Why I stopped praying for Revival

All over the Pentecostal church, I see the constant hope for Revival. When Pentecostal people do pray, Revival is always mentioned. Not me. Frankly, I’m tired of hearing it. What is Revival anyway?

First, what do Christians want from revival? I think a large part of it is the recognition from non-Christians and other Christians that we have been right. I also think that we really want to see God display His power. We’ve had so little recognition, and we’ve seen so few miracles, that it sure would be nice to have an abundance of both.

Revival feels temporary. It comes, people realize how far from God they are, and they cry out in unison for Him. God comes to them, and they come to Him. Then, people flock from everywhere for various reasons. After a few years, it fades, and the core people move to somewhere different, and many people follow them there, and then it’s mostly burnt out. Life appears to resume as normal. Though, to be fair, it really doesn’t quite resume as normal. There are coals there in people’s lives of what God had birthed.

But why should I want that? What good is a few years in comparison our entire lives? Sure, a number of people’s lives are completely changed thanks to those few years, but nothing really seems to change. Did Azusa St. really change Los Angeles or Brownsville change Pensacola? I don’t think so.

Look at the Bible. Nineveh… now that was revival. The king himself decreed a total repentance. Wow. But a few years later, God still destroyed Assyria… obviously the change didn’t stick. Look what happened under Hezekiah and Josiah. Awesome revivals, even stretching outside of Judah. People turned to God. When the very next king sat on the throne, the people and king became worse than they had ever been before. Unbelievable.

So I don’t pray for that. I don’t care about being proved right, especially since I’m probably wrong. I trust God’s will, and I know He will use us to do the impossible as we risk for, through, and with Him. And I sure as hell am not interested in a temporary high or a one-night stand with God.[quote]

Here’s what I pray. I pray that God will show people His love; that He will show them their sin; that He will show them His righteousness and His desire for them. I pray that that would melt them. I pray that they wouldn’t hold onto their life… that they’d realize how lost life is without God. I so fervently pray that they would be willing to let go of normal and risk everything to follow God wherever He leads… that they wouldn’t be bound by their comforts, pleasures, dreams, fears, or anything else. Oh please, let people go so hard after God. And let it stick. Just one person is ok, but more is better. Have mercy, God.

Live now, and live now tomorrow, and live now a year from now, and live now on your deathbed. Now is the time. Decide now and Live now.

“Turn ye, Turn ye, for why should you die?”

[another post from the archives… originally written in 2005]


2 thoughts on “Why I stopped praying for Revival

  1. That’s a good prayer. Of course, it should always be preceded by a prayer for God to show me His love, show me my sin, show me His righteousness…

  2. Its is difficult issue. Revival has so many different meanings to believers depending on the context. To some, revival means more meetings. To some, revival means more shouting, more people running the altars, more jumping, more falling down, etc. To some, revival means more souls saved. To some, revival means more people studying the Word or praying more. So defining revival is probably impossible.

    But having said that I still find that I pray for revival. In my mind I guess I am praying for God to be exalted among His people that causes His people to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-17) and be people of holiness (1 Peter 1:15-16). This in turn will impact the world as we are like Jesus to the lost (Matthew 5:13-16) and as we seek to make disciples since this is His heart (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21).

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