God has really stirred my heart recently about the need for revival. There is a need for revival, beginning with the church. When there is revival in the church, there will be revival in the land.
Why is there a need for revival? You can simply listen to the news, look around you, and even consider some of the very stuff (yes, stuff) you may be struggling with, and perceive the desperate need for revival!
While many seem to believe the need for revival is caused by the growing presence of sin, I disagree. The "need" for revival is caused by the absence of the presence of God. When Holy Spirit is given the place He deserves in our lives, and in our gatherings, His very presence dispels the darkness in and among us. Light always overpowers the darkness. On the other hand, when sin is given a place in and among us, it takes everything (and more) that we give it. "...And do not give the devil an opportunity." (Ephesians 4:27) When sin is present, it is because it has been given ground to stand and grow on. Sin is a barrier that causes a void between believers and the manifest presence of God.
When sin is present, and the presence of God absent, what once was passionate service to God becomes no more than lifeless works. The form of Godliness may be present, but the true power of God is absent, because Holy Spirit's presence is absent. The answer - become most adamant about giving Holy Spirit His place among us and in us; His presence.
The first step in praying for revival is to perceive the need for revival. How could we pray seriously for revival if we do not perceive the need for it? Again, all the signs that we desperately need revival are everywhere. But the greatest perception (of the need) must come for ourselves! Do we see the need for revival in and among ourselves as individuals?
Jesus addressed the church at Ephesus and commended them for several things. But then He stated that He had one thing against them. "...you have left your first love. Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place - unless you repent." (Revelation 2:4 - 5) This message was to the church, but please remember, we are individually members of the church, the body of Christ. Jesus told us to "repent" two different times in the passage.
To repent is to return to the place we were before. First we consider how far away we have come from that place. Repentance is a turning away from those things we know are displeasing to God; things we have continued to give place to in our lives. This is a 180 degree turn from going the direction of sin, (which us takes us farther away from God, even in certain areas of our lives), and going straight back to Jesus.
Revival cannot happen without repentance! Repentance is not simply asking for forgiveness. That's where it begins, but then, all of the above must be applied for it to be true repentance.
I actually believe true revival begins when a person makes a commitment to repent. Because true repentance is a commitment to God to change our ways. When we do our part, and hold fast to our commitment, God will do His part. These are no longer dead works, because they are in obedience to God's Spirit, inspired by the perception of our need for revival in our hearts. As we pray, change our ways, (repent), and earnestly seek His face God will begin to pour out His Spirit and heal our land!
What we are about to see in our time is a massive outpouring of the Spirit of God. This will happen because enough Christians are beginning to perceive the need for it. Rather than being passive about it, thinking somehow, things will automatically get better, many believers are personally repenting of any and everything they already know is sin in there lives. And they are motivated, by the perception, to pray and seek God's mighty face. My question to you is, are you being motivated by the perception?