This week I have been reading a book titled, “How to Have a Revival” published by the Sword of the Lord in 1946. The chapters are the messages that were preached at a Conference on Evangelism help at Winona Lake, IN in the Billy Sunday Tabernacle. The speakers for that week were Joe Henry Hankins, Hyman Appelman, John R. Rice, Bob Jones, Sr., Jesse Hendley, and Robert J. Wells. Each of these men were evangelists that were being mightily used of God to preach tremendous revival meetings in America at that time. The chapters of the book include the following; The Kind of Revival We Need, God’s Plan for Revival, Preparing Christians for Revival and many others. The book is a treasure trove of biblical preaching and teaching on the subject of revival. As I read the chapters my mind went back to my own experience in revival meets as an evangelist and as a student traveling with Evangelist Joe Boyd. As I reflected on the Bible truths in this book and my own experience God impressed a few thoughts upon me. I will share the basic thoughts here:
1. What is Revival? When I say revival I am not speaking about the weeklong meeting at a church. I am speaking about a return to God and a commitment to holiness that is prompted by the Holy Spirit of God. We as a nation really do need a revival! We are watching our entire society turn away from God and the Bible. Children grow up without any knowledge of the things of God. Believers are more concerned about primetime TV that reading their Bible. Oh how we need a revival! We need a revival that will restore to us an old-fashion fear of God in the human heart and an reverence for the name of God. We need a revival that will stop the flood tides of sin and ungodliness that is sweeping our land. We need Christians to once again walk with God!
2. Do I need Revival? It is easy to say that America needs revival. It is easy to say that a church needs revival. But when was the last time I examined my heart and asked God to send a revival to ME? How is my prayer life? How is my Bible reading? How is my concern for souls? Lord, send a revival, and let is start with ME!
3. Do I pray for Revival? May we individually and as a church begin to earnestly pray for a heaven sent, Holy Ghost filled, life changing revival! We need to pray the way John Knox did for Scotland when he prayed, “Lord, give me Scotland or I die!” It is said that Queen Mary of Scottland (Bloody Mary) feared the prayers of John Knox more than all the armies of Scotland! May we commit to pray for revival!