2 Chronicles 7:13-14: “If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
In 1799, starting in Lenox, Massachusetts, there was a revival that swept through the Northeast. Here are its characteristics as described by an eyewitness:
1. It was a work of God. There was a marked change in the appearance and pursuits of the people.
2. The revival began in the church. When God is about to bestow spiritual blessings upon a people, it is His usual method, first to awake His professed friends out of spiritual sleep.
3. There began a striking importance given to the means of grace. Prayer became precious. The Lordâ€™s Day was honored. People studied and cherished the Bible with a newfound love. Every opportunity for religious instruction was prized, and fellowship with the people of God involved serious conversation.
4. Nothing was said about dreams and visions, hearing unusual voices, or seeing uncommon sights. No extravagance, either in gestures or outcries, appeared. No wild enthusiasm attended the revival in any stage of it.
5. There was a unity of faith and understanding. There was a focus on the need for regeneration (being born again). There was an additional emphasis on the need for a moral life as evidence of having been justified. All these, and other, aspects of the faith were “received by all with one consent.”
6. The revival in this town proved the “death-wound” to vain amusements. The youth are remarkable for their sobriety.
7. One distinguishing feature, both here and elsewhere was humility. Humility has been the common effect of the operation of the Spirit in the hearts of sinners in every age during a revival.
Should we be praying for revival today? Here at Ridgeland Community Church? In the American church? For our nation? For the world? How should we pray?
If a revival swept across any or all the above, how would that affect our ability to fulfill Christâ€™s command in Matthew 28:19-20?
Other than earnest prayer, what can we do individually or as a church to invite or be part of a modern-day revival?
As Ghandi said, â€œHow can we be the change we want to see in the world today?â€
â€œA revival does two things. First, it returns the Church from her backsliding and second, it causes the conversion of men and women; and it always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the Church. What a spell the devil seems to cast over the Church today!â€ (Billy Sunday)