When I was a child, we often sang the old hymn, Lord, Send a Revival. While we would sing the hymn at other times of the year, it was most usual to sing it leading up to or during our annual revival meeting. I know some of you won’t recognize that event called revival, but many of you will.
Revival was a time set aside to pray and seek God’s face. Prayer took a higher priority during these revival times. Christians would cry out to God for a spiritual cleansing in our lives and the church. There would be a prayer list of lost people in the community who we longed to see come to Christ. Church members would often meet in cottage prayer meetings (OK, home groups), and tears were often shed as we cried out for revival and souls.
Churches rarely, if ever, hold revival meetings anymore for dozens of reasons or excuses depending on your perspective. Whether we utilize the methodology of the past or not does not change the deep need for God to bring a fresh cleansing and move among us. Indeed, I would suggest that the need is greater than I have seen in my lifetime.
In fact, I would go so far as to say we are past the need for revival. Spiritual awakening in our churches, state, and nation is greatly needed. I could take up considerable space cursing the darkness and enumerating the reasons why we don’t just need revival in a few churches here and there, but that we need an awakening that shakes our nation. For my readers, I don’t think I need to press the point—you already know.
I deeply appreciate our Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd calling us to “Join the Movement.” He is asking us to join him in praying for spiritual awakening. He states, “While this world is experiencing multiple crises and our own nation has a few of its own, our greatest crisis is spiritual. Each born-again, evangelical believer should be praying daily for our nation to experience a spiritual awakening…We need the mighty manifested presence of God in our lives…We need the mighty manifested presence of God and His glory all over the church. When we are experiencing these moments with God, by His Sovereign grace, we pray our Lord gives our nation a Great Awakening.”
We often decry the remarkable speed of decline in the moral and ethical breakdown of our culture, but in truth, the salt has lost its saltiness. The hope for the nation is a revived, no, awakened church—a church where holiness is not a forgotten concept, a church not based on convenience but commitment. The answer for the culture is an awakened and revived church; a church where the Holy Spirit moves with power in cleansing of saints and conversion of sinners.
More than 100 years have passed since there was a sweeping nationwide awakening. Greg Frizzell, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) prayer and spiritual awakening specialist, suggests that if we experienced an awakening of the magnitude of the past, we would see as many as 30 million new believers flood our churches. That number seems unimaginable, but with God, all things are possible. Just remember, our God is not reluctant. He longs to send awakening upon a people who are ready to receive.
Our BGCO President, Nick Garland, and I are calling for a day of prayer and fasting for an awakening in our churches, state, and nation. On Oct. 20, we are asking for pastors and church staff to join us at Moore, First to pray and fast for an awakening. Most of all, we are to lift our voices in unison for God to begin revival in the leaders. Our cry will be, “Lord, send a revival and let it begin in ME!”
All of us can dedicate Oct. 20 as a day of prayer and fasting. I ask you to encourage your pastor and staff to join Nick and me at Moore, First for a unified time of extraordinary prayer and fasting.