“times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:20).
“When Christians meet, they talk to each other about their Christian work and Christian interests, their Christian acquaintances, the state of the churches, and the problems of theology — but rarely of their daily experience of God.
Modern Christian books and magazines contain much about Christian doctrine, Christian standards, problems of Christian conduct, techniques of Christian service — but little about the inner realities of fellowship with God.
Our sermons contain much sound doctrine — but little relating to the converse between the soul and the Saviour. We do not spend much time, alone or together, in dwelling on the wonder of the fact that God and sinners have communion at all; no, we just take that for granted, and give our minds to other matters. Thus we make it plain that communion with God is a small thing to us.” (J. I Packer).
Revival is the sovereign work of the Spirit. He does as He pleases. However, Francis Wayland mentions three things we should do as prelude to the outpouring of God’s Spirit in revival.
1. One is the putting away of all known sin.
2. Another is the setting apart of seasons of fasting and prayer and humiliation both individually and collectively.
3. And the third is the more frequent and more faithful preaching of the gospel. (Desiring God.)
I come from a 95 % Christian community, in one of the remotest parts of North East India, that is insignificant from a worldly point of view. We were once Headhunting tribesmen. But in less than a century our entire state was awakened to the beauty of Christ in the gospel with the coming of the first missionaries. In a closely knitted community the gospel spread like a wild fire, from one village to the other. During the years we’ve seen consecutive revivals. And because times and seasons change we’ve seen how the church slides back into a passionless barren community. Yes, indeed, the “spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” In these times of barrenness, God, in His grace and mercy, would awaken a hunger for Him and His glory. He would set aside a few handful of people crying out to God and pleading for the city. And He would pour out His Spirit and revive dying churches through the preaching of the Gospel time and again.
O How we long for true revival again, O Lord! Come visit your people. Awaken new desires for you alone. May we come to you in secret fasting and prayer. May we set our food or gadgets aside or anything that we have come to love more than You. In doing so, we say from the deepest chambers of our hearts: “This much, O God, I want you.” In Jesus’ name. Amen!