As I have been praying for a heaven-sent visitation of God and for people to have a heart to pray for one, the Lord spoke to me four reasons why we do not pray for revival. But first, a short description of what revival means to me: Revival is God, in His love and mercy, invading earth with His glorious manifest presence, intervening in lives in a tangible, life changing way that influences and impacts all spheres of society. Revival is Father’s outrageous, unstoppable love transforming lives, giving us a heart that burns with passion for the least, the last and the lost. Revival is God’s glorious, majestic, powerful, awe-inspiring, kingdom here on earth as it is heaven.
We do not pray for revival because we do not realize just how much our Father loves us or recognize His passionate heart for the world (I John 4:16, John 3:16)
We do not pray for revival because we do not understand or believe in the effectiveness of our prayers to move the mighty hand of God.
Learn about effectual, fervent prayer in James 5:16. Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah (and many more) prayed for a son, and God saw their tears and heard their prayers (Gen 17:16, 30:22; I Sam 1:10-11, 20. David, a man of prayer and worship, wrote again and again that the Lord heard and answered his prayers (Ps 6:8-9;10:17-18; 34:4-6; 50:15; 55:16-18; 107:6,13,19; 116:1,4; 118:5; 120:1, to list a few).
We do not pray for revival because we either have not had an actual born-again experience or we have allowed ourselves to become worn out and weary, distracted, overwhelmed, lukewarm or complacent and passive.
When kings went to war, David stayed home; then it happened. Read 2 Samuel 11:1-2. See also Amos 6:1; Revelation 3:16-19 and Matthew 25:1-13
We do not pray for revival because we have not studied past revivals, thus we do not know what happens in a revival and therefore have no basis for any expectation of one, and thus no faith and desire to pray for revival.
There is heaven-backed power in testimonies and God-stories (Rev 12:11). Remember why God said to take stones to build an altar of remembrance? If God did that then, He can and will do it again. Oh Lord, what You did for them then, do for us now! Testimonies and God-stories are stirring, faith building and fans the flame of fire in our soul.
Before I share a couple of short stories about two revivals, know that the moral condition was far from godly. Crime was high, churches were all but empty with no youth attending and bars and prostitution houses had no lack of customers. The spiritual atmosphere was dark.
1904 Welch revival stories: A teenager stood up in the church and cried out: “I love Jesus Christ with all my heart!”, and God broke out. A whole town walked down the streets joyfully singing praises to Jesus on their way to church at 6:00 a.m., prostitution houses and bars closed; the jails were empty; judges had no cases; national soccer teams quit playing to go out and spread the good news of the gospel. The church should lead society, not follow society.
1948-1952 Hebrides Revival stories: two aged sisters praying and seven men in a barn praying led to revival that covered the islands off the northwest coast of Scotland. Couples got up in the night in agony over the condition of their souls; people stopped alongside the road, praying in the ditch for repentance; whole villages wailed and grieved over their sins, crying out to God for forgiveness and giving their hearts to Jesus, singing with joy all the way to church meetings with services four nights a week at 7 p.m., 10 p.m., midnight and 3 a.m.
Why we should pray for revival: One morning, while praying and worshiping in my office, I was overcome by His presence and His goodness. I then heard the Lord say to me, “This is why you are to pray for revival, so that All my children can know me and experience what you are feeling right now”.
Do you awaken in thankfulness overwhelmed by the goodness and kindness of your loving Father, then allow that thankfulness to cause you to pray that all would be overwhelmed by their loving Father?
Do you absolutely love how God’s presence comes when reading and praying the Bible, then direct that love to pray that all will have the same experience when reading and praying God’s Word?
Do you stand in awe of God, basking and soaking in His glorious presence, enveloped in the fragrance of Jesus, then allow this to cause you to pray that all would enjoy this kind of time with Him?
Do you have a burning zeal and fervency for the least, the last and the lost and put it into action, then allow that to motivate you to pray that all Christ-followers will have this passion?
Does it thrill you when you hear your Abba Father’s voice as you pray, study His Word and worship, then use that affection to stir you to pray that all would hear their Daddy’s voice?
Do you rejoice and thank God daily that He rescued you from the dominion of darkness and brought you into the kingdom of His Son, then pray everyone in every nation would be rescued?
Are you an extravagant worshiper who uses that adoration to move you to pray that all would be extravagant worshipers of the only One worthy of all our worship?
This is why you and I should pray for revival—so every tongue, tribe and nation would share our white-hot love, passionand adoration for Jesus with a heart to follow and obey Him all our days.
So, what’s next?
Prepare our hearts to seek His face, His presence. Become God-seekers. Become addicted to His presence.”When you said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.'”
2 Chronicles 12:14 is an example of too many today. We do evil, because we do not seek His face.
We are told to “prepare” our heart to seek the Lord: 1 Chronicles 22:19.
Yes, we are told to seek His face, His presence: 1 Chronicles 16:10-11; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Matthew 6:33.
Three examples of benefits to seeking His face: 2 Chronicles 14:7, 15:15 and Hebrews 4:8.
Seek Him and He will be found by you: 2 Chronicles 15:2, 4, 15; Jeremiah 29:13-14.
Set your mind on things above: Colossians 3:1-3; Hebrews 3:1, 12:2-3.
Hang out with people who love Jesus more than you do. Be desperate.
Read everything you can get your hands on about revival. Be desperate.
Everyday spend an hour or two praying and worshiping. Be desperate.
Revival will come when we seek His presence, with all our heart, mind, strength and soul, because His presence changes everything!
Thoughts from others on revival versus awakening (both a heaven-sent visitation of God):
Revival historian J. Edwin Orr “distinguishes between revival for believers and awakening for the community: A spiritual awakening is a movement of the Holy Spirit bringing about a revival of New Testament Christianity in the church of Christ and its related community. The outpouring of the Spirit accomplishes the reviving of the church, the awakening of the masses … the revived church, by many or by few, is moved to engage in evangelism, in teaching and in social action.”
Geoff Waugh, author of Revival Fires, writes “The terms ‘revival’ and ‘awakening’ have been used interchangeably in revival literature. However, revival usually refers to local revivals of spiritual life … touching the surrounding community through conversions and social transformation. Awakening usually refers to the more widespread influence of revivals across a large area and for a more extended period of time with considerable influence in the community and the nation.
Martin Lloyd-Jones described revival “as an experience in the life of the church when the Holy Spirit does an unusual work … it is a reviving of the believers … revival is by definition, an enlivening and quickening and awakening of lethargic, sleeping, almost moribund church members. Suddenly the power of the Spirit comes upon them and they are brought into a new and more profound awareness … they are humbled, they are convicted of sin, they are terrified at themselves. And they come to see the great salvation of God in all its glory and feel its power.”
Duncan Campbell, author of Revival in the Hebrides, writes “Revival is a moving of God in the community and suddenly the community becoming God-conscious before a word is said by any man.”
“But, if we desire to experience the kind of revival today the people experienced in Wales in 1904, in the Hebrides in 1948 and in many other places and times in history, we must repent of our unbelief and complacency. We must get hold of God and in obedience do what He says. We must believe He is a covenant-keeping God. And we must become men and women who are not simply casual seekers of God, but desperate souls who mean business, like the men in the barn, who will not let go until they received the confirmation that He has heard according to His own covenant.”
Author: Brad Tuttle