Never give up praying for spiritual awakening. Jesus taught that we should always pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1). Let’s follow the example of others who prayed until revival came. In the spring of 1904 a young Welshman named Evan Roberts was repeatedly awakened to pray from 1:00 to 5:00 a.m. By November a powerful spiritual awakening was spreading through Wales.
God worked through the testimony of a young new believer named Florrie Evans. When Pastor Joseph Evans asked for testimonies, Florrie arose and with a trembling voice said, “I love Jesus with all my heart.” God used this to melt the hearts of many others.
The London Times reported remarkable changes that took place in the public spirit. For example, in Swansea people who had left their parents in the “workhouse” came to take them out. Entire congregations were on their knees in prayer and for the first time there was not a single case of drunkenness at the Swansea County Petty Sessions. The Bible Society saw orders for Scriptures multiply to three times more than the previous year. At Bangor University revival fires were spreading in January, 1905. There were only a third or a fourth of the students attending some of the classes…Beginning with a spontaneous outburst of praise and prayer among the men students, the movement spread . . at a united prayer meeting…some broke down sobbing.
David Lloyd George, who later became British Prime Minister, saw one of his political rallies taken over by the Welsh revival. On January 11th, 1905 he said the Welsh revival gave hope “that at the next election Wales would declare with no uncertain sound against the corruption in high places which handed over the destiny of the people to the terrible brewing interest…”
The Times reported on January 16th, 1905 that At Glyn-Neath a feud had existed for the past ten or twelve years between the two Independent Chapels, but during the past week united services have been held in both chapels, and the ministers have shaken hands before the congregations. The fires of spiritual awakening crossed the ocean.
In 1904 Atlanta newspapers reported an amazing revival of prayer sweeping the city. On November 2nd the Supreme Court of Georgia closed so people could attend prayer meetings:stores, factories, offices and even saloons followed suit. For two hours at midday all Denver was held in a spell . . The marts of trade were deserted between noon and two o’clock this afternoon, the Denver Post reported 1n January, 1905. One Kentucky pastor died of overwork after receiving 1,000 new members in 2 months. Out of a population of 50,000 only 50 unconverted adults remained in Atlantic City!
Revival came to north China in 1932 in answer to several years of prayer. At one point, Norwegian missionary, Maria Monsen, wondered what good her praying could do. She longed to see God’s river of life flood spiritually dry China. Then she realized that the mighty Yangtze River began when tiny drops of rain came together in the top of the mountains. Maria sought a prayer partner to join her in claiming the promise “that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Mt. 18:19). When she finally found someone she exclaimed, “The awakening has begun! Two of us have agreed!” The rain drops of revival prayer were coming together.
In November of 1930 Maria announced, “A great revival is coming soon and it will begin in the North China Mission.” She was convinced that the missionaries had fulfilled the conditions for revival found in 2 Chron 7:14. In 1932 about forty Christians were meeting in a town in North China for prayer four times a day beginning at 5:00 a.m. Believers were convicted of sin. Two men repented of hating each other. Love was strong and deep. Joy abounded. When revival came more people were born again than in any previous year in North China. One missionary estimated that 3,000 people came to Christ in his town. Pastors, missionaries, and Bible women experienced a deeper Christian life than they had ever known before.
A spirit of prayer was poured out on the church. People loved to pray. Many times prayer meetings lasted 2 or 3 hours. Prayers were short, fervent, and sometimes tearful. Children’s prayers led to the salvation of their parents and teachers.
In 1936 revival fires broke out on the campus of Wheaton College, Chicago. A senior named Don Hillis arose in chapel to voice a plea for revival. Students responded with an all-day prayer meeting on Saturday. Both faculty and students confessed sin and made things right with one another.
The Wheaton campus was touched again in 1943 following a message on confession of sin during special services. The captain of the cross-country team arose to confess that he had violated college policy by leading his team in a Sunday race. Pride, criticism, and cheating were confessed by other students. Lunch and dinner slipped by unnoticed while the meeting continued into the evening service.
“Stop the bus!” a member of the Wheaton College Glee Club shouted. The Glee Club was touring in Florida in 1950. A revival that had broken out on the campus in Illinois had touched this student hundreds of miles away. He confessed he had broken the rules and other students began to turn to God.
God’s promise is still true. If we seek Him with all our heart, we shall surely find Him ready to pour the riches of His grace and love into the lives of His people (Jer 29:13).