because we want a revival and have asked God to send one. This time of refreshing is in the Lord’s hand and comes when and in ways that only He determines. Having said that, a study of the past reveals that there are things that God’s people can do to prepare the way for revival. These things do not “force the hand” of God, but rather demonstrate that God is at work within us to prepare the way for another time of spiritual awakening that he is initiating:
- A clear understanding of where the Church currently stands with God. When we look at ourselves and see our worldliness and lack of commitment, we begin to understand the need for revival. When it is apparent that the Church is failing to impact or change our society, we begin to express our desperation for a fresh touch from God.
- A repentant, humble attitude – This builds off of the first point. When every survey indicates that there is very little difference in lifestyles of believers and non-believers, it is time for the Church to repent. As we see that our programs and activities have done very little to change the moral climate of our nation, then we accept our desperate need for God to work in us individually first. We humble ourselves before Him and confess our sins and inadequacies.
- A movement of united prayer to seek the face of God begins – From our place of repentance and humility, Christians begin to gather together to pray and ask the Lord to revive us. A.T. Pierson said it this way, “From the day of Pentecost, there has been not one great spiritual awakening in any land which has not begun in a union of prayer, though only among two or three; no such outward, upward movement has continued after such prayer meetings have declined.” Pierson indicates that united prayer gatherings help usher in revival and are essential to sustaining revival.
Though we are trusting God for nation-wide and even world-wide revival in the Church, we need to be a people who focus on preparing our own hearts and lives for a new move of God. We can gather groups in our own church that will humble themselves and pray and seek his face. There will be profound effects in our lives and churches as we place ourselves before the Lord, crying out for a fresh sense of the presence of Christ.
Adapted from the article, Revival Praying by Dave Butts.
Sovereign Lord, sometimes I grow impatient to see You move to awaken Your Church. I want to see You do amazing things that I cannot even think of or imagine! How wonderful it would be for the people of God to wake up to Your presence in our midst! Yet, Lord, I know that often my own heart is far from You. Revive my spirit, and prepare my heart for more of You! Keep me diligently on my face in humility, crying out on behalf of Your Church!
Praise God, the giver of all good gifts (Mt. 7:11). Thank him for the greatest gift of all: his Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior (Lk. 22:19). Confess any lack of thankfulness for all of God’s gifts to you. Commit yourself to giving your time, talents, and resources for the gospel. Ask God to grant you a heart of generosity (Lk. 6:38).
Pray by name for one unsaved friend or loved one. Ask God to open this person’s heart to receive the indescribable gift of salvation through faith alone (2 Cor. 9:15; Eph. 2:8-9).
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend