Taken from "The Ministry of Intercession" by Andrew Murray
.--"Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in thee?" Psalm 85:6.
"O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. " (Hab. 3:2).
"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me." (Psalm 138:7).
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Isaiah 57:15).
"Come, let us return to the LORD.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence." (Hosea 6:1,2)
The coming revival - one frequently hears these words. There are many teachers who see signs of its approach, and confidently herald its speedy appearance. In the increase of mission interest, in the tidings of revivals in heathen place where Christian doors are opening, in the hosts of our young, in victories already secured- wherever believing, hopeful workers enter - they are given the assurance of a time of power and blessing such as we have never known. They are told that the Church is about to enter into an new era of increasing spirituality and larger extension.
There are others who, while admitting the truth of some of these facts, fear that the conclusion drawn from them are one sided and premature. They see the interest in missions increased, but point out to how small of a circle it is confined. They also note how utterly out of proportion it is to what it ought to be. To the great majority of Church members - to the greater part of the Church - it is as yet anything but a life question. They remind us of the power of worldliness and formality. The contrast the increase of the money -making and pleasure-loving spirit among professing Christians, to the lack of spirituality in so many, many of our Churches. They declare that the continuing and apparently increasing estrangement of many from God's word is proof that the great revival has certainly not begun, and is hardly thought of by most. They say that they do not see the deep humiliation, the intense desire, and the fervent prayer which appear as forerunners of every true revival.
There are two apposing views which are equally dangerous. We must guard against both superficial optimism, which is never able to gauge the extent of the evil, and hopeless pessimism, which neither praises God for what He has done, nor trusts Him for what He is ready to do.
Optimism will loose itself in happy self-congratulation, as it rejoices in its zeal and diligence and apparent success. It will never see the need of confession and great striving in prayer so we can be prepared to meet and conquer the hosts of darkness. Pessimism virtually gives over the world to Satan, and almost prays and rejoices for things to get worse. It will hasten the coming of Him who is to make all right. May God keep us from either error, and fulfill the promise, "Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left." (Isaiah 30:21).
Let us listen to the lessons suggested by the passages we have quoted. They may help us to pray the prayer correctly "Revive thy work, O Lord!"