Many people are praying for revival and spiritual awakening for America, but is prayer all that is needed for an awakening? I have studied revival and spiritual awakening for 8 years to discover the keys to revival. When I began my study, I believed that prayer was all that was needed. I imagined that if we could gather people to pray and then one day out of the blue the Lord would pour out His Spirit, people would be convicted, and thousands would be saved. Is this what really happened during the Great Awakenings? I was determined to find out.
Let’s begin by taking a look at the differences between the words, revival and spiritual awakening. The term revival comes from the root word revive, which means renewal, restoration or restore. A Christian needs to be revived when he/she has fallen into a state of apathy, has no concern for the lost and/or is living like the world. When we pray for revival, we are asking the Lord to revive His church which has lost it’s first love. Spiritual awakening on the other hand usually refers to the salvation of sinners. A lost person can’t be revived, because they do not have everlasting life. So he needs to be awakened. During the Great Awakenings of the past, the church is first revived which causes them to pray and evangelize more. After the church becomes what it should be, then the lost people are saved or awakened. When the church is living like the world, the world will not be interested in what the church has to offer. America needs both revival for the church and spiritual awakening for the lost.
Now that we know the difference between praying for revival and spiritual awakening, let’s learn the requirements for revival. Usually revival of the church comes about because a few individuals in the church get a heart for prayer for revival. These individuals begin going through the process of spiritual cleansing and confession of sin. According to 2 Chronicles 7:14, God will bring about revival when His people humble themselves, pray, seek His face and turn from their wicked ways. If you have no desire to get rid of the sin in your life, then don’t waste your time praying for revival. The people who pray for revival, must meet the requirements set forth by the Lord. After these individuals begin to pray, slowly others will be revived and join the prayer force. This can take a long time as many in America have been praying for years. The next requirement to bring about revival is the revival message. I believe that this is missing in America. We need to pray that the Lord will raise up men who will preach the revival message and not water it down. What is the secret to the revival message? It is the preaching of the Law or the 10 Commandments. Revival preachers during the Spiritual Awakenings preached against sin all the time. It is only through the preaching of sin, that people are convicted to turn from their wicked ways. During the Great Awakenings, the revival preachers preached while the prayer warriors prayed. If you would like to learn more about the revival message, then take a look at my posts on the “Keys to Revival”. If we want revival in America, we need to pray for revival and preach for revival. The watered down gospel message many preach today will not bring forth spiritual awakening for America.
2 Timothy 4:2-5 (NASB)
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.