By Evan D. Burns
In his day, Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) called for Christians to labor in prayer for revival. He outlined a few facets of genuine revival: First of all, revival, if is authentic, should be “real and lasting” as opposed to “feverish and transient.” Second, genuine revival should emphasize “old-fashioned doctrine,” including teaching the infallibility of the Scriptures and doctrines such as “the ruin, redemption and regeneration of mankind.” Third, true revival would see the rise of “genuine godliness” and men who are “consecrated to the Lord and sanctified by His truth.” Fourth, real revival should affect “domestic religion” in such a way that families are “trained in the fear of God.” And fifth, the revival that Spurgeon prayed earnestly for was a revival of “vigorous, consecrated strength” where men of God find power in secret prayer. Let us heed Spurgeon’s call for genuine revival in our day:
Saints acquire nobility from their constant resort to the place where the Lord meets with them. There they also acquire that power in prayer which we so greatly need. Oh, that we had more men like John Knox, whose prayers were more terrible to Queen Mary than 10,000 men! Oh, that we had more Elijahs by whose faith the windows of heavens should be shut or opened! This power comes not by a sudden effort; it is the outcome of a life devoted to the God of Israel! If our life is all in public, it will be a frothy, vapoury ineffectual existence; but if we hold high converse with God in secret, we shall be mighty for good. He that is a prince with God will take high rank with men, after the true measure of nobility…. Given a host of men who are steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, the glory of God’s grace will be clearly manifested, not only in them, but in those round about them. The Lord send us a revival of consecrated strength, and heavenly energy!
Charles Spurgeon, The Kind of Revival We Need.
Evan D. Burns (Ph.D. Candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is on faculty at Asia Biblical Theological Seminary, and he lives in Southeast Asia with his wife and twin sons. They are missionaries with Training Leaders International.