What is revival?
Psalms 85:6 – Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? The word revival here is defined as: to make alive, to restore, to make whole, to recover, a visitation of God’s Spirit, an encounter or experience with God! In short, true revival is when man encounters God and is forever changed. True revival is when God’s Spirit infiltrates every facet of society and moral transformation occurs, leading to social and economic revival. Please view the George Otis Transformation videos. You can also go to Sermon Index.net and listen to Edwin Orr speak about all of the Great Awakenings that have occurred. He is a historian on this subject. Just go to http://www.sermonindex.net and go to the left side of the page and click audio sermons by topic. Then under topic look for “history of revival” and you will see his name. Click on it and listen. Another resource is http://www.revival-library.org/index.html. Of course you can always Google revival or Great Awakenings. There are also many books on the subject.
Why revival. Take a look around you. People everywhere are in desperate need for revival, renewal, hope, healing, and restoration. America as a whole is broken. Nationally, we suffered the attacks of 9/11 in 2001 which has led to a continuing war on terrorism, of which there is no end in sight for the foreseeable future. In 2008, we suffured a complete economic meltdown from which we have not recovered. Millions of Americans lost most of their life savings because of this. Currently our national debt exceeds seventeen trillion dollars of which no man made solution can solve. Morally, abortion continues and divorce is at an all time high. The results being, broken families with broken children. These children are the future leaders of our country. Meanwhile, homosexuality is now considered normal and the gay rights movement has made tremendous inroads into every facet of society, including the church. What about other sexual sins? Is sex outside of marriage considered normal now? Are 1st Timothy 4:1-2 and 2nd Timothy 3:1-5 being fulfilled right before our very eyes? Is there an alcohol and drug addiction problem in America? Can you tell the difference between Christians who are the “light of the world,” and the “salt of the earth? and those who are not Christians? In the Middle East, Israel is surrounded by hostile Arab countries. Now with the “arab spring,” the Muslim Brotherhood, aka, those who openly preach for the destruction of Israel and America, have taken over those countries. They will now become even more hostile towards Israel. They will eventually attempt to set up an Islamic caliphate. That is their stated goal, to rule the world and make everyone submit to Allah. In the news, the middle east dominates the headlines. From Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear bomb and their declarations of wiping Israel off of the map, to the United States led pursuit of creating a Palestinian state within Israel, thus dividing the land. Eventually this will happen and Revelation 11:2 will be fulfilled. Zechariah 12:2 tells us that Jerusalem would become a trembling cup for the whole world! Psalms 83 tells us that there would come a day when the enemies of Israel would surround them with a desire to cut off Israel as a nation. Are we living in those times? Let’s not forget that Russia and China have a military alliance and they have openly stated they are building up their military, “in preparation for war against the United States.” Truly, Matthew 24 is coming to pass in our day. We are living in a time when man made solutions will not work. The only thing that will save us is another Great Awakening! Not a man made revival, but a God Invasion, an outpouring of His Spirit in this nation!
How does revival come?
Revival comes because men pray. The pattern is always the same. When men finally come the realization that things are beyond their power to control or correct, they cry out to God, and God in His goodness answers. When believers finally get tired of programs, religion, and man made moves of God and cry out for more, God answers! When men cry out to God because their country is morally bankrupt, when they repent of their sins and the sins of their forefathers, then God looks down from heaven and moves. The Bible tells us that God is looking for someone who will stand in the gap and cry out for their nation! (Ezekiel 22:30) If revival and awakening is going to come, it must start in the house of God, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God!” (1st Peter 4:17) Revival always starts with the church. We are the gatekeepers! (Matthew 18:18-19) Revival always starts with repentance first and then times of refreshing will come. (Acts 3:19) We must follow the patterns established in the Bible and the Great Awakenings. The pattern is shown to us in Daniel chapter 9, in Nehemiah 8, in 2nd Chronicles 29-31 and in Joel 2:15-19. Acknowledgement of sin, followed by repentance, followed by revival. The same pattern was followed during each Great Awakening! From the Moravians who started a 100 year movement of 24 hour prayer, 7 days a week, to George Whitfield, the pattern is always the same! Somewhere, men were praying, seeking God’s face and crying out for more, crying out for revival, crying out for God to heal their land. Somewhere, someone or a group of believers were reminding God of His word and promise in 2nd Chronicles 7:14 which states, “If My people who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2nd Chronicles 7:14) When revival comes, it will be because someone somewhere was willing to pay the price to see it manifest.
- What are the expected results of revival?
- Acts 2:41 – An in-pouring of new souls in the church. Church growth will explode as God pours out His Spirit on unbelievers and backsliders. During the Great Awakenings churches overflowed in America. Instead of Evangelist going out and holding meetings to try and win souls, people all over the nation were convicted on the spot, wherever they were, and with whatever they were doing. They would then run to the church in order to find out what they needed to do to get their life right with God! Does that seem far fetched? I don’t think so, after all John 16:8 tells us that one of the primary roles of the Holy Spirit is to convict the world of sin and of righteousness.
- Churches remained open all night long because of the influx of people coming into the church to be saved.
- Transformation of society on a large scale. It will be non-denominational. Not only will revival break out in all areas of society, but denominational walls separating the churches will come down. God’s Spirit is not limited by denominations of churches. History shows that when the Great Awakenings occurred, revival spread to all denominations and every area of society. Again, George Otis has documented recent transformations in various parts of the world where revival has occurred. You can see these on You Tube.
- Mass weeping and repentance, falling to ground prostate, falling out of seats, crying out for God, fainting, shrieking, convulsions etc…these were common trademarks of every Great Awakening that has occurred throughout history. Get ready to think outside of the box! Revival is not religious. God is not limited to what we think or how we think He should do things. His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts like our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8)
- Luke 4:18-19 – We can also expect mass healing, deliverance, signs, wonders and miracles!
- Acts 2:17-18 – We can expect God to pour out His Spirit through dreams, visions and prophecy.
- During the third Great Awakening, Boston reported that the cloud of God’s glory was resting over the city. Entire towns were converted!
- When real revival breaks out, it is led by God not man.
Prayer strategies for revival:
- Pray the Word! God answers prayer that is based on His Word! (1st John 5:14-15)
- He desires to send revival!
- Pray and do 2nd Chronicles 7:14 and Joel 2:15-17.
- Start praying for revival on a daily basis! Team up with other believers to pray for revival at set times on a daily basis. You don’t have to be together to do this. For example: each individual can agree to pray on a daily basis, specifically for revival in America at 9am, noon and 6 pm. You will know that everyone in your group is crying out for revival at the exact same times on a daily basis. The power in this, is that where two or more come together agreeing on something God says, He will do it! (Matthew 18:19)
- Start a prayer meeting and meet once a week or more and pray specifically for an awakening in America.
- Find someone who will partner with you and set a day once a week to pray and fast specifically for revival until it comes or God releases you. This doesn’t mean you have to be together in a meeting praying for 8 straight hours. If that’s what you agree to do, that’s fine of course. However, you can keep it simple by simply praying and asking God to send revival throughout the day whenever you think of it. Remember, God isn’t limited to a place or time or structure. He is wherever you are because He lives inside of you.
- 2nd Chronicles 7:14, Joel 2:15-17, Acts 3:19, Psalms 85:6, Isaiah 57:15, 1st Peter 4:17, Psalms 138:7, Hosea 6:2 and 14:7, Habakkuk 3:1-2, Ezra 9:8-9, Psalms 107:9, John 7:37-38, Isaiah 40:31 and the book of Acts.
Resources on the history and effects of revival.
- Please go to You Tube and view the George Otis Transformation videos. You can also go to Sermon Index.net and listen to Edwin Orr speak about all of the Great Awakenings that have occurred. He is a historian on this subject. Just go to http://www.sermonindex.net and go to the left side of the page and click audio sermons by topic. Then under topic look for “history of revival” and you will see his name. Click on it and listen. Another resource is http://www.revival-library.org/index.html. Of course you can always Google revival or Great Awakenings. There are also many books on the subject and for a brief history, you can look at the information on the “History of Revival and Awakening in America on this site.
Recommended reading for personal revival:
- Frank C. Laubach, “Letters of a Modern Mystic.”
- Andrew Murray, “The Practice of the Presence of God.”
- The “Original Memoirs,” of Charles Finney.
- “The Enoch Generation,” by Hiding Place Ministries
- “The God Chasers,” by Tommy Tenney