Common Characteristics in Preparation for Revival
Excerpts from the book ‘Revival Fires and Awakenings.’
With all revivals, there are differences, but there are also
common characteristics and features, regardless of the people
involved, the decade or century, and in which country or
continent the revival took place. If you were to read extensively
about revivals and revivalists down the ages, then you will start
to see some common threads woven through history. Some of
these common characteristics are:
Before a revival comes, there will always need to be
preparation on behalf of the body of Christ. This
frequently occurs when a minister starts preaching and
teaching on the nature and conditions of revival, and out
of this comes prayer and intercession.
Revival always begins with a burden. It could be one
person or more, who become a watchman (male or
female intercessor) who stand in the gap (in
intercession) on behalf of their church or nation.
Those with a burden would have long realised that
personal revival always precedes a local or national
revival. They would have got their own lives sorted out
before they expect God to move others enmasse.
Genuine disciples of Jesus Christ will be grieved and
burdened over the state of the Church, their community,
city or country, as sin and lawlessness abounds. They
will be grieved that the name of God is blasphemed and
derided on a daily basis. God must be glorified!
They desire Jesus’ name to be lifted high and flown as a
banner across their land. They wish all Christians could
enter into a living relationship with the Holy Spirit, to
know Him and His convicting and guiding power.
Before a revival comes, things will often look their worst.
God frequently steps in at the last minute, at the darkest
hour. If God did not step in with His mercy, then He
would have to step in with His judgment – Sodom and
Gomorrah had no Bible yet we do!
Before a revival comes, faithful disciples of Jesus Christ
will be praying and interceding for God to move His
mighty hand and to pour out His Spirit from on high.
They will plead the promises of God as contained within
the Holy Bible. It has been said by many a preacher that
preceding revival, the word O’ or Oh is always used in
passionate prayer and pleading. Many revivalist (or
intercessor) will go through a period of agony in prayer
until they get an assurance that God will move.
These disciples will be earnestly trying to live righteous
and holy lives. They will talk, read and study about past
revivals and awakenings and encourage others to seek
God for revival blessings.
Common Characteristics of Revival
When revival comes there will be a heightened
awareness of God’s presence. The Holy Spirit, as the
third Person of the Trinity will be honoured. He will not
be seen as a “thing” or “influence” but as a Person, who
convicts of sin, shows true righteousness, guides into all
truth, gives direction etc. and glorifies Jesus.
There is a deeper reality of the cross of Calvary, the
blood of Jesus, the atonement and what He has done
for mankind (Isaiah 53).
God shows no partiality (Acts 10:34). Those of all ages,
from different social backgrounds of varying educational
levels get saved, including young children. Teenagers
become radical for Christ. They may not dress like us,
but they will be zealous for Christ and many will have
more zeal than wisdom! But that’s ok as God knows the
heart. The majority of these converts will stay true to
God and be trophies of grace, lasting fruit.
There will be conviction of sin to a lesser or greater
degree. Many non-Christians will writhe in agony of soul
and be in deep torment until they bow the knee to Jesus
Christ, or if they are a Christian, until they get specific
sins (Leviticus 5:5) out of their life and or confess them (Proverbs
28:13). Some will fall out of the pew or the seat that they
were sitting on or fall over if they were standing up!
If we want to see revival, then each of us needs to be revived, and to pray for our own personal revival. But before we can be revived we need to repent of all known sin and deal with the past, because ‘he who covers his sin will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes will find mercy’ (Proverbs 28:13).
The Lord said: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Find out more about the book ‘Revival Fires and Awakenings’ by Mathew Backholer.
Mathew is the author of:
Revival Fire - 150 Years of Revivals Go
Extreme Faith – On Fire Christianity Go
Global Revival – Worldwide Outpourings Go
Revival Answers, True and False Revivals Go
Understanding Revival and Addressing the Issues Go
Mission Preparation Training: Evangelism, Teaching and Discipleship Go
How to Plan, Prepare and Successfully Complete Your Short-Term Mission Go
Revival Fires and Awakenings: Thirty-Six Visitations of the Holy Spirit Go