A Spirit of Prayer
Finally, the infallible sign of impending revival is a spirit of prayer for it. When you see this in evidence among the people of God, you may be sure "it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you" (Hos. 10:12). It has been well said that "Satan laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray". Therefore we may be confident that where a true spirit of prayer for revival exists, it does not proceed from the Devil. Such a spirit of prayer leads to humbling before God; to confession of sin, coldness, and unbelief; and to the consecration of oneself to the Lord: therefore we may be certain it has not issued from the flesh. Therefore it has come from God; and if God has created and maintained in the hearts of His children that spirit of prayer for revival, however few and feeble they may be, there can be but one logical explanation - He intends to send revival.
This spirit of prayer need not be widespread before it constitutes a sign of impending blessing.
It may be but a small group of earnest souls; it may be but a single intercessor who has caught the vision of what God is about to do, and refuses to let Him go until He does it. Such was a case recorded by Finney: "There was a woman in New Jersey who was very positive there was going to be another revival. She wanted to have conference meetings appointed. But the minister and elders saw nothing to encourage it, and would do nothing. She saw they were blind, and so she went forward, and got a carpenter to make seats for her, for she said she would have meetings in her own house.
There was certainly going to be a revival. She had scarcely opened her doors for meetings, before the Spirit of God came down with great power. And these sleepy church members found themselves surrounded all at once with convicted sinners. And they could only say, 'Surely the Lord was in this place, and we knew it not.' The reason why such persons understand the indication of God's will is not because of the superior wisdom that is in them, but because the Spirit of God leads them to see the signs of the times. . . that converging of providences to a single point, which produces in them a confident expectation of a certain result."