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Devotions > God's Perspective on Revival

Praying for Revival
22 Mar 2012


Praying for revival is not a particularly popular activity in the Church of our day.   In the words of the late Pastor Martyn Lloyd-Jones: “ we shall not be interested in revival until we realize the need of  ‘this kind’,  the futility of all our own efforts and endeavors and the utter absolute need of prayer and seeking of the power of God alone.” 

Pastor Lloyd-Jones’ reference to the demon possessed young man seems to be principally parallel to the condition of our nation today.  Mark 9:29 (KJV)  -   “And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”   Even for Jesus disciples, who had previously professed: “even the demons are subject to us in your name”, this sticky situation seemed to clearly represent the impossible.

As a nation we are, by all reasonable reckoning, directly in the path of a cosmic demonic steam roller which is slowly and systematically crushing everything ofrighteousness in its path.  The Church of Jesus Christ has become of nearly no effect in our communities, and in our families.    However, the downward movement of the spiritual condition of the Church today is no less impossible than the healing of this demon possessed boy.

 Yet our scriptures clearly call out; it is our God who specializes in the impossible.    It is true; there is nothing that exceeds the bounds of the power and plan of our sovereign God, however for God to work in our day we must at least pray.

 But, can God work without our faith-filled praying?   No doubt, God can do whatever He desires, however, God, as He has revealed Himself, seems to be determined to work primarily in response to the faith and obedience of His people.   J. Edwin Orr said many years ago: “when God desires to bring revival He sets His people to praying”

It seems in our day that the Lord is setting a few of His people to pray for spiritual renewal, what some would call revival.   If history is an insightful indication of the future, many believers will not pray for revival.   In fact when revival comes, many Christians will oppose it.

 So then regarding revival, we have in effect three different groups of believers; the first group is indifferent to the idea of revival, the second group is holding on tightly to the status quo and opposes anything that will cause change (though constant change is an inevitable as a steam roller moving forward ever so slowly), and the third group who expect revival, desire revival and whose hearts cry out for God to soon bring down into our midst a powerful spiritual awakening.

Are you a part of this latter group?   Would it be advantageous for you to appraise circumspectly what group you are fundamentally associated?   If in your sober assessment you find you are in reality a registered revival proponent, we strongly encourage your prayers for revival.

  We are specifically instructed in God’s word: (God speaking to Solomon) .      “If my people, which 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.”  - 2 Chron. 7:14

And again by Jesus (teaching His disciples to pray)  "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.     Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.’”

As you consider these passages with the view that the New Testament helps us understand the Old, please respond to this question.   Could it be from heaven’s viewpoint that revival is actually the normal condition that God has in mind, whereas we see revival as a unique unusual often short lived condition of the Church?  If ongoing revival is God’s idea and His plan; if it is His normal condition of His Church, does it not follow that He desires to bring revival more than we desire to have it?

If in fact if even the most petite portion this perspective is true, then how should this element of truth impact our prayers?




Jeff Williams