Family Matters: Praying for Revival

Published on Wednesday, 4 October 2017 11:43 - Written by

The news has been filled with tragedy and devastation lately. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Bombings. Mass shootings. Every story represents unimaginable sorrow and suffering, anguish and grief.

As heart-wrenching as these news accounts have been, the outpouring of help and sympathetic support that has come in their wake is a beautiful thing to behold: An armada of fishing boats ferrying stranded neighbors to safety. Makeshift kitchens set up to serve meals to those who’d lost their homes and everything in them. First responders risking their own lives to usher others to safety. Throngs of people volunteering to give blood.

Dark times like these may cause some to question God’s goodness, but I can see His hand of mercy clearly at work in the aftermath. So in addition to praying for the victims, that God would comfort, sustain, and give peace to those directly affected by these horrific events, I’m also praying for the watching world, that we’d remember life is fleeting, that our hearts would be softened, and that we’d cling to the hope that can only be found in Christ.

In short, I’m praying for REVIVAL:

R = Rekindled love for God

May the fondness we feel for everything else in life pale in comparison to our burning desire to know and love You more. (Mark 12:30)

E = Enthusiasm for Worship

May we enter Your gates with thanksgiving and come before Your presence with singing. Teach us to worship You in Spirit and in truth - not only on Sundays, but all week long. (Psalm 100:1-4; John 4:24)

V = Vigilance in Prayer

Teach us to pray without ceasing, boldly approaching the throne of grace in the power of the Holy Spirit. Help us not to be anxious, but to cast all our cares at the foot of the cross. (1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Peter 5:7)

I = In-depth Bible Study

Help us to hide the truth of Scripture in our hearts and meditate upon it day and night. Make us doers of the Word rather than forgetful hearers. (Psalm 119:97-98; James 1:23)

V = Victory over Sin

Help us to lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles us. Teach us to consider ourselves dead to sin but alive to You. (Hebrews 12:1; Romans 6:1-7)

A = Affection for Others

Jesus said people will know we are Christians by our love. Make that true of us, O God! Teach us to value others above self and to consider their needs ahead of our own. (John 13:34-35; Philippians 2:2-4)

L = Life of Faith

Don’t allow us to compartmentalize our faith, but let it permeate every aspect of our being. Teach us to walk by faith, not by sight. May everything we do bring glory and honor to You, Lord, and point others to Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Corinthians 10:31)

The wonderful thing about praying for REVIVAL is that the heart God usually revives first belongs to the person praying. It reminds me of an old hymn we used to sing in the little Baptist church where I grew up.

Send a revival in every heart,

Draw the world nearer, O Lord, to Thee.

Let Thy salvation true joy impart,

And let it begin in me!

I love the way the lyricist (B.B. McKinney) acknowledges his own need in the matter: Lord, my heart needs reviving, too! Help me turn away from sin and draw near Your throne.

Sometimes, it’s easy to assume society’s faults lie with somebody else. As Leo Tolstoy once observed, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

Yet it doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition: Changing the world or changing myself. When we pray for God to send revival, we effectively do both.


Jennifer Flanders firmly believes in the power of prayer. For a free printable version of this one, please visit