Years ago as an extension to our visiting our church plant in India, I had the opportunity to be part of a preacher’s conference at Westminster Chapel in London. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was one of their very famous preachers. He started as an associate of G. Campbell Morgan. Jones once said that until the early part of the 20th century the evangelical church expected revival. These revivals shaped the Reformation, produced the Puritans, fostered the Great Awakening, and sent rivers of spiritual fire across 19th-century America and Great Britain. For most modern evangelicals, however, revival as an unanticipated, direct, mighty work of God has been replaced by the well-organized evangelistic campaign. When church life grows cold, the evangelistic training program or crusade is offered as the answer. The need of the church today is not for new, slick programs of evangelism. The crucial need of the church in all her division, worldliness, and impotence is for revival—a fresh breath of God’s Spirit blowing across His people, unleashing joy and power, and sweeping sinners under conviction into God’s kingdom.
While revival is a sovereign act of God, there is a heart condition upon which He can work. It was said of our Lord that in Nazareth “He did not do many mighty works” because of its people’s unbelief. (Matt.13:58) If our hearts are open to God and our faith is alive, we may anticipate revival even in our secular, “me” generation. Psalm 32 is a prescription for revival because it witnesses to a heart open to the living God. A heart that understands the significance of forgiveness.