Here at Jenkins Memorial Baptist Church, we’ve set aside 28 days to focus on revival and spiritual awakening through prayer and fasting. Each Sunday evening we’re committed to seeking God together for revival in the land.
“If My people who are called by My name,” declares the LORD, “will humble themselves [humility implies fasting], 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” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Our “land”—our state and nation—is in desperate need of God’s forgiveness and healing.
What is “revival?”
The word “revive” is made up of two parts – “re” – meaning “again” and – “vive” – meaning “to live.” Thus, to “revive” means “to live again, to come or be brought back to life, health, or vitality.”
Revival is a time when spiritual life and vitality are restored. It’s a return to spiritual health after a period of spiritual decline into sin and broken fellowship with God. Revival is for God’s people when we need to be forgiven and restored through repentance.
One more thing – revival is a sovereign act of God. In other words, we cannot force God to send revival and spiritual awakening. However, God, in His sovereignty, has set forth the requirements – the “pattern” – for revival and spiritual awakening in His Word (see Judges 2:6-23).
Another term we need to define is “spiritual awakening.”
“Spiritual awakening” accompanies revival. When genuine revival takes place a spiritual awakening results.
Spiritual Awakening occurs when large numbers of people or a high percentage of people in a given area experience the “new birth” in a short period of time. God revives His people and they in turn seek to win others to faith in Christ.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession,” writes Peter, “so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
(Jessie J. Charpentier Sr. is pastor of Jenkins Memorial Baptist Church in St. Martinville.)