Revival is currently in the hearts and minds of many believers. We’ve heard the accounts of the outpouring at Asbury University and seen the videos of the actual services. As this movement began to spread to other campuses, the movie Jesus Revolution opened on the big screen to remind us of the “One Way” revival of the 1970s.
History testifies that the Father faithfully brings revival when society looks darkest. During the Welch Revival of 1905, William Stead stated that when we hear of “the decay of religious faith, the deadness of the churches, the atheism of the well-to-do, the brutality of the masses, all these when at their worst, herald the approach of the revival…The reign of evil becomes intolerable. Then the soul of the nation awakes.”
Aren’t we fortunate in our day? We find ourselves in a rapidly declining society where things don’t look like they can get much blacker. What a cause for rejoicing! We have met the first qualification for awakening.
As Asbury would testify, prayer is a common denominator in every outpouring of God. C. Peter Wagner says that the worldwide prayer movement began in the 1970s. Over the past fifty years, prayer pockets and intentional intercessors have increased in fervor and number. The revival prayers we hear from Gen Z were kindled by their parents and grandparents many years before. As the multi-generational prayers of God’s people converge and intensify, we realize we are meeting the second requirement for revival.
Every few generations, God’s people humbly come to the end of their own ability to seek His face in prayer (2 Chronicles 7:14). When they meet His conditions of repentance and surrender, He always enacts large-scale renewal by His Spirit. Whether it is the Great Awakening of the nineteenth century or the Brownsville Revival of the twentieth, repentance is at the core of every outpouring of God. Haven’t you noticed the stirring of this third criterion for the Spirit’s quickening in your heart?
With such a movement on the horizon, it is no wonder that we erupt in thankfulness and worship (the fourth evidence of true revival). Speaking of the Great Awakening in 1737, Jonathan Edwards wrote, “When God in so remarkable a manner took the work into His own Hands, there was as much done in a day or two, as at ordinary times, with all endeavours that men can use, and with such a blessing as we commonly have, is done in a year.” God’s Hand can swiftly overturn a frightful trajectory.
Indeed, when God comes in power, “though our sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). He is our omnipotent God. No matter how dark we find our world, “the night is as bright as day” to our God (Psalm 139:12). When He says, “Let there be light,” no wickedness on earth can thwart His purpose (John 1:5).
Aren’t we glad to be alive “for such a time as this?” May we seek to fulfill His prerequisites for daily visitation. And in the meantime, say, “even so, Lord Jesus, come” (Revelation 22:20).