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Duncan Campbell experienced genuine revival on the Isle of Lewis in the late 1940’s. His simple definition of revival is:

Revival is a people saturated with God.

When I think of being “saturated”, I think of being soaked with water. I also think about the ground feeling like a sponge because it is filled with water. If we (our church, our small group, our campus, our youth group, etc.) are saturated with God, then we are filled with his presence and power and fruitfulness. And they only thing that matters is His Glory!

May we be a people saturated with God!



by Louis Bartet

Because I haven’t found a better definition, I’m still holding on to the one given by Vance Havner: Revival is the saints getting back to normal.” Jim Cymbala, pastor of Brooklyn Tabernacle, Brooklyn, New York, had the following to say about revival:

    “Revival is where you see multitudes getting saved, not coming over from another church because there’s a better program…a church loving each other and coming together to pray and call out to the Lord…a return to the Book of Acts.” (Enrichment, Fall 1996:23)

All of us are in agreement that the time for revival is now, but do we realize that the way to revival is prayer. English preacher Sidlow Baxter, when he was eighty-five years of age, said:

    “I have pastored only three churches in my more than sixty years of ministry. We had revival in every one. And not one of them came as a result of my preaching. They came as a result of the membership entering into a covenant to pray until revival come. And it did come, every time.” (Wilhite 1988:111)

Prayer is the fountain from which revival springs. The key to revival in every age is prayer. In 1904, Frank Beardsley wrote:

    “It is possible to have revivals without preaching, without churches, and without ministers, but without prayer a genuine revival is impossible.” (Beardsley, 1904:309)

Concerning what has come to be known as the Brownsville Revival, John Kilpatrick wrote:

    “There is no question in my mind that prayer was as central to the revival itself as it was to the preparation of it.” (Kilpatrick, 1995:72)

Dr A. T. Pierson once said, ‘There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer.” (Orr, 199)

Revival won’t come by teaching, great worship music or beautiful buildings. It is scripturally and experientially linked to prayer.

    Isaiah 64:1 (NKJV) Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence– 2 As fire burns brushwood, As fire causes water to boil–To make Your name known to Your adversaries, [That] the nations may tremble at Your presence!2Chr 7:14 (NKJV) “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

The term “pray” in the preceding verse comes from the same Hebrew root that describes the position of a woman in labor—the position Elijah assumed when he prayed for rain (1 Kings 18:42). This is not dealing with the posture of the body, but that of the soul. It is a picture of deep intercession and travail until revival is birthed.

It doesn’t matter if we examine the revival that occurred under the leadership of Nehemiah, Daniel or Finney, every revival can be traced back to prayer. The question one must ask is “what kind of prayer”?


    Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV) “And you will seek Me and find [Me], when you search for Me with all your heart”James 5:16 (NKJV) “…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Revival praying involves heart engaged prayer. It is prayer carried aloft by inflamed desires and impassioned hope. Our whole being must be involved. We must say what we feel and feel what we say. It is anything but casual. It bears the marks of an aggressive life and death struggle. It is seen in the tears of Nehemiah (Neh. 1:4). It is felt in the cry of Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52). Bartimaeus was a desperate man. He was aware that Jesus was passing by and that the answer to his need was within reach. Though his cry was met with a reprimand, “he cried out all the more.”

How desperate are you? What would it take to silence your cry? Is the desire for revival a nice thought or is it the passionate cry of your heart? How desperate are you for the presence of God in your life? How hungry are you for intimacy with God? The Psalmist wrote:

1 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
“Where [is] your God?”
4 When I remember these [things],
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
Psalm 42:1 (NKJV)

PERSISTENT PRAYER (Luke 18:1-8; 11:5-8)

There is something in the heart of God that, like the unjust judge, is moved by persistent prayer. If an unrighteous judge will arise and vindicate the persistence of the widow, surely a righteous God will vindicate His own, who cry to Him day and night.

Here is a test whereby God separates the casual seeker from the serious seeker. Will we persist in prayer or grow weary and give up without an answer from God.

According the second passage (Luke 11:5-8), it is prayer which stems from an honest awareness of ones weakness and helplessness apart from God’s intervention. The widow does not regard the lateness of the hour, the locked door, that fact that he was already in bed and that she was asking him to disturb the entire family to comply with her request.

Jesus taught His disciples to “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). A literal translation of this might read as follows: “Ask and keep on asking and you will receive; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and it will be opened to you.”

John Kilpatrick said this about himself, “I was a thirsty man in a desert who could not get enough to drink.” (Kilpatrick, 1995:70) On Father’s Day of 1995, God poured out a mighty revival upon the impassioned seekers at Brownsville. How serious are you about revival? Do you believe that God is responsible for the hunger we are now experiencing? If yes, then are you willing to pray until heaven is opened and revival is poured out upon our world and then to pray some more? 1


  1. Frank Grenville Beardsley (1904), A History of American Revivals, Mass, Boston: American Tract Society.
  2. John Kilpatrick (1995), Feast of Fire, Pensacola, Florida.
  3. J. Edwin Orr (1993), Prayer and Revival, Renewal Journal #1, Brisbane, Australia.
  4. Bob J. Wilhite (1988), Why Pray?, Altamonte Springs, Florida: Creation House.
  5. Revival Begins With Prayer (1996), Enrichment, Fall 1996, Springfield, Missouri: The General Council of The Assemblies of God.
November 2009