“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation” (Psalm 85:6-7 ESV).
Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said, “The greatest need of the hour is that the thoughts and the minds and the prayers of Christian people everywhere throughout the world should be channeled and directed into this matter of the urgent need of revival.” But, what is revival? Lloyd-Jones defined it as, “a period of unusual blessing and activity in the life of the Christian Church.” Tim Keller says that revival is a work of God that causes sleepy Christians to wake up, nominal Christians to get converted, and non-Christians to get reached. And he adds, “When sleepy and nominal Christians get revived, they get attractive and bold in their witness, and people who would never have believed before begin to get converted…”
We should recognize that revival is a gift from God—it’s something He does, not us… As Lloyd-Jones said, “it’s an unusual blessing” from God… As we see in Psalm 85, revival is a blessing from God where He opens our eyes all the more to His steadfast love, where He saves to the uttermost, and where He causes His people to rejoice in Him above all else. Through the faithful means of prayer, preaching, teaching, reading, studying, and singing God’s Word, and the fellowship of God’s people, from time to time, God delights to pour out revival upon His people.
We can’t work up revival, or even bring down revival; it’s an act of God’s sovereign grace. But with that said, we can be in desperate prayer, and seek to lay the kindling on the altar of revival that God might see fit to ignite it with His grace. The kindling of revival is a dedication to prayer and the ministry of the Word that I just mentioned, and brokenness over sin and amazement by grace. In every revival the common thread is people broken at the foot of the cross; for we will never be refreshed and renewed by the grace and the love of God in Christ if we don’t realize how bad we need it. So take an honest look at yourself, dive deep into the gospel, commit yourself to doing your part in the ministry of the Word and gathering with God’s people, and pray desperately for revival. For it truly is the great need of the hour…
I am nothing; Christ is all!