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Examples of travailing prayers for revival – Part 20


Austen C. Ukachi

Earnest, fervent prayer is always at the centre (before, during and after) of every revival. The tempo of a revival declines, and in some cases, ceases when prayer declines. This means that the kind of passionless, self-centred, miracle-seeking and prosperity-chasing prayers we make today cannot usher in or sustain the revival we expect, unless God decides to show us His mercies.

Below are three separate accounts of past revivals that buttress the point we have made in the last two series that prayer is a pre-condition for revival. The revival in Hebrides Island, Scotland would not have been but for two aged sisters, who prayed relentlessly and whose prayers stirred up other Intercessors to endless hours of prayer.

As one account records, between “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.”

Charles Finney writes about the type of spirit of prayer that can birth revival. He wrote: “A revival may be expected when Christians have a spirit of prayer for a revival. That is, when they pray as if their hearts were set upon it. Sometimes Christians are not engaged in definite prayer for a revival, not even when they are warm in prayer…What constitutes a spirit of prayer? Is it many prayers and warm words? No. Prayer is the state of the heart. The spirit of prayer is a state of continual desire and anxiety of mind for the salvation of sinners. It is something that weighs them down… A Christian who has this spirit of prayer feels anxious for souls. It is the subject of his thoughts all the time, and makes him look and act as if he had a load on his mind. He thinks of it by day, and dreams of it by night.”

The Moravian revival was no exception to the rule that prayers precede any revival and great acts of God. In the early 18th Century, Count Zinzendorf encouraged unceasing prayers among the fleeing refugees who had settled in his estate in a small German town called Herrnhut. The prayer gathering that he espoused began on August 5, 1727. On August 13, 1727, these corporate meetings came to a climax when they experienced an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their midst.

Necessity fuels corporate prayers for revival. The Church as well as the nation needs it now. Shall laymen and women, pastors and ministers rise to the challenge?


In this article:
Austen C. Ukachi
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