Lord, send a Revival again
In October of 2006, my wife Tessa and I were on a short visit to her family and church in South Wales (Great Britain), the country where she grew up. While being in this beautiful land of mountains, green valleys and streams, my thoughts went back to all that I had read about concerning the revival of a century ago. In the years 1904-1906 God worked mightily to give many thousands of people inside and outside Wales a totally renewed life. This time of religious and moral renewal became internationally known as 'The Welsh Revival.'
Evan Roberts went into history as the man The Lord used mightily in those years to bring people to repentance. Evan was still in Bible College when the Spirit of God put an enormous burden on his heart for the people of Wales. At that time the nation had reached a depth in her moral and spiritual condition. As he brought the burden for his people in a great struggle with tears to the Lord in prayer, the Spirit did not let him go. He got filled with a great desire to become an instrument of God to bring people back to a worthy and godly life. The Holy Spirit made it clear to him that he himself should first be willing to be fully obedient to Him. When he became conscious of a certain unwillingness in himself to fully surrender to the Holy Spirit, he prayed: "Lord, bend me." There was a great struggle within himself but when he was prepared to fully submit himself the Spirit descended in great power on him. He could not stay any longer in the Bible College to finish his studies. He first travelled to Loughor, near Swansea, the village where he grew up. A great conviction of sin came over those present in a youth meeting and many came to repentance and got saved. From here the revival spread from village to village and from city to city.
Evan Roberts repeated often the four conditions for individual revival:
1. The believer must examine himself if there are unconfessed sins in his or her life. He said that the believers should ask the Holy Spirit to assist them in this self-examination as with unconfessed the Holy Spirit cannot be received with power.
2. He said that if the believer is in doubt about certain habits, whether they are pure and upright or not, he should remove those also out off his life without any hesitation.
3. He said that believers should be prepared to give themselves wholly to the Holy Spirit in all He asks of them.
4. He emphasized that believers must be prepared to confess their faith publicly; no one should be ashamed of Christ.
Evan Roberts knew that when the church should bend herself to honest and complete obedience to the will of the Holy Spirit, the world would be saved. A much heard prayer of him was: "Lord, bend the church and save the world."
Another evangelist who was mightily used of God in those first years of the twentieth century was a certain Joseph Jenkins. In one of his services a girl, Florrie Evans, got convicted of her worldly way of life; she realised that she was not living as a Christian should. She shared her need with Jenkins. He gave her the advice to accept the Lordship of Christ over her life. A few days later he spoke in a meeting for youth and asked if there was somebody who would testify of his experience with Jesus. For a few moments it remained silent, then Florry Evans stood up and said: "I love Jesus with all my heart." This testimony of love for Jesus got an amazing result: all that were present came under a powerful working of the Holy Spirit and got convicted of their ungodly, sinful way of life. Many confessed their sin and received Christ as Saviour and Lord. Somebody said of this meeting: "It seemed as if there was an explosion of holy power in that room. Young people wept, were heard groaning and cried for mercy. Those present lost all sense of time and did not think of physical needs, such as sleep and food. Many stayed to pray, praise and worship." The following meetings continued till the early hours of the morning and many led others to Jesus. Time and worldly business were forgotten for the re-ordering of life received priority. Without any doubt: there was revival in the land! Till today there is still fruit of this revival of a hundred years ago. It is, however, high time to ask the Lord again for a time of moral and spiritual renewal. The urgent question is whether the Lord can find again a suitable and willing instrument for it. Please, let us all pray: "Lord, send a Revival again."
T. J. de Ruiter,
in Wales, 19 October 2006
(Pastor and Teacher in The Netherlands)
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T. J. de Ruiter