America needs a spiritual revival - James C. Bell

When I was a kid growing up in the Mountain View area, it seemed we had revivals at our church at least twice a year.

Our Pastor would tell the church we would set aside two weeks and name the dates for revival, so everyone could plan to be present. The Women's Missionary Union would start having prayer meetings in various homes, the deacons would have prayer times set aside and committees would begin to work to notify everyone in the area to plan to come to the revival.

The pastor had long before scheduled an evangelist and a song leader for this special occasion. Lots of plans had to be made and carried out before a successful revival could be expected. Every Sunday school class was required to set goals for attendance leading up to and during the revival.

Teams were formed and scheduled to visit all the people on roll in each class who had not been regular in attendance and anyone who could be identified as a prospective member. Church members who had not been attending were urged to come to the revival. Every family who had members, who were not Christians, were asked to please have them present at the revival.

Anyone in the community, who was not Christian, was given a special invitation to come and plans were made to have them come with friends already in the church. Everyone looked forward to our coming revival and invited people to come and enjoy the great preaching and singing.

I was one of those non-Christians invited to come and I know many prayers were made on my behalf. God must have heard them, for I was under conviction like never before! I made my profession of faith in one of those great, old-time revival meetings and it definitely was my best life-changing decision!

I believe there is a spiritual movement just getting started in our Nation toward revival, a spiritual awakening that is in the early stages. We Christians need to do everything possible to support and make plans for great and highly successful revivals that will tell the gospel story of Jesus Christ and guide the lost of our communities to saving faith in Him.

To do this, we must return to the intense and thorough planning of revivals as I described earlier. We must pray as never before to see people coming to Christ and this basic foundation must begin months, and perhaps even a year, before the revival dates.

I believe we must plan to be in revival for at least a week and beyond, if the Holy Spirit leads many to faith in Christ. We must have great faith that God will bring revival to our land, and certainly it should come through our churches and our pastors.

Layman should talk to their pastors and encourage them to take the lead in this movement, assuring them of our complete support. The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 7:14, "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 sins and will heal their land."

To me, this says it is the Christian's responsibility to be humble and pray to God earnestly and to seek His face. How does one seek God's face? This means we must get on our knees and pray, pray, pray until we know He hears us.

This should be serious, diligent, sincere prayer that brings us to the very presence of God! America needs a great spiritual revival, and we must be willing to say: "Please Lord, let it begin with me."

If you are not a Christian, determine to turn your life over to Jesus and join the great revival, which we hope and pray will sweep this Nation. May God bless you.