27 Apr Words of Grace – Fifth Sunday Prayer Gathering
Fifteen years ago I read this paragraph:
“Revival I define as a work of God by his Spirit through his word bringing the spiritually dead to living faith in Christ and renewing the inner life of Christians who have grown slack and sleepy. In revival God makes old things new, giving new power to law and gospel and new spiritual awareness to those whose hearts and consciences had been blind, hard and cold. Revival thus animates or reanimates churches and Christian groups to make a spiritual and moral impact on communities. It comprises an initial reviving, followed by a maintained state of revivedness for as long as the visitation lasts. Taking the early chapters of Acts as a paradigm, and relating them to the rest of the New Testament, which is manifestly a product throughout of revival conditions, we may list as marks of revival an awesome sense of the presence of God and the truth of the gospel; a profound awareness of sin, leading to deep repentance and heartfelt embrace of the glorified, loving, pardoning Christ; an uninhibited witness to the power and glory of Christ, with a mighty freedom of speech expressing a mighty freedom of spirit; joy in the Lord, love for his people, and fear of sinning; and from God’s side an intensifying and speeding-up of the work of grace so that men are struck down by the word and transformed by the Spirit in short order, making it appropriate pastorally as well as theologically to baptize adult converts straight after they have professed faith. It is true, of course, that there can be personal revival without any community movement, and that there can be no community movement save as individuals are revived. Nonetheless, if we follow Acts as our paradigm we shall define revival as an essentially corporate phenomenon in which God sovereignly shows his hand, visits his people, extends his kingdom, and glorifies his name.” – J.I Packer, A Quest For Godliness
Will God be gracious to give us this gift of revival in our lifetime? This is what we plan to pray for at our next Fifth Sunday Corporate Prayer Gathering. Will you join us?