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Preparing for revival

In his book ‘The best is yet to come: Pentecostal and Charismatic revivals in Nigeria from 1914 to 1990s’, Pastor Austen Chimdi Ukachi writes the following about revival.

‘Many of us are familiar with stories of revivals in various parts of the world – like the Welsh revival and the Azusa awakening.  Those of us yearning for greater moves of God in our generation still have a lot to learn from the account of these and other past revivals. Perhaps, we may ask, why were these mighty moves of the Holy Spirit not sustained? The answers to this are equally provided in this narrative. Issues like the physical fatigue or burnout, improper organisation, ineffective discipleship strategies and other similar shortcomings contributed in various proportions to the waning of many past revivals. These lessons are important to study for this generation as we anticipate future revivals.

 

…prepare His Church for what some predict will be one of the greatest visitations of God in history.

 

A study on revival, on its own, is a very fascinating and inspiring subject for any Christian who bothers to engage in it. In most cases, revivals witnessed a spontaneous outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon people of different social status and backgrounds. In recent years the Holy Spirit has been prodding many of God’s servants on the coming revival, so as to prepare His Church for what some predict will be one of the greatest visitations of God in history.

Noah’s account, as stated in the book of Hebrews, gives us a clue on how to prepare for the imminent revival. When the Lord spoke to Noah to prepare an ark because of an impending flood, he was moved with godly fear to act. ‘By faith Noah being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of righteousness which is according to faith’.

Robert E Coleman writes: “Scripture does point to some kind of a climactic spiritual conflagration, though this coming world revival is bound up with other historical situations such as the return of the Jews from captivity and the restoration of their nation.”

 

Part of the preparations… is to pray and wait for the Lord to come.

 

Whenever God wanted to do something with the nation of Israel, to move them from one place to another, from one way of understanding to another, He said to their leader of the day: “Prepare them.”  Therefore, in this generation, no less a thorough preparation is expected of God’s people who are certain of the Lord’s impending visit and outpouring of His Holy Spirit in this generation.  The gains of revivals have always been lost due to the lack of preparation. Part of the preparations we have to make is to pray and wait for the Lord to come. “It is true that most revivals do end prematurely, or in a way that is not preferable.”  This usually happens because of human mistakes. Adequate preparations only help us to minimize the mistakes we make during revivals.

Revivals are times of God’s visitation. They result in massive harvest, fruitfulness, and church growth. Historians, sociologists, and theologians may differ on the causes of revival, but none would deny their occurrence.’

 

What must we do?

When we pray for revival, every believer must intentionally present their heart before the Lord in prayer. It is to allow the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and minds, to saturate every part of our being with His truth, with holiness and with purity. It is to allow Him to highlight everything that separates us from His great love, from His purposes for our generation and from walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.

No matter how many times we have done this in the past, every time we come before the Lord again to search our hearts, more of His light enters our lives. Will you not consider afresh to present your heart before the Lord in prayer?

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