by Wayne S. Walker
“Revive me, O LORD, for Your name’s sake! For your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble” (Psalm 143:11). The word “revive” comes from a Latin word made up of the prefix “re” meaning again, and the verb “vivo” meaning to make alive. Hence, it means to “make alive again.” Although we do not know the exact circumstances, David was in trouble, being persecuted by an enemy (v. 5), and felt as though he were almost dead. Therefore, he asked the Lord to revive him.
Through the years, I have heard brethren debate whether gospel meetings should be called “revivals” or not. Some oppose the term because it is used by denominational churches to refer to extended religious services of a highly emotionalistic nature. Others suggest that the phrase “gospel meeting” means nothing to the average person, whereas “revival” conveys the idea of extended religious services conducted by a local church, which is what a gospel meeting is. One might also argue that gospel meetings can serve the purpose of “reviving” an interest in saving souls on the part of Christians and even “reviving” an interest in spiritual things on the part of those outside of Christ.
One of our familiar gospel songs is entitled “Revive Us Again.” I have heard objections to this hymn based on the claim that if we are asking God to “Revive us again,” it must means that we are already cold and dead, which is something that is not, or should not be, true of faithful Christians. However, it is not necessary to think of the idea of being revived in this way. All of us, as faithful as we may strive to be, find ourselves at times in situations where we are discouraged, downhearted, and even distraught. At such times, our spirits need to be revived so that we may continue to press on. It seems that if David asked God to revive him, we can ask the Lord to revive us when we need it.