And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work. Nehemiah 2.18
Ministers of Scotland: Lectures on Revival XII
The Rev. Patrick Fairbairn, Minister of Bridgeton
“That [revival] is God’s work, requiring at every step the interposition of his hand, and manifesting often in a singular manner the sovereignty of his grace, does not less render it dependent on the instrumentality of his people; and if the greatness of the effect produced appear many times so completely out of proportion to the smallness of the means employed, that we feel constrained to look almost exclusively to the hand of God, so far from regarding this as a proof that little or no account should be made of human instrumentality, it should but stimulate us the more diligently to employ it, as being evidently crowned by God with such superabundant honour and blessing.”
Revival is God’s work, but we have work to do in preparing for it. He is pleased to bring about revival through the work of His people – praying, preaching, and otherwise preparing for what He has promised to do. We must study to understand the need for revival, and the nature, progress, and hope of revival once it begins. At the same time, we must take the work of repentance, and seeking personal renewal from the Lord. Then we must join in prayer to seek Him, and unite with other churches to beat on the gates of heaven until the Lord blesses us once again (Is. 62.6, 7). We must speak out against and work to change evils of every sort, beginning in our own spheres of influence. And we must learn to believe that God can do what we expect Him to do – while we make it our business to do what He expects of us. If we will not exert ourselves for revival, doing what God has clearly indicated to be our duty, how can we expect Him to exert Himself to this task?
What would an agenda of preparing for revival look like in your church?
The work of the Spirit
To further help you in preparing for revival, we have two brief books that won’t take you more than an hour to read. Preparing Your Church for Revival tells you what to expect as the Lord begins to move, and shows you how to get ready even now (click here). Restore Us! provides the rationale and means for praying together for revival. It includes 12 psalms to guide your times of praying together (click here).
Pray for Revival
All quotations in this series are taken from Ministers of Scotland,Lectures on Revival, Richard Owen Roberts, ed. (Wheaton: Richard Owen Roberts, Publishers, 1980). Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.