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Revival is a sovereign work of God–in answer to sincere, prevailing prayer–in which He:

• Grips His people with deep conviction, repentance, forgiveness, and deliverance from personal sin
• Fills His people with the Holy Spirit and manifests in them the fruit and grace of the Holy Spirit
• Causes non-Christians to earnestly seek Him
• Ignites in His people, young and old, a passion to bring the lost to Christ at home and around the world

Charles Finnely, revered as the father of modern revival, called revival a "renewed conviction of sin and repentance, followed by an intense desire to live in obedience to God. It is giving up one's will to God in deep humility." (1) Who is responsible for revival? God or man? Do you work a revival up or do you pray a revival down? What are the conditions for revival? These are legitimate questions that Christian theologians and laymen frequently ask.

The great and holy, righteous, and loving Creator God is sovereign. He rules in the affairs of men and nations. Everything in creation is under His control He has chosen, however, to give to His children the privilege of working together with Him to take the "Good News" of His love and forgiveness to Christ to the world. In like manner, He has entrusted to man a virtually important role in preparing the way for revival. Whatever God tells you to do, He will give you the power and ability to do. the apostle Paul said, "It is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose" (Philippines 2:13). God has given to me and to multitudes of others a desire to fast and pray, and to work for a spiritual awakening for our country and for the fulfillment of the Great Commission throughout the world.

During World War II, we were fighting the Japanese man-to-man from island to island with great casualties. with a kamikaze spirit the enemy fought fiercely, willing to die for their emperor whom they believed to be god. American forces knew that when they invaded Japan, millions of people would die, and the outcome of the war could still be in question. Suddenly, President Truman dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese surrendered and the war ended immediately.

In the providence of God, I believe the power of fasting as it relates to prayer is the spiritual atomic bomb of our moment in history to bring down the strongholds of evil, bring a great revival and spiritual awakening to America, and accelerate the fulfillment of the Great Commission. On the basis of His Holy Word and divine assurances He has placed in my heart, I am absolutely convinced that our Sovereign God is going to send a great revival to our nation and world so that the Great Commission will be fulfilled.

God's Word admonishes us to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33, NKJ). Jesus said, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me" (Mark 8:34, NKJ). In Mark 10:29, 30 He promises great rewards to everyone who forsakes all to follow, trust, and obey Him.

I urge you with every conviction within me–yes, with tears of compassion and commitment–to plan and prepare for revival. I trust that these insights will be mightily used of God to help you in your preparation.

 

Bill Bright

(Excerpt from The Coming Revival)

(1) 1 E. E. Shelhamer, How to Experience Revival (Springdale, PA:Whitaker House, 1984, p.7)

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