The undeniable relationship between our prayer and God’s manifestation.
I have often desired for God to work mightily in my church. This is in part because I have seen what revival looks like over 10 years ago, when I used to live in Springfield, Missouri. It was then that I took part of a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit that radically changed my life. I have heard the rumbling of God through the prayers of His people, I have touched the face of God, and I have embraced the cry of repentance. Every revival starts with a repentant heart but even repentance itself comes through prayer. I have found that prayer is the catalyst that starts a personal, as well as a corporate revival, and I’d like to take you to the year 1906 in order to show you how important prayer is for a move of God to happen among His people.
Well over 100 years ago, God used a man by the name of William Seymour to bring revival. He was used mightily by God in Los Angeles, California. The place where God displayed miraculous healings and outpourings of the Holy Spirit took place on Azusa Street, a place that is well known by Bible scholars because it gave rise to the worldwide Pentecostal movement. It was a time when our beloved people of African descent still didn’t have the same rights as caucasian people. William Seymour was such a man, underprivileged during those times, but a man highly favored and used by the God of all races. William knew that God had prepared Him for a special purpose when he was led to Los Angeles. Yet, he had a great dilemma because he was not wealthy and had no earthly means to create an environment where he could minister to people. One evening, he was told by God to go to a certain street and knock on a certain door without knowing where He was going. When the people on the other side of the door opened it, he asked them if they were praying for revival and they were! In fact, those were a group of young men and women who were praying for revival with great intensity. The amazing thing is that this group was able to help William to rent the place he needed for God to use him and they played a vital role in the revival that broke out on Azusa Street. It was a revival that crossed all race barriers. People from many different nationalities came to experience the hand of God on their lives in breathtaking ways. Limbs grew, cancer was healed, paralyzed people walked, and everyone basked in the tangible presence of God! His presence was so intense that people could see flames at night over the place where the meetings were held. When I recently read this story in more detail than I had before, I was absolutely stunned. I realized without a shadow of a doubt just how crucial prayer is in order to experience revival.
The revival lasted about 3 years and then it died down but the people that experienced it were changed forever. I strongly believe that we can experience such a revival today but it takes fervent prayer. Revival starts with each one of us- in our own lives- as we come before God in sincere repentance and utter dependence on Him. God moves powerfully through lives that are completely devoted to Him and who truly desire to see Him be lifted high. Our sole motivation needs to be the glory of God and the ability to know Him deeper through the manifestation of healing so many people desperately need. He desires to fill us with the power of the Holy Spirit in a greater measure than ever before or for those who never experienced speaking in tongues, to receive it. Revival doesn’t happen accidentally. It is God’s response to a desperate people crying out to their God for His presence. We don’t need more noise and more lights, we need more of God! When His presence is tangible, there is no need for human fabrication. Let’s be those people and start praying for revival in and around us today!
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.