Revival in the Next Generation

Theme Introduction

A Gen Z Movement

I could not imagine how an underground parking garage could be transformed into a worship venue. But as I entered the dark space, with a few dangling lights overhead, lots of sound equipment, and some rugs scattered on the concrete floor, I sensed I had stepped into a holy place.

I was supposed to be available to pray with anyone—including Gen Zers—who sought counsel and encouragement. But to be honest, I couldn’t hear a thing. And when I tried to pray with a few young people, I found myself yelling until I was hoarse. I was out of my element. I was pretty sure I would dig out the Advil when I got home.

But I could sense during the passionate worship, preaching, and prayer that God is moving in the hearts of this next generation. They are ready to surrender themselves to Jesus with abandonment.

A Unique Generation

Yes, every generation is unique based on the culture and circumstances that surround it. But think for a moment about how quickly things are changing for Generation Z (defined as those currently from ages 9 to 24).

Just imagine the world they are trying to navigate—an ongoing pandemic with changing demands, gender confusion/identity, racial struggles, sharp political divisions, school board battles—the list seems to evolve moment by moment.

Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse of any previous generation. Born into a digital world, they have no idea of life apart from social media and smartphones. They hold the knowledge of the world in their hands—and they’ve never known anything else.

So, it only stands to reason that revival in this generation will look vastly different from revivals of the past.

In this Issue

What do we mean by revival in the Gen Z movement? We aren’t talking just about passionate worship and in-the-moment responses to “altar calls.” By revival, we mean an awakening and embracing of all the power and conviction of the Holy Spirit. We mean a generation that comes alive to God’s calling to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.

We don’t mean praying for a return to “the good old days” when things were more comfortable. That won’t suffice in a world torn by strife and outrageous ideologies. We are contending for a generation passionate for Christ in a culture that has determined such faith is not relevant.

Luke LeFevre works with Gen Z students, and believes we are headed into the greatest days of revival our nation has ever known. He writes about praying for a generation called to wholehearted consecration. Aaron Custalow understands God’s burning heart for Generation Z. He has written an excellent prayer guide to help you intercede for this generation—that they will know Jesus, understand their identity, and rise up as leaders.

We also asked this question to several leaders who minister to Gen Z: “What will revival look like in the next generation?” Their insightful answers will give you more direction for prayer.

Our theme is capped off with an article by Hal and Cheryl Sacks, who have worked with younger generations for years. They have invested sacrificially into mentoring and encouraging generations to run together for the sake of Christ.

As we pray for revival in this Gen Z movement, let’s also pray for something dramatically different. It’s time to move into society with radical, missional, gospel-oriented living. And this is the generation to do it!

CAROL MADISON is editor of Prayer Connect and author of Prayer That’s Caught and Taught