Note: This post is associated with a call to 50 days of prayer at Bethel Church of Houston in association with the Houston Church Planting Network. You can find the HCPN daily devotion by following this link: Day 7
Over this last week, I have shared the challenges Evan Roberts gave to a congregation in Lougher, Wales back in the early 1900s. What resulted was a great movement of prayer that led to a great spiritual awakening. Below I share with you J. Edwin Orr’s account. You can find the full article by clicking here: The Role of Prayer in Spiritual Awakening. Dr. Orr’s teachings on revival had a great impact on me as a young man. You can find a series of Dr. Orr’s video messages regarding the history of spiritual awakenings by clicking here: Dr. J. Edwin Orr on Revival.
Dr. J. Edwin Orr on the Wales Revival of 1904:
I’ve read the Welsh newspapers of the period. In them were little snippets of ecclesiastical news: “Rev. Peter Jones has just been appointed chaplain to the Bishop on St. David’s.” Very interesting—but not earth-shaking. And then it said, “Mulberry Street Methodist Church had a very interesting rummage sale.” Then, suddenly—a headline, ”Great Crowds of People drawn to Lougher.”
The main road between Llanelly and Swansea, on which the church was situated, was packed from wall-to- wall, people trying to get into the church, and people were closing shops and stores early in order to get a place in the church. A reporter was dispatched and he described what he saw. “It was a strange thing. It closed at 4:25 in the morning and then the people didn’t seem to be willing to go home. The people were still standing outside the church talking about what happened.” And then, a British summary: “I felt this was no ordinary gathering.”
“The news was out. On Sunday, every church was filled. The revival swept like a tidal wave over Wales. There were 100,000 people converted in that five-month period. Five years later, a man names J.P. Morgan wrote a book to debunk the revival. His main criticism was that of the 100,000 that joined that churches in the five months of excitement of the revival, after five years, only 80,000 still stood. Only 80,000!
“But the social impact was astounding. For example, judges were presented with white gloves: they had no cases to try. No rapes, no robberies, no murders, no burglaries, no embezzlements, nothing. The District Consuls held emergency meetings to discuss what to do with the police, now that they were unemployed. Drunkenness was cut in half. The illegitimate birth rate dropped 44% in two countries within a year of the beginning of the revival, so great was the impact of that movement.”
May we fervently pray for our own revival and then for a spiritual harvest as the Scripture states:
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” – James 5:16
“Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” – Matthew 9:38