Last week, during my church’s weekly Prayerline the subject of revival came up. One of the participant’s prayer request was that we pray that our members become more enthusiastic about inviting others to come to our church and, to reach out to those members who have not been in attendance for sometime. Both wonderful requests however the Prayerline leader said and, I agree, that what we really should be praying for is revival. That discussion and subsequent prayer during our time together prompted me to write this blog post.
What is revival?
The dictionary defines revival as an improvement in the condition or strength of something.
From Bible Study Tools:
revive is the translation of chayah, "to live," "cause to live," used of restoration to life;
Genesis 45:27 (BBE) 27 And they gave him an account of everything Joseph had said to them; and when he saw the carts which Joseph had sent for them, his spirit came back to him:
Nehemiah 4:2 (BBE) And in the hearing of his countrymen and the army of Samaria he said, What are these feeble Jews doing? will they make themselves strong? will they make offerings? will they get the work done in a day? will they make the stones which have been burned come again out of the dust?
of restoration to well-being;
Isaiah 57:15 (BBE) 15 For this is the word of him who is high and lifted up, whose resting-place is eternal, whose name is Holy: my resting-place is in the high and holy place, and with him who is crushed and poor in spirit, to give life to the spirit of the poor, and to make strong the heart of the crushed.
of Yahweh's gracious work for His people;
Habakkuk 3:2 (BBE) O Lord, word of you has come to my ears; I have seen your work, O Lord; when the years come near make it clear; in wrath keep mercy in mind.
"Revive" occurs in the New Testament as the translation of anazao (Greek), "to live again"
Romans 14:9 (BBE) And for this purpose Christ went into death and came back again, that he might be the Lord of the dead and of the living.
When the word revival is used by Christians it is most often associated with a day or several days of highly energized praise and worship services designed to awaken church members who have fallen into a dormant or lackluster state and have become lukewarm in their relationship with Jesus.
Revelation 3:14-16 NIV “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
The evidence of revival, a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon believers, is changed lives. Great movements toward righteousness, evangelism, and social justice occur. Believers are once again spending time in prayer and reading and obeying God’s Word. Believers begin to powerfully use their spiritual gifts. There is confession of sin and repentance.
In the USA, the first revival, also called the First Great Awakening, produced an upsurge of devotion among Protestants in the 1730s and 1740s, carving a permanent mark on American religion. It resulted from authoritative preaching that deeply moved the church members with a convicting awareness of personal guilt and the awesome nature of salvation through Christ. Breaking away from dry ritual and rote ceremony, the Great Awakening made Christianity intensely personal to the average person, as it should be, by creating a deep emotional need for relationship with Christ. -
Symptoms Of The Need For Revival
If you believe that your church needs revival start with yourself because only then can revival spread to those around you in the church, then to the community. Without you there is no revival, and without revival, there can be forgiveness of sins and eternal life for those who are separated from God by their sins
Isaiah 59:1-2 NIV Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
Romans 10:17 NIV Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
The list off symptoms of the need for revival is too long for this post however here are a few of the most prevalent.
- Lack of concern for the lost and the suffering in the world.
- Hiding or covering secret sins.
- Having an unforgiving spirit.
- Being filled with pride.
- Stop attending worship services and/or other gatherings off Christians
- Living our lives without direction and guidance from God through the Holy Spirit.
- Negative change in your prayer life (praying less frequently, stop praying and relying on others to pray for you)
- Stopped reading the Bible
Often we don’t want revival badly enough to make changes in our lives but, change is what Christianity is all about.
2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Only God can send revival.
2 Chronicles 7:13-14 NIV “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
God is the source of revival so our prayer should be “Lord we need a revival and let it begin with me” That’s what revival is all about.