THE HUMAN SIDE OF A REVIVAL.

By Rev. Louis Albert Banks, D.D
John i. When we begin to talk about the human side of a revival the subject gets to be very personal; it strikes us right where we live. Let us not try to thrust it aside, but face our duty frankly and earnestly. I believe that all the members of this church are more or less desirous of a great revival of spiritual interest which will increase the spiritual delight and comfort of Christians, and result in persuading a great many who have been indifferent and sinful to seek and find Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Let us ask ourselves the pertinent question, What can I do to bring about this revival, and to enlarge and spread abroad the tide of its influence? First, you can think about it every day. There is a great deal in that. Put up the revival calendar, with its topics of sermons and its references to texts, where you can not help but see it frequently ; 267

268 B l^ear's iPra^er*/lReetlng XTalfte, take it down on opportunity and study it with Bible in hand; think of the subjects that will be most likely to interest persons of your acquaintance, and, marking another calendar, hand it or send it to them. If you can not do the latter, you can at least do the first. Meditate on the reading every day. It will be with you as it was with the psalmist: while you muse the fire will burn. Talk about it every day ; give the weather a rest. Say nothing about your cold or your rheumatism, and check like dissertations on the part of your friends by some hopeful talk about the revival meetings. Nothing can withstand a flood of conversation about a subject of real interest. If you can get a thousand people talking about a single thing, you can stir up a great city. Make up your mind that you will talk about the revival meetings through the month of January more than about anything else. Pray about it every day ; this will be easy for you if you are thinking about it and talking about it. What we think and talk most about very naturally comes uppermost in our minds when we begin to talk with God. Determine on a quiet place

and time each day when, whether you feel like it or not, you will go and pray to God for his blessing on the pastor and the church in this revival campaign. Those moments will come to be places

XTbe f)uman SlOe of a IRevtval. 269 of transfiguration before the month is over if you are faithful to that tryst with God. Kead about the revival every day. Not only read what you see about it in the newspaper, but be sure to look up in the calendar, as one of the first things you do in the morning, the text for each evening, and read as you have opportunity other selections from the Scriptures that are suggested to you by it. Attend the meetings every day. I honestly believe that more than half of all the members of this church, with a reasonable amount of self-denial, giving no more devotion to it than they ordinarily give to business affairs, could attend every meeting in the revival series without missing a single service. It only requires that you shall make up your mind to do it. Set your heart on it, think of the great results that may come from it, remember that nobody pays so well as God does, and settle it that only a question of serious illness or solemn duty shall break your record of perfect attendance during the revival meetings. Cleveland never saw such a revival as we would have in this church if only half of our members should loyally and faithfully be in their place every night. There is a mighty power in that regular attendance. It gives God a fair chance to use you as a channel of divine communication to those who are not Christians.

270 B lear'0 prai^ers/lRcctlng tTalftg. It keeps jovL in touch with the spiritual atmosphere of the meetings and makes you available for effective work. It encourages the pastor more than anybody else can ever know. It cheers and inspires the other members of the church, and it convinces sinners of our interest and earnestness. It puts us on the ground where the battle is hottest, and offers opportunities to be useful in winning souls to Christ that never could come in any other way. You can bear testimony to your faith and your purpose, if only by a Scripture quotation or a verse of a hymn, at every opportunity. What power would come to the meeting if you were all to do

that ! There is not a single member that ought to excuse himself from that. Jesus says, " Ye are my witnesses." If he were here on earth now, threatened with crucifixion again, how gladly we would bear our testimony for him. Yet by our silence we often " crucify the son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." Let every one determine here and now that he will prepare in some way to bear witness to Christ at every chance he gets. You can act promptly every time the pastor calls for Christians to gather at the altar for prayer or service. No other one thing, humanly speaking, would encourage the pastor, or the church, or impress unconverted people, more than that. And that is something that the one who feels humblest

Zhc fbuman SlDe of a IRevfval. 271 and most unworthy can do without fear. Make up your mind that you will never wait a moment for others when the pastor makes such a call. How my heart will burn within me with thanksgiving and hope if you heed this word ! You can speak or write every day to some unconverted persons about their personal attendance on the meetings and their personal salvation. This will not require any more thoughtfulness or fidelity than is required in ordinary business affairs. Most people are won to Christ by a personal invitation following up the influences of the pulpit. Let every member make a list of all the unconverted people he knows who live within the reach of the possible influence of these meetings. Make two copies of this list; keep one for yourself and bring one to me. It may take you a whole evening to do this, but you can not spend an evening better. If the list runs up into hundreds, no matter ; let every one faithfully make this list, and then you and I will have somebody that we are definitely thinking about and praying for and seeking to save. That will give me a very large list ; but by the help of God I will find some way of helping you to get into touch with them. Invite somebody from this list, personally, every day, to attend the revival meetings. In order to be saved people must hear the Word ; and it is

272 B l^car'0 jprai^ers/nbeetfng ^alfts. just as important to get the people here as it is to preach to them right after they come.

Sing to the very best of your ability at every service. God gave you 3' our voice to use for him, and you will never have a better chance to make return than during the revival meetings. Every member of the church can lead in prayer, if only a single sentence, whenever called on. Who is there among us that could not say in public, leading the congregation, "God be merciful to me a sinner! " or, "Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief!" or, "Eevive thy work in our hearts I "or, " Forgive these souls who have sinned against thee, but now repent." I believe that many are kept from praying in public because the preacher and most members of the church who lead in prayer make too long prayers. I am going to set the example and enforce on others very brief petitions in public, so that if your prayer is very brief it will not seem unusual. Be ready to speak a word of comfort and cheer to those who are seeking Christ. In fact, count yourself in and not out in everything that a Christian ought to do in worshiping God and in seeking lost souls and bringing them into the kingdom. In such harmony of action and spirit we may be sure that the Spirit of God will come upon us in great power, and multitudes will be saved.

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