I mentioned earlier this week that I was going to Colorado Springs to attend a “conversation on revival” (August 30-September 1) at Glen Eyrie, sponsored by the National Revival Network. I have been involved as a leader in the NRN from its inception. It is comprised of pastors and church leaders whose hearts passionately burn for revival. We represent many different traditions and churches and this in itself makes for a wonderful Christ-centered communion. Our primary purpose is to work together to promote the call for revival and spiritual awakening.
The most important public work that the NRN has done was to write a document called An Urgent Appeal (NavPress, 2003). Urgent Appeal is one of the clearest and most helpful documents that I know on true revival. Sadly, few have bothered to read it and fewer still have used it to fan the flame of revival in America. Urgent Appeal is a call for the church to come to agreement on what revival is, that there is a desperate need in the church for revival and that we should engage in a collaborative effort to pray for it. Thirty of us, from every area of the United States, gathered around this call to worship, pray and seek Christ for the awakening of his church in the United States. We all believe the church is asleep and only an outpouring of God’s Spirit can and awaken her on a wide scale.
I will write more about this gathering in coming weeks but suffice it to say I was profoundly refreshed during these two-plus days. More than anything else I was encouraged. And my love for revival and revival praying was rekindled in a powerful way. God met me in my personal weariness. I made some new friends and thus believe that as we seek God, and get to know one another, the Lord will very likely use these friendships for his glory.
During our various conversations we listed a number of things that described the condition of the church in the United States at this time. I think the phrase that jumped out at all of us was one which described the church as engaging in “noisy deadness.” Clearly, it is only the God who resurrects the dead who can raise the church to new life. I am personally convinced that we might have to come to a deeper awareness of our total deadness before we will begin to seek God for his abundant mercy in recovery. “O that you would come down!”