C. How to Seek Revival
a. Hunger and thirst for God
We need to avoid superficial desires for Revival, as if we can pray for it occasionally in the hope that an exciting spiritual blessing will come to us. Prayer and preparation for Revival requires an in-depth spiritual approach. We should also avoid putting Revival at the top of our list of priorities, vitally important as it is. We need to put seeking God, hungering and thirsting for him, right at the top of the list. Another way of looking at it is, as someone said, “Revival is God.” We’re not praying for “it”, we’re praying for Him – for the Lord to reveal himself and draw us closer to himself. If you seriously and persistently prepare and pray for Revival you will find that God does a deep spiritual work in you, drawing you closer to him, dealing with your failings.
We must never forget that the first and greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength (Mark 12:30). David says “Take delight in the Lord” (Psa 37:4) which really sums up what the overall priority must be. He expresses this himself in Psa 63:1-8 “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. 6 On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. 7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. 8 I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.” He says in Psa 143:6 “I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.”
Elsewhere the Psalmist writes: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’” … “My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God” (Psa 42:1-3: 84:2) Isaiah says “My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you” (26:9).
That should be the attitude of someone praying for Revival and the Lord can, and will, bring it about in us if we persist in prayer. Do not be discouraged if you feel inadequate. Press on. It will happen.
How we should long to be “up Mt Sinai,” in our spirits seeing the lightning and fire of God’s glory, hearing the thunder of God’s majesty, feeling the trembling of God’s awesomeness which is far, far more important than anything else. We should want to be drawn to the Unseen, to see God and hear his voice. We should want to live on a higher level, both in terms of awareness of God and of holiness. We should want to be above the mists of this world which hide the bright sunlit peak of his glory.
To change the metaphor, if we persist in seeking God like this we will experience the “silence of eternity, interpreted by love.” We shall hear the gentle whisper of the Lord, which is so easily missed in the busyness of ordinary life, religion and human ministry. There are spiritual realities around us which we can easily fail to notice.
In fact, we should want to spend regular time with the Lord, not just following our agenda of prayer but rather seeking and following his. Our desire should be for personal revival. “Lord, revive me” should be our heart cry.
I repeat, if you’re not there yet, don’t be discouraged. Press on and the Lord will do it.
A PRAYER ABOUT HUNGERING AND THIRSTING AFTER GOD
Eternal God you are my refuge, and underneath are your everlasting arms. One thing I ask from you, Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in your house all the days of my life, to gaze on your beauty. As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.2 My soul thirsts for you, the living God. When can I go and meet with you? You are my joy and my delight. I long to … take refuge in the shelter of your wings. My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.”
- I long to see more of your glory and beauty.
- I long to worship you with far greater awe.
- I long to exult in your love and express my love to you more fully.
- I long to rejoice in your everlasting arms.