There are a lot of good definitions of revival. My favorite is very simple: It’s when God shows up for church.
It’s that very special time in a life of the people of God when they begin to experience the presence of Jesus Christ in a fresh new way.
You might be thinking: Now, isn’t that the way it’s supposed to always be?
That’s probably the case, but the truth of the matter is, most of us can go to church Sunday after Sunday after Sunday and never really experience the presence of Jesus Christ.
The old revivalists years ago used to call it the “manifest presence of God.” It’s when God’s presence is suddenly made manifest in a fresh, new way.
So if you are going to begin praying for revival, you have to understand what you are praying toward. You’re asking God to show up. You’re asking the Lord to step in, to do something that is out of the ordinary, that’s fresh, that’s new. Something that turns the church back to Jesus Christ.
Understand, that is especially going to happen to you first as an individual. You are not merely praying for revival “somewhere out there,” for a bunch of other people. You start off by saying, “Lord, I need revival. More than anything else, I long to experience Your presence in a fresh, new way in my life.”
So we begin to take the Word of God and make it a part of our lives. We turn to passages like Psalm 85: “Will You not revive us again?”
Perhaps even start by saying, “Lord, will You not revive me again? Will You open my eyes to see You in a fresh, new way that causes me to be filled with Your love, Your grace, Your mercy in a way that changes not only me, but changes those around me?”
Can you imagine what happens when thousands and thousands of us begin praying for God to show up in church?
Does God often show up in your church? What can you do to create an environment where He is welcome and has the freedom to be God among His people? What changes might you need to make to the Sunday schedule, monthly calendar, or annual programming of your church?
“Father, we ask You to come and be a part of our weekly church service. We don’t want to gather together in Your name yet be so inwardly focused that we miss Your manifest presence. Shine the light of Your Word on any practice, program, or process in our church that doesn’t bring You glory or help us in doing Your will Your way. In Jesus’ name, amen.”