There have been instances in the history of the Church when the telling and retelling of the wonderful works of God have been used to rekindle the expectations of the faithful intercessors and prepare the way for another Awakening. – J. Edwin Orr
When revival came to Liberty University and Thomas Road Baptist Church in the fall of 1973, glory flooded the church auditorium . . . it was atmospheric revival. All normal activities in our lives shut down. Students and business people didn’t want to leave the sanctuary because when they left the building, they were leaving the presence of God. They didn’t want to miss anything that God was doing.
Revival began on Wednesday evening about 10:30 p.m. an hour after prayer meeting was over. It came when students and church members were milling around the front of the sanctuary.
Most of the ushers and pastors had gone home. One student went to the pulpit—weeping—to confess sins. The microphone and pulpit lights were off, but God was there. The student’s passionate repentance captured those who were still in the auditorium. Someone began singing. A pianist ran to play the piano. People dropped to their knees beside the altar and front pews. The piano was playing softly, not interrupting the sacred sound of tears. Shortly, another broken person approached the pulpit to confess sins. After two hours, frantic phone calls went out to the pastor and deacons, “Revival’s hit the church!”
Church members were awakened in the middle of the night, hurriedly dressed, and drove through the dark streets of Lynchburg. All came back to the church building expecting to experience God. No ties . . . no Sunday morning dresses . . . just believers eager for the touch of God.
They stayed at the church from Wednesday until Saturday morning. Classes were canceled, most didn’t leave for work, some didn’t eat. When drowsiness couldn’t be fought off, students slept in the pews in the back of the auditorium, some slept under the pews. Like the tide that comes and goes, there would be intense times when people were confessing their sins, then soft times of quiet weeping and private prayer around the altar.
What stopped the revival?
Early Saturday morning one student rose to confess his sins, but he seemed to be bragging about what he did when he sinned; there was no shame, nor brokenness. The Holy Spirit—Who knows the heart—departed the meeting. Within one hour, all knew the revival was over. All left, went home and went back about their daily activities.
How important do you think repentance is for revival to occur in your church or city? Leave your comments…