SOME PAST UK REVIVALS
1739 – London, England; John Wesley and George Whitefield
During meetings, the crowd would fall to the ground, dropping as thunderstruck. Enthusiastic singing, powerful preaching, crowds gripped with conviction, repentance and weeping, the crowds swelled to 50,000 at open meetings on hillsides, with untold thousands being saved.
1781 – Cornwall, England
Concerts of prayer were held each evening until midni m x ght, impacting the nation with social change, creating a climate for political reform such as abolition of slavery, with a multitude of names being added to the book of life.
1949 – 1953 – Hebrides Islands, Scotland
Christine and Peggy Smith, two aged sisters praying night and day fanned the flame that stirred six or seven men to pray in a barn, three nights a week from 10:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. All of this praying brought Duncan Campbell to Lewis Island, of the Hebrides. The night of his arrival, they asked him to speak for a short while at 9:00 p.m. to about 300 people in a church. The meeting went on to about 11:00 p.m., and when he closed the meeting and walked outside, he was astonished to find hundreds more outside of the church. While he and a team were ministering to the crowd, someone came up and told him he had to go to the police station. He asked, “Why, what is wrong?” to which he was told there were about 400 people gathered around the police station confessing their sins and faults, crying out for mercy, and the police did not know what to do with them. As he walked about a mile up a dirt road to the police station, he heard cries from people lying in the ditches, calling out to God in brokenness for His mercy.
1904 – Welsh Revival – Evan Roberts
On September 13th 1904 Evan and his best friend Sidney Evans went to Newcastle Emlyn in West Wales. There they attended the Grammar School which prepared young men to enter Trefecca College where they intended to train for the ministry.
On September 29th Evan attended a conference at Blaenannerch with a group of young men from the Grammar School. Rev. Seth Joshua prayed during one of the meetings that God would bend the people in the congregation. Evan knelt in the pew and prayed fervently that God would bend him.
This proved to be a turning point in Evan’s life. Before this experience something seemed to hold him back from knowing the fullness of joy and certainty that he was forgiven by God. After this experience he felt ready to follow God’s leading in everything he did, everything he said and in the places that he visited. He was made utterly obedient and utterly willing.
The Dawn of the Revival at Loughor
Evan was unable to concentrate on his studies as his mind was in turmoil. He explained to the minister of Newcastle Emlyn, Rev Evan Phillips, that the Holy Spirit was urging him to return to Loughor to work with the young people of Moriah. He followed his advice and caught the train home.
Commencing on Monday night 31st October a series of prayer meetings were held at Moriah in which Evan made urgent appeals to the people to rise and confess Christ publicly. Each night the presence of the Holy Spirit became more powerful and more people confessed the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
On Sunday 6th November a prayer meeting was held in Moriah vestry during which Evan told everyone to pray the same prayer, “O send the Holy Spirit now for Jesus Christ’s sake”. He descended with great fire upon the people present and they prayed until a late hour.
The revival meetings were extraordinary; some people would be crying for joy; others crying for sorrow over their sin. Several people would be praying at the same time; for their friends, parents or children. Some would be singing; others telling people about the joy they now experienced. The chapels were filled to capacity and there were crowds of people on the roads outside. Yet there was no disorder in the meetings. They lasted until 2, 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning so that men coming off the night shift in the colliery met the people coming out of the meetings.
The presence of the Holy Spirit in a meeting did not depend on Evan Roberts being there. The Holy Spirit descended even in places which Evan did not visit. The Revival spread like wildfire from place to place all over the country where people had been praying that such a thing would happen
The Effect of the Revival on Wales
Thousands of people were saved. Public houses became almost empty. Men and women who used to waste their money getting drunk were now saving it and giving it to the church. They were using their money to buy clothes and food for their families.
Stealing and other offences became less and less. Often a magistrate came to court and found that there were no cases for him to try.
Men who blasphemed learned to talk purely. The miners put in a better day’s work but the pit ponies could not understand what had happened to the miners as they spoke to them more kindly. They were so used to being sworn at that they became disobedient!
People who had been careless about paying their bills or paying back money they had borrowed gave back all they owed.
People who had quarrelled forgave each other and were reconciled.
Society was changed and Wales became a God-fearing nation.