Why isn’t there as much interest in revival among Christians today compared to former years? I posed that question to Tim Keller and Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, each of whom has been inspired by reading about past revivals to aspire for such an awakening in our day.
We all agree there isn’t a lot of talk about the revival stories, a problem I’ve experienced and tried to address with John Woodbridge in A God-Sized Vision. Keller notes with appreciation the recent interest in evangelism but notes that revival leads to an ingathering of new believers. “The best way to reach people is to show them something gorgeous here,” he says. Reformed Christians rightly emphasize the need for doctrinal reformation. Indeed, revival does not come to apostate churches. But it’s possible to focus so much on our efforts to reform church doctrine that we don’t bother to ask God to work in extraordinary ways. We neglect this privilege of prayerful, faith-expanding hope to our spiritual detriment.
Familiarizing yourself with God’s mighty works of the past is a good place to begin tuning your heart to pray for awakening today. Keller notes how he has visited the place where a prayer meeting revival broke out in New York City in 1857. Wolgemuth finds encouragement in Isaiah 64:5, which says, “You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways.”
Join us in asking God to revive his church again!