Prescription for Revival
This is adapted from R.A. Torrey's prescription for revival, which I was introduced to in a sermon by Greg Laurie.
There is a difference between revival and awakening. A revival is the bringing of something back to life. Maybe it is a church, or our own personal spiritual life, but everyone needs revival from time to time. Not that we have ceased being Christians, but that we need a fresh filling of God's Spirit and the life of Christ in our own lives. An awakening is waking up to something previously unknown, this refers to non-believers coming to know Jesus for the first time. While we need both in our nation and should be praying for both, our focus today is revival.
Psalm 85:6, says “Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?” R.A. Torrey wrote, “I have a theory…that there is not a church, chapel, or mission on earth where you cannot have revival, provided there is a little nucleus of faithful people who will hold onto God until He comes down.” Here are the three steps to revival that Torrey suggested...
I. First, Let a few Christians – there need not be many – get thoroughly right with God
themselves. This is the prime essential. If this is not done, the rest I am going to say will come to
a. 1 John 2:3-6, “And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If
someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a
liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how
completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they
live in God should live their lives as Jesus did."
Our first step in this process is to make sure our lives are in alignment with Jesus life. How did He live? He loved and served people, He lived a life of holiness that honored that Father. He gave His life away for others. This is our call, and we can only do it by the power the Holy Spirit provides!
II. Second, let them bind themselves together in prayer groups to pray for revival until God
opens the heavens and comes down.
a. James 5:6, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be
healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful
b. 1 Timothy 2:1, “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them;
intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.”
c. 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Never stop praying.”
Next, we must live a life of prayer. We gather together in our groups to pray and we keep praying for revival in our own lives, in the life of the church, until we see God do amazing things on our behalf.
III. Third, let them put themselves at the disposal of God for Him to use them as He sees fit in
the winning of others to Christ.
a. Isaiah 6:8, “Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this
people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
b. Romans 12:11, “Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.”
c. Colossians 3:23-24, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working
for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as
your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.”
We must be willing to be used by God, we must make ourselves available to do whatever it is He calls us to do in order to see revival in our churches and in our lives, and win the lost to Jesus Christ.
Conclusion - R.A. Torrey wrote “That is all. This is sure to bring revival to any church or any community. I have given this prescription around the world. It has been taken by many churches and many communities, and in no instance has it ever failed, and it cannot fail.” Someone once asked Billy Sunday, an evangelist, “Do your revival’s last?” He answered, “No, neither do baths but it’s good to have those occasionally.” We need revival and we continually need revival in our own lives. The three things are simple, be thoroughly right with God, pray, be willing. In doing so, we will see God bring about a great revival in our lives and in our churches.
Image Borrowed from UCKG Help Center