Our nation is in a desperate need of revival. As I travel from continent to continent, I hear the same heart cry from believers in Christ whom I meet: “Lord, send a revival.”

What is a revival, and what causes a revival to take place? Psalms 85:6 states, “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in You?” and Hosea 10:12 tells us, “Break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers righteousness on you.”

Unplowed ground refers to the hardness that comes into our hearts of which we may not even be aware. It keeps us from experiencing God and true revival. Only when our hearts are softened through prayer, repentance, faith and obedience can the Holy Spirit send His rain into our lives to refresh and revive us.

I grew up a Pennsylvania farm boy. Whenever we had times of drought on the farm, my dad and every other farmer knew that only rain would pull us through. And when we sensed the rain was finally coming, you could smell it in the air. But the soil had to be properly plowed and tilled, or the rain would erode the topsoil and the crops would be lost. This same principle applies spiritually.

A true revival, in its most simplistic sense, is a return of obedience to God after a time of apathy or spiritual dryness. When a revival comes, there is an awakening of our spirits to the Spirit of God. God comes in a powerful way to change lives, families, churches, and transform communities. God actually visits an area with His presence and power, and believers become very sensitive to obey the Lord in every area of their lives.

“Lord, teach us to prepare our hearts. We need you desperately. Send a revival.”