Dr. J. Elder Cumming contended that "in almost every case the beginning of new
blessing is a new revelation of the character of God--more beautiful, more wonderful, more
J.O. Sanders, Enjoying Intimacy with God, Moody, p. 14.
Revival is the visitation of God which brings to life Christians who have been sleeping
and restores a deep sense of God's near presence and holiness. Thence springs a vivid
sense of sin and a profound exercise of heart in repentance, praise, and love, with an
Each revival movement has its own distinctive features, but the pattern is the same
First God comes. On New Year's Eve 1739, John Wesley, George Whitefield, and some of
their friends held a "love feast" which became a watch night of prayer to see the
New Year in. At about 3 a.m., Wesley wrote, "the power of God came mightily upon us,
insomuch that many cried for exceeding joy, and many fell to the ground." Revival
always begins with a restoration of the sense of the closeness of the Holy One.
Second, the gospel is loved as never before. The sense of God's nearness creates an
overwhelming awareness of one's own sins and sinfulness, and so the power of the cleansing
blood of Christ is greatly appreciated.
Then repentance deepens. In the Ulster revival in the 1920s shipyard workers brought
back so many stolen tools that new sheds had to be built to house the recovered property!
Repentance results in restitution.
Finally, the Spirit works fast: godliness multiplies, Christians mature, converts
appear. Paul was at Thessalonica for less than three weeks, but God worked quickly and
Paul left a virile church behind him.
James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.
A U.S. Lutheran bishop tells of visiting a parish church in California and finding a stirring red and orange banner on the
wall. "Come Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!" it declared in words printed under a picture of a fire burning. The bishop was also
interested in the sign directly underneath the banner which said: "Fire extinguisher." So much for that parish's commitment to
One World, May, 1982.
Lady asked Billy Sunday:
"Why do you keep having revivals when it doesn't last?"
He asked her, "Why do you keep taking baths?"
Although the apathy of some Christians and the wickedness of society are discouraging, we should pray and remain confident.
William Wilberforce was a great Christian philanthropist and vigorous opponent of the slave trade in England during the early
1800s. As he surveyed the terrible moral and spiritual climate of his day, he did not lose hope. He wrote, "My own solid hopes
for the well-being of my country depend, not so much on her navies or armies, nor on the wisdom of her rulers, nor on the
spirit of her people, as on the persuasion that she still contains many who love and obey the gospel of Christ. I believe
that their prayers may yet prevail." Within a few years after he made this statement, the country he loved experienced one of the
greatest revivals in modern times, bringing salvation to thousands and producing widespread social changes.
Those who are students of revival are encouraged because they see a divine pattern repeating itself. Robert Coleman of
the Association of Church Missions Committees noted in a recent interview that he feels we are on the threshold of revival due to
three developments: (1) the increase of citywide concerts of prayer; (2) the gathering together of pastors in concerted
prayer; and (3) the growing concern for revival among our young people. On this last point, David McKenna, president of Asbury
KY) Seminary, reached a positive assessment of the future based in his study of what God has done and is doing among young
people. His conclusion is found in the title of his latest book, The Coming Great
Awakening. J. Edwin Orr summarized for me in one sentence his 60 years of study on prayer and spiritual
awakening when he wrote: "Whenever God is ready to do something new with His people, He always sets them to praying." This was certainly true
during the First Great Awakening.
In 1746, Jonathan Edwards published a book on "concerts of prayer" -- a term used in his day and repeated in subsequent
prayer movements over the last 250 years. Well aware from biblical and historical accounts that united prayer was the only
way to sustain the spiritual awakening that already had begun in the colonies, Edwards called for Christians on both sides of the
Atlantic to pray for revival. The title of his book summarizes what is happening throughout the Body of Christ at this hour in
the growth of the prayer movement: "An Humble Attempt to Promote explicit Agreement and Visible Union of God's People in
extraordinary Prayer, for the Revival of the Church and the advancement of Christ's Kingdom on Earth." Edwards' book, along with such classic
texts as Andrew Murray's "Key to the Missionary Problem" and Timothy Smith's
Revivalism and Social Reform," suggest there usually are five phases in every historic revival: (1) Intercession -- God's
people begin to unite in prayer for revival; (2) Revelation -- God answers prayer by pouring out a fresh new manifestation of
the person of Christ; (3) Consecration -- as a result, God's people consecrate themselves to Him, and each other, and to the
work of Christ in the world; (4) Revitalization -- ministries are purified and rejuvenated and become more fruitful, both locally,
nationally, and beyond; (5) Expansion -- out of revival the gospel is advanced further, the church makes a greater impact
upon the surrounding culture, and a general spiritual awakening takes place on many levels.
National & International Religion Report Special
1992, pp. 2-3.
Under David (1 Chron 28:1-29:25), Asa (1 Kings 15:9-24; 2 Chronm 14-16); Elijah (1 Kings 17-18); Jehoshaphat (2 Chron 17; 19:1-
20:33); Hezekiah (2 Kings 18-19; 2 Chron 29-32); Josiah (2 Kings 22:1-23:30)
Passages related to revival: 2 Chron 7:14, Psa 80:18-19; 85:6; Isa 32:12-17; 35; Jeremiah 33:23; Lamen 3:40-50; Hosea 6:1-3;
14:1-2; Habakkuk 3:2; John 7:38
W. Duewel, Touch the World Through Prayer,
OMS, p. 171.
Revival is an invasion from heaven that brings a conscious awareness of God.
Revival is that sovereign work of God in which He visits His own people, restoring and releasing them into the
fullness of His blessing.
Revival cannot be organized, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people
G. Campbell Morgan.
Revival is the people of God living in the power of an ungrieved, unquenched Spirit.
James A. Stewart.
The kingdom of God is not going to advance by our churches becoming filled with men, but by men in our churches becoming
filled with God.
A genuine revival without joy in the Lord is as impossible as spring without flowers, or day-dawn without light.
A true revival means nothing less than a revolution, casting out the spirit of worldliness, making God's love triumph in the
A revival means days of heaven on earth.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
Revival is the church falling in love with Jesus all over again.
In revival, the minds of people are concentrated upon things of eternity, and there is an awareness that
nothing else really matters.
Revival restrains the righteous anger of God, restores the conscious awareness of God, and reveals the gracious activity of
Never give up praying for spiritual awakening. Jesus taught that we should always pray and not lose heart
(Luke 18:1). Let's follow the example of others who prayed until revival came. In the spring of 1904 a young Welshman named Evan Roberts
was repeatedly awakened to pray from 1:00 to 5:00 a.m. By November a powerful spiritual awakening was spreading through
God worked through the testimony of a young new believer named Florrie Evans. When Pastor
Joseph Evans asked for testimonies Florrie arose and with a trembling voice said, "I
love Jesus with all my heart." God used this to melt the hearts of many others.
The London Times reported remarkable changes that took place in the public spirit. For example, in Swansea people who had
left their parents in the "workhouse" for the poor came to take them out. Entire congregations were on their knees in prayer and
"for the first time there was not a single case of drunkenness at the Swansea County Petty Sessions."
The Bible Society saw orders for Scriptures multiply to three times the level for the previous year. At Bangor
University revival fires were spreading in January of 1905. There were "only a third or a fourth of the students attending
some of the classes...Beginning with a spontaneous outburst of praise and prayer among the men students, the movement spread . .
at a united prayer meeting...some...broke down sobbing."
David Lloyd George, who later became Prime Minister of England, saw one of his political rallies taken over by the Welsh
revival. On January 11th, 1905 he said the Welsh revival gave hope "that at the next election Wales would declare with no
uncertain sound against the corruption in high places which handed over the destiny of the people to the terrible brewing
The Times reported on January 16th, 1905 that "At Glyn-Neath a feud had existed for the past ten or twelve years between the
two Independent Chapels, but during the past week united services have been held in both chapels, and the ministers have shaken
hands before the congregations." The fires of spiritual awakening crossed the ocean.
In 1904 the Atlanta newspapers reported an amazing revival of prayer sweeping the city. On November 2nd the Supreme Court of Georgia
closed so people could attend prayer meetings. Stores, factories, offices and even saloons followed suit.
"For two hours at midday all Denver was held in a spell . . . The marts of trade were deserted between noon and two o'clock
this afternoon," the Denver Post reported on January 20th, 1905. One Kentucky pastor died of overwork after receiving 1,000
new members in two months. Out of a population of 50,000 only fifty unconverted adults remained in Atlantic City, New Jersey!
Revival came to north China in 1932 in answer to several years of prayer. At one point, Norwegian missionary Maria Monsen
wondered what good her praying could do. She longed to see God's river of life flood spiritually dry China. Then she realized
that the mighty Yangtze River began when the tiny drops of rain came together in the top of the mountains.
Maria sought a prayer partner who would join her in claiming the promise "that if two of you agree on earth
concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven" (Mt. 18:19). When she finally found someone
she exclaimed, "The awakening has begun! Two of us have agreed!" The rain drops of revival prayer were coming together.
In November of 1930 Maria announced, "A great revival is coming soon and it will begin in the North China Mission." She
was convinced that the missionaries had fulfilled the conditions for revival found in 2 Chron 7:14.
In 1932 about forty Christians were meeting in a town in North China for prayer four times a day beginning at 5:00 a.m.
Believers were convicted of sin. Two men repented of hating each other. Love was strong and deep. Joy abounded.
When revival came more people were born again than in any previous year in North China. One missionary estimated that
3,000 people came to Christ in his town. Pastors, missionaries, and Bible women experienced a deeper Christian life than they had
ever known before.
A spirit of prayer was poured out on the church. People loved to pray. Many times prayer meetings lasted two or three
hours. The prayers were short, fervent, and sometimes tearful. Children's prayers led to the salvation of their parents and
In 1936 revival fires broke out on the campus of Wheaton College west of Chicago. A senior named Don Hillis arose in
chapel to voice a plea for revival. Students responded with an all-day prayer meeting on Saturday. Both faculty and students
confessed sin and made things right with one another.
The Wheaton campus was touched again in 1943 following a message on confession of sin during special services. The
captain of the cross-country team arose to confess that he had violated college policy by leading his team in a Sunday race.
Pride, criticism, and cheating were confessed by other students. Lunch and dinner slipped by unnoticed while the meeting continued
into the evening service.
"Stop the bus!" a member of the Wheaton College Glee Club shouted. The Glee Club was touring in Florida in 1950. A
revival that had broken out on the campus in Illinois had touched this student hundreds of miles away. He confessed he had broken
the rules and other students began to turn to God. God's promise is still true. If we seek Him with all our
heart, we shall surely find Him ready to pour the riches of His grace and love into the lives of His people
Oliver Price, Revival Insights, Vol. III, No. 4.