O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
King James Version
O Lord, I have heard of your renown,
and I stand in awe, O Lord, of your work.
In our own time revive it;
in our own time make it known;
in wrath may you remember mercy.
New Revised Standard Version
LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.
New International Version
O Lord, I have heard of what you have done,
and I am filled with awe.
Now do again in our times
the great deeds you used to do.
Be merciful, even when you are angry.
Good News Bible
Habakkuk lived at a time (around 600 BC) when justice was being perverted and strife abounded. He had heard about what the Lord had done in the past. Now his prayer was, “O Lord, revive your work in the midst of the years (i.e. right now)”. As the Good News Bible puts it, “Now do again in our times the great deeds you used to do”.
For a number of years the National Fellowship for Revival prayed to this end within the Methodist Church in Australasia (until 1977) and in the Uniting Church in Australia (1977-2003). Some have derided this as a yearning to return to “past customs, styles, etc” (definition 2 above). In the sense in which we use the word here, however, “revival” has more to do with what God has done and what God alone can do - in the life of the individual, the Church and the world (more in line with definitions 1 and 2 above).
The NFFR recognised that Revival and Reform go hand in hand. It was not always easy to keep the two together. Sometimes members thought the only task of the Fellowship is to pray for revival (“the inrushing of divine life”). At other times there has been strong pressure to shift attention almost entirely to reform and therefore to a more aggressive public attack on the doctrinal and social issues that have plagued the church in recent times. There is no barrier to revival on God’s side. The issue is whether we are ready - as individuals and churches - in openness, repentance and faith to receive.
Merged into the interests of Evangelical Members within the Uniting Church in Australia (EMU) and the Reforming Alliance within the UCA, NFFR ceased to exist as a separate entity at the end of 2003. While these pages undoubtedly reflect the background and continuing need of the UCA, the aim is to provide material and links which will be of encouragement and stimulation to all Christians.
Please join us in a world-wide fellowship of earnest and committed prayer, “Revive your work, O Lord! Do it again, Lord!”
revival n. 1. the act or an instance of reviving or the state of being revived. 2. an instance of returning to life or consciousness; restoration of vigour or vitality. 3. a renewed use, acceptance of, or interest in (past customs, styles, etc.): a revival of learning; the Gothic revival. 4. a new production of a play that has not been recently performed. 5. a reawakening of faith or renewal of commitment to religion. 6. an evangelistic meeting or service intended to effect such a reawakening to those present. 7. the re-establishment of legal validity, as of a judgment, contract, etc. (Collins English Dictionary)