Saturday, December 29, 2007

As we end this year...

As 2007 winds down and 2008 is just around the corner, it would be good to take to heart the words of David Brainerd...

"Oh, how precious is time, and how it pains me to see it slide away, while I do so little to any good purpose. Oh, that God would make me more fruitful and spiritual."

Bringing in the new year


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Some of the Results of Revival!

What can we expect when God sends a revival to a local church? Jonathan Edwards shares first hand knowledge...

"The assembly were in tears while the Word was preached; some weeping sorrows and distress, others with joy and love, others with concern for the souls of their neighbors."

Let us Keep Praying for Revival!


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Revival and Holiness

A.W. Tozer pointed out that holiness will result from revival...

"I contend that whatever does not raise the moral standard of the church or community has not been a revival from God."

Praying for Revival


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas as the End of History

On December 20, 1981, John Piper preached the following sermon. It can be found on the Desiring God site. Merry Christmas!


This is my tenth and final message in this series on the history of redemption. What I would like to do this morning is to pull it all together and show how God's work in history comes to a climax—and in a sense comes to an end—in the coming of his one and only eternal and divine Son into the world.

From Creation to Christ
The first thing that had to be proclaimed about God was that through the agency of his eternal Son, and by the word of his power, God created out of nothing all that is not God, in order to display the fullness of his glory among men and among all the hosts of heaven. And he sustains and holds in existence moment by moment the whole universe, so that by virtue of creation and providence God owns all things and has absolute right to do with creation as he pleases. There is no higher court before whom we can appeal his decisions. There is no other law than his word. There is no other maker behind the Maker of all. He is simply and awesomely Absolute: no beginning, no ending, no becoming. Everyone, without exception, will have to reckon with this God sooner or later. And there are only two possibilities: we can rebel against his absolute authority over us creatures, or we can bow in lowly adoration and do his bidding.

But the second thing proclaimed in the history of redemption is that our first human parents fell prey to a deception and chose the path of rebellion. The deception for which they fell was that if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would be like God. Which means: if you stop depending like little children on God to tell you what is good and bad for you, and start making those choices yourself, then you will be like God and much happier. The Fall, therefore, was the desire and effort of man to be self-determining and self-reliant. And as a result God withdrew his special sanctifying grace, so that since that first sin, all people have come into the world bent on rebellion. The essence of sin which presses for control in every one of us is the intense distaste of surrendering all authority to God and becoming like little children in dependence on him. The early history of mankind stands under this sentence from Genesis 6:5: "The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

But the third thing that had to be proclaimed about God in the course of redemptive history was that his purpose to be glorified through the obedience and joy of his creatures was not to be frustrated. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, God chooses one man, Abraham, and makes him a promise: "I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing . . . and by you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 12:2, 3). We must learn from redemptive history that it is God's way to pursue great ends through small beginnings. (Is not one of the most captivating things about Christmas that the cosmic business of Christ began with a babe in a manger? God always seems to act that way, lest anyone should boast and give man the glory.) God aims to reclaim the rebellious creation. And he begins his grand plan of reclamation with one obscure, imperfect Aramean whose wife is barren.

From that man and woman came a great people, the people of Israel, named after Abraham's grandson whose children were the twelve tribal patriarchs. And God begins to go to work on this people to make them the lesson-book for the nations about how salvation is to be found. After centuries of bondage in Egypt he displays the unbridled glory of his power in their deliverance through the Red Sea.

Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today, for the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still. (Exodus 14:13)
With a few changes those could have been the very words that the angel spoke to the shepherds on the night Jesus was born. And that is no mere coincidence, because God intends for everything in his dealing with Israel to point to the righteousness that comes from faith, and finally to the Christ.

When the people come to Mount Sinai and the law is given through Moses, the basic reason is to show the people how they should act if they have faith in the God of the Exodus (Exodus 20:2). The law is a description of the obedience of faith for that time. The law did not demand that the people try to earn their salvation through works. It did not offer blessing only to perfection. It demanded that people put their hope in the mercy of God (Exodus 34:6), it called for the obedience of faith, and it provided a ritual of atonement so that sacrifices could be offered for sins. All of this—the call for faith and the provision of sacrifices—points to a coming redeemer whose death will fulfill all sacrifices and who will be received by faith alone.

In the wilderness wanderings God showed that he could spread a table for his people where there was not food and that, therefore, they should trust him. The manna that he provided was a prefiguring of the true Bread that comes down from heaven (John 6:32–55), Jesus Christ. When Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness for the people's healing (Numbers 21:9), it was a foreshadowing of how Christ would be lifted up on the cross for our salvation (John 3:14). And all the tests of faith in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 8:2, 16) pointed ahead to the time when Christ himself would be tempted in the wilderness, but without sin.

When Israel crossed the Jordan and conquered the promised land and dwelt in it and had rest, it was a partial fulfillment of the promise to Abraham. But since the rest was imperfect, sensitive readers of the Old Testament saw this too as a type of something yet to come: there is still a promised land in the future for God's people, a "better country" (Hebrews 11:16), a "city which is to come" (Hebrews 13:14), a Sabbath rest for the people of God (Hebrews 4:9), in the kingdom of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Then came the establishment of the monarchy in Israel—sought for evil motives, but turned for good by the grace of God. Through this very line of kings God promises to bring the Savior towards whom everything has been pointing. All the history of Israel is a great lesson-book for the nations to read. And the lesson the book teaches is this: God the creator owns and rules the world; his aim is to subdue its rebellion and be glorified through an obedient and joyful people who forsake self-reliance and put their faith and hope in him alone. They cannot attain righteousness through "works of the law" (Romans 3:20) but must count entirely on the mercy of God who will raise up for David a righteous Branch whose name will be "The Lord is our righteousness" (Jeremiah 23:5, 6).

Christmas and the River of History
The next thing God did to bring redemptive history to a climax took almost everybody off guard. Only those few people who were most sensitive to the heart of the Old Testament could begin to fathom what God did next. He split the coming of the Messiah into two comings, separated by some 2,000 years. This was incomprehensible to the Jews of Jesus' day. The Old Testament prophets had not been told by God how some of their prophecies fit together in time. 1 Peter 1:10, 11 says (literally): "The prophets who prophesied concerning the grace coming to you sought out and searched out about this salvation, searching into which or what sort of time the Spirit of Christ was revealing to them as they testified beforehand about the sufferings of Christ and the glories after them." In other words, some of the prophets foresaw that the Messiah would suffer (e.g., Isaiah 53) and that he would also be revealed in glory. What they did not see was how the sufferings and glory of the Messiah fit together, namely, that there would be two comings of the Messiah, once to suffer and a second time to gather his people into his kingdom and judge unbelievers. The prophets, and all Israel with them, looked forward to one great Day of the Lord when the Messiah would come, defeat his enemies, sanctify his people, establish his kingdom, and rule in peace and righteousness forever over a joyful and obedient people. The coming of Messiah meant the end of this age and the beginning of the age to come; it meant the establishment of the eternal kingdom of God on earth; it meant the fulfillment of all God's promises.

Is it any wonder, then, that the disciples were dismayed into speechlessness when they confessed Jesus as the Messiah and heard him respond, "Yes, and the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed" (Mark 8:31). How can you defeat your enemies and establish the kingdom and fulfill the promises, if you are rejected by Israel and killed like a criminal? It took three years of instruction from Jesus, numerous resurrection appearances, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit before the apostles could grasp that it was precisely through his rejection and death that Jesus defeated his enemies, inaugurated the kingdom, and fulfilled the promises.

The meaning of Christmas was a great blur for well over thirty years until the apostles broke through to the insight that this event was the first half of the final act of redemptive history, and that the second half remains for the future. When they finally saw that, they were prepared to interpret the meaning of Christmas for us. And they have done it in the writings of the New Testament.

In all that they wrote there is a kind of trademark which tips us off that these men once believed there would be only one coming of the Messiah, and that this coming would mark the end of the age. God has seen fit to preserve this trademark for us because there is a very important truth in it, which I think could give a new dimension of joy and expectancy to our Christmas celebration this year. The trademark is this; even though the apostles looked forward as we do to a second appearance of Christ, yet they still say that the first coming happened in the last days or at the end of the age. They do not treat Christmas as just one more bend in the river of redemptive history. With Christmas comes the end. For example, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that the events of the Old Testament "happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction upon whom the end of the ages has come." When the apostle Peter stood up on Pentecost to interpret for the crowds the meaning of what was happening, he said, "This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh"' (Acts 2:16, 17). These are the last days. The apostle Peter also wrote that Christ was "destined before the foundation of the world, but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake" (1 Peter 1:20). The appearing of Jesus Christ at Christmas marked the end of the times (or as Paul said, "the end of the ages").

And one other text shows that this apostolic trademark is preserved even where the future second coming is explicitly in view, Hebrews 9:26–28:

Christ has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
What this text shows is that even though time had elapsed between Christ's first coming and the writing of this book; and even though the writer looks ahead to an unknown future lapse of time before Christ comes a second time, nevertheless he does not give up the apostolic trademark: Christmas marks the end of the age. And I believe there is a very profound reason why the Holy Spirit has preserved this trademark for us, even though 2,000 years have passed since that first Christmas. I believe the Spirit preserved this trademark for us to keep us from trivializing Christmas.

Creation out of nothing was an awesome event. Imagine what the angelic spirits must have felt when the universe, material reality of which they had never imagined, was brought forth out of nothing by the command of God. The fall was an awful event, shaking the entire creation. The exodus was an amazing display of God's power and love. The giving of the law, the wilderness provisions, the conquering of Canaan, the prosperity of the monarchy—all these acts of God in redemptive history were very great and wonderful. Each one was a very significant bend in the river of redemptive history, bringing it ever and ever closer to the ocean of God's final kingdom. But we trivialize Christmas, the incarnation, if we treat it as just another bend on the way to the end. It is the end of redemptive history.

And I think the analogy of the river helps us see how. Picture the river as redemptive history flowing toward the ocean which is the final kingdom of God, full of glory and righteousness and peace. At the end of the river the ocean presses up into the river with its salt water. Therefore, at the mouth of the river there is a mingling of fresh water and salt water. One might say that the kingdom of God has pressed its way back up into the river of time a short way. It has surprised the travelers and taken them off guard. They can smell the salt water. They can taste the salt water. The sea gulls circle the deck. The end has come upon them. Christmas is not another bend in the river. It is the arrival of the salt water of the kingdom of God which has backed up into the river of history. With the coming of Christmas, the ocean of the age to come has reached backward up the stream of history to welcome us, to wake us up to what is coming, to lure us on into the deep. Christmas is not another bend in the river of history. It is the end of the river. Let down your dipper and taste of Jesus Christ, his birth and life and death and resurrection. Taste and see if the age to come has not arrived, if the kingdom has not come upon us. Does it not make your eyes sparkle?

But scoffers will say—they have always said—2,000 years is a long river delta! Too long to believe in. Christmas was just another bend in the river. The salty taste in the water must have been done by some chemical plant nearby. Who can imagine living in the last days for 2,000 years? To such skeptics I say, with the apostle Peter, "Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day" (2 Peter 3:8). As far as God is concerned the incarnation happened last Friday.

I want us to think of Christmas this year not as a great event in the flow of history, but as the arrival of the end of history which happened, as it were, but yesterday, and will be consummated very soon by the second appearing of Christ. Let me make one last effort to help you see it this way. Most of you probably know someone who is 90 years old or older—probably a woman. I want you to imagine 22 of these ladies standing here in front, side by side, facing you, each one still alert and able to remember her childhood and marriage and old age. And then instead of seeing them side by side as contemporaries, have them turn and face sideways so they form a queue, and imagine that each one lived just after the other. If the one on my far left were alive today, do you know when the one on my far right would have been born? At the same time Jesus was. Jesus was born just 22 ladies ago. That is not a very long time. Just 22 people between you and the incarnation. In comparison to the size of the ocean of the age to come, the mouth of the river of redemptive history is small. The delta is not long. It is short.

My prayer for us all this year is that we might see ourselves living between the first and second appearances of Jesus Christ, which together, are the end of redemptive history. That we might see these two appearances united by the overflow of the glorious ocean of the future kingdom of God into the present; and ourselves borne along no longer by the forces of history, but by the power of the age to come. May we feel the undertow of the eschaton and yearn to be there with the Lord forever. Even so come quickly, Lord. Amen.


© Desiring God

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What will revival do to the local church?

Robert Coleman made the following observation on the Asbury Revival...

"Church altars which for years had been nothing more than pieces of furniture now became hallowed places where men met God, and brother was reconciled with brother."

Praying for Revival!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

How Much Prayer Does it Take Before Revival?

How much prayer is required for revival?

Well, D.M. McIntyre gives a historical example...

"Before the great revival in Gallneukirchen broke out, Martin Boos spent hours and days and often nights in lonely agonies of intercession. Afterwards, when he preached, his words were as flame, and the hearts of the people as grass."

How much prayer is needed?



Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Are We Jealous For God's Glory?

Good Morning. Leonard Ravenhill simply sums up what revival is all about...

"Are we jealous for God’s glory? To me that is what revival is all about."

Praying for revival!


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Pray for a Sweeping Revival

Adrian Rogers made this observation on revival...

"Study the history of revival. God has always sent revival in the darkest days. Oh, for a mighty, sweeping revival today!"

The days are spiritually dark around us. Therefore, let us pray for a sweeping revival!


Friday, December 14, 2007

A Simple Reminder

Today, let us get back to one of the basics about revival. Matthew Henry reminds us to not only pray for revival, but to be ready to be moved by God to pray...

"When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is to set them a-praying."

Let us not ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit to pray.

Praying for Revival!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

One more persepctive on the mall shootings...

Good Morning. It has been one week and one day since the tragic shooting at the Westroads Mall. A pastor in Omaha posted his thoughts on the day of the shooting. Here is a portion of it...

One day there was a tragedy with a similar story as the one that we have today. Many folks died and the people questioned how they should react to it. Jesus answers was amazingly short and profound. He said, “Unless you repent you too will perish” (Luke 13.3).

This is the message in this tragedy. Yes this is horrible. Yes it hurts. But, the greater tragedy is to turn away from such things without repenting, or turning from sin. Tragedies such as this become a merciful divine declaration that God is angry with sin. To make it personal, God is angry with us. I do not deserve to live one second in rebellion from him, much less enjoy this world that he made. Days like today remind us that we need to turn from sinful rebellion and bow before Jesus Christ as the glorious king of heaven and the savior of the world. For it is Jesus Christ alone who has the power to defeat death and provide hope. Yes Jesus Christ is the only one to conquer death and rise from the dead. Jesus Christ is the only one who declares that if you believe in him you will never see death (Jn. 8.51).

Do you see how powerful these words are on a day like today?

If you are not trusting in Jesus this very hour for your standing of forgiveness before the righteous and holy judge of heaven and earth then this tragedy is a gracious gift of God whereby he says to you, “Repent, or you too will perish!” Yes this is the ultimate tragedy. There is one who has defeated death, he can give hope, he gives life; his name is Jesus. To reject him is a tragedy. For it is Jesus who says, “do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt. 10.28)

Monday, December 10, 2007

More on the Westroads Shootings...

Good Morning. All over Omaha yesterday, pastors (including myself) preached messages that addressed the terrible shooting last week at the Westroads Mall. The Lord has provided for the city of Omaha a window of opportunity to either turn or return to the Lord Jesus. The city of Minneapolis also had an opportunity last summer when the bridge collapsed. Here is what John Piper wrote...

Putting My Daughter to Bed Two Hours After the Bridge Collapsed

What Do Tragedies Like This Mean for Us?

By John Piper August 1, 2007


At about 6 PM tonight the bridge of Interstate 35W over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed. I am writing this about three hours after the bridge fell. The bridge is located within sight of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Most of us who minister at the church cross this bridge several times a week. At this point I don’t know if any staff was on the bridge. Desiring God offices are about a mile from the bridge.

There are no firm facts at this point about the total number of injuries and fatalities. When we crossed the bridge Tuesday on our way out of town, there was extensive repair work happening on the surface of the bridge with single lane traffic. One speculates about the unusual stresses on the bridge with jackhammers and other surface replacement equipment. This was the fortieth anniversary of the bridge.

Tonight for our family devotions our appointed reading was Luke 13:1-9. It was not my choice. This is surely no coincidence. O that all of the Twin Cities, in shock at this major calamity, would hear what Jesus has to say about it from Luke 13:1-5. People came to Jesus with heart-wrenching news about the slaughter of worshipers by Pilate. Here is what he said.

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

Jesus implies that those who brought him this news thought he would say that those who died, deserved to die, and that those who didn’t die did not deserve to die. That is not what he said. He said, everyone deserves to die. And if you and I don’t repent, we too will perish. This is a stunning response. It only makes sense from a view of reality that is radically oriented on God.

All of us have sinned against God, not just against man. This is an outrage ten thousand times worse than the collapse of the 35W bridge. That any human is breathing at this minute on this planet is sheer mercy from God. God makes the sun rise and the rain fall on those who do not treasure him above all else. He causes the heart to beat and the lungs to work for millions of people who deserve his wrath. This is a view of reality that desperately needs to be taught in our churches, so that we are prepared for the calamities of the world.

The meaning of the collapse of this bridge is that John Piper is a sinner and should repent or forfeit his life forever. That means I should turn from the silly preoccupations of my life and focus my mind’s attention and my heart’s affection on God and embrace Jesus Christ as my only hope for the forgiveness of my sins and for the hope of eternal life. That is God’s message in the collapse of this bridge. That is his most merciful message: there is still time to turn from sin and unbelief and destruction for those of us who live. If we could see the eternal calamity from which he is offering escape we would hear this as the most precious message in the world.

We prayed during our family devotions. Talitha (11 years old) and Noel and I prayed earnestly for the families affected by the calamity and for the others in our city. Talitha prayed “Please don’t let anyone blame God for this but give thanks that they were saved.” When I sat on her bed and tucked her in and blessed her and sang over her a few minutes ago, I said, “You know, Talitha, that was a good prayer, because when people ‘blame’ God for something, they are angry with him, and they are saying that he has done something wrong. That’s what “blame” means: accuse somebody of wrongdoing. But you and I know that God did not do anything wrong. God always does what is wise. And you and I know that God could have held up that bridge with one hand.” Talitha said, “With his pinky.” “Yes,” I said, “with his pinky. Which means that God had a purpose for not holding up that bridge, knowing all that would happen, and he is infinitely wise in all that he wills.”

Talitha said, “Maybe he let it fall because he wanted all the people of Minneapolis to fear him.” “Yes, Talitha,” I said, “I am sure that is one of the reasons God let the bridge fall.”

I sang to her the song I always sing,

Come rest your head and nestle gently
And do not fear the dark of night.
Almighty God keeps watch intently,
And guards your life with all his might.
Doubt not his love, nor power to keep,
He never fails, nor does he sleep.

I said, “You know, Talitha, that is true whether you die in a bridge collapse, or in a car accident, or from cancer, or terrorism, or old age. God always keeps you, even when you die. So you don’t need to be afraid, do you.” “No,” she shook her head. I leaned down and kissed her. “Good night. I love you.”

Tonight across the Twin Cities families are wondering if they will ever kiss a loved one good night again. Some will not. I am praying that they will find Jesus Christ to be their Rock and Refuge in these agonizing hours of uncertainty and even loss.

The word “bridge” does not occur in the Bible. There may be two reasons. One is that God doesn’t build bridges, he divides seas. The other is that usually his people must pass through the deadly currents of suffering and death, not simply ride over them. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you” (Isaiah 43:2). They may drown you. But I will be with you in life and death.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life . . . will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-38)

Killed all day long. But not separated from Christ. We go through the river. Not over it. He went before us, crucified. He came out on the other side. He knows the way through. With him we will make it. That is the message we have for the precious sinners in the Twin Cities. He died for your sins. He rose again. He saves all who trust him. We die, but because of him, we do not die.

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25)

Talitha is sleeping now. But one day she will die. I teach her this. I will not always be there to bless her. But Jesus is alive and is the same yesterday today and forever. He will be with her because she trusts him. And she will make it through the river.

Weeping with those who weep, and those who should,

Pastor John

Psalm 71:20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again.


© Desiring God

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Let us Pray for the Family Members of the Victims in Omaha

Omaha is in a state of shock after the tragedy at the Westroads Mall. When I was in high school, I worked at Bishop's Buffet there and then spend most of my paycheck at the arcade! Now, when I think of the Westroads, I will think about what happened there yesterday. Here is an email I sent out to the church family at Harvey Oaks Baptist Church this morning...

"Dear Family at Harvey Oaks Baptist Church:

Let us continue to pray for the family and friends of those who were killed or injured at the Westroads Mall yesterday.

As you may know, I am a volunteer chaplain for the Omaha Police Department. Yesterday afternoon, I sat in my office listening to the live news feed on Internet. It was reported that nine people were killed and five injured. I also heard that a family center had been set up at the Hampton Inn across the street from the mall. At that point, I called the Head of the chaplains and asked if I should head down to the Hampton Inn. He said “yes.” So I called Clint Frank and Randy Eastwood to let them know of the situation and that I would probably not be at the Bible Study and Prayer time.

When I arrived at the Hampton Inn, the room was filled with people waiting for the news of their loved ones. I was the third OPD chaplain to arrive. I spent the next couple of hours talking and praying with several in the room. The Red Cross also was there. They provided food and support.

Later, a police representative asked me to follow him. I was lead to a hotel room where family members of one the victims were. The victim was a wife and mother of three children. She worked in gift wrapping at Von Maur. The husband and children were actually at home waiting for the news. The people in the room were family members and one close friend.

After spending a few moments there, we headed to the home of the family. I rode in a relative’s car and others were in a police cruiser with one officer. When we arrived at the home, the father had already received the news. He was talking to a detective in a car outside the home. A few moments later, the oldest daughter came and she quickly realized what the news was.

Then we went inside the home. I was with the family for about an hour. The hardest part was telling the youngest child that her mother was killed. The father asked me to do that. Please pray for this family. It is a close-knit and loving family that now has to deal with this awful tragedy.

I am thankful for all your prayers. I felt very inadequate, yet God’s grace and strength was evident.

This certainly puts life into perspective. Life is short and the days are evil. Thus, as the followers of Jesus, let us make every moment count.

Pastor Bryan"

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Praying with Serious Effort

Good Morning. There are flurries falling here in Omaha. And it is cold! But it is winter. Tonight, we will gather together at Harvey Oaks Baptist Church for Bible study and prayer. May God visit us in power!

"When the Church sets itself to pray with the same seriousness and strength of purpose that it has devoted to other forms of Christian effort, it will see the Kingdom of God come with power."

- Report of The Edinburgh Missionary Conference

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

We Must Rely on Prayer

In our local churches, what are the things we depend on in order to accomplish things for God? It is possible that we trust the wrong things according to A.C. Dixon...

"When we rely upon organization, we get what organization can do; when we rely upon education, we get what education can do; when we rely upon eloquence, we get what eloquence can do. But when we rely upon prayer, we get what God can do."

Praying for Revival!


Monday, December 03, 2007

Do We Have Clean Hands When we Pray for Revival?

The Lewis Awakening in 1949 began in a prayer burden

I believe this gracious movement of the Holy Spirit - The Lewis Awakening in 1949 - began in a prayer burden; indeed there is no doubt about that. It began in a small group who were really burdened. They entered into a covenant with God that they would "give Him no rest until He had made Jerusalem a praise in the earth". They waited. The months passed, and nothing happened, until one young man took up his Bible and read from Psalm 24: "Who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart… He shall receive the blessing from the Lord." The young man closed the Bible and, looking at his companions on their knees before God, he cried: "Brethren, it is just so much humbug to be waiting thus night after night, month after month, if we ourselves are not right with God. I must ask myself - "Is my heart pure? Are my hands clean?"

Duncan Campbell, quoted A.Wallis, In the Day of Thy Power

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

How Serious Are We About Revival?

Here is a good question?


Well, check out the article by Conrad Lampan...

A few moments ago I read an email that quoted from Evan Roberts, the revivalist God used to spark the 1904 Welsh Revival:

“Evan Roberts prayed after seeking God 13 years for revival in Wales, "Lord, the altar is built, the sacrifice is laid upon. We await the fire from heaven to ignite the flames of revival." WE ARE AT THIS STAGE OF REVIVAL IN AMERICA AND THE WORLD. GET READY! GET READY! GET READY!”

Reading the above quote one question explodes in my mind: can we seriously declare that “we are ready”? Can we, looking at ourselves with all honesty declare that we are “oh, so ready?” We need to take another look in the direction of the Throne. When Isaiah saw the Lord on His lofty throne he did not shout out “oh how ready I am” rather he cried out: “Wow is me!” and only after that he was sent by Lord. This is the readiness we need, an encounter with the most High that will leave us “without strength” like Daniel; or “as a dead man at His feet” as John in Revelation; or an encounter that will set us off the horse like Saul. Every man God used first had an encounter with God that left them undone.


Our “undoneness” is the most accurate measure of our readiness.

What was the sacrifice that was “laid upon the altar”? Evan Roberts himself. He also said “I have reached out and touched the flame; I am burning and waiting for a sign” We can read all the books, and visit all the places, and be prayed for by every anointed preacher, yet until we are ready to surrender it avails for nothing, yet until we ourselves are burning no fire of revival will ever burn. Wesley said when asked about what he did to have revival: “I set myself on fire and people come to see me burning”.


Revival is not a side dish to the main meal of our plans. There is no way that we can have a “custom-made” revival. I have heard many people praying for a Welsh revival, or yet others pray for an American revival. Do not pray for a Welsh revival, rather pray for revival in Wales; not an American revival, pry for revival in America. Revival is not a controlled fire in the chimney to keep us comfortably warm while in the safety of our sheltered submission.

Many people are complaining and in many cases leaving their churches because -as they put it- the church has failed. Without entering into an argument now, I would say only that no church will ever go any further than its individuals. We have to admit that the church will never go deeper or higher than its individuals.

I brought up the above example because it is true also about revival. Revival will no go any deeper or spread any farther than individual commitment, and it will not touch people any more that it has touched us. No revival will revive my church more than I myself am revived.


The level of desire should match the level of surrendering. Evan Roberts experienced that submission that comes from knowing God so intimately that there is no room for self; that point where no strength is left and we can only go on if we depend totally on the Holy Spirit.

Revival is like a child: we cannot possibly conceive a baby just out of desire alone! A baby is conceived out of relationship. No matter how much you desire to have a baby if you do have an intimate relationship with your spouse all what you will get is an unfulfilled desire. It does not matter if you declare that you are going to have a baby, it is not going to happen by just declaring it. You can visit as many maternities as you wish, and see other’s babies, but you will not have one until you do what you have to do.


Any intent on tapping on God’s power without first knowing Him to the point of total submission, any intent to “move” God into bringing forth a revival without experiencing our wills submitted to His will hundred percent might actually verge on manipulation.

Revival will really come when enough people have surrendered; when enough people are crying “wow is me”; when enough people are on their faces literally melting their own will, and plans, and desires in God’s furnace.

Our nation will be revived when “My people” humble themselves. When “My people” are revived then the nation will be revived. “My people” is not some ethereal, undefined nebulae to which we belong. “My people” is you and me and all who form the church. Ergo, we can expect revival in the nation when the church in that nation has been revived, and the church will be revived when we individuals have died and been revived by the Power of His Holy Spirit.


Praying for Revival!


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Praying for Revival Must be Regular

Hi. Is it worth it to persevere in prayer? Well, read on please...


Meeting with the Holy Spirit, that is. Which on second thought then it was a two person meeting. Oh well, isn't that the kind of meeting where all heaven comes? I think the angels come to see what is going on when one person is pouring his or her heart before the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Paulette, in the middle of her loss (she had lost her husband and daughter in an accident caused by a drunk driver) would come, persistently, consistently, every morning to the tiny place they had for office. There was no comfort, no air conditioning. It was just the place many people would not consider coming to and much less spending time praying there. But because of this it was the most appropriate place to meet with the Holy Spirit knowing that hardly anybody would bother to come bother.

For years, this woman of God, met with her God. Every morning. For hours on. For years on.

When you drive into Porterville in Southern California, if you come from Route 99 on Olive Ave. you will see it on your left on a corner there stands this big sanctuary with the looks of a barn, built on purpose with that barn style because of the harvest the church is expecting. Right across the street, on your right you will see it. There stands the original small office where the church across the street was birthed. Those wooden walls are witnesses -oh if they could only speak!- of countless hours of deep intercession, and those floors absorbed the tears shed in those long hours of travailing for a move of God.

Landmark Christian Center is there to show that prayer is effective. It stands there not only as a testimony of the past prayers, but also as a living body that is affecting the community in many ways. And it also stands as an advanced witness to the future, shouting that revival is possible, that a harvest is expected because they have sowed their own lives into that hard soil.

Tommy Hick, the man that God used to spark the massive revival in Argentina in 1954, also prophesied that Porterville is the site of such massive revival in the now not far away future. There are people in Porterville that believe it. Pastor Blaylock and Landmark Christian Center are some of them who sowed their life into the vision.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Background to the 1904 Revival in Wales

Good morning. As we continue to pray for revival, we can be encouraged that in the past, God has answered the pleas of his people for spiritual renewal. One notable example of this is the revival in Wales a little over a century ago...

A century ago Wales experienced the last National Religious Revival, a revival that brought in an extra 100,000 new converts according to the estimates of the time, and a movement that quickly spread to the 4 corners of the World. Yet that great move of the Spirit had very small beginnings. Beginnings that didn’t always involve the great preachers of the day – erudite and educated as they were, but instead included, for instance a young teenager from New Quay, Cardigan – Florrie Evans – who in a youth meeting in February 1904 declared publicly that she loved the Lord Jesus with all her heart. With these words the Spirit seemed to fall on the meeting and the fire quickly spread to other young people in the Cardiganshire area.

In September of the same year, an Evangelist Seth Joshua was addressing a Convention which included these young people at Blaenanerch just 5 miles north of Cardigan. Seth himself had been praying for years that God would raise up a young man from the pits to revive the churches – little did he know that on Thursday September 29th 1904 his prayer was to be answered in a life changing experience for one 26 year old student, Evan Roberts.

For years Evan had been a faithful member of Moriah Calvinistic Methodist church at Loughor, he was a Sunday School Superintendent, a consciencious reader of the main theological works of his day, and more than that he had been praying for revival for over 11 years. Having been converted as a young teenager, he continued to pray regularly that God would visit again the nation in Revival Power. Determined to do his part, he felt compelled to go into the Calvinistic Methodist Ministry and on September 13th 1904 he became a pupil of the Newcastle Emlyn Grammar School to prepare for Trefecca Theological College

It was only 2½ weeks after arriving that he found himself at Blaenanerch – and at a crossroads in his spiritual experience. A spiritual experience which would lead him back to the young people of his own church Moriah Loughor where he shared his experience and encouraged them to be open to God’s Spirit. Within two weeks the Welsh Revival was national news and before long, Evan Roberts and his brother Dan and his best friend Sidney were traveling the country conducting Revival Meetings and they were meetings with a difference. Meetings which broke the conventional and bi-passed the traditional – often the ministers just sat down unable to preach or even to understand what storm had arrived in their usually sedate temples.

This was a Revival with youth on fire – young men, yes and women. After the first stirrings amongst the young women of New Quay, young women continued to play a part in the Revival work – young Florrie went on a team to North Wales with her friend Maud – others used their voices as instruments of God’s message and amongst the most well known was Annie Davies Maesteg who accpomanied Evan Roberts on his missions.

Yes a storm had hit the churches yet for so many it was a storm of love and power which completely transformed their lives.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Revival means to revive what was almost dead

Good Morning. Below is an article entitled, "What is Revival?" by C.H. Spurgeon...

THE word "revival" is as familiar in our mouths as a household word. We are constantly speaking about and praying for a "revival;" would it not be as well to know what we mean by it? Of the Samaritans our Lord said, "Ye worship ye know not what," let him not have to say to us, "Ye know not what ye ask." The word "revive" wears its meaning upon its forehead; it is from the Latin, and may be interpreted thus—to live again, to receive again a life which has almost expired; to rekindle into a flame the vital spark which was nearly extinguished.

When a person has been dragged out of a pond nearly drowned, the bystanders are afraid that he is dead, and are anxious to ascertain if life still lingers. The proper means are used to restore animation; the body is rubbed, stimulants are administered, and if by God's providence life still tarries in the poor clay, the rescued man opens his eyes, sits up, and speaks, and those around him rejoice that he has revived. A young girl is in a fainting fit, but after a while she returns to consciousness, and we say, "she revives." The flickering lamp of life in dying men suddenly flames up with unusual brightness at intervals, and those who are watching around the sick bed say of the patient, "he revives."

In these days, when the dead are not miraculously restored, we do not expect to see the revival of a person who is totally dead, and we could not speak of the re-vival of a thing which never lived before. It is clear that the, term "revival" can only be applied to a living soul, or to that which once lived. To be revived is a blessing which can only be enjoyed by those who have some degree of life. Those who have no spiritual life are not, and cannot be, in the strictest sense of the term, the subjects of a revival. Many blessings may come to the unconverted in consequence of a revival among Christians, but the revival itself has to do only with those who already possess spiritual life. There must be vitality in some degree before there can be a quickening of vitality, or, in other words, a revival.

A true revival is to be looked for in the church of God. Only in the river of gracious life can the pearl of revival be found. It has been said that a revival must begin with God's people; this is very true, but it is not all the truth, for the revival itself must end as well as begin there. The results of the revival will extend to the outside world, but the revival, strictly speaking, must be within the circle of life, and must therefore essentially be enjoyed by the possessors of vital godliness, and by them only. Is not this quite a different view of revival from that; which is common in society; but is it not manifestly the correct one?

It is a sorrowful fact that many who are spiritually alive greatly need reviving. It is sorrowful because it is a proof of the existence of much spiritual evil. A man in sound health with every part of his body in a vigorous condition does not need reviving. He requires daily sustenance, but reviving would be quite out of place. If he has not yet attained maturity growth will be most desirable, but a hale hearty young man wants no reviving, it would be thrown away upon him. Who thinks of reviving the noonday sun, the ocean at its flood, or the year at its prime? The tree planted by the rivers of water loaded with fruit needs not excite our anxiety for its revival, for its fruitfulness and beauty charm every one. Such should be the constant condition of the sons of God. Feeding and lying down in green pastures and led by the still waters they ought not always to be crying, "my leanness, my leanness, woe unto me." Sustained by gracious promises and enriched out of the fullness which God has treasured up in his dear Son, their souls should prosper and be in health, and their piety ought to need no reviving. They should aspire to a higher blessing, a richer mercy, than a mere revival. They have the nether springs already; they should earnestly cover the upper springs. They should be asking for growth in grace, for increase of strength, for greater success; they should have out-climbed and out-soared the period in which they need to be constantly crying, "Wilt thou not revive us again?"

For a church to be constantly needing revival is the indication of much sin, for if it were sound before the Lord it would remain in the condition into which a revival would uplift its members. A church should be a camp of soldiers, not an hospital of invalids. But there is exceedingly much difference between what ought be and what is, and consequently many of God's people are in so sad a state that the very fittest prayer for them is for revival. Some Christians are, spiritually, but barely alive. When a man has been let down into a vat or into a well full of bad air, yea do not wonder when he is drawn up again that he is half-dead, and urgently requires to be revived. Some Christians—to their shame be it spoken!—descend into such worldly company, not upon such unhallowed principles, and become so carnal, that when they are drawn up by God's grace from their backsliding position they want reviving, and even need that their spiritual breath should as it were be breathed into their nostrils afresh by God's Spirit.

When a man starves himself, continuing for a long time without food, when he is day after day without a morsel of bread between his lips, we do not marvel that the surgeon, finding him in extremities, says, "This man has weakened his system, he is too low, and wants reviving." Of course he does, for he has brought himself by low diet into a state of weakness. Are there not hundreds of Christians—shame that it should be so!—who live day after day without feeding upon Bible truth? shall it be added without real spiritual communion with God? they do not even attend the week-night services, and they are indifferent hearers on the Lord's day. Is it remarkable that they want reviving? Is not the fact that they do so greatly need it most dishonorable to themselves and distressing to their truly spiritual brethren?

There is, a condition of mind which is even more sad than either of the two above mentioned; it is a thorough, gradual, but certain decline of all the spiritual powers. Look at that consumptive man whose lungs are decaying, and in whom the vital energy is ebbing; it is painful to see the faintness which suffuses him after exertion, and the general languor which overspreads his weakened frame. Far more sad to the spiritual eye is the spectacle presented by spiritual consumptives who in some quarters meet us on all hands. The eye of faith is dim and overcast, and seldom flashes with holy joy; the spiritual countenance is hollow and sunken with doubts and fears; the tongue of praise is partially paralyzed, and has little to say for Jesus; the spiritual frame is lethargic, and its movements are far from vigorous; the man is not anxious to be doing anything for Christ; a horrible numbness, a dreadful insensibility has come over him; he is in soul like a sluggard in the dog-days, who finds it hard labor to lie in bed and brush away the flies from his face.

If these spiritual consumptives hate sin they do it so weakly that one might fear that they loved it still. If they love Jesus, it is so coldly that it is a point of question whether they love at all. If they sing Jehovah's praises it is very sadly, as if hallelujahs were dirges. If they mourn for sin it is only with half-broken hearts, and their grief is shallow and unpractical. If they hear the Word of God they are never stirred by it; enthusiasm is an unknown luxury. If they come across a precious truth they perceive nothing particular in it, any more than the cock in the fable, in the jewel which he found in the farmyard. They throw themselves back upon the enchanted couch of sloth, and while they are covered with rags they dream of riches and great increase of goods. It is a sad, sad thing when Christians fall into this state; then indeed they need reviving, and they must have it, for "the whole head is sick and the whole heart faint." Every lover of souls should intercede for declining professors that the visitations of God may restore them; that the Sun of righteousness may arise upon them with healing beneath his wings.

When revival comes to a people who are in the state thus briefly described, it simply brings them to the condition in which they ought always to have been; it quickens them, gives them new life, stirs the coals of the expiring fire, and puts heavenly breath into the languid lungs. The sickly soul which before was insensible, weak, and sorrowful, grows earnest, vigorous, and happy in the Lord. This is the immediate fruit of revival, and it becomes all of us who are believers to seek this blessing for backsliders, and for ourselves if we are declining in grace.

If revival is confined to living men we may further notice that it must result from the proclamation and the receiving of living truth. We speak of "vital godliness," and vital godliness must subsist upon vital truth. Vital godliness is not revived in Christians by mere excitement, by crowded meetings, by the stamping of the foot, or the knocking of the pulpit cushion, or the delirious bawlings of ignorant zeal; these are the stock in trade of revivals among dead souls, but to revive living saints other means are needed. Intense excitement may produce a revival of the animal, but how can it operate upon the spiritual, for the spiritual demands other food than that which stews in the fleshpots of mere carnal enthusiasm. The Holy Ghost must come into the living heart through living truth, and so bring nutriment and stimulant to the pining spirit, for so only can it be revived.

This, then, leads us to the conclusion that if we are to obtain a revival we must go directly to the Holy Ghost for it, and not resort to the machinery of the professional revival-maker. The true vital spark of heavenly flame comes from the Holy Ghost, and the priests of the Lord must beware of strange fire. There is no spiritual vitality in anything except as the Holy Spirit is all in all in the work; and if our vitality has fallen near to zero, we can only have it renewed by him who first kindled it in us. We must go to the cross and look up to the dying Savior, and expect that the Holy Spirit will renew our faith and quicken all our graces. We must feed anew by faith upon the flesh and blood of the Lord Jesus, and so the Holy Ghost will recruit our strength and give us a revival. When men in India sicken in the plains, they climb the hills and breathe the more bracing air of the upper regions; we need to get nearer to God, and to bathe ourselves in heaven, and revived piety will be the sure result.

When a minister obtains this revival he preaches very differently from his former manner. It is very hard work to preach when the head aches and when the body is languid, but it is a much harder task when the soul is unfeeling and lifeless. It is sad, sad work—painfully, dolorously, horribly sad, but saddest of all if we do not feel it to be sad, if we can go on preaching and remain careless concerning the truths we preach, indifferent as to whether men are saved or lost! May God deliver every minister from abiding in such a state! Can there be a more wretched object than a man who preaches in God's name truths which he does not feel, and which he is conscious have never impressed his own heart? To be a mere sign-post, pointing out the road but never moving in it, is a lot against which every tame heart may plead night and day.

Should this revival be granted to deacons and elders what different men it would make of them! Lifeless, lukewarm church officers are of no more value to a church, than a crew of sailors would be to a vessel if they were all fainting and if in their berths when they were wanted to hoist the sails or lower the boats. Church officers who need reviving must be fearful dead weights upon a Christian community. It is incumbent upon all Christians to be thoroughly awake to the interests of Zion, but upon the leaders most of all. Special supplication should be made for beloved brethren in office that they may be full of the Holy Ghost.

Workers in the Sunday-schools, tract distributors, and other laborers for Christ, what different people they become when grace is vigorous from what they are when their life flickers in the socket! Like sickly vegetation in a cellar, all blanched and unhealthy, are workers who have little grace; like willows by the water-courses, like grease with reeds and rushes in well-watered valleys, are the servants of God who live in his presence. It is no wonder that our Lord said, "Because thou art neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth," for when the earnest Christian's heart is full of fire it is sickening to talk with lukewarm people.

Have not warm-hearted lovers of Jesus felt when they have been discouraged by doubtful sluggish people, who could see a lion in the way, as if they could put on express speed and run over them? Every earnest minister has known times when he has felt cold hearts to be as intolerable as the drones in the hive are to the working bees. Careless professors are as much out of place as snow in harvest among truly living Christians. As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes are these sluggards. As well be bound to a dead body as forced into union with lifeless professors; they are a burden, a plague, and an abomination.

You turn to one of these cold brethren after a graciously earnest prayer-meeting, and say with holy joy, "What a delightful meeting we have had!" "Yes," he says carelessly and deliberately, as if it were an effort to say so much, "there was a good number of people." How his frostbitten words grate on one's ear! You ask yourself, "Where has the man been? Is he not conscious that the Holy Ghost has been with us?" Does not our Lord speak of these people as being cast out of his mouth, just because he himself is altogether in earnest, and consequently, when he meets with lukewarm people he will not endure them? He says, "I would thou wert cold or hot," either utterly averse to good or in earnest concerning it. It is easy to see his meaning. If you heard an ungodly man blaspheme after an earnest meeting, you would lament it, but you would feel that from such a man it was not a thing to make you vexed, for he has only spoken after his kind, but when you meet with a child of God who is lukewarm, how can you stand that? It is sickening, and makes the inmost spirit feel the horrors of mental nausea.

While a true revival in its essence belongs only to God's people, it always brings with it a blessing for the other sheep who are not yet of the fold. If you drop a stone into a lake the ring widens continually, till the farthest corner of the lake feels the influence. Let the Lord revive a believer and very soon his family, his friends, his neighbors, receive a share of the benefit; for when a Christian is revived, he prays more fervently for sinners. Longing, loving prayer for sinners, is one of the marks of a revival in the renewed heart. Since the blessing is asked for sinners, the blessing comes from him who hears the prayers of his people; and thus the world gains by revival. Soon the revived Christian speaks concerning Jesus and the gospel; he sows good seed, and God's good seed is never lost, for he has said, "It shall not return unto me void." The good seed is sown in the furrows, and in some sinners' hearts God prepares the soil, so that the seed springs up in a glorious harvest. Thus by the zealous conversation of believers another door of mercy opens to men.

When Christians are revived they live more consistently, they make their homes more holy and more happy, and this leads the ungodly to envy them, and to enquire after their secret. Sinners by God's grace long to be like such cheerful happy saints; their mouths water to feast with them upon their hidden manna, and this is another blessing, for it leads men to seek the Savior. If an ungodly man steps into a congregation where all the saints are revived he does not go to sleep under the sermon. The minister will not let him do that, for the hearer perceives that the preacher feels what he is preaching, and has a right to be heard. This is a clear gain, for now the man listens with deep emotion; and above all, the Holy Spirit's power, which the preacher has received in answer to prayer comes upon the hearer's mind; he is convinced of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come, and Christians who are on the watch around him hasten to tell him of the Savior, and point him to the redeeming blood, so that though the revival, strictly speaking, is with the people of God, yet the result of it no man can limit.

Brethren, let us seek a revival during the present month, that the year may close with showers of blessing, and that the new year may open with abundant benediction. Let us pledge ourselves to form a prayer-union, a sacred band of suppliants, and may God do unto us according to our faith.

"Father, for thy promised blessing,
Still we plead before thy throne;
For the time of sweet refreshing
Which can come from thee alone.
"Blessed earnests thou hast given,
But in these we would not rest,
Blessings still with thee are hidden,
Pour them forth, and make us blest.

"Wake thy siren bering children, wake them,
Bid them to thy harvest go;
Blessings, O our Father, make them;
Round their steps let blessing flow.

"Let no hamlet be forgotten,
Let thy showers on all descend;
That in one loud blessed anthem,
Myriads may in triumph blend."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

BreakPoint Thanksgiving Message

The Bounty and Goodness of Our God
A Thanksgiving Story

November 22, 2007

It has become the worst drought in the history of the Southeast. The ground is parched; crops are dying. And last week, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue decided to do something about it. He urged Georgians to pray for desperately needed rain.

Despite much ridicule and some protest, last week, Gov. Perdue led a prayer vigil on the steps of the State Capitol. Praying along with him were pastors from several denominations and hundreds of Georgians.

Gov. Perdue may not have realized it, but he was following in the steps of our Pilgrim fathers and mothers nearly 400 years ago: Joining together with neighbors for prayer was a familiar ritual for the Pilgrims. For example, in April of 1623—three years after the first Pilgrims landed—the transplanted Englishmen and women planted corn and other crops. A good harvest was essential to their survival. But in the weeks following the planting, it became clear that a dry spell was turning into a drought.

Pilgrim father Edward Winslow recorded their distress in his diary. "It pleased God, for our further chastisement," he wrote, "to send a great drought; insomuch as in six weeks . . . there scarce fell any rain." The crops began to shrivel up "as though they had been scorched before the fire . . . God," Winslow wrote, "which hitherto had been our only shield and supporter, now seemed in His anger to arm Himself against us. And who can withstand the fierceness of His wrath?"

The Pilgrims decided the only solution was to humble themselves before God in fasting and in prayer. They appointed a day of prayer and set aside all other employments.

Winslow describes what happened next. "In the morning," he wrote, "when we assembled together, the heavens were as clear, and the drought as like to continue as it ever was." But by late afternoon—after eight or nine hours of prayer—"the weather was overcast, the clouds gathered on all sides," Winslow wrote. The next morning brought "soft, sweet and moderate shows of rain, continuing some fourteen days." The needed rain was "mixed with such seasonable weather," he wrote, "as it was hard to say whether our withered corn or drooping affections were most quickened or revived, such was the bounty and goodness of our God."

This dramatic answer to prayer was a witness to the local Indians. As Winslow notes, "The Indians . . . took notice . . . all of them admired the goodness of our God towards us, that wrought so great a change in so short of time, showing the difference between their conjuration and our invocation on the name of God for rain."

The harvest that fall was abundant—and the Pilgrims survived yet another year.

Today is Thanksgiving—the day on which we recall the three-day celebration in 1621 in which the Pilgrims invited local Indians to join them in thanking God for His blessings on them—not, as some school children are taught today in class, giving thanks to Indians. And Americans ever since have been celebrating this, an occasion recognized and enshrined by Congress. We ought to take time to thank God for His manifold blessings on us today.

By the way, the day after Governor Perdue prayed on the Capitol steps, rains swept the state—nearly an inch in places. But the drought has continued. So, as we give thanks today, let's remember those in the drought-stricken Southeast and ask the Giver of all good gifts to bless the land with rain.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

PeaceMakers on Thanksgiving

Give thanks... for CONFLICT???

As usual, Paul [in Philippians 4:2-9] urges us to be God-centered in our approach to conflict. Moreover, he wants us to be joyfully God-centered. Realizing we may skip over this point, Paul repeats it: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" What on earth is there to rejoice about when you are involved in a dispute? If you open your eyes and think about God's lavish goodness to you, here is the kind of worship you could offer to him, even in the midst of the worst conflict!
O Lord, you are so amazingly good to me! You sent your only Son to die for my sins, including those I have committed in this conflict. Because of Jesus I am forgiven, and my name is written in the Book of Life! You do not treat me as I deserve, but you are patient, kind, gentle, and forgiving with me. Please help me to do the same to others.

In your great mercy, you are also kind to my opponent. Although he has wronged me repeatedly, you hold out your forgiveness to him as you do to me. Even if he and I never reconcile in this life, which I still hope we will, you have already done the work to reconcile us forever in heaven. This conflict is so insignificant compared to the wonderful hope we have in you!

This conflict is so small compared to the many other things you are watching over at this moment, yet you still want to walk beside me as I seek to resolve it. Why would you stoop down to pay such attention to me? It is too wonderful for me to understand. You are extravagant in your gifts to me. You offer me the comfort of your Spirit, the wisdom of your Word, and the support of your church. Forgive me for neglecting these powerful treasures until now, and help me to use them to please and honor you.

I rejoice that these same resources are available to my opponent. Please enable us to draw on them together so that we see our own sins, remember the gospel, find common ground in the light of your truth, come to one mind with you and each other, and restore peace and unity between us.

Finally, Lord, I rejoice that this conflict has not happened by accident. You are sovereign and good, so I know that you are working through this situation for your glory and my good. No matter what my opponent does, you are working to conform me to the likeness of your Son. Please help me cooperate with you in every possible way and give you glory for what you have done and are doing.

Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 84-85

Food for Thought

When you are gathered around the Thanksgiving dinner table this week, instead of giving thanks in spite of the present conflicts in your life...give thanks for those conflicts! Pray the above prayer, substituting the names of those from whom you are estranged each time the prayer reads, "my opponent". Does this change your view of the conflict? Of God's role in it? Of your opponent? Of what it means to give thanks?

Resources To Help You Respond to Conflict Biblically

Are you struggling with conflict in your family? If so, then Peacemaking for Families was written for you. This book introduces the basic principles of biblical peacemaking and directly applies those principles to marriage, parenting, and other relationships in the extended family. Peacemaking for Families will thoroughly bless you, challenge you, and help transform your home from a battlefield to a place of peace. You can order it through our online bookstore or by calling our Resource line at 800-711-7118.

PeaceMeal is a weekly e-publication of Peacemaker Ministries ( All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Story of Evan Roberts

Below is the story of Evan Roberts...

The story of Evan Roberts and the Welsh Revival of 1904-5 is the most thrilling, but also the most sad and sobering in all revival history. On the one hand we see one hundred thousand souls in Wales coming to Christ in just nine months, from November 1904 to August 1905. This was the beginning of a world-wide revival that ushered hundreds of thousands more into the Kingdom of God. On the other hand, we see Evan Roberts, the principle revivalist of this move of God, becoming deceived, deluded and finally suffering a nervous breakdown which took him out of the public limelight to live the life of a recluse. Furthermore, the fruits of the revival in Wales (but not world-wide) were soon lost through criticism, fears of deception and a Welsh theology which suppressed the assurance of salvation. Within a generation there were no signs that a revival had ever occurred. Surely there are some important lessons for 21st Century Christians to learn here?

Evan Roberts was born and raised in a Welsh Calvinist Methodist family in Loughor, on the Glamorgan and Carmarthenshire border. As a boy he was unusually serious and very diligent in his Christian life. He memorised verses of the Bible and was a daily attender of Moriah Chapel, a church about a mile from his home. Even at 13 years of age he began to develop a heart for a visitation from God. He later wrote “I said to myself: I will have the Spirit. And through all weathers and in spite of all difficulties I went to the meetings… for ten or eleven years I have prayed for revival. I could sit up all night to read or talk about revivals. It was the Spirit who moved me to think about revival.”

After working in the coal mines and then as a smithy, he entered a preparatory college at Newcastle Emlyn, as a candidate for the ministry. It was 1903 and he was 25 years old.

It was at this time that he sought the Lord for more of His Spirit. He believed that he would be baptised in the Holy Spirit and sometimes his bed shook as his prayers were answered. The Lord began to wake him at 1.00 am for divine fellowship, when he would pray for four hours, returning to bed at 5.00 am for another four hours sleep.

He visited a meeting where Seth Joshua was preaching and heard the evangelist pray “Lord, bend us”. The Holy Spirit said to Evan, “That’s what you need”. At the following meeting Evan experienced a powerful filling with the Holy Spirit. “I felt a living power pervading my bosom. It took my breath away and my legs trembled exceedingly. This living power became stronger and stronger as each one prayed, until I felt it would tear me apart. My whole bosom was a turmoil and if I had not prayed it would have burst…. I fell on my knees with my arms over the seat in front of me. My face was bathed in perspiration, and the tears flowed in streams. I cried out “Bend me, bend me!!” It was God’s commending love which bent me… what a wave of peace flooded my bosom…. I was filled with compassion for those who must bend at the judgement, and I wept. Following that, the salvation of the human soul was solemnly impressed on me. I felt ablaze with the desire to go through the length and breadth of Wales to tell of the saviour”.

Needless to say, his studies began to take second place! He began praying for a hundred thousand souls and had two visions which encouraged him to believe it would happen. He saw a lighted candle and behind it the rising sun. He felt the interpretation was that the present blessings were only as a lighted candle compared with the blazing glory of the sun. Later all Wales would be flooded with revival glory.

The other vision occurred when Evan saw his close friend Sydney Evans staring at the moon. Evan asked what he was looking at and, to his great surprise, he saw it too! It was an arm that seemed to be outstretched from the moon down to Wales. He was in no doubt that revival was on its way.

He then felt led to return to his home town and conduct meetings with the young people of Loughor. With permission from the minister, he began the meetings, encouraging prayer for the outpouring of the Spirit on Moriah. The meetings slowly increased in numbers and powerful waves of intercession swept over those gathered.

During those meetings the Holy Spirit gave Evan four requirements that were later to be used throughout the coming revival:

1. Confession of all known sin
2. Repentance and restitution
3. Obedience and surrender to the Holy Spirit
4. Public confession of Christ

The Spirit began to be outpoured. There was weeping, shouting, crying out, joy and brokeness. Some would shout out, “No more, Lord Jesus, or I’ll die”. This was the beginning of the Welsh Revival.

The meetings then moved to wherever Evan felt led to go. Those travelling with him were predominately female and the young girls would often begin meetings with intense intercession, urging surrender to God and by giving testimony. Evan would often be seen on his knees pleading for God’s mercy, with tears. The crowds would come and be moved upon by wave after wave of the Spirit’s presence. Spontaneous prayer, confession, testimony and song erupted in all the meetings. Evan, or his helpers , would approach those in spiritual distress and urge them to surrender to Christ. No musical instruments were played and, often, there would be no preaching. Yet the crowds continued to come and thousands professed conversion.

The meetings often went on until the early hours of the morning. Evan and his team would go home, sleep for 2–3 hours and be back at the pit-head by 5 am, urging the miners coming off night duty to come to chapel meetings.

The revival spread like wildfire all over Wales. Other leaders also experienced the presence of God. Hundreds of overseas visitors flocked to Wales to witness the revival and many took revival fire back to their own land. But the intense presence began to take its toll on Evan. He became nervous and would sometimes be abrupt or rude to people in public meetings. He openly rebuked leaders and congregations alike.

Though he was clearly exercising spiritual gifts and was sensitive to the Holy Spirit , he became unsure of the “voices” he was hearing. The he broke down and withdrew from public meetings. Accusation and criticism followed and further physical and emotional breakdown ensued.

Understandably, converts were confused. Was this God? Was Evan Roberts God’s man or was he satanically motivated? He fell into a deep depression and in the spring of 1906 he was invited to convalesce at Jessie Penn-Lewis’ home at Woodlands in Leicester.

It is claimed that Mrs Penn Lewis used Evan’s name to propagate her own ministry and message. She supposedly convinced him he was deceived by evil spirits and, over the next few years co-authorised with Evan “War on the Saints”, which was published in 1913. This book clearly delineates the confusion she had drawn Evan into. It left its readers totally wary of any spiritual phenomena of any kind or degree. Rather than giving clear guidelines regarding discerning satanic powers, it brought into question anything that may be considered, or that might be described, as Holy Spirit activity. Within a year of its publication, Evan Roberts denounced it, telling friends that it had been a failed weapon which had confused and divided the Lord’s people.

Evan stayed at the Penn-Lewis’ home for eight years, giving himself to intercession and private group counselling. Around 1920 Evan moved to Brighton and lived alone until he returned to his beloved Wales, when his father fell ill in 1926. He began to visit Wales again and eventually moved there in 1928 when his father died.

Nothing much is known of the years that followed. Evan finally died at the age of 72 and was buried behind Moriah Chapel on Jan 29th 1951.

May his life be both an example and a warning to all those who participate in revival to maintain humility; keep submissive to the Spirit; be accountable to godly men and women; remain true to their calling; use the gifts God has given, but be wise in the stewardship of their body.

Bibliography An Instrument of Revival, Brynmor Pierce-Jones 1995, published by Bridge Publishing (ISBN 0-88270-667-5)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What can prayer do?

The scope of prayer

Through prayer there is no problem that can't be solved,
no sickness that can't be healed, no burden that can't be lifted,
no storm that can't be weathered,
no devastation that can't be relieved,
no sorrow that can't be erased,
no poverty cycle that can't be broken,
no sinner that can't be saved,
no perishing that can't be rescued,
no fallen that can't be lifted,
no hurt that can't be removed,
no broken relationship that can't be mended,
no difference that can't be resolved,
no hindrance that can't be shaken,
no limitation that can't be overcome,
no mourning that can't be comforted,
no ashes that can't be that can't become beauty,
no heaviness that can't be covered with the garment of praise,
no thirst that can't be quenched, no hunger that can't be filled,
no dry ground that can't be flooded,
no desert that can't blossom,
no congregation that can't be revived,
no preacher that can't be anointed,
no church pews that can't be filled,
no church leadership team that can't become 'one,'
no community that can't be Christianised and
no nation that can't be transformed.

Anon. Cure of all Ills, Mary Stewart Relfe p.5

Thus, we should keep praying for revival


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We Can Pray Now or Have a Rude Awakening!

What will it take for us to wake up to the fact that the lack of prayer in our churches will eventually explode in our faces?

"Of deep concern is the eroding spirit of prayer. Without a spirit of prayer in our churches, there is little hope for the future of our nation. Leonard Ravenhill said, ‘If weak in prayer, we are weak everywhere.’ A lack of prayer among God’s people in God’s house is undoubtedly a ‘structured deficiency.’ Will it take some sort of collapse to wake us up?”

- Byron Paulus in Revival Report (Fall 2007)

Praying for revival


Friday, November 09, 2007

Spurgeon on walking with Jesus

Here is this morning's excerpt from Charles Spurgeon Daily Devotion. What a beautiful reminder of what it means to be a Christ-follower.

Morning, November 9

So walk ye in him.”

Colossians 2:6

If we have received Christ himself in our inmost hearts, our new life will manifest its intimate acquaintance with him by a walk of faith in him.

Walking implies action.

Our religion is not to be confined to our closet; we must carry out into practical effect that which we believe. If a man walks in Christ, then he so acts as Christ would act; for Christ being in him, his hope, his love, his joy, his life, he is the reflex of the image of Jesus; and men say of that man, “He is like his Master; he lives like Jesus Christ.”

Walking signifies progress.

So walk ye in him”; proceed from grace to grace, run forward until you reach the uttermost degree of knowledge that a man can attain concerning our Beloved.

Walking implies continuance.

There must be a perpetual abiding in Christ. How many Christians think that in the morning and evening they ought to come into the company of Jesus, and may then give their hearts to the world all the day: but this is poor living; we should always be with him, treading in his steps and doing his will.

Walking also implies habit.

When we speak of a man’s walk and conversation, we mean his habits, the constant tenor of his life. Now, if we sometimes enjoy Christ, and then forget him; sometimes call him ours, and anon lose our hold, that is not a habit; we do not walk in him. We must keep to him, cling to him, never let him go, but live and have our being in him.

As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him”; persevere in the same way in which ye have begun, and, as at the first Christ Jesus was the trust of your faith, the source of your life, the principle of your action, and the joy of your spirit, so let him be the same till life’s end; the same when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and enter into the joy and the rest which remain for the people of God. O Holy Spirit, enable us to obey this heavenly precept.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Back to E.M. Bounds

E.M. Bounds reminds us that prayer is not always easy, but it is absolutely necessary...

"Many persons believe in the efficacy of prayer, but not many pray. Prayer is the easiest and hardest of all things; the simplest and sublimest; the weakest and the most powerful."

- E. M. Bounds in Purpose in Prayer

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Cry For Revival (Part 3)

Good Morning. Here is the last and final segment of the article: "The Cry for Revival"


Of course, none of this is new. It has happened before. But it has not happened to us in our generation. There have been scores of ‘revivals’ throughout history when God looked down from heaven at an ailing church and depraved world and decided that things had to change. He changed people and nations through love and power, sometimes dramatically but always beneficially. He usually came in particular seasons in response to certain principles. These are questions we have to ask, “Can we have revival today? Will these principles work for us? Is it possible for us to prepare for a visitation of God in our nation? Can we (Jamaica) see a re-vitalisation of our church and a healing of our nation?”

In this column we will take an in-depth look at these past revivals, alongside contemporary movements, in an effort to answer these questions. We will examine a number of men and movements to see how God worked powerfully through ordinary people like you and I. Their stories will inspire our faith and encourage our prayers. We will see what actually happens when God comes in power. We will look at some of these principles which seem to attract His almighty presence. We will learn to discern what true revival is and see some of the hindrances to revival.

Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing… (Joel 2:14)

Tony Cauchi
April 2006

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Cry For Revival (Part 2)

Is revival coming? Millions are praying that it well...


Is it any wonder than that a fresh excitement is spreading through the rank and file of Western Christendom? In contrast we have experienced decades of decline, emptying churches, the abandonment of precious values and standards and the steady secularisation of society. The results have been catastrophic: increasing crime and violence, the breakdown of the family, a selfish consumerism and a philosophy of despair, to name but a few issues.

But news continues to flood in of massive changes taking place. Lives are being transformed by the power of the ‘old Gospel’ message. Churches are being filled again. Christians are experiencing God in dramatic ways. Unchurched people are being drawn to God and finding forgiveness, cleansing, release and a new beginning in the Christian family. God is on the move again, in our times. Whole regions, even entire nations, have benefited by the transformation that God has delivered.

The Western Christians’ response has been “Lord, what you have done in other nations, do here, amongst us.” The cry for ‘revival’ is everywhere. ‘Revival’ refers to the revitalisation of the existing church and the supernatural conversion of multitudes to Christ. There are Global Prayer Days, National Prayer Days with auditoriums filled with thousands of intercessors for times of prayer. There is a growing global movement to get pastors from across entire cities mobilised in unity and ‘agreement prayer.’

Public Prayer Walks are now organised in almost every major nation of the world. There are hundreds of thousands of believers who are adopting prayer retreats, prayer vigils, for set periods of time, some with fasting. These mass movements of corporate prayer meet, sometimes early in the morning, sometimes late into the night, on purposely purchased mountains, in arenas, halls and houses all over the world.

Missiologist David Barrett estimated in 1997 that 170 million Christians were committed to praying every day for revival and evangelization, with 20 million claiming that this was their primary calling as Christians. Ten million prayer groups make revival prayer one of their primary agenda, he claims, and hundreds of prayer networks are committed to mobilizing such prayer within denominations, within cities, and within whole nations.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The War Involved in a Revival

J. Edwin Orr said that "Revival is war between the Spirit and the Devil"

It has been a long time since a large scale revival has been in America. Is the devil getting the upper hand?

Brothers and sisters, let us pray that the Holy Spirit will send revival!


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Chuck Colson on Halloween

Chuck Colson had a good take on Halloween on his daily BreakPoint segment (

Honoring the Witnesses
All Saints' Day

October 31, 2007

It is Halloween again, and to be frank, I really don't look forward to talking about it on "BreakPoint" every year. At best, Halloween has become an excuse to ask total strangers for candy. At worst, it is a celebration of the mindless paganism our ancestors wisely turned their backs on.

So this year, I would like to turn your attention to the often-overlooked celebration that Halloween calls to mind. In case you have missed it before, the name Halloween is a shortening of All Hallow's Eve and signifies the night before All Saints' Day.

For centuries on All Saints' Day the Church celebrated the lives of Christians who went before us. And rightly so: We can learn so much from those whom the author of Hebrews calls that great cloud of witnesses.

The tradition of remembering the Church triumphant dates back to the time of the first Christian martyrs. When soldiers of Marcus Aurelius Verus came to arrest Polycarp, a beloved church leader, Polycarp greeted them kindly. According to the third century historian Eusebius, Polycarp "ordered a table to be laid for them immediately, invited them to eat as much as they liked, asking in return a single hour in which he could pray."

When Polycarp later stood in the coliseum, accused and surrounded by the jeering crowds, the governor pressed him to recant his faith. Instead, this man, who himself had been discipled by the Apostle John, said this: "For eighty-six years, I have been [Christ's] servant, and He has never done me wrong: How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?" As they were preparing to burn him alive, Polycarp offered up prayers of faith and praise.

In the years following Polycarp's death, Christians would gather annually to take communion beside his grave. There they would remember his brave witness and take courage from his example.

As the years passed, the day shifted in focus from remembering Polycarp to honoring all martyrs. By the seventh century, the Church created a holiday to honor all of God's saints—heroes of the faith.

One of my favorite heroes was a woman named Monica, who lived during the fourth century. She would never face flames or jeering crowds, as did Polycarp, but she did face testing. That testing came in the form of her own longing for the return of her prodigal son, Augustine. His licentious lifestyle made this Christian mother weep. Later, when Augustine, who is now known as one of the foremost theologians of Christianity and scholars of Western civilization, did come to Christ, he wrote this prayer: "My mother, Your faithful servant, wept to You for me, shedding more tears for my spiritual death than others shed for the bodily death of a son. You heard her."

I could tell you story after story like this, from Justin Martyr to Martin Luther to Amy Carmichael. But let me encourage you to do something this All Saints' Day. Take the lead in your church to honor the great saints who set examples for us. Reacquaint your children with Halloween's Christian origins. Research together and talk about the lives of Christian heroes.

Sure, go ahead and let the kids dress up like Batman and hit up your neighbors for candy. But when the hoopla of modern Halloween is over, encourage your kids to imitate some real heroes—not in what they put on, but in how they live their lives.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Cry For Revival (Part 1)

How fast is the Good News about Jesus spreading around the world? Well, by the tens of thousands, the Kingdom of God is growing everyday...


The 21st century is a very exciting time for Christians to be alive! The worldwide church has seen greater advance and growth than at any other time since the days of the apostles. For example, one hundred years ago Africa was less than 5 percent Christian but now it is approaching 50 percent. Similarly, China had only about 5 million believers when communism took control of the country but now estimates range from between 50 to 150 million believers. Reliable researchers l estimate that between 25,000 and 35,000 are coming to Christ every day in China.

The same story can be told of South America. I recently attended a church of over 250,000 members in Bogotá, Columbia, a nation formerly known only for its violence and drug trafficking. Across the oceans Korea is host to six of the fifteen largest churches in the world, one in Seoul numbering a staggering 773,000 members! Around thirty percent of the population in Seoul profess to follow Christ.

This explosive growth of the worldwide church must be the most underreported fact of our times! It sounds fantastic but is being corroborated by research done by such prestigious institutions as Fuller Theological Seminary, Overseas Missionary Fellowship and a variety of denominational mission organizations around the world.

Even less reported are the extraordinary miracles that have occurred and which are claimed to be the real cause of this amazing growth phenomena. Stories of personal experiences of God, visions of Jesus Christ, supernatural encounters, physical healings and freedom from dark powers abound.

Jim Rutz, the author of the well known book 'Megashift' claims that his research reveals that “by tomorrow, there will be 175,000 more Christians than there are today, in 238 nations around the world.” Jim says, “The Lord is working quietly, continually, and spectacularly.” He claims that God has brought people back from the dead in 52 countries, mostly in the last 10 years. All documented – many through people he personally knows. “Scores of cities plagued with crime and poverty are being transformed. Millions of miracles are happening through ordinary people,” he says.

He is not the only optimistic one. In 2000 German Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, meeting in Lagos, Nigeria, registered 3,400,000 decisions for Christ of the six million that attended. Campus Crusade for Christ estimates we’ll see a billion new converts in the next 10 years. Such is the exponential growth of the universal Christian community.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Before the Great Awakening

Good Morning.

Wow, is America ready for a revival? Yes. The conditions are similar to the era before the Great Awakening. But the question is: "Are we praying for revival?"

Before the Great Awakening - J. Edwin Orr

Not many people realize that in the wake of the American Revolution there was a moral slump. Drunkenness became epidemic. Out of a population of five million, 300,000 were confirmed drunkards: they were burying fifteen thousand of them each year. Profanity was of the most shocking kind. For the first time in the history of the American settlement, women were afraid to go out at night for fear of assault. Bank robberies were a daily occurrence.

What about the churches? The Methodists were losing more members than they were gaining. The Baptists said that they had their most wintry season. The Presbyterians in general assembly deplored the nation’s ungodliness. In a typical Congregational church, the Rev. Samuel Shepherd of Lennox, Massachusetts in sixteen years had not taken one young person into fellowship. The Lutherans were so languishing that they discussed uniting with Episcopalians who were even worse off. The Protestant Episcopal Bishop of New York, Bishop Samuel Proovost, quit functioning: he had confirmed no one for so long that he decided he was out of work, so he took up other employment. The Chief Justice of the United States, John Marshall, wrote to the Bishop of Virginia, James Madison, that the Church “was too far gone ever to be redeemed.” Voltaire averred, and Tom Paine echoed, “Christianity will be forgotten in thirty years.”

Take the liberal arts colleges at that time. A poll taken at Harvard had discovered not one believer in the whole of the student body. They took a poll at Princeton, a much more evangelical place: they discovered only two believers in the student body, and only five that did not belong to the filthy speech movement of that day. Students rioted. They held a mock communion at Williams College; and they put on anti-Christian plays at Dartmouth. They burned down the Nassau Hall at Princeton. They forced the resignation of the president of Harvard. They took a Bible out of a local Presbyterian church in New Jersey, and burned it in a public bonfire. Christians were so few on campus in the 1790s that they met in secret, like a communist cell, and kept their minutes in code so that no one would know.

In case this is thought to be the hysteria of the moment, Kenneth Scott Latourette, the great church historian, wrote: “It seemed as if Christianity were about to be ushered out of the affairs of men.” The churches had their backs to the wall, seeming as if they were about to be wiped out.

How did the situation change? It came through a concert of prayer.

J. Edwin Orr, The Role of Prayer in Spiritual Awakening.