Next to the Bible, the book that has shaped my life more than any other is “Revival Lectures” by Charles Finney. He said that revival was not a miracle, but it is the result of the right use of the appropriate means:
“It is impossible for us to say that there is not as direct an influence or agency from God, to produce a crop of grain, as there is to produce a revival. In the Bible, the word of God is compared to grain, and preaching is compared to sowing seed, and the results to the springing up and growth of the crop. I wish this idea to be impressed on all your minds, for there has long been an idea prevalent…that there is no connection of the means with the result, and no tendency in the means to produce the effect.
Suppose a man were to go and preach, among farmers, about their sowing grain. Let him tell them that God is a sovereign, and will give them a crop only when it pleases him, and that for them to plow and plant and labor as if they expected to raise a crop is very wrong, and taking the work out of the hands of God, that it interferes with His sovereignty, and is going on in their own strength; and that there is no connection between the means and the result on which they can depend. And now, suppose the farmers should believe such doctrine. Why, they would starve the world to death. The connection is as clear in religion as it is when the farmer sows his grain.”
When our hearts long for God more than anything else, then we move into the realm of prayer that brings us to the very throne room of God. God hears the passionate prayers of His people. As we intercede before God for people without Christ, His Spirit will make it happen. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord” (Zech. 4:6) is the very foundation for revival.