Years ago, while we were conducting evangelistic meetings in the west of England, I came across an account of the great Welsh Revival of 1904. As I read, a deep longing grew in my heart that has never gone away.
One story told how a truck driver approached a church with a delivery. However, the Holy Spirit’s presence was so strong that by the time he could see the church, he had tears rolling down his cheeks. He later explained, “I couldn’t help it; the Spirit of God was all around.”
How long has it been since I was in a prayer meeting where I was moved to tears by the Holy Spirit’s convicting presence? I’m not pleading here for an emotional experience. I am simply describing a heart cry that when I come together with God’s people, His presence be so real, so vivid, and so palpable that I am in awe before Him. Do truckers who rumble past our church on Wednesday evening sense that something of eternal consequence is happening inside? Do it again, Lord.
Another report from Wales in 1908 says, “The role of the police has changed from hauling drunks into the jail to helping get cars into and out of the church parking lots.” Oh Lord, let it be so again, in my church.
The effect on the children was overwhelming: “A bus arrived one evening and it was discovered that the youngsters had been singing, but before they arrived at the church a spirit of repentance had already broken out.”
In 1855 Ellen White described an event in Topsham, Maine: “Twenty-eight were present; all took part in the meeting. Sunday the power of God came upon us like a mighty, rushing wind. All arose and praised God with a loud voice. … It was a triumphal time. All were strengthened and refreshed. I never witnessed such a powerful time before” (Manuscript Releases, Vol. 5, p. 226)
Four years later, in Kalamazoo, she would enter in her diary: “In the eve the church followed the example of their Lord and washed one another’s feet, and then partook of the Lord’s Supper. There was rejoicing and weeping in that house. The place was awful, and yet glorious, on account of the presence of the Lord” (Selected Messages, book 3, p. 261).
Glorious on account of the presence of the Lord? Do it again, Lord. Please, do it again.
Ruthie Jacobsen is director of North American Division prayer ministries.