A revival is nothing but a new beginning of obedience to God. Christians are more to blame for not being revived than sinners are to blame for not being converted.

Definition of Revival

Revival may be defined as the reawakening of religious faith and spiritual life and activity.

What Revival is Not

Revival is not a miracle, nor is it dependent on a miracle in any sense.

What Revival Is

A New Beginning
A revival is nothing but a new beginning of obedience to God.

Indicators of a Need For Revival

Heart is hard
Truths of the bible appear like a dream
Faith degenerates to mental assent
No longer eager to hear and act on God’s word
Lack of brotherly love and compassion
Dissensions, jealousies, and evil speaking
Members of the church are in gross and scandalous sin
When the wicked triumph over churches
When sinners are careless and stupid

Christians are more to blame for not being revived than sinners are to blame for not being converted.

Results of Revival

Faith is renewed
Renewed love:
of God
of God’s word
of fellow Christians
of sinners

Revival breaks the power of the world and of sin over Christians

Revival creates a zeal to bring others to Christ
because you love him so much

Growth of the church

Constituents of Revival

There are two kinds of means necessary to promote revival:

That which influences men
That which influences God

The truth is used to influence men, and prayer is used to influence God.


Ezra thanked God that he was granting the Jews “a little reviving,” a spiritual and political restoration from their bondage and exile in Babylonia.
Ezra 9:8-9

This was in answer to prayers for national revival such as Psalm 80:18 and 85:6, and to the prophecy of Hosea that God would revive his people when they would earnestly seek him and return to him.

I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Hosea 5:15-6:2
cf. 14:7

Confession Of Sin

God never sends great revivals without prayer, intercession, and confession of sins:

1 Samuel 7:5-9
1 Kings 18:36-37
Nehemiah 9:2-3

Above all there is a return to the Lord himself and to moral righteousness and godly living.

2 Chronicles 7:14 remains the greatest revival promise of the word of God.

Heart on Fire

Personal Revival

Passages dealing with personal reviving include those which use “quicken” in the KJV, often translated “revive” in the newer versions.

David seeks for the Lord to revive him and bring his soul out of trouble.
Psalm 143:11

In another Psalm he voices his confidence that God will revive him (or, keep him alive) and save him from his enemies.
Psalm 138:7

In Psalm 119 the Psalmist repeatedly asks the Lord to “quicken” or revive him , according to his word (vv. 25, 107, 154; cf. vv. 50,93), in his ways (v. 37), through his righteousness (v. 40), according to his lovingkindness (vv. 88,159), and according to his judgments or ordinances (vv. 149,156).

The exalted, eternal, holy, and transcendent God is the one who delights to dwell with the man broken and humbled in spirit, in order:

to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones (Isaiah 57:15).

The father’s cry regarding his prodigal son is the epitome of revival:

This my son was dead, and is alive again Luke 15:24).

Paul reminds Timothy to “rekindle” the gift which God had given him.
2 Timothy 1:6

The NT records how the early Christians in Jerusalem were revived when they prayed for new boldness and all were filled with the Holy Spirit to witness concerning the resurrection of Jesus.
Acts 4:29-33

Genuine revivals, following the biblical patterns, are the sovereign work of God. There is always a divine or miraculous element about them:
Nehemiah 8:10,17
Acts 4:31

“No human being can kindle the interest, quicken the conscience of a people, or generate that intensity of spiritual hunger that signifies revival” (F. Carlton Booth, “Revival,” BDT, p. 460).

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

We call sinners to decide on the spot whether they will obey the gospel. I have no more authority to let you take time to deliberate whether you will obey God, than I have to let sinners do so.

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