Cry For Revival
The great need today is a general and prevailing revival. What then must we do? Pray. Take up the Psalmist’s prayer, "Revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in Thee" (Ps. 85:6). Take up Ezekiel’s prayer, "Come from the four winds. O breath, and breath upon these slain that they might live" (Ezk 37:9).
Will we not pray and pray and pray until the Spirit comes, and God revives His people?
Herein are some examples to the power of prayer when prayed in faith and wrought by the Spirit of God.
In 1830, a most remarkable display of God’s reviving power was released upon Rochester, NY in the fiery wind of revival, under the labors of Charles G. Finney. Mr. Finney attributed this awesome work to the spirit of prayer that prevailed at the time. He describes it in his autobiography like this:
When I was on my way to Rochester, as we passed through a village, some thirty miles east of Rochester, a brother minister whom I knew, seeing me on a canal boat, jumped aboard to have a little conversation with me, intending to ride but a little way and return. He, however, became interested in conversation, and upon finding where I was going, he made up his mind to keep on and go with me to Rochester. We had been there only a few days when this same minister became so convicted that he could not help but weeping aloud at one time as we passed along the street. The Lord gave him a powerful spirit of prayer, and his heart was broken. As he and I prayed together, I was struck with his faith in regard to what the Lord was going to do there. I recollect he would say, "Lord I do not know how it is; but I seem to know that Thou art going to do great work in this city." The spirit of prayer was poured out so powerfully, so much so that some persons stayed away from the public services to pray, being unable to restrain their feelings under preaching.
Mr. Abel Clary, the son of a very excellent man, was also the elder of the Church where I was converted. He was converted in the same revival in which I was. He had been licensed to preach; but his spirit of prayer was such, he was so burdened with the souls of men, that he was not able to preach much, his whole time and strength being given to prayer. The burden of his soul would frequently be so great that he was unable to stand, and he would writhe in agony. I was well acquainted with him, and knew something of the wonderful spirit of prayer that rested upon him. He was a very silent man, as almost all are who have that powerful spirit of prayer.
The first I knew of his being in Rochester, a gentleman who lived about a mile west of the city, called on me one day and asked me if I knew Mr. Clary, a minister. I told him that I knew him. I said: "I haven’t seen him in any of our meetings."
"No," he replied, "he cannot go to meetings, he says. He prays nearly all the time, day and night, in such agony of mind that I do not know what to make of it. Sometimes he cannot even stand on his knees, but will lie prostrate on the floor, and groan and pray in a manner that quite astonishes me."
I said to the brother, "I understand it: please keep it still. It will come out right; he will surely prevail."
I knew at the time a considerable number of men who were exercised in this same way. This Mr. Clary and many others among men and a large number of women partook of the same spirit. They all spent much of their time in prayer. Father Nash, as we called him who in several of my fields of labor came to me and aided me, was another of those men that had such a powerful spirit of prevailing prayer.
Mr. Finney tells of another woman given to this same incredible spirit of prayer. She was a zealous and devoted woman. She became anxious about sinners and went to praying for them; she prayed and her distress increased; and she finally came to her minister and begged him to have a meeting. At first he put her off, but in her persistence he listened to what she had to say. She said: If you do not appoint an anxious meeting I shall die, for there is certainly going to be a revival. The next week, he held such a meeting and was astonished at the amount of people who attended, anxious about the condition of their souls. This began a mighty outpouring of revival in this area.
This intense and prevailing prayer has always been the preliminary exercise to revival. It seems that when the Lord has put it in His heart to visit a people with His wonderful spirit of revival, He prepares the ground with His intercessors in prevailing prayer. I know of no revival that I have ever studied that has not been birthed through this supernatural spirit of intercession. Like Mr. Clary, the people of prayer are weighed down heavily with the burden of the Lord, wrought in agony to see sinners spared from the fires of hell and brought to their rest in the loving hands of their Redeemer.
This is the kind of intercession the Lord is looking for from America. To have a downpour of God’s glory it is going to take an outpouring of the souls of men in prevailing prayer. Dear Christian, seek God with all of your heart for His visitation upon America. For, He promises that when we seek Him with all our heart, He will be found of us.