This prayer for a Great Spiritual Awakening and Revival asks God to pour out His spirit in a miraculous and unmistakable way into the hearts and spirits of many people with such power that it will spread and grow.  Prayer is essential because God sends great spiritual awakenings and revivals as a result of prayer and according to his plans for his world.

Prayer for a Great Spiritual Awakening and Revival in Our Time

Dear Father, Son and Holy Ghost,

We pray with longing hearts for a powerful move of your Holy Spirit to begin and sustain a Great Spiritual Awakening and Revival in our day.

We see around us people who are lost and hurting.  We join our hearts with Jesus when he felt great compassion on the people because they are like sheep without a shepherd.  Day after day we are suffering from oppression, guilt, evil, sin, sorrow and poverty of heart and soul. Our communities are fractured, our families are struggling, our churches are under attack.

We are sorry for the ways we have turned from you, ignored you and forgotten you.  Forgive us.  Change our hearts.  Humble us.

We proclaim our need for your supernatural work.  Come Holy Spirit.  Come in mighty power like you did in the book of Acts where the believers were praying all together in one place and you shook the room and your Spirit was poured out onto everyone present.

Give us courage and boldness to pray and believe.  May we hunger and thirst after revival so that the world might be filled.  Draw us closer to Christ as we proclaim his passionate desire to draw all people to himself.

We pray against all proud obstacles, all human interference, all lies of the devil and all impediments to revival in this world and in the unseen spiritual realm.

May your Great Spiritual Awakening grow day by day until the whole world is filled with the knowledge of you.  May none be left out.  Do not pass by us, our churches, our communities or our nations.

As your revival progresses, may all hearts be filled with repentance, forgiveness, praise, holiness, love,  joy and a deep personal knowledge of You.

Bring your good harvest in each soul.  Let none of the seeds of revival fall on shallow soil where it sprouts up vigorously at first, but then withers and doesn’t last.  Instead, may we put down roots into the good soil of Bible study, worship, prayer and Christian community.

We live in a unique historical age when word of revival can spread like wildfire on the Internet, news networks and social media.  May each mention be used by you to reach people everywhere with a fresh outpouring of grace.  We also know that these communication channels are full of critics, opponents and opportunists.  Therefore, we pray a hedge of protection around your work of revival.

We pray that our churches, religious leaders and institutions will embrace your Great Spiritual Awakening with open arms and with much joy and enthusiasm.  Shake us out of our complacency, open our minds, widen our circles of grace and help us to welcome all seekers into our congregations with the love of Christ.

And finally, we know that Great Religious Awakenings and Revivals can be times of great change.  Prepare us, guide us, provide for us.   And keep us in fervent prayer, looking to Jesus Christ, the Author  and Perfecter of our faith.

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit we pray.  Amen.

Scriptures Used in this Prayer for a Great Spiritual Awakening and Revival

This prayer is based on a number of Scriptures.  Here are some of them so you can stand on them and claim them as you pray for a Great Spiritual Awakening.

Matthew 9:36, NIV.  “When he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

Psalm 51:17 NIV.  “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV.  “If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Acts 2:2- 4 NIV.  “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

Matthew 5:6 NIV.  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

John 12:32 NIV. “And I (Jesus), when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

Ephesians 6:12 NIV.  “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

John 8:44 NIV.  “You (the hypocrites) belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

James 4:6 NIV.  “That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’”

Ephesians 4:7,12,13 NIV.  “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it…to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

Matthew 13:18,20,21. NIV.  “Listen to what the parable of the sower means:…The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.  But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time.  When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.”

Psalm 91:2 NIV.  “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”

Hebrews 12:2 NIV.  “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Mark 1:28 NIV. “News about him (Jesus) spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.”

Revelation 21:5 NIV.  “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’”

My Personal Experiences with Great Spiritual Awakening and Revival

I came to faith in Christ as a result of one of the past Great Spiritual Awakenings and Revivals.  I was a teenager in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when the Charismatic Revival and the Jesus Movement swept the US.

The “Hippies” receive the outpouring

During this time, teens and young adults were in massive rebellion against traditional cultural roles, rules and sexual morals.  These “hippies” protested the Vietnam War, grew their hair long, listened to rock music, used drugs and “dropped out” of traditional society.

I wasn’t one of them.  I was a normal, obedient girl who studied hard and went to church every Sunday with my family.  And yet I had one very important thing in common with the hippies: we all needed an outpouring of God’s spirit that would change us from within.

I was living a thousands of miles away in the Washington DC area when revival broke out in California. I’m not sure how long it was before we learned about the Jesus movement since we only had a newspaper and Walter Cronkite on the nightly news to tell us about what was happening in the world.  Maybe we heard some of the new music which used rock beats and guitars to sing praise songs.  Eventually a young man with long hair, torn jeans and “smile, Jesus loves you” patches on his pants pocket showed up at our traditional Methodist church.  It seemed like every other word he said was, “Praise God” and he said it with joy and enthusiasm.  He strummed the guitar and taught us praise songs and used Scriptures like they were parts of a conversation he was having at the moment.  Slowly, more people like him arrived.

 My Mother’s Generation and the Charismatic Renewal

Meanwhile, my mother’s generation was being touched by the Charismatic Renewal.  My mother had suffered greatly all her life with asthma.  She joined a prayer group and engaged in discussions about healing.  She found it hard to believe that she deserved healing or that God still healed people in our time.  She studied the Bible.  At last she went to a healing service somewhere in the Washington DC area and was healed of asthma forever.

As a girl, I was unaware of most of this, but I saw a change in my mother.  While we were at school she spent her days with her new circle of on-fire Christians who believed in healing, miracles and the power of prayer.

The intercessors pray for revival  

Although I didn’t know it at the time, a sweet, white-haired lady at our church named Iva Draut had been praying with my mother for revival.  Much later my mother told me that Iva had a feeling that she wouldn’t live to see the full effect of her prayers.  But when she saw the first long-haired young man come to our church she said, “I may not see the whole revival, but I have held the baby.”

This was a reference to the Bible passage where Jesus is presented by his parents as a newborn baby at the Temple.  A prophet named Simeon had been promised by that he wouldn’t die before he had seen Christ.  Luke 2 says, “When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon too him in his arms and praised God saying, ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace, For my eyes have seen your salvation.’”  (Luke 2:27-30 NIV)

One Sunday morning, Iva wasn’t in church.  She had died suddenly of a stroke.  But she had seen the beginnings of revival arrive in tattered jeans.

The Lay Witness Movement

Eventually groups of people in the mainline churches began to catch the revival.  The Methodist Church began a program called Lay Witness Missions where adults and teens from other parts of the state came to your church for a weekend to tell about their personal conversion experiences.  Our church had a Lay Witness weekend in 1969.  On Sunday morning of the weekend, a young man gave his testimony about how accepting Jesus as his savior had given him the strength to hug his alcoholic father one night when his father came home in bad shape.  Then a man got up and said, “This is my son, and I’m here today because of the love of Christ he showed me when I didn’t deserve it.”

Although I grew up in the church and had a great family, I realized that on my own power I wouldn’t have been able to hug someone who might reject me.  I was a good person, but even good people need Christ’s power.

They asked those who wanted to “accept as much of Christ as you understand now” to come forward and kneel at the altar as an act of faith.  I got out of my seat, tears streaming down my face, and went to the altar.

Putting Down Roots of Faith

After the Lay Witness Mission, my minister made sure that all of us who had gone to the altar learned what it means and what to do next.  He showed us the Bible verses that tell how to accept Christ and what it means to be a Christian.  I started reading my Bible and underlined verses that meant spoke to me.  By the time I was in college, I was writing Bible verses on construction paper and taping them to the cinderblock wall in my door room.

The experience set me on a lifelong course of learning more about God, raising my children in the church, praying, serving and growing in my faith.  I will admit that there were lulls in my spiritual growth, but God was patient with me until I eventually picked back up.

I have lived half a century since that day and my testimony is that those who experience God in a very real way during a Great Spiritual Awakening and Revival have the potential for it to last a lifetime.  It has far-reaching effects and changes their family, communities and churches in dynamic and enduring ways.

Light Draws Bugs and Other Challenges of Great Spiritual Awakenings and Revivals

There is one problem of revival we need to prepare for so we can pray through it.  Here’s what someone once remarked about the way strong-willed people try to co-opt spiritual power and use it for their own glory or gain: “Light draws bugs.”  Spiritual Awakenings shed God’s light into the world, but not everyone will respond by embracing it.  There will be people who aren’t religious and even people in the church hierarchy who won’t welcome revival.

The Bible says, “In him (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”  (John 1:4,5 NIV)

Jesus says of himself, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  (John 8:12 NIV)

Yes, the Great Spiritual Awakening brought light to our traditional Methodist Church, but it also brought conflict and “bugs.”  The country club set wasn’t happy with torn denims, long hair and rock and roll in church.  The traditionalists weren’t happy with the Charismatics who believed in healing and being filled with the Spirit.  The converted hippies sometimes got lured into cult groups that wanted to control everything they did.  Or they indulged in their previous immoral behavior excusing it with “special dispensations.”

Perhaps our biggest prayer assignment once revival breaks out is to pray as hard as we can and as long as we can against the opposition that is sure to come.  And it will come more swiftly and vehemently in this day and age of social media.

Kept in mind that once light comes, darkness has to flee.  You may still get a few bugs.  But bugs don’t stand a chance when they hit a hot light bulb.

Characteristics of Great Spiritual Awakenings and Revivals

There is much interest in Great Spiritual Awakenings and Revivals because of the news coverage of one of the more recent ones that has taken place at Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky in February of 2023.  Here are some of the hallmarks of an awakening.

One.  Revivals are not planned by religious leaders but begin spontaneously usually with ordinary people. 

In an Awakening, intercessors often pray for a revival, but they don’t know when or where it will break out. When a revival begins, it is the result of an act of God’s Holy Spirit.  Receptive people are suddenly swept up in it and they follow God’s lead.  Awakenings can occur both outside of and inside of the church.

Two. Individuals become deeply moved and emotionally connected to God.    

People feel God’s presence.  It’s often described as there being electricity in the air.  Those present don’t want to leave because of the feeling of supernatural power, joy, peace and acceptance.  Those not present are drawn in when they hear about what is happening.

Three. Miracles and wonders often take place. 

People are delivered from addiction, they experience personal forgiveness and let go of bitterness.  Hurts and stumbling blocks to faith are overcome.  People are reconciled to each other.  Many accept Christ and surrender their lives to him.  People turn from immoral behavior and those who are lukewarm in their faith become eager to serve to God.

Four.  These miracles, wonders and the strong feelings of God’s presence lead to personal and collective prayer, repentance, praise and testimony. 

The gatherings where revival is taking place become places of spontaneous expressions of love for God and Christ and gratefulness for what he is doing in their lives.  People may experience deep feelings of love, joy, thankfulness, fervor, humility, and forgiveness.  As a result, the praise and worship are often lively, enthusiastic and vital.

Five.  People come forward spontaneously to tell what God is doing in their lives.

The agenda for such gatherings is dynamic and powered by what God is doing at that very moment.  Those present might feel led by God to lead a praise and worship song, offer a prayer over the gathering, give a personal testimony of what God is doing in their lives, express regret and sorrow for their past behavior or offer words of encouragement and enlightenment.

Six.  Connections between people grow and strengthen.

Those touched by revival feel deeper and stronger bonds with others.  They become more empathetic with the sufferings of others, rejoice at seeing others grow in faith, become more hospitable and more accepting of those who aren’t like them and become more socially aware and active in missions.

As a result of revival, people join churches, mission groups, small accountability, fellowship and Bible study groups.

Seven.  People feel compelled to share. 

Because participants have such a dynamic experience with God, this naturally leads to evangelism and outreach.    They often share their testimony and become active in evangelistic work both personally and in groups whose mission is to spread the gospel of Jesus.

Eight.  Revival is very visible and spreads.

When a Great Spiritual Awakening and revival begins, news travels quickly.  Once one place experiences revival, it may spontaneously spring up in other geographical locations.

Nine.  There will be resistance and skeptics.

Because revival is a very visible and very compelling act of God, there will be opposition.  The participants and the revival itself will come under spiritual attack, both overt and covert.  Revivals often cause deep conflict in families and within churches.  Criticism will be raised and scoffers will question every aspect of it.  Some will question whether the newfound faith of the participants will last.  Others will see it as a threat to institutional religion.  Opportunists will lead people astray and try to channel the power to their own end.  Overall, revivals can be disruptive and at the same time, quite heavenly.

Ten.  Great Spiritual Awakenings and Revivals have happened periodically throughout history.  

Here are several examples of spiritual revival within the U.S.

Great Awakening 1734-43.  George Whitfield became a prominent preacher of this movement.

Second Great Awakening 1800-1840.  Camp meeting revivals in Kentucky spread throughout the country.

Businessman’s Revival 1857-58.  Noon prayer services in New York City with Jeremiah Lamphier leads to massive revival.

Urban Revivals 1875-85.  Begins in Chicago.  Dwight L. Moody becomes a leader.

Revival 1905-1906.  Begins in Pennsylvania as a result of the Welsh Revival in the UK

Azusa Street Revival 1906-9. Results in a Pentecostal movement.

The Charismatic Renewal and Jesus Movement 1960’s through early 1970’s.  Affects college campuses and spreads to mainline denominations as well as Catholic churches.

1990’s Revivals.  A Pentecostal revival happens in several geographical locations.  Also, The Promise Keepers group brings revival to men around the country.

The variety of these revivals shows us that they come periodically, they start in a large variety of geographical locations, they reach different groups of people and they all eventually end.

Yet even when revivals end, they often leave lasting legacies in our churches and communities.  As an example, the current contemporary worship praise music using guitars and upbeat tempo can trace its beginnings to the praise music that came out of the Jesus Movement in the 1960’s.

Other Articles of Interest

Travailing in Prayer for Yourself and Others

Spiritual Warfare Prayer Against the Devil’s Attacks Using Scripture

Pentecost Sunday Prayer Celebrating the Gift of the Holy Spirit

Copyright Karen Barber 2023.  All rights reserved.