"Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?"
During a recent ministry trip to Wales, I had the privilege of being a speaker at a congress and preaching in a Welsh church. They were celebrating the Centenary of the Welsh Revival of 1904 to 1905.
Joseph Jenkins, a minister in New Quay, Cardiganshire had been seeking a deeper devotional life with the Lord and had experienced an intense love of God in his life. On 1 January 1904, he had a Deeper Spiritual Life Convention, encouraging others to seek the fire of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
I LOVE THE LORD WITH ALL MY HEART!
On the 14th February 1904, at a Sunday church service, a 16-year-old girl, Florrie Evans stood to her feet and publicly confessed: "I love the Lord Jesus with all my heart." As she spoke these words, the Holy Spirit seemed to fill the meeting.
Many saw this as the beginning of the Revival. After church meetings were held to seek the Lord's presence and empowerment and many young people, particularly girls and women in their teens and early twenties, began spending extended periods of time in intense prayer, seeking the Lord's face!
O LORD BEND US!
On 29th September 1904, evangelist Seth Joshua was addressing a convention near Cardigan. Seth had been praying for years that God would raise up a young man from the coal mines to be used to inspire Revival in Wales. That night he saw his prayer answered. When 26 year old student, Evan Roberts made a heart rendering: "Oh, Lord,bend us!" the congregation was so gripped with this prayer that Wales made this the prayer of their heart.
Evan Roberts began to speak of an extraordinary work of God in spiritual Revival. He began testifying at his church in Moriah, Lougor, that those who were seeking a deeper spiritual life with the Lord should join him in extended prayer.
SOULS SAVED AND LIVES TRANSFORMED
At the extraordinary church services, after meetings, prayer meetings, churches were packed, souls were saved and individual lives were transformed. The societies themselves were changed as countless numbers of souls came to Christ. It was estimated that over 150, 000 people came to Christ in Wales in the first 6 months of this move of God. Pubs and bars became empty. Brothels closed down. Men and women who used to waste their money getting drunk then began buying clothes and food for their families, and supporting their churches and neighbours with what they used to squander in drunkenness and gambling.
Theft and other crimes became less frequent, and often a magistrate came to court and found that there were no cases for him to try. Men who had previously used foul language began to sing God's praises. The pit ponies became confused as the men that had previously cursed and abused them were now so kind and clean spoken that they did not understand the orders that were being given! The ponies had to literally then be retrained as they only had been used to cursing and beatings.
The dark tunnels underground in the mines, echoed with songs of praises, hymns and prayers, instead of crude speech, course jokes and gossip.
People who were in debt and careless about paying their bills came and made full restitution, paying back all that they had owed. Marriages, which had split up, and people who had fallen out, were reconciled. Wales became a God fearing nation.
Not only were the churches filled to overflowing, but the prayer meetings were packed, vibrant and intense as people sought the Lord and poured out their hearts in prayer.
KEYS TO REVIVAL
Pastors involved in the Welsh Revival regularly spoke of four keys to Revival:
"Create in me a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You."
IS REVIVAL THE DESIRE OF YOUR HEART?
Are you praying for a great spiritual awakening that will change our cities and our country? Is it your prayer that God may be honoured and glorified in all areas of life?
"Restore us, O God of hosts; cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved!"
Revivals are a sovereign move of God initiated by the Holy Spirit working through consecrated men and women. A study of the Revivals in the Bible and in history reveal that all Revivals begin with a deeper appreciation for the Holiness of God and a realization of how offensive our sin must be in the sight of our Holy God.
"Seek the Lord while He may found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake His way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord and He will have mercy on him; and to our God for He will abundantly pardon."
Dr. Peter Hammond
PO Box 74