From the Day of Thy Power by Arthur Willis
“It was springtime in the year 1938. A boy in middle teens stood in the little schoolroom adjoining Moriah Chapel, in the small Welsh mining town of Loughor, Glamorganshire. A strange feeling of awe and wonder filled his heart, for this was the very room that witnessed the beginnings of that great outpouring of the Spirit, the Welsh Revival of 1904. He listened to his host and guide, himself a convert of the revival, speak of those memorable days when the hardest hearts were melted by the presence of the Lord, and when the hills and valleys rang again with the songs of Zion. It was almost too wonderful to be true, but it created questions deep down in his heart for which he could find no answers. If God can achieve such mighty things in time of revival, and if the spiritual labors of fifty years can be surpassed in so many days when the Spirit is poured out, why, he wondered, is the church today so satisfied with the results of normal evangelism? Why are we not more concerned that there should be another great revival? Why do we not pray for it day and night?”
When we look around at the condition of the world, we can see that we have never been in more need of true revival. In the many years I have been an active part of the Church, I have seen many evangelical movements, many things men attempted that promised great results, but none had all of the elements of true revival that I have heard happened in the revivals and awakenings of the past. Because of this, I have made it one of the great quests of my life to study past revivals to learn what happened and how and why it happened and to pray for the great time of revival we so desperately need.
What is Revival?
Technically the word revival means “to bring again to life, to re-animate.” The word has come to include also the idea of the conversion of sinners as well as the awakening of saints. So in modern usage the word has a two-fold meaning which includes the renewal of spirituality and awakening among Christians and the conversion of sinners in considerable numbers to God. Revival implies the renewal of a life which had almost died away.
Fish, Henry C (2011-10-14). Handbook of Revivals
“Revivals, then, are seasons when Christians are waked to a more spiritual frame, to more fervent prayer, and to more earnest endeavors to promote the cause of Christ and redemption; and consequent upon this, seasons when the impenitent are aroused to the concerns of the soul and the work of personal religion.”
Miriam Webster – renewed attention to or interest in something, a new presentation or publication of something old, a period of renewed religious interest, an often highly emotional evangelistic meeting or series of meetings.
Synonyms – reanimation, rebirth, regeneration, rejuvenation, rejuvenescence, renewal, resurgence, resurrection, resuscitation, revitalization, revivification.
Revival really can’t be defined by what happens. It is more easily defined by its source – God. The are many results of revivals which we will cover at another time, but the main thing that makes a revival a true awakening is the manifest and overwhelming presence of God Himself.
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