How we need Revival!

A plea from the Rev Tony Higton

The Western world particularly needs revival because it is becoming more and more godless. I’m using that world “godless” in the sense of lacking belief or interest in God. There are many good as well as bad things in society but the worst sin is to ignore God.

We need a spiritual Revival on a level with the great Revivals in the past. And I am convinced we need earnestly to pray and prepare for such an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. If you agree or are interested I invite you to read on.

I’ve been in the Church of England Ministry for decades but had not thought much about Revival throughout most of my ministry. I was aware it had happened in history, e.g. in the Wesleyan Revival. I was also aware that some Christians seemed to have a rather superficial view of revival as an exciting experience or even an evangelistic campaign.

Then a couple of years ago I began to take Revival seriously because of the post-Christian state of British society, with so many people without God and without hope. The Lord’s name is being dishonoured and the cross ignored. There are successful churches, though many are struggling. But whatever the church does by way of evangelism (which is an important priority to which I’m totally committed) it will only scratch the surface of our godless society. Whatever the value of pastoral re-organisation, mission communities, committee discussions, etc., they will not be effective in saving the church without extensive prayer for a special work of the Spirit in Revival.

It is estimated that:

  • in the Wesleyan Revival, by the time of John Wesley’s death in 1791 between 50,000 and 80,000 people had come to faith;
  • in the 1859 Revival over a million converts were added to the church in the UK;
  • in the 1904 Welsh Revival 100,000 people came to faith.

Also many people’s lives were transformed in the 1949-52 Hebrides Revival (the last in the UK).

Some people think that God will bring Revival when he decides to do so, and there’s nothing we can do about it. I’ve come to the firm conclusion that God wants to bring Revival (after all, he loves our godless society) and is looking for people who will pray persistently and earnestly for him to do so, and allow him to prepare them in repentance and holiness. The disciples didn’t simply wait for the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost. “They all joined together constantly in prayer.” I have found prayer for Revival to be a spiritually transforming experience.

Others think that God intends to bring judgment on the nation rather than revival but I have concluded that revival and judgment are not mutually exclusive.

You can find, on this site, a detailed guide to revival – with information on the background to revival, the motives for seeking revival, practical steps for seeking revival, a response to some questions about expecting revival, and a list of further resources.

You can find commentary on topics relevant to revival on the blog.

You can also find information about joining my mailing list.

Please let me know if you’re seriously praying for Revival on your own or with others.


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