Part of our DNA as All Nations is praying for revival. We want to be people who are ready for the harvest when the Lord moves in supernatural and remarkable ways.
I love history and in particular finding out about past revivals, whether in Anatolia (Turkey) in the Second Century, or the Wesleyan revival in the Eighteenth Century, or the revivals happening now in China and Iran.
The past gives a glimpse of what it might mean. People responding to the gospel in great numbers. Healing and other supernatural miracles. New Christians ‘sold out’ for Jesus. Often the presence of God was so tangible that people were convicted of sin even without any preaching. Changes were seen in society not just the lives of individuals.
I am old enough to be part of revival history too, when there was a fresh explosion of spiritual life in the house church movement in the UK in the 1970s. We explored what it really means to be church. It felt like an unstoppable tide was coming in!
But the movement soon stopped - we became self focused and disunited, so the tide went out again.
Over the years, waves of revivals have run into the ground because of
• Competition (when we find our security in success not our identity as God’s children)
• Church becoming institutional not organic
True revival is a work of the Spirit that cannot be planned. We can prepare, though, in prayer. And we can ask for grace to avoid things that have brought past revivals to an end.
Like the psalmist we pray “Will You not revive us again?” - Psalm 85. It is a good psalm to pray through as we prepare our hearts for the tide to come in …. and pray it will keep coming in until Jesus returns in glory!