“Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause Thine anger toward us to cease. Wilt Thou be angry with us for ever? wilt Thou draw out Thine anger to all generations? Wilt Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?” Psalm 85:4-6
In Psalm eighty-five, we read the prayer of a true patriot. He watched his nation go from disobedience to degradation to dissolution. And because he loves his land, he's praying for revival.
America, too, is on a collision course with God's judgment, and I am greatly alarmed! As in that day, today the prayer of a patriot needs to be, “Wilt Thou not revive us again …?”
Now to revive means to bring back to a former state. Never has a nation had a better start than America. God has blessed and favored America. But America needs a spiritual revival - an earth-shaking, mountain-moving, devil-defying, sin-killing, soul-saving revival.
Some have given up and say it's too late for America. I refuse to believe that because of the word “Thou.” “Wilt Thou not revive us again ….?” If it depended upon us, indeed, it would be too late. But as long as there is God, there is hope for America and for revival.
I've studied the history of revival and have found that God in His mercy has sent revival in darkest of times. Think of some of the revivals in history.
On Mount Carmel Elijah was God's only prophet. There was political, moral, and religious corruption. But there was one man who knew God. Elijah prayed, “… Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that Thou art the LORD God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again.” (1 Kings 18:37) Verse thirty-eight says, “Then the fire of the LORD fell….” God sent a mighty spiritual awakening. If God could do that on Mount Carmel, He can do it in America.
What a revival it was that took place on the day of Pentecost (see Acts 2)! Never was there a more unlikely place for revival. Jerusalem was gospel-hardened. They'd heard the preaching of the prophets and seen the ministry of Jesus Christ, yet they had rejected them. But on the day of Pentecost, revival came. If God could send revival to Jerusalem, He can send revival to us in this day and age.
Think about the Dark Ages. The Word of God was virtually unknown. Few people had ever seen a Bible. Dark ages they truly were; but God raised up Martin Luther, Calvin, and others. And what we call the Protestant Reformation was probably one of the greatest revivals this world has ever known, when millions came to Jesus Christ by faith. Now, if God could do that in the Dark Ages, He can still do it today.
There was a great revival in Wales early in the twentieth century. Revival came, one man said, “like an unexpected tornado.” So great was the power of God hovering over that land, that fishermen coming ashore in their boats would fall under conviction as they drew near to land. Multitudes were swept into the kingdom of God. Jail doors were left unlocked because there were no prisoners. Old debts were paid. Alcoholics were made sober. Criminals were reformed. Wales was changed and set aglow for Jesus Christ. What will God have to do to send that kind of revival to America today?
The problem is not in Washington. It's not in the schools. The problem lies with God's people. We, like the patriot in Psalms, must pray, “…Revive us again.” We say, “If only Hollywood would... If only Washington would…. If only education would… If only the liquor industry would….” But God says, “If My people…” First Chronicles 7:14 says, “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
God wants His people to humble themselves and turn back to Him. Our sins have hidden His face. We must turn from that which is wicked and sinful. All-night prayer meetings are to no avail unless we repent.
The call of the hour is for revival. The only thing that can save America is revival. And the only people who can start revival are God's people. It's time that we say it and mean it, pray it and feel it: “God bless America. Revive us again.”