What do you think is the greatest need in our churches today? Do you think it's better preaching, new styles of worship, more youth work, or what? I'm on the board of our church, and we've been debating this recently.
I’m convinced that the single greatest need in most churches today is spiritual revival–for a renewed commitment to Jesus Christ and a greater desire to do His will, regardless of the cost.
How does this happen? It must begin with an awareness of our spiritual poverty–an acknowledgment of our sin and our emptiness before God. It is no accident that Jesus’ first words in the Sermon on the Mount dealt with this truth: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). This must lead us to confession and repentance, asking God to forgive us and turn our hearts toward Him.
Spiritual revival also means seeing the world the way God sees it, with all of its brokenness and rebellion and heartache–and then asking God to use us to touch it for Christ. When we are concerned only for ourselves, our lives and our churches will grow cold and stagnate–but when we become burdened over a world that has lost its way, then God can begin to use us.
Spiritual revival cannot be manufactured or created by our own efforts; only the Holy Spirit can bring true revival to our hearts. But we can pray for revival, and we can ask God to remove anything in our lives that would create a barrier to God’s work. May the ancient prayer of Habakkuk become yours: “O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years” (Habakkuk 3:2, KJV).