We’re in the middle of summer season. There are Christian festivals, camps, retreats. We experience immense times of worship and God is doing amazing things in many people’s lives. When we’re at these events it can seem like we’re at the start of a big revival – that God is making himself known and many people are being drawn to him. But, more often than not, when we get home, our experiences of God’s presence don’t continue in the same way. So what is revival and how does one start.
Mike Gore from Open Doors Australia recently wrote down some of his thoughts, and we thought they were pretty good, so have put them up here for you too. Enjoy.
Revival. It has to be one of the most exciting words in the “Christian” vocabulary.
A quick look at the book of Acts gives insight into a revival like the world had never seen. I often read it looking for the secret to the early church’s growth, but the book of Acts is not an exact formula for explosive church growth. However it does tell us how a group of fisherman and dropouts were part of one of the largest scale revivals ever.
But where do these revivals start? And how can we see revival in our country?
“And the LORD added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
God. God is the one who brings revival, not us.
Take China for example, one of my favourite stories of revival. In 1949, there were 1 million Christians in China (a total population of 541 million) and they faced severe persecution. Believers and pastors were imprisoned and Bibles were burnt in their thousands.
By 1979 China’s population was 969 million and the number of Christians was estimated to be over 10 million. That number soon doubled to 20 million.
How did this great revival take place under such severe persecution?
At the time, reports from China said that there was one thing that stood out – the amount of time Chinese believers would spend in prayer. But they weren’t praying that their persecution would end. They were praying for their country. They were praying that revival would come to China.
This is how one of the greatest revivals in the history of the world began – with prayer.
What if we were bold enough to ask the Lord to bring revival like in China to other countries? For revival in our country?
“We look at the the church in the West as a prophetic example of what happens when faith becomes free: the value of Jesus drops”.
Today there is a conservative estimate of over 90 million Christians in China.
I remember sitting with a Chinese believer and asking if I could pray for him and he said “We look at the the church in the West as a prophetic example of what happens when faith becomes free: the value of Jesus drops. I want you to pray that persecution never leaves China!” I then asked him to pray for me and he simply said, “I pray that you’d be persecuted!”
Revival is exciting but it often comes with a cost, as a good friend once said to me “For every resurrection there must be a crucifixion.” Are you willing to pray that revival would come to the UK and beyond?
We are incredibly thankful for all that God is doing through His church and through the ministry of Open Doors. Thank you for your faithful prayer and your sacrifice for the persecuted church.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.