We hear the word Revival a lot in our Christian circles; in worship songs, at church and prayer meetings. This is because we have been tasked to pray for revival. I must admit before last week’s bible study, I couldn’t give a clear definition of revival even though I used the word often but after our session, I left feeling empowered to pray for revival in my town, city, country and the world as a whole.
Essentially, revival is a sovereign work of God in which churches and Christians have been lifted from spiritual indifference and worldliness into conviction of sin, earnest desire for more of Christ, His word, boldness to witness and purity of life. Revival is recurrent throughout history because God is passionate about drawing His people back to Him. It starts with the extraordinary prayer of a righteous person filled with faith.
In Habakkuk 1:1-11, the prophet cried out to God to revive Israel, in Luke 1:5-17 Zechariah prayed to God for a son and God gave him John the Baptist who lead the revival in preparing the way for Jesus and in Acts of the apostles, the apostles prayed for the Holy Spirit to come and fill them so that they will be empowered to preach the gospel. These are only a few examples of the revivals in the bible, nonetheless, many Christians living today have lived through a time of revival, some of who remember the Welsh Revival, the revival in Nigeria in the 1980s and the Chile revival. During these times, they saw many conversions, renewed commitment to God and His word, boldness to preach the gospel, healing and miraculous signs.
Hearing these stories of the past revival gets me excited for a number of reasons; they serve as a reminder that God can and wants to do extraordinary things in our world. He hasn’t just abandoned us but wants many of us to make it. It also encourages me because it shows that God doesn’t want us to backslide or wax cold in our walk, He wants to restore His people and His church and increase their zeal for the great commission.
Psalm 85 teaches us to pray for revival. God is looking for righteous people with faith to pray for the revival of their homes, communities, churches, towns, cities and countries. Ultimately, it is not about us, it is about partnering with God to establish his kingdom here in earth. What revival has God asked you to pray for?
We pray for Revival - Phil Wickham