Psalm 85 V 6 ‘Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?

 

WHAT IS REVIVAL?

According to Christmas Evans, the famous Welsh preacher, ‘Revival is God bending down to the dying embers of a fire and breathing into it until it bursts into flame’.  It is a hunger after God, an awareness of the need for holiness, an awakening of religious fervour.  It is something brought about by God alone – a divine outpouring of the Holy Spirit – and it starts with God’s people – His church.

One of the greatest outpourings of the Holy Spirit since the day of Pentecost was the 1859 revival and it touched America, Ulster and many other countries.  In Ulster it is said that there were strange manifestations.  People would fall to the ground and lie motionless for hours.  When they recovered they knew that God had visited them and were never the same again.

In the 1904 Welsh revival people cried out for mercy and forgiveness as they were convicted of sin.  Miners – hardened men – gathered round the pits to sing and pray as they became aware of a mighty God.  People would kneel in the street in tears and beg God to save them.

In the O.T. God seemed to be moved by the prayers of the saints – Moses, Abraham, Elijah, Elisha.  Their prayers were selfless, bold and specific and they were heard.  The two elderly sisters who prayed before the Hebridean revival had the same qualities.  Can we learn from that?

Revival is not evangelism – evangelistic crusades may bring many to Christ but that is not revival – rather it is a combination of the human and Divine.  Evangelism is what men do for God.  Revival is what God does for men.

Many of these thoughts come from the writings of Selwyn Hughes whose intense longing was for Revival.  He talked often of preparation – holiness of life, unceasing prayer and repentance and humility.  Are we willing to pay the price?

The cry is as it was in Isaiah’s time ‘O that you would rend the heavens and come down’.  Even so come Holy Spirit’.

 

Joan Weir

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