Thursday, 21 February 2008


Uncontrollable weeping. Deep heeving. Intense prayer. Thorough conversion. These are just some of the traits of what church historians call: revival. Revivals throughout history are rare. But it seems that there is an observable ground-work that takes place before each revival. This ground-work includes - (i) intense, fervent prayer, (ii) confession of sin, and (iii) deep repentance.

When God visits a church, community or city with revival, there is an extraordinary sensitivity to God. Christians become deeply aware of God's presence. Those who are not Christians become aware of their need for God. Churches fill. Prayer meetings grow. Giving increases. Violence decreases. It was said of Robert Murray McCheyne's church in Dundee, Scotland that after months of intense preaching, evangelising and prayer, the congregation became overwhelmed with the presence of God to the point that people were seen spontaneously dropping to their knees and sobbing heavily with heads bowed and hands clasped in prayer. Many of these people were shaking uncontrollably as they cried out to God for forgiveness and cleansing. The result was that the tiny church grew to thousands and Robert Murray McCheyne was so overcome with the demands resulting from the revival that he died of exhaustion at the age of just 29.

But rather than his life being a waste, his intense ministry had an affect on Scotland that not only touched his generation, but generations to the present day. Winkie Pratney says that the reason revival is so rare is that too few Christians are prepared to pay the price it demands. But history says that for every generation and town that experienced it, the price was worth it.

Perhaps God may move upon us more intensely at Legana to pray for His presence and power. Perhaps we too may see sin for what it truly is and be driven to relentlessly seek holiness (sin's only remedy). Perhaps God may grace us with a generation who are more interested in pleasing God than finding pleasure.

Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?

Psalm 85:6

Andrew Corbett
Legana, Tasmania

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