by Marilynn Chadwick Fervent, persistent prayer always precedes revival. Revival historians consistently point to what is sometimes called extraordinary prayer. This is united, persistent, and frequent prayer - often for extended periods of time. The Moravian Revival of 1727 started as a 24/7 prayer meeting that lasted for over 100 years. A group of humble, simple servants who were hungry to see God move. This same Revival gave birth to the most wide-reaching global missionary movement in history. The Moravians’ fervent prayer deeply affected the personal faith of John Wesley, who said his heart was “strangely warmed” while attending a Moravian Prayer Meeting in London in 1738. It was there he came to understand the true nature of salvation by grace alone and moved from what he called the “faith of a slave” to the “faith of a son.” Historically, revivals were always sparked by prayer. A British pamphlet on Revival, dated 1859, states, “True revival breathed life into every sphere of society. The Church, the family, personal devotion, witnessed its intense ardor. Fervent, persevering, believing prayer marked these movements.” Prayer meetings were reported as springing up everywhere from ships at sea to warehouses, marketplaces to workplaces. What is being called a revival on the campus of Asbury University bears some characteristics of historic revivals. Sparked by the reported confession of sin by one student, the prayer gathering eventually lasted over two weeks. News of the revival largely spread on social media, attended by about 15,000 people each day. By its end, the revival brought 50,000-70,000 visitors to Wilmore, Kentucky, representing more than 200 academic institutions and multiple countries. As with any revival movement, only time will tell the full story of Asbury. One thing is for sure. Revival always begins with prayer.
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