Revive Your work, O Lord! Revival is God’s work, He alone can give it; it must come from above. It must be asked for and received from God Himself. Those who know anything of the history of revivals will remember how often this has been proven—both widespread and local revivals have been distinctly traced to specific prayer.
The coming revival will be no exception. An extraordinary spirit of prayer, urging believers to private as well as united prayer, motivating them to labour fervently in their supplications, will be one of the surest signs of approaching showers and floods of blessing.
Let all who are burdened with a lack of spirituality or with a mediocre state of the life of God in believers, listen to the call that comes to us all: If there is to be revival—a true, divine outpouring of God’s Spirit—it will correspond with wholehearted prayer and faith. No believer should think that he or she is too weak to help, or imagine that his or her input would not be missed. If we but begin, the gift that is in us will be so evident that we will become God’s chosen intercessor for own circle of friends or neighborhood.
Think of the need of souls, of all the sins and shortcomings among God’s people, of the lack of power in so many of our sermons. Then begin to cry to God, “Will you not revive us again that your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:6)
Let us press the truth deep in our hearts: Every revival comes, as Pentecost came, as a direct result of united and continued prayer. So the coming revival must begin with a great revival of prayer. It is in the prayer closet, with the door shut, that the sound of abundance of rain will first be heard. An increase of private prayer among ministers and laypeople will be a sure indication of the coming blessing. We find the same emphasis in the New Testament.
The Sermon on the Mount promises the Kingdom to the poor and to those who mourn. In the Epistles to the Corinthians and the Galatians, the religion of man-worldly wisdom and confidence in the flesh—is exposed and denounced; without its being confessed and denounced; without its being confessed and forsaken, all the promises of grace and of the Spirit will be in vain. The letters to the seven churches show us five churches of which God, out of whose mouth goes the sharp, two-edged sword, says He has something against them.
In each of these the key word of His message is not to the unconverted but to the church:—the word was “Repent!” All the glorious promises each of these letters contain share one condition, right down to the invitation, “Open the door and I will come in,” and the promise, “He that overcomes will sit with me on my throne.” All are dependent on word “Repent.”
If there is to be a revival—not among the unsaved but in our churches—that word must be heard. Was it only in Israel in the ministry of kings and the prophets that there as so much evil to be cleansed away? Was it only in the church of the first century that Paul and James and our Lord Himself had to speak such sharp words?
Is there not in the church of our day an idolatry of money and talent and culture—unfaithfulness to its one Husband and Lord, and a confidence in the flesh that grieves and resists God’s Holy Spirit? And is there not a common confession of a lack of spirituality and spiritual power?
Let all who long for the coming revival and who seek to hasten it by their prayers pray this above everything, that the Lord may prepare His prophets to go before Him at his bidding: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression.” (Isaiah 58:1)
Every true revival among God’s people must have at its roots a deep sense and confession of sin. Until those who lead the church in the path bear faithful testimony against the sins of the church, it is likely that it will find people unprepared. Most would prefer to have a revival as the result of their programs and efforts. God’s way is the opposite. Out of death, acknowledged as the wage of sin, and confession of utter helplessness, God revives.
Come let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will restore us that we may live in His presence.” (Hosea 6:1-2) Even Job who was considered the most righteous man of his generation exclaimed, “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”(Job 42: 5-6 NLT)
May the Lord bestow a spirit of repentance on every one of us.