Prayer Spreads Revival Fires
By Rev. Oliver W. Price
In 1904 the Atlanta newspapers reported an amazing revival of prayer sweeping the city. On November 2, the Supreme Court of Georgia, stores, factories, offices and even saloons closed their doors so people could attend noon prayer meetings. Spiritual awakening was spreading all over America. One Kentucky pastor died of overwork after receiving 1,000 new members in two months. Out of a population of 50,000 only fifty unconverted adults remained in Atlantic City, New Jersey!
"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 on January 20th, 1905. The entire city on a busy weekday was bowing before the throne of heaven seeking God's blessing.
God was moving on the college campuses all over America. In New York State attendance at Bible study groups doubled at Cornell. Two thirds of the men at Northwestern University in Illinois enrolled in Bible classes. 200 men professed conversion at Trinity College in Durham, North Carolina leaving no more than 25 unconverted.
God's people were praying. A Methodist editor wrote in the Michigan Christian Advocate, "A great revival is sweeping the United States...The Holy Spirit is convincing the people of 'sin, of righteousness and of judgement to come.'
"The regular prayer meetings and public services seem to be surcharged with convicting power."
The Baptist Home Mission Monthly published a report that "There is a quickening of spiritual impulse and life in the churches and in our own educational institution...There is a remarkable responsiveness to the presentation of the claims of Christ upon the hearts and consciences of men."
In 1904 in a far away India John Hyde and Turner Patterson prepared for a missionary conference in Sialkot by praying for thirty days and nights. God brought conviction and confession of sin and revival to both the missionaries and the nationals.
God has always used dedicated preachers and praying Christians to wake up the church. D.L. Moody was a firebrand for revival and evangelism. After a week of powerless preaching in one town, Moody declared, "Perhaps there's someone cultivating an unforgiving spirit." The chairman of the committee got right up and left the meeting to ask a man to forgive him. That night the inquiry room was packed.
In 1872 Moody went to the British Isles. After he preached in a Congregational church one Sunday morning a young woman rushed home to tell her bedridden sister, Marianne Adlard, "God has heard my prayers," Marianne exclaimed. She had been praying that God would send Moody to her church. Britain's greatest revival since Wesley began in that church that night.
In 1878 a multitude of Telegu outcasts who had long rejected the gospel turned to Christ in India. This mass movement was traced to five people who had prayed all night. At dawn they knew their prayers had been answered. Confident that God had heard they waited patiently until the might work of the Spirit began.
In 1930 God moved in a remarkable way at a missionary boys' school in South India. 100 out of 130 boys professed conversion. Most of the boys experienced deep conviction of sin and much brokenness. God was answering the early morning prayers of three boys under 12 years of age.
In 1927 civil war was shaking China. The American consul prepared to evacuate the missionaries. Spiritual apathy hung like a cloud over the churches. Many churches were simply dead. Some missionaries resigned in despair.
By 1930 missionaries in China began to see that churches were dying because many members had been converted to Christianity, but NOT TO CHRIST. Furthermore, there were even many missionaries and pastors who DID KNOW CHRIST.
A Norwegian Lutheran missionary, Maria Monsen, began praying with a great longing to see God's river of life flood spiritually dry China. At one point, she wondered what good her praying would do? Then she realized that the mighty Yangtze River began with the tiny raindrops that came together in the top of the mountains.
She prayed for others to share her burden and they did. Their "tiny drops of prayer" coming together were the beginning of the great spiritual awakening which eventually flowed like a river through China.
In November of 1930 Maria said, "A great revival is coming soon and it will begin in the North China Mission." She was convinced the missionaries had fulfilled the conditions for revival in 2 Chronicles 7:14. And revival DID come.
When God revived the dying church in North China in 1932, He filled the hearts of the people with joy and singing. There were also times when an entire congregation silently meditated during the worship service. Relations between husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters were healed.
About 40 Christians in one town in North China were meeting 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 to North China in 1932 more people were born again than in any previous year in that area. Souls were being saved daily. One missionary estimated that 3,000 came to Christ in their town. Pastors, missionaries and Bible women experienced a deeper Christian life.
A spirit of prayer was poured out on the church. People loved to pray. Many times prayer lasted two or three hours. Prayers were short, fervent and sometimes tearful. Children's prayers led to the salvation of their parents and teachers.
A girls school, touched by a spiritual awakening sweeping through North China, enthusiastically kept a 12-hour prayer watch in an upstairs room daily until school closed. The girls began local prayer meetings when they returned home. They also witnessed to the women. As a result many churches were revived.
Join with us and many others in praying for revival on the first Monday of each month.