An example from the Welsh Revival: The seeds of revival spring up in the hearts of the humble, and so it was with Evan Roberts, a young man from Wales. At the age of 26, he enrolled in Bible school, but while in prayer one day, he felt strongly impressed by the Holy Spirit to return to his village and speak to the people of his home church. Arriving in town, he went to his pastor and asked to speak to the people. Though the pastor thought it was rather forward of Roberts to ask, he granted permission for the young man to speak after the upcoming prayer service. When the prayer meeting was over, the pastor announced that if anyone wanted to stay, young Mr. Roberts had something he wanted to say. Seventeen people stayed, and Evan Roberts addressed them. He gave them a simple challenge. He told those who were interested in revival to take three actions:
- to confess any known sin,
- to immediately put away any doubtful habit, and
- to restore any broken relationships.
He said that he would be waiting, and invited any who wished to meet him back there at the church in one hour. The people left, and almost all returned an hour later. As soon as they gathered, something happened among them. The presence of God was so tangible they began to worship and pray with such fervency and power that news of what was happening quickly spread through the town. Soon the church was filled. The prayer meeting didn’t break up until early the next morning, and within a few hours, people returned and the prayer meeting began again. The Holy Spirit began to stir hearts as people heard of what was happening at the church . . . People who had not been to church in years began to attend. People who had never been to church turned out, and as they entered the church, they would melt down in tears and plead for salvation. Hardened sinners melted like wax before a fire. Within a couple of days, neighboring towns and villages began to experience revival. It spread to the cities, and within just a few weeks, taverns were emptied, brothels were closed, the churches were filled daily. The fire spread until all of Wales was brought in repentance to its knees at the cross.
Excerpt from “Revival Praying” by Leonard Ravenhill: Are we serious in saying that we want a revival? We may acknowledge that we need one, but do we really want one? If the answer of our hearts is yes, then we must begin by considering what brings a revival. The people who experience revival will be an obedient people. Secondly, the people who get revival will be a humble people. Thirdly, before a Biblical Pentecost there must be a praying people, a people waiting on God. Just as no man takes a running jump and in one leap lands on the top of the Rockies, but gets there by patient toil, so it is with prayer. Are we expecting that it will be God who will make the first move towards revival? If a farmer had broken no ground and had spread no seed, would he be justified in blaming God because he had no harvest?
Challenge: Name six people (or more) you would like to see saved. Ask God to give you a burden for their salvation.
Revival Quote of the Week: “Revival, I define, as a work of God by His Spirit through his Word bringing the spiritually dead to living faith in Christ and renewing the inner life of Christians who have grown slack and sleepy.” – J. I. Packer
Questions to think about:
- What is spiritual revival? Who does it impact?
- What symptoms might indicate a need for revival?
- When do revivals occur? What heart attitudes precede revival?