Many leading influential thinkers in America have for many years declared that our Western culture is in decline, cracking apart at the foundations of family, political and economic stability and continual social breakdown due to the influence of relativism and increasing secularism. The fabric of our society is being shredded apart. There have even been sociologists and social critics who have declared that the only thing that would stop this would be a spiritual awakening and revival in the Church and culture.
Revival, huh? I’ve read several books about revival, what it is, how it has hapenned in the past, and that if you just get a bunch of people together in a room and “cry out to God” for revival that He will pour it out upon us. Churches and para-church organizations have sponsored efforts of “24-7” prayer and worship, spending millions of dollars in the effort building large “houses of prayer” in cities all over the world. But for what? To what effect? Have these things brought revival to our nation?
I think that you’d not have to look around much to see that we are not in any level of revival. And honestly, as a person who is quite keen on prayer, intercession and worship, I’m not against anybody wanting to get people to pray for revival. It just seems to me that it can all become another form of escape and entertainment. “We had five hundred people at the prayer meeting last night!” Well, great! And then what?
It seems that a thing like prayer for any reason actually is a fundamentally private, personal discipline. It is an inherently introverted activity that requires intensity, maturity and faithful consistency. What makes us Americans think that turning this into an extroverted activity with lights, fog machines and loud music would cause any greater effect? Or would God be more pleased if all of those people stayed home with their families and prayed to Him in a time of their choosing in a private setting, face to face with the Almighty?
I have an idea from my study of Psalm 119 that might make sense to some people. In several verses in the Psalm the Psalmist calls out to God on his own behalf, very humbly, saying “Revive me, O Lord…” Imagine that, just praying that instead of God saving the whole world, that he would have mercy on me and revive me first. Could real revival just be a time when a lot of people call out to God “Revive me, O Lord” at the same time?
The Psalmist cries out “Revive me, O Lord, according to Your Word (v.154).” That’s just asking God to fulfill His promises in His word that He has spoken for you to take possession and receive.
He then says , “Revive me O Lord, according to Your judgments(v. 156). This is coming into agreement of God’s will in any area of your life where things may be out of sort. It is smart to go to the Judge first before He has to come to you. He will be fair with you and restore you to right standing before Him. You’ve heard 1John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Sounds like a good deal to me.
The next thing the Psalmist prays is “Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness (v.159).” You don’t have to be a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist to see that appealing to God’s love is a sure way to get a big, wet, sloppy kiss from God the Father!
So what do you think, could this work? Should we be praying “Revive me, O Lord?”