Ten Characteristics of Revivals
- TIMING: Revivals emerge during times of spiritual and moral decline, which leads to intense prayer.1
- PRAYER: God puts a longing into the hearts of many to pray for revival.2
- THE WORD: The preaching or reading of God’s Word brings deep conviction and desire for Christ.3
- THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Holy Spirit takes people to a spiritual depth they could not achieve on their own.4
- CONVICTION: Affected sinners are inconsolable except in Christ.
- GLORY FOR GOD: God receives praise, honor, and glory for bringing revival.
- REFORMATION AND RENEWAL: Revival produces lasting fruit. New ministries are founded and society experiences a reform of morals as more and more people convert.5 6 7
- MANIFESTATIONS: Manifestations like fainting, groaning prayer, and miracles vary by culture and denomination.8
- MESSY: Revivals are messy–controversies swirl about miracles, abuses, excesses, suspicions, and theological disputes (to name but a few).9
- CYCLICAL: Revivals inevitably crest and decline.10 11
Thy will be done,
Patrick Morley, PhD
1Richard M. Riss, A Survey of 20th Century Revival Movements in North America, Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1988, p. 5.
2Frank Grenville Beardsley. A History of American Revivals. New York: American Tract Society, 1912, p. 342.
3Beardsley, pps. 345-346.
4Beardsley, p. 343.
5Jonathan Edwards, “An Account of Revival,” Jonathan Edwards on Revival, Carlisle: The Banner of Truth Trust, first published in 1736, p. 148.
6George Waugh, Flashpoints of Revival, North Charleston: BookSurge Publishing, 2009, p. 31.
7Beardsley, p. 333.
8Keith J. Hardman, Charles Grandison Finney 1792-1875, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1987, pps. 198, 249.
9Riss, pps. 6-7.
10Beardsley, p. 53.
11Riss, p. 42
© 2010. Patrick Morley. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for non-commercial ministry purposes with proper attribution.