Revival Part 2: Prayer is always the Fore-Runner of a True Revival

Ezekiel 36:36-38
       Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the LORD GOD; I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): Revival is a “visitation from on High,” an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): If ever God’s church has declined for a little while, unexpectedly there has been yielded a season of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. We know not what God has in store. He is great at surprises…When the devil is most secure upon his throne, then God springs a mine, and blows his empire into atoms.

D. L. MOODY (1837-1899): I do not believe there is any true revival that is not brought about by a good deal of prayer.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: Sometimes a revival breaks out in a prayer meeting―not some great crowded meeting―but perhaps a little prayer meeting with just a few people.

JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): [Prayer meeting, New Year’s Eve, 1739] As we were continuing instant in prayer, the power of God came mightily upon us, insomuch that many cried out for exceeding joy, and many fell to the ground.

GEORGE WHITEFIELD (1714-1770): It was a Pentecost season indeed. Sometimes whole nights were spent in prayer. Often have we been filled as with new wine. And often have I seen them overwhelmed with the Divine Presence, and crying out, “Will God, indeed, dwell with men upon earth?”

C. H. SPURGEON: Every revival has been commenced and attended by a large amount of prayer.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: In Northern Ireland it was really three men who met together regularly to pray, just three men. Sometimes it has only been two. It does not matter.

C. H. MACKINTOSH (1820-1896): I have been thinking a good deal lately of that memorable time when the Spirit of God wrought so marvellously in the province of Ulster [in 1859]. I think I gathered up some valuable instruction from what then came under my notice…Can we not distinctly recall the fact that there was a most decided setting aside of all human arrangement and official routine? Working men came from the field, the factory, and the workshop, to address crowded audiences; and we have seen hundreds hanging in breathless interest upon the lips of men who could not speak five words of good grammer. In short, the mighty tide of spiritual life and power rolled in upon us, and swept away for the time being a quantity of human machinery, and ignored all question of man’s authority in the things of God and the service of Christ―Was it not most manifestly a work of God’s Spirit?

C. H. SPURGEON: Crossing over from Holyhead to Dublin and back [during the 1859 revival]—two excessively rough passages—I spent the most pleasant hours that I ever spent. The first vessel that I entered, I found my hands very heartily shaken by the sailors. I thought, “What can these sailors know of me?” and they were calling me “brother.” Of course, I felt that I was their brother too; but I did not know how they came to talk to me in that way―it was not generally the way for sailors to call ministers “brother.” When I made the inquiry “What makes you so kind?” “Why,” said one, “because I love your Master, the Lord Jesus.” I inquired, and found that out of the whole crew there were but three unconverted men; and that though most of them had been before without God, and without Christ, yet by a sudden visitation of the Spirit of God they had all been converted. I talked to many of these men, and more spiritual, more heavenly-minded men I never yet saw. They have a prayer meeting every morning before the boat starts, and another prayer meeting when she comes to port; and on Sundays, when they lay-to off Kingstown or Holyhead, a minister comes on board and preaches the gospel; the cabins are crowded; service is held on deck when it can be…When I came back by another ship I did not expect to see the like; but it was precisely the same. The same work had been going on.

C. H. MACKINTOSH: I [was] privileged to move through these soul-stirring scenes in the province of Ulster…That was a time never to be forgotten by those who were privileged to be eyewitnesses of the magnificent wave of blessing which rolled over the land.

E. J. POOLE-CONNOR (1872-1962): Are not these memories a call to prayer, clearer than ever floated over a Moslem city?

D. L. MOODY: Now if we are going to have the windows of heaven opened, and the Spirit of God descending in mighty power, it is going to be in answer to prayer and earnest supplications.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: Here is the vital question. Have you seen the desperate need of prayer, the prayer of the whole Church? I see no hope until individual members of the church are praying for revival, perhaps meeting in one another’s homes, meeting in groups amongst friends, meeting together in churches, meeting anywhere you like, and praying with urgency and concentration for a shedding forth of the power of God, such as He shed forth [three] hundred and two hundred years ago, and in every period of revival, and of reawakening. There is no hope until we do. But the moment we do, hope enters…But it leads me to ask this question: are you really concerned about the present position? Are you desperately concerned about it? Are you praying about it? Do you ever pray for the power of God in the Church today?

WILLIAM CAREY (1761-1834): We must pray. Without the Spirit all is vain.

MARY WINSLOW (1774-1854): Oh that the Lord would descend, and give us a gracious revival in our souls, and in the congregation. We need an especial outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Lord, send down gracious answers to our prayers.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: For God’s sake, for the glory of His name, let us intercede and pray for a visitation of God’s Spirit!


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