Psalm 85:6 "Will You not Yourself revive us again,That Your people may rejoice in You?"
What is revival? In the simplest terms: A revival is an extraordinary visitation by God's presence and power into the ordinary life of the church. Certainly Psalm 85 is considered to be a classic "revival" passage, being that it is the heart cry of the Psalmist that God would revive him and his people. The study of revival throughout the history of the church can prove to be a fascinating study, being that no two revivals are exactly alike.
Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter wrote a book a number of years ago entitles: "The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever" (Vine Books, 2000). This blogger has found their book to be insightful in understanding the history of revival movements, and how in some cases there are common elements across any move of God. However each of the revivals they tell about are different.
Today's post features what Towns and Porter refer to as the "Nine Faces of Revival". Porter and Towns write: "All people have the same basic facial features, yet these features are arranged differently. In a similar way, revivals display the same essential features as they reflect God's presence, yet they have different faces; that is, revival is expressed in different ways." (Towns and Porter, Page 17). Below is a listing of the different types of revival that they lay out in their book. I am sure you will find the following list both helpful and illuminating. To God be the glory!
1. The repentance revival emphasizes moral cleansing of individual lives and society as whole.
2. The evangelism revival focuses on winning lost souls to Christ
3. The worship revival centers on magnifying God
4. The deeper life revival emphasizes the experience of God's dwelling
5. The spiritual warfare revival devotes its energies to battling Satan and other demons
6. The Holy Spirit revival is characterized by extensive manifestations of the Spirit
7. The reconciliation revival leads to removal of barriers to racial and ethnic harmony
8. The liberation revival focuses on gaining freedom from corporate and personal bondage to sin
9. The prayer revival displays considerable efforts at intercession and other forms of prayer.
Towns and Porters listing acknowledges the possibility that God could, if He so chooses, blend two or more of the types together. However the reader may view this listing, it is based upon much research and I would recommend Towns and Porter's book as a resource for studying the history of revivals. May we all ever seek the face of God and pray that we would see a revival in our lifetime!