Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Praying for Revival

In 1949, a group of desperate people in the small village of Arnol (Scotland) gathered at a farm house to pray for revival. Revival was already sweeping through the area, but not in Arnol where religious indifference ruled. During this period of prayer, just after midnight, a man rose to his feet and prayed:

"Lord, you made a promise, are you going to fulfill you .. You have said that you 'will pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon dry ground' (Isaiah 44.3, KJV)... And I tell thee now that I am thirsty. Oh, I am thirsty for a manifestation of your presence and power. And Lord, before I sit down, I want to tell you that your honor is at stake!"

As this man prayed, the room they were in literally shook just like in Acts 4. Then revival came to the village. People could not sleep. Some went outside and walked the street under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Others knelt before their beds and wept over their sins. Within 48 hours, every young person between the ages of 12 and 20 turned to Jesus. Revival came to Arnol.

Let us all pray as God's reputation was at stake

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Please read it and comment. my blog is prareetav.blogspot.com

Do you love surfing? No surfer tries to create waves. If the waves aren’t there, you don’t surf that day. On the other hand, when surfers see a good wave, they make the most of it, even if it means surfing in the middle of the storm. God makes/creates the wave, surfers is to ride them.
Many churches and Christians want to manufacture waves (revival). They organize revival meetings using gimmicks, programs or marketing technique.
You might sometimes hear a Church or evangelist announce: ‘We’re going to hold a revival.’ That’s an impossibility. You can hold a series of special meetings which is what is often meant by revival, but that isn’t revival as the bible teaches it to be. Revival isn’t a work of man; it’s something God does. It’s given from above; not manufactured below.
Duncan Campbell: ‘It takes the supernatural to break the bonds of the natural. You can make a community mission-conscious. You can make a community crusade-conscious. But only God can make a community God-conscious. What we need today is a Heaven- Sent Revival.

“The single greatest need in our land today is heaven-sent revival! Revival comes at the sovereign, gracious decision of God to send a fresh movement of His Spirit among his people… (but) Revival will not come unless it is desired. It is an invasion from heaven at the request of the saints on earth.” (Raymond Perkins, Sermon Central).

“Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:6).
“O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years!” (Habakkuk 3:2).

Chayah: sustain life, be restored to life or health; to cause to grow; restore. Something that’s alive will be growing and bear fruit!
D.M. Panton describes a true spiritual revival as “onrush of divine life into a body threatened to become a corpse”

Christian Evans, a famous Welsh preacher whom God used to stir the nations of Wales on several occasion had this to say: “revival is God bending down to the dying members of a fire just about to go out and breathing into it until it burst into flame.”

Quite simply, revival means to “Wake Up & Live”

Edwin Orr, who in his book The Second Evangelical Awakening in Britain wrote: “Revival takes place when we experience ‘time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord’”
’ Duncan Campbell’s succinct definition of revival is: ‘A community saturated with God.’


1. PRAYER: We see there are four elements in prayer – adorations, confession, thanksgiving, and intercession (ACTS). The spirit of prayer and worship gripped the disciples even before Pentecost. The need of prayer as a preparation for revival cannot be overemphasized. Prayer here is more than just asking God to send a revival:
 It means self-examination and confession of sins: Self-examination means we let the Lord turn His search light on us and reveal to us our carnality, corruption, and casualness.
 It is a time of remembering our broken vows before the Lord( Ecc 5:1-6) and the wrongs we have committed against others ( Matt 5:23-24)
Prayer leads to true humility because it is in His presence we realize our nothingness and His holiness (Isa 6:1-5). Prayer is also an expression of our inability and our inadequacy and therefore a pleading for His strength and His power ( Matt 26:41) God is pleased with such sacrifices and His fire will invariably fall on them ( Psa 51:17-19)
When Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord, the fire fell. God breaks and makes His men on their knees. When Jesus prayed Heaven was opened (Luke 3:21) When the early church prayed, the place was shaken (Acts 4:31) Prayer releases the power of the spirit to affect the earth.
I believe we have preached enough about revival and published enough about revival, but have not prayer enough for revival. The more we pray for revival the more we will long for it.
Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994) rightly says, “One main reason we have no revival is that we have learned to live without it”

June 30, 1905, was the day a revival truly began in India. Pandita Ramabhai ran a Care Centre for Indian Widows called ‘Mukti,’ south of Bombay. She was teaching the Bible when the Holy Spirit came in power. All the women and girls began to weep, confess their sins, and pray for the Holy Spirit. Girls became stricken down under conviction of sin while studying, attending the industrial school or at work. Lessons were suspended, and all Mukti began seeking God. Two young girls were so gripped with the power of the Spirit that they prayed for hours and hours, until their faces literally shone with a heavenly light.

2. WORD OF GOD (PREACHING & TEACHING): Revival increases the thirst and intensifies the hunger for God and His word among His people. Let the ministers of God spend maximum time in the presence of God to “speak in the light what God tells them in the dark” (Matt 10:27). This way the revival flames will be further fanned. God is not interested to pour our His spirit on His people just to excite them or make them feel good. NO! He is interested in the “world” He sent His Son to die for the World. He sent His spirit to convict the World of sin and woo sinners to the saviour. He anointed the 120 disciples on the day of Pentecost that they might be His witness throughout the whole world.
Evans Roberts (1878-1951) of Welsh revival prayed “Lord, bend the Church and bless the World”. Most of the revivals of the past have given birth to great missionary and evangelistic movements. But there are also stories of revival which died out too soon, one of the main causes being the failure of the leaders to channels the revival blessings into aggressive evangelism and soul winning. Revival is not an end in itself. It’s a means to an end, the end being evangelism. David prayed “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.{Then} I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You.” ( Psalm 51:12-13) It is necessary that we understand why we pray for revival. Revival is not evangelism but revival begets evangelism.
Brian Edwards says: ‘Preaching in revival times is not always graceful or polished, or even eloquent, but it is always powerful. By this word "powerful," I do not mean only that it changes lives, though it does that, but that the sermons are real and felt by the congregation.’

Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr states: ‘When the revival power of the Holy Spirit comes down on a church everyone will know. The preaching will be "with great power." It won’t just be the preacher going through the Bible, teaching it verse by verse. Oh, no! There will be great power in the preaching. It isn’t something a preacher can plan out. It isn’t something you can prepare for. It isn’t something you can organize.’

3. HUNGER FOR THE WORD. When God’s Spirit revives the church there’s a craving for the Word. The people can’t get enough! It’s a ‘dangerous’ time for Pastors and teachers – they can get worn out! 1 PETER Ch 2 v1 speaks of this great hunger for the word: ‘As new born babes desire the sincere milk of the word.’ Most of us will have seen a new born babe that’s breast fed who gets a whiff of mum’s milk.’ It’s like a bloodhound!

Titus Coan was used by God in Hawaii when revival came from 1835 to 1840. He said that a mark of the revival was the tremendous hunger for God’s word. The town of Hilo swelled to ten times its original size growing from 1,000 people to 10,000. This was due to people moving in from outlining areas so they could attend church and hear God’s word.

People really listen as if for eternity with bated breath. George Whitefield described the scene at Olney in Buckinghamshire in 1739: ‘Though it rained all the time, yet the people stood very attentive and patient. All, I really believe, felt, as well as heard the Word, and one was so pricked in the heart, and convinced of sin, that I scarce ever saw the like instance. The Word of God is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword.’

This is reminiscent of an occasion recorded in NEHEMIAH Ch 8: 3 ‘[Ezra] read it [the Book of the Law of Moses] aloud from daybreak until noon…in the presence of the men; women, and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.’

Today we talk about short attention spans and so on, yet when the latest Harry Potter book comes out thousands of younger and older people read it through in one sitting! Ah, but when God’s Spirit works there’s a tremendous appetite for the Word of God, and we can’t put it down as it were!

4. AWESOME WORSHIP: After God delivered the Israelites from the threat of Pharaoh through the miracle Red Sea crossing, the people celebrated by singing: EXODUS Ch 15 v 1-2 ‘Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: “I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.’
When God’s revives His people He revives their tongues too – in singing! Thomas Payne says: ‘The ministry of song has played a very important part in most spiritual revivals, and might have been tenfold greater had this gift been better appreciated and more fully consecrated to the service of God.’
In a revival in Lowestoft, England in the 1920’s worship was awesome: ‘”O the singing!” people have said again and again as they tried to describe how the sound flooded out of the churches and into the streets.’
Again during revival in Borneo in 1973 it was testified that: ‘Somehow the singing was different. There was something beautiful, real and sweet about it.’

5. PERSECUTION: Persecution is a terrible thing and yet repeatedly throughout the history of the church it has become a tool for revival, to purify the saints. “The apostle was cruelly and seriously beaten they took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and {then} released them” (Acts 5:40). Persecution brings boldness to believers.
Spiritual Explosion in china- it has trebled (Communist revolution in 1949; Three Self Movement in 1954)

6. OPPOSITION: When revival comes, it is immediately followed by Satan’s opposition. The healing of lame servant as a great challenge to the great adversary, thrown into prison, commanded to cease preaching ( Acts 4)

7. MARTYRDOM: The 1st martyr was Stephen (Acts 8:54-60). His martyr proved only a signal for further advance. The martyrdom of Stephen led to the evangelization of all Judea and Samaria, to the founding of a mission church in Antioch and to the worldwide propagation of the gospel. “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the church. The law of missionary works is increased through suffering”

8. SOCIAL IMPACT. What a world of difference revival makes to the Church. And at the same we can say what a difference it makes in the world! There is a real impact that is witnessed as a result of revival. ‘Ours is an age of style over substance. Many think that revival means promotion, slick advertising, charismatic leadership, and emotional preaching. There may be a big show, but what is the end result--the fruit? Heaven-sent revival is seen in the long-term, life changing effect of the Gospel.’ Anon.
In the Welsh revival of 1904 this eyewitness report recorded concerning the ponies that worked in the coalmines: ‘The horses are terribly puzzled. A manager said to me. “The haulers are some of the very lowest. They have driven their horses by obscenity and kicks. Now they can hardly persuade the horses to start working, because there is no obscenity and no kicks.’” There was a quick re-education programme needed for the poor ponies!
Of the revival impact in Borneo in 1973 it was said simply that: ‘The trees still have oranges.’ In other words children no longer stole them as they were used to do.
When revival broke out in Saskatoon Saskatchewan, Canada in Oct 1971 we’re told that: ‘Criminals were… confessing their sins and giving themselves up to the police. Restitution was common. People paid long overdue bills. Some businesses opened new accounts to account for the conscience money being paid to them. Those who cheated at restaurants or hotels returned to pay their full bill. Stolen goods were returned.’

We are living in a time of church history when revival is not a luxury but a necessity. Revival delays because prayer decays. Let’s repair the broken altar of our prayer life so that the fire of God may again fall on us. Then every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Christ is Lord ( I Kings 18:38-39). Ask the Lord of the harvest and Revival for hunger and thirst for the Word of God. “A Passion for Souls” just as John Knox said “ Lord, Give me Scotland or I die”. However be prepared for suffering, persecution, opposition and even martyrdom.