Revival Passion: What it Looks Like
- Friday, June 15, 2012
"Every significant outpouring of the Spirit seems to have been preceded by earnest, agonizing intercession, accompanied by a heartbrokenness and humiliation before God... Let no one pray for revival—let no one pray for a mighty baptism of power who is not prepared for deep heart-searchings and confession of sin in his personal life. Revival, in its beginnings, is a most humiliating experience. When one, like Isaiah, sees himself in the light of God's holiness he must inevitably cry, 'Woe is me!' Deep spiritual awakenings, whether in local churches or in whole countries, begin with desperate people."
There has never been a revival without passion. There is a deep heart-searching and desperation over personal sin and the sin of the people. The Welsh revival had these characteristics—a deep conviction of sin along with intercession and repentance. Many of us find it very hard to add prayer meetings into our already busy schedules—but when a mighty revival is moving—all of this doesn’t seem to matter.
Prayer and getting right with God become all important.
In pondering such moves of God and seeing our need for passionate prayer and a greater concern for souls, certainly our desperate cry should be for revival to sweep across the nations. We need to search our own hearts and cry out, “God, purify me!” Evan Roberts, the young man who was used so powerfully by God in the Welsh revival of 1904, prayed passionately that God would purify and bend the Church. He prayed that God would break his own heart over the condition of mankind—His heart was set on obedience—Agonizing prayer was his daily life style. Well-known author and founder of Morningstar, Rick Joyner, said this about him:
"Evan Roberts captured the spirit of the whole revival with the theme: Bend the Church and Save the World. James E. Stewart claimed that this is the secret of every true awakening. Christians must humble themselves and get right with God so that the Spirit can break through in converting power upon the unsaved. There must be no hypocrisy; the Christian must bend to all the will of God for His life in perfect obedience before the Spirit of God is released. When we are bent to the will of God we will be intercessors, because as He 'ever lives to intercede' for His people, if we are abiding in Him we will do the same."
Are we willing to pay the price to actually let God bend us as he did Evan Roberts?
Characteristics of Revival Passion
It is helpful to look at some of the meanings of the word “passion” in Webster’s Dictionary as we think of the characteristics of revival passion. The word “passion” means “highly excited, expressing strong emotion, with strong feeling, zeal, eager desire.” Great passion and zeal were expressed in the past revivals. This passion was for holiness, for purity of life, and for obedience.
Those in the revival had strong emotions as they yearned for the salvation of the lost. Because of their great passion for souls, preachers were zealous for a fearless proclamation of the truth and brought God’s Word with deep conviction and mighty unction, bringing sinners face to face with the Almighty God. As a result, multitudes would weep with great agony of soul as they were confronted with the sin in their own heart. These were the characteristics of revivals in the past. This is what we need in our present day.
A assion for God’s Word and anointed preaching. Revivals are characterized by a powerful and passionate proclamation of the truth. The preaching is extremely anointed, spontaneous, and fearless. Revival preaching centers on Christ, bringing conviction of sin to all its listeners. The words are spoken with a demonstration of the power of God with a supernatural boldness and unction. People are hungry for God’s Word.
“In the Evans Mills revival, Finney recalls: ‘The Spirit of God came upon me with such power that it was like opening a battery upon them. For more than an hour, the Word of God came through me to them in such a manner that I could see was carrying all before it. It was a fire and a hammer breaking the rock, and as the word that was piercing… I saw a general conviction was spreading over the whole audience.’”
"With a demonstration of the Spirit's power" (1 Corinthians 2:4).
A passion for prayer and holiness. Those in the revival had a deep passion for prayer and for getting their lives right with God. There was no toleration of sin. There was humility, an urgent confession of sin, and a holy fear of God. Worldliness was forsaken and large numbers would attend early prayer meetings on a daily basis. People were bent on obeying the will of God.
"Thousands of believers, often unknown to each other, in small towns and great cities, cried to God day after day for the fire of revival to fall. This was not merely 'a little talk with Jesus' but daily agonizing intercession. These were devoted saints who had given their lives to the sacrifice of prayer and worship. They were so jealous for the name of their God that they agonized day and night because of the way Satan was being glorified all around them and they yearned from the depths of their beings to see the Lord's name lifted up in Wales. They constantly reminded God of what He had done in 1859, through the Second Great Awakening, and begged Him to pour out His Spirit again.”
"Create in me a pure heart, O God" (Psalm 51:10).
A passion for the lost. The concern for the lost during the revival was extraordinary. There was praying with tears and a passion to see souls saved. The joy of knowing Christ could not be hidden. Everyone was a brightly shining lamplight to neighbors and co-workers, powerfully attracting unbelievers to that light.
“There can be no revival without soul-winning. In saving lost souls the Welsh Revival must be considered one of the most intense and effective revivals of all time. This was not a program for a few preachers or a campaign to get church members testifying to the saving grace of the Lord Jesus. There were no classes given on how to reach the lost. It just seemed that every Christian in Wales erupted simultaneously with a burning agony for the lost. The joy of salvation simply could not be contained by the believers as every coal mine, tramcar, office, school or ship became a pulpit for the gospel… There was no set pattern of strategy for the witnessing; it was simply born out of an overflowing joy and faith that could not be contained in those who knew the Savior.”
"Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand souls were added to their number that day" (Acts 2:42).
Fervent, passionate prayer for revival in our churches will change the messages in the pulpit into ones of tremendous power.
Five young college students were spending a Sunday in London, and they decided to go and hear the well-known preacher, Charles Spurgeon. While they were waiting for the doors of the church to open, a man greeted them at the door and asked, “Gentlemen, would you like me to show you around the church? Would you like me to show you the heating plant of this church?” It was a very hot day in July and so they were not very excited about his offer. But they said, “yes” because they didn’t want to offend the man. The young men were taken down a long stairway, and the door was quietly opened. Their guide whispered to them, “This is our heating plant.” The young college students looked through the door in complete surprise.
In that room were 700 people bowed in passionate prayer seeking God’s blessing on the service that would soon begin in the auditorium above. The guide softly closed the door. He turned to them and introduced himself as Charles Spurgeon.
Passionate prayer was the secret to his powerful preaching.
Passionate and desperate prayer will be characteristic of the coming revival. God wants to take us deeper in passion and fervency in our prayers. Holy desperation for the presence of God is the key to transformation.
Are we desperate enough to change our life styles for God?
"Both international and local revivals have been distinctly linked to special prayer… The coming revival will be no exception. An extraordinary spirit of prayer, urging believers to much secret and united prayer, pressing them to labor fervently (Colossians 4:12) in their supplications, will be one of the surest signs of approaching showers and floods of blessing."
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