Excerpt from A Brief History of Spiritual Revival and Awakening in America by Patrick Morley
“In describing what happened in Jonathan Edward's Northampton, Massachusetts church in 1734, observers said, "It pleased God...to display his free and sovereign mercy in the conversion of a great multitude of souls in a short space of time, turning them from a formal, cold, and careless profession of Christianity, to the lively exercise of every Christian grace, and the powerful practice of our holy religion.”
That's about as clear a definition as we'll ever get! During a revival, God supernaturally transforms believers and non-believers in a church, locale, region, nation, or the world through sudden, intense enthusiasm for Christianity.2 People sense the presence of God powerfully; conviction, despair, contrition, repentance, and prayer come easily; people thirst for God's word; many authentic conversions occur and backsliders are renewed.
Revival and awakening are, generally, synonyms. The larger the geography a revival covers, the greater the tendency to call it an awakening.
America has a deep, rich history of revivals and awakenings.”
Read the full article here: http://patrickmorley.com/blog/2015/6/23/a-brief-history-of-spiritual-revival-and-awakening-in-america