“You who seek God, let your heart revive, for the Lord hears the needy…” Psalms 69:32-33
I grew up in a Baptist church, and later served as pastor of Baptist churches for almost four decades. I recall a song we sang at least twice a year when we held our Fall and Spring Revivals. We called out to God for something only He could give. We seldom experienced it, but we sang about it anyway.
“Revive us again! Fill each heart with Thy love!
Let each soul be rekindled with fire from above.
Hallelujah, Thine the glory! Hallelujah, Amen!
Halleluhah, Thine the glory! REVIVE US AGAIN!”
It was not unusual in the 1950’s for our churches to have two week long revivals twice a year. By the time the 1980’s rolled around, it was a chore to gather people for meetings from Sunday to Wednesday. Today the expectations have been lowered, and the meetings have been shortened or have completely disappeared in most churches.
Revival doesn’t hinge on moving back to extended meetings. It depends on an extended movement of The Presence of God. Planning for the former without praying for the latter will not bring revival, just battle fatigue.
God’s Word calls for His people to take heart and place their hope in Him for revival. God may lead you to restore a series of meetings, but He longs to revive dead hearts into beating hearts.
When praying for revival, it helps to know what you are seeking. If you can’t define revival, you risk missing it when God delivers it. The old-timers knew it was more than a meeting of the saints. Revival for them became a life-changing encounter with God. Don’t take my word for it.
· “Revival is a community saturated with God.” Duncan Campbell
· “Revival is falling in love with Jesus all over again.” Vance Havner
· “Revival is an invasion of Heaven.” Stephen Olford
· “Revival is war between Heaven and the Devil.” J. Edwin Orr
· “Revival is GOD.” Richard Owen Roberts
Recently, I heard Dr. Michael Catt, Senior Pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church, Albany, GA quote the words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The 19th Century Prince of Preachers walked towards his pulpit of the great Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, England with a great fear of God. Catt said, “Spurgeon would whisper under his breath, but those who were close could hear him say, over and over again,…
“I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Charles H. Spurgeon
At the National Revival Symposium, Dr. Bob Bakke said, “Prophecy is as much forth-telling as foretelling.” I agree. Preacher speaks for God would be wise to have a great fear of God, before they open their mouths to preach the Word of God. Why?
The Person of The Holy Spirit takes revival seriously. Jesus promised His disciples, “I came that they might have life, and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) His Spirit was His Promise Keeper and the living-giving proof of His Presence.
Revival is a Spirit-delivered miracle from a Sovereign God who has responded to the cries of His children. The Father hears and responds to their prayer of helplessness, and chooses to step in and take over the mess they have created out of His Son’s church.
“Prayer is our partnership with God. God has sovereignly decided not to work among men unless He is partnering with men.” Bob Bakke
NOTE TO SELF: Depending on the level of change that needs to take place in YOUR life, YOUR church, YOUR community or YOUR country, God will move in to bring about change, when you pray. REMEMBER, God chooses to move in different ways, at different times in history. The Spirit of God delivers revival. It comes from Him, and Him alone. Accept no substitutes. Take the description of revival from those who know about it from first hand experience. When the First Great Awakening surged through the little town of Northampton, Massachusetts Jonathan Edwards described it as, “A surprising work of God.” Keep singing “Revive us again” but start praying, “Surprise me today.” God loves to revive His children. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!