Three things characterize all true revival: earnest, heartfelt prayer, a deep searching of the Bible; and a passionate commitment to win lost people. These three essentials of true revival are manifest in the disciples’ experience in Acts.
Jesus’ promise to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was not given without conditions. The disciples were to wait not in idleness but in united, earnest prayer and heartfelt supplication. And they did. The Acts narrative records, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and with His brothers” (Acts 1:14). At the right moment, when the Redeemer was exalted at God’s throne and the acceptance of His sacrifice acknowledged by the Father before the entire universe, the Holy Spirit was poured out in its fullness.
Like these early disciples, we are counseled, “It is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer; to fulfil the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing. A revival need to be expected only in answer to prayer.” Without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit through prayer; we are powerless to face Satan’s temptations and incapable of being effective witnesses for the Master.
The disciples bathed their lives in prayer and the study of God’s Word. Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost was a masterful presentation based on the Old Testament evidence of Jesus as the Messiah. The 3,000 people baptized that day “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship” (Acts 2:42). The disciples “spoke the Word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31) and gave themselves “continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). “Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly” (v.7).
The authoritative truths of Scripture are the foundation of all revival and reformation. All true revivals are anchored in the Word of God. There is no genuine...