Many pray for a revival. That certainly is a prayer that is pleasing to God; it is along the line of His will; but many prayers for revivals are purely selfish. The churches desire revivals in order that the membership by be increased, in order that the church may have a position of more power and influence in the community, in order that the church treasury may be filled, in order that a good report may be made at the presbytery or conference or association. For such low purposes as these, churches and ministers are praying for a revival, and oftentimes too God does not answer the prayer.
Why should we pray for a revival? For the glory of God, because we cannot endure it that God should continue to be dishonored by the worldliness of the church, by the sins of unbelievers, by the proud unbelief of the day; because God’s Word is being made void; in order that God may be glorified by the outpouring of His Spirit on the Church of Christ. For these reasons first of all and above all, we should pray for revival.
— R. A. Torrey, How to Pray, p. 77.