Prayer & Revival Part 2
Richard continues his history of prayer & revival in the UK during the 20th century.
The 19th Century witnessed some wonderful moves of God which were prefixed by prayer. The 20th Century continued in a similar vein in Wales affectionately known as the ‘Land Of Revivals’.
Evan Roberts was raised in a coal mining community and whose heart was towards God. Once he was challenged by a church leader not to miss the prayer meetings in case the ‘Holy Spirit came and he would be missing’. For 13 years Evan would be found each week in the prayer meeting and at one such meeting in September 1904 aged 26 the Holy Spirit came upon him in such power that the following month he asked the pastor from his home church in Loughor if he could start holding meetings for the young people in the village.
This was the beginning of the revival which started in south Wales and within a year more than 100,000 had been saved and added to churches across Wales. Throughout this time, prayer was a major feature with early morning prayer meetings before work and prayer meetings going on into the night. Pubs and other places of entertainment became empty as people gave themselves to prayer.
News of what was going on in Wales spread across Britain and to other nations. Prayer meetings triggered by the revival in Wales started in Bradford, Leeds, and Edinburgh and it was also reported that in ‘1905 a week of united prayer meetings in an English town called Nuneaton led to a glorious revival’.
Two elderly sisters Peggy and Christine Smith had spent months praying for revival to come to their community and in the early hours of a winter’s morning Peggy who was blind turned to her sister and prophesied ‘This is what God has promised, “I will pour water upon him who is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground”. In the years following World War II many were spiritually drained and drifted away from God.
Following this prophecy meetings were arranged with Duncan Campbell being the speaker, and following a good first service, a group of men spent the night in prayer. When they emerged from prayer at 3am they found men and women wondering the roads seeking God. They found men with their faces on the ground crying out to God. This spontaneous conviction of their need for God marked this particular revival. Lives were changed and in Stornoway which before the revival had one of the highest drinking rates in Scotland, a local publican moaned that “The drink trade on the island is ruined”.
There are so many other examples that can be given like Korea and its many prayer mountains, Africa which at the beginning of 20th century was around 2% Christian, but by the end of the century was closer to 50%, or China which had witnessed horrendous persecution of Christians yet the church continues to flourish.
Lord, do it again
Many examples used are from Colin Whittaker’s book ‘Great Revivals’ which I try to read at least once a year. But after reading and being stirred by these stories of God moving in power when His people pray, my thoughts always return to Habakkuk’s prayer in chapter 3 verse 2:
LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
Renew them in our day, in our time make them known.
Renew Them In Our Day
Thank you Richard.