Summary: What is a revival? How does it happen? What do we want to happen when we pray for revival?

Dr. Roger W. Thomas, Preaching Minister

First Christian Church, Vandalia, MO

Revive Us Again

Ps. 85:4-8

Introduction: The grand old hymn voices our prayer . . .

We praise Thee, O God!

For the Son of Thy love,

For Jesus Who died,

And is now gone above.

Hallelujah! Thine the glory.

Hallelujah! Amen.

Hallelujah! Thine the glory.

Revive us again.

We praise Thee, O God!

For Thy Spirit of light,

Who hath shown us our Savior,

And scattered our night.

.Revive us again;

Fill each heart with Thy love;

May each soul be rekindled

With fire from above.

1. We have a great history—revivals here . . .

2. But there is also a great confusion: What revival is not just

a. Church meetings

b. Evangelistic crusade

c. Not entertainment

3. The word—re-vive—live; cf. lifeguard; ER;

Three words and three texts shine spotlight on what we want to happen:

1. The Word—Revive. The Text—Psalm 85:4-8

4 Restore us again, O God our Savior,

and put away your displeasure toward us.

5 Will you be angry with us forever?

Will you prolong your anger through all generations?

6 Will you not revive us again,

that your people may rejoice in you?

7 Show us your unfailing love, O LORD,

and grant us your salvation.

8 I will listen to what God the LORD will say;

he promises peace to his people, his saints—

but let them not return to folly.

The text is a prayer for revival. It recognizes that revival comes from God. It is his act.

That’s why we pray. We believe God hears and that he will act.

We recognized that sometimes he doesn’t. Most often, when we don’t want it or we don’t ask or we don’t wait.

Note how revive and rejoice flow together!

2. The word—Renew. The text—Isaiah 40:28-31

The LORD is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

Our Lord promises a renewal of spiritual strength, energy and motivation.

We need a revival when we know we need that.

We need a revival when we become tired in our faith.

We need a revival when we become bored with our Christian life or our Christian friends.

We need a revival when we are busy but accomplish little.

We need a revival when our hope and faith grows week.

Revival means renewal!

3. The Third Word—Restore. The Third Text—Psalm 51:7-8

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;

wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;

let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

9 Hide your face from my sins

and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presence

or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation

and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Revival brings a restoration of joy.

Revival flows from repentance from sin, a giving up of self-reliance, an refusal to remain in indifference.

Revival comes when the Holy Spirit is alive and well and at work among us.

He is ready when we are. Are you?

Conclusion: Revival is not primarily a corporate activity. It is first personal or it is not at all!

Gypsy Smith, the old revivalist, explained the secret of revival. He said, “Go into the privacy of your room. Draw a circle on the floor. Sept into that circle and pray, “Lord, send a revival and start inside this circle.”

That’s still good advice!

***Dr. Roger W. Thomas is the preaching minister at First Christian Church, 205 W. Park St., Vandalia, MO 63382 and an adjunct professor of Bible and Preaching at Central Christian College of the Bible, 911 E. Urbandale, Moberly, MO. He is a graduate of Lincoln Christian College (BA) and Lincoln Christian Seminary (MA, MDiv), and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (DMin).

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