It is of great importance to pray constantly for the government, our economy, our schools and the youth, for crime and corruption to be exposed and for other pressing issues of the day. Unfortunately, the eminent absence of revival and spiritual life – not only in the church but in society at large – underlies all these challenges we face in everyday life. Therefore, whilst covering all these matters in continuous prayer and supplication, petitioning the Lord for breakthrough, we must also remain focused in prayer for revival to flood our nation.
The following are Scripture prayers and ideas to aid us in pleading with God for genuine revival to come in our churches and across our nation. Revival comes through Divine intervention from God. To be granted revival calls for believers to seek God in faith and with prayers that are saturated with the Word of God.
(1) Humility and brokenness. Pray for an outpouring of a spirit of humility and brokenness amongst believers (Isaiah 57:15; James 4:6). God will not revive the self-sufficient and the proud. Pray for believers to see their spiritual bankruptcy and their need to depend utterly on God.
(2) Awareness of holiness. Pray for a deeper conviction, understanding and awareness of God’s holiness (Isaiah 6:1-5; 1 Peter 15- 16). Seek forgiveness for the negligence of the church in preaching holiness. God is utterly holy. He does not and cannot sin. He does not tempt, nor is He tempted. He is pure and without any stain of sin. He always does what is right and good. Pray that believers would be gripped by the absolute holiness of God.
(3) Deeper conviction of sin. Ask God to show believers the extent and depth of evil of their sin. Pray for the Holy Spirit to teach us how to confess and repent of sin (Psalm 19:12-14; 1 John 1:9). The Holy Spirit is grieved when believers cherish sin and do not confess and repent of it (Psalm 66:18; Ephesians 4:30). When the Holy Spirit is grieved, He will not release His miraculous, life-transforming power in our midst. Sin must be dealt with by believers. We must be honest about our sin and ‘come clean’ with God about it.
(4) Word of God. Plead with God for believers to have a hunger for the Word of God and a readiness to obey it (Psalm 119:97, 103; 1 John 2:3-6). Plead with the Holy Spirit to stir a desire in every believer to search, study, read and know the Word of God. Pray for all complacency toward the Word of God to be eradicated. Call on God to stir up believers to be doers of the Word; and not simply hearers of the Word (James 1:22-24).
(5) Obstacles. Ask God to reveal any obstacles or stumbling blocks in ministry that may hinder your church, in particular, from experiencing genuine revival. Take time to consider each matter before God prayerfully (Psalm 139:23).
(6) Preaching. Pray for everyone in leadership in your church, as well as visiting preachers, to preach the Word of God with power, conviction and authority (1 Corinthians 2:1-4; 2 Timothy 3:16-4:4). Revival usually comes when God has given His people bold, faithful and fearless preachers of the Word of God. True and powerful preaching of the Word of God is used by God to revive His people. Plead that preachers will proclaim the fundamental truths of the faith with great clarity, conviction and power.
(7) Unforgiveness and bitterness. Unconfessed sin grieves the Holy Spirit. Yet, in the context of Ephesians 4, the emphasis is on right relationships in the church. When believers are at odds with each other, the Spirit is grieved. Nothing quenches the presence and power of the Holy Spirit as much as broken relationships between believers. Pray for broken relationships between believers to be restored (Ephesians 4:27).
(8) Deception. Plead for the Holy Spirit to unveil every form of deception and lies in the local church and also in our very hearts (Matthew 7:21-23; 2 Corinthians 13:5-6). Deception and lies cause us to resist the work of the Holy Spirit in our churches. Pray that the truth of Scripture will cut every person to the heart. Pray for hearts that are willing to admit wrongs and correct them.
(9) Judgment day. Pray for believers to realise that they will each give an account of their lives at the judgment seat of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:9-10). There will be a day of judgment for every believer. Pray that believers will fully comprehend this and remember it.
(10) The unsaved. Pray that God will grant believers an agonising burden for the lost, and an unceasing desire to share the gospel with them (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 9:1-3). Call on God to create within every believer’s heart a burden to pray for the lost, and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. Plead with Him to grant this to every believer.
(11) Intimacy. Pray for believers to experience a deeper longing and love for the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 4:1-3). The Spirit of God enables people to confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Revival is a powerful work of the Holy Spirit, in which He draws believers closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. In revival, He leads believers to love and confess Jesus Christ in a deeper, more faithful way than at other times. Pray that the Holy Spirit will deepen believers’ love for and confession of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Lord and Saviour.