I’ve spent the last two years with a small group praying early Monday mornings for revival. I’m eagerly awaiting such a thing. Yet, I often ask myself: What will revival look like when it arrives? What keeps revival from showing up on our doorstep?
These questions led me to reread Leonard Ravenhill’s Why Revival Tarries. Ravenhill was born in England in 1907 and moved to the United States in the 1950’s. He traveled the U.S. holding evangelistic tent meetings. Along the way he wrote a number of books on revival and prayer. He died living in Texas in 1994. He counted pastor/writer A.W. Tozer and singer Keith Green as close friends.
Why Revival Tarries was published in 1959. My copy is the ninth printing from 1965. Its a used copy and falling apart. I love it. The book looks old which is appropriate since the words within it seems like nothing being spoken today. Many lines jump off the page, hang in the air, and take the air from the room. This book existed long before the days of Twitter but each page contains a line that is far superior than any tweet I’ve read lately.
Here a few of my favorite lines that would serve as tremendous tweets:
The tragedy of this late hour is that we have too many dead men in the pulpits giving out too many dead sermons to too many dead people. (page 2)
Victory is not won in the pulpit by firing intellectual bullets or wisecracks, but in the prayer closet; it is won or lost before the preacher’s foot enters the pulpit. (page 2)
Yet ministers who do not spend two hours a day in prayer are not worth a dime a dozen, degrees or no degrees. (page 4)
No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. (page 7)
Revival tarries because of cheapening the Gospel. (page 46)
One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed. (page 59)
Men of prayer must be men of steel, for they will be assaulted by Satan even before they attempt to assault his kingdom. (page 77)
Surely revival delays because prayer delays. Nothing do Satan or hell fear more than praying men. (page 77)
As the first atom bomb shook Hiroshima, so prayer alone can release that power which would shakes the hearts of men. (page 81)
With a stack of books beside us and marginal notes in Bible for props, we have immunized ourselves from the scorching truth of the changeless Word of God! (page 98)
Preachers make pulpits famous; prophets make prisons famous. (page 101)
For the sin-hungry age we need a prayer-hungry church. (page 158)