When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion,
We were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.” Psalm 126.1, 2
Ministers of Scotland: Lectures on Revival XIV
Nathaniel Paterson, D. D., Minister of St. Andrew’s Parish, Glasgow
“A revival then just means the awakening and conversion of many at once, instead of one at a time, to which last if there be any valid objection there ought to be no ministry at all; and if the work be good in the case of solitary conversions, the more joyfully is it to be hailed when conversions are many; for then it is the same grace manifested in greater abundance.”
I wonder if the people of God, were they given to understand what revival truly looks like, would be more eager to see it begin? The psalmist dreamed about the day of the Lord’s restoring His favor, and when it came, he foresaw that it would be so glorious and good, that the people would be caught up in laughter and rejoicing abounding – like a dream come true. Then they would go about declaring all the good works and Good News of the Lord to any who would listen, many of whom would agree and unite their voices with ours in praising our sovereign, gracious, reviving God. Who could be against that? Or maybe we should ask, Who wouldn’t be for that? It falls to ministers to talk to their people about the great seasons of revival in the past, to incite them to prayers for such reviving grace in our own day. God has often restored the fortunes of His people in previous generations. God’s people would be interested to know about these revivals, I’m sure.
Where would you turn to teach your congregation about the nature of revival and what to expect when revival begins?
Preparing for Revival
To further help you in preparing for revival, we have two brief books that can guide you. 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.