‘Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble and He delivered them from their distress.’
(Psalm 107:6, 13, 19, 28)
“What delays revival in our times is that we are troubled…but we are not afflicted by the conditions of our society; though saddened, we are not yet weeping”. (George Otis Jr.)
Revival has been a buzzword for many a year. There have been many prophetic words regarding it, there have been many sermons from pulpits declaring the need for it, there have been many prayer gatherings praying for it, there have been books written, teaching and courses about it. I have even heard of a group in Ireland that has been praying for revival regularly for over 40 years. You could say there is a definite hunger for it but is that enough?
Those researching revivals that truly bring transformation in lives, communities and society would state that there are four factors that seem relevant; factors that seem to attract the presence of the Lord …
We can maybe easily see and relate to the hunger, humility and holiness being relevant but perhaps we might have thought that hope would be more relevant than hopelessness. Yet that is not the case. Even throughout scripture and over the centuries of history, it’s as people have cried out in their desperation from desperate circumstances that God moves. And when He does it will be on His terms and in His timing.
There have only been a few times when I would say that I have cried out to the Lord from that place of desperation. In those times my prayers have not been eloquent or filled with profound theological discourse but just a few words with many tears and groans of anguish. It is from that place I can truly say the Lord has moved deeply within me and within those desperate situations bringing life and salvation, bringing healing and change.
I would love to see revival but, in all honesty, I would have to say I don’t think I am, nor are many others within the Christian community desperate enough. Desperate enough to get into that position that reflects that desperation we see in Psalm 107 – crying out in our distress for the condition of our lives, our families, our community, the church, our society. Not just having a good moan at God but seeking Him with hunger, in humility and with a recognition of our true condition; the need for God’s transforming, reviving power and presence to come and to bring the change that’s needed.
Father in Heaven, we desperately need a fresh outpouring; a fresh move on earth of Your Holy Spirit. Father, give us integrity and humility to recognize our sorry state; our hopeless condition and give us the courage to pray with desperation and truly mean it when we pray; ‘Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven’. Amen