I’ve been reading the life of George Whitefield, Anglican itinerant who helped lead (With the Wesley brothers) the Great Awakening of the 18th century. Fascinating stuff. Several things were curious–one was that the churches banned Whitefield from preaching mostly because he was talented and full of the Spirit.
He was not heretical or dramatic. He was just popular. Therefore, he was forced to preach in the streets and hillsides. This brought the awakening to the ‘unwashed’ and poor of among the English peoples (and later the Americans). Many people repented and found Christ, many of whom were not welcome in the church. They experienced the ‘new birth’ in Christ, outside of the pews, not in them.
When we ask God for ‘revival,’ what are we asking for? When we ask God for revival, what do we wish to see? Drama? Emotion? Full churches?
Maybe another question, is who do we want to see get revived? The desperate are usually the ones who are open to the Spirit of God, not those who are fine with the state of their lives. The untouchables usually have the spiritual soil for such awakenings. Are we ready for them?