By Rosetta Thomas
Man was given dominion over the earth at creation (Genesis 1:28). Although he indirectly gave the devil legal access to operate in the world when he fell from grace, the earth is still his domain. Before the fall, it was customary for God to come down in the cool of the day and commune with man (Genesis 3:8), but this type of fellowship stopped after the fall. God is however always yearning to fellowship with man and intervene in their affairs, but he must be invited. One way in which God is invited is through the praises of his people which he inhabits (Psalm 22:3 & John 12:32) and another way is by men “seeking his face” through prayer and intercession. Today, God is searching the earth for people who will appeal to Him through intercession so that he can both fellowship with men and intervene in their affairs.
There is chaos in the world! People are suffering and there is destruction everywhere. Many no longer fear God, churches have become lukewarm and there is an abundance of lawlessness and iniquity all over our nations. God has a great burden for all that is going on and desperately want to bring transformation across the nations of the world. In Ezekiel 22:30-31, the Lord had this to say:
“… I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God”.
The truth is that the wrath of God against humanity is ravaging the lands because you and I are missing from the place of prayer and intercession.
What is Intercession
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Intercession is defined as making a “prayer, petition, or entreaty in favor of another”. Essentially, it is a form of deep travail such as what is involved in giving birth to a child. In Childbirth a woman travails to bring forth a child. In intercession, a believer travails to bring forth the purpose of God in a particular matter.
In Jeremiah 9:17-18, the scripture says:
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them. Let them come quickly and wail over us till our eyes overflow with tears and water streams from our eyelids.
God is looking for people who will wail in deep pain even with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26), so that He can intervene into the affairs of men. The interesting thing with intercession is that when one intercedes, God will automatically intervene in that person’s own affairs. In Job 42:10 the scripture tells us that:
“… the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
In light of this, I would like to submit my own definition of intercession, which is “the act of partnering with God by standing in the gap for a person, group or a nation knowing fully well that God will take care of your own burden”.
As we examine the subject matter, we may be a little confused because prayer and intercession is going up all across the world. During the Corona Virus Pandemic for example, there was a proliferation of prayer groups across the nations, and truth be told, these groups have had significant impact in the realm of the spirit by either minimizing or stopping the ravages of the enemy. Nevertheless, we cannot overlook the fact that the nations of the earth is still very “sick” with evil and wickedness. In this regard, we must let God be true and let every man be a liar, while going back to the drawing board to see exactly where we have missed the mark.
What we have missed is the application of the solution that God has provided for the crisis in the world, the solution of which is found in 2nd Chronicles 7:14. Accordingly, the Bible tells us that:
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
God is a covenant-keeping God and this scripture is an invitation to covenant with him such that if we His true Believers, will walk in humility, pray, seek his face through intercession and walk in repentance, then he will intervene and have mercy on us. What we can deduce from this text is that if these requirements are not met, our nations will continue to be filled with chaos, confusion and wickedness. The focal point however is that if we fulfill the covenant agreement, God will visit the earth in all his grace and power to heal our land. I wish to point out here that this healing of the land is nothing but a spiritual awakening or a refreshing from the presence of the Lord. This essentially is more commonly known as REVIVAL.
According to Charles Finney, revival is “the return of the Church from her backslidings, and the conversion of sinners” and according to Stephen Olford, revival is “the sovereign act of God, in which He restores His own backsliding people to repentance, faith and obedience.” Essentially, intercession and deep repentance are key component for revival.
In 1949, eighty four and eighty two year old sisters, Peggy and Christine Smith, the older of whom was blind and the younger severely crippled with arthritis, were deeply burdened for their British Island of Lewis. They were troubled because they had heard that the spiritual state of the Hebrides were at an all time low: the pews of their churches were almost empty and young people were no longer attending church services. To this end, they started a regular prayer meeting to pray for revival of their Island, and they further inspired seven ministers to meet in a barn on Tuesdays and Fridays to also pray on the subject matter. The group was praying for months to no avail until one night, when a young deacon in the prayer meeting caught a revelation. Rev. Duncan Campbell (1898-1972), the Missions Pastor who was called to the island to spearhead the revival after it broke out, gave this account:
“For months, they had waited on God. Nothing happened, until one night a young man, Bible in hand began reading from Psalm 24, “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.” He shut his Bible. Looking at his companions, he said, “Brethren, it seems to me so much humbug waiting as we are … unless we are rightly related to God. I must ask myself: Are my hands clean? Is my heart pure?” He then began to pray.… At that moment, something happened in the barn. A power was let loose that shook the parish from center to circumference.… God had visited them, and neither they nor the parish could ever be the same again.” (The Lewis Revival).
The reports from several articles on the events was that in the middle of the night, people were miraculously pulled in the direction of the barn by the power of God. People began to cry out to God in repentance and the power of God was so powerful that people even gathered at a police station which incidentally was nearby the home of the two praying old women, to have service. People were on the street 2 AM crying out to God to have mercy on them and the fear of God gripped the hearts of people everywhere. Without a doubt, God had responded to the prayers of the two aged women! Revival came and it swept through the Island between 1949 and 1952. In the words of Rev. Duncan Campbell:
“That continued for almost 3 years. Until the whole of the island was swept by the mighty power of God. I couldn’t tell you how many-I never checked the number. I was afraid to do that always remembering what David did. I left the records with God. But this I know, that at least 75% of those who were born again during the revival were born again before they came near a church.”
Half a century before that move, Evan Roberts, a young man with very limited education but one who had deep devotional life began to seek the Lord for revival for his country, Wales. Around that same time, sixteen year old Seth Joshua who was also praying for revival stirred the young people in his church in New Quay to seek the Lord without measure so much so, that in one meeting the spirit of God fell on the group mightily and it was that flame that began to spread. Evan Roberts with his strong prayer life was used of God mightily among the young people, and the long and short of the story is that this led to a revival that swept through the country between 1904 and 1906.
In 1904, Dr Campbell Morgan in a message preached at Westminster Abbey had this to say:
Wales is ablaze for God, already 50,000 converts have been recorded and the great awakening shows no sign of waning. It’s sweeping over hundreds of hamlets and cities, emptying saloons, theatres and dance halls, and filling the churches night after night with praying multitudes. Go where you will, into the bank, the store, the trains and everywhere men are talking about God. If you could stand above Wales, looking at it, you would see the fire breaking out here, and there, and yonder, and somewhere else, without any pre-arrangement. It is a Divine visitation in which God – let me say this reverently – in which God is saying to us: “See what I can do without the things you are depending on. See what I can do through a praying people who are prepared to depend wholly and absolutely upon me!”. When God Stepped Down from Heaven, Owen Murphy.
The Welsh Revival was so powerful that in a short period, over 100,000 people were converted. It later spread beyond Wales to the rest of Britain and impacted other places in the world, so much so that it resulted in millions of conversions and by extension, have influenced the teachings of many 20th Century preachers inclusive of men like A.W. Tozer, Vance Havner and my all-time favourite Leonard Ravenhill. At the epicentre of the revival in Wales, the fear of God gripped the hearts of many, such that in some communities, crime literally disappeared and in some places, magistrates were presented with blank paper as there were no cases to be tried. People widely made restitutions to the point where post office supply of money orders ran out. Bibles were sold out in many stores, saloons and theaters were closed, churches were filled and even exceeded their capacities and political meetings were postponed as politicians were busy attending revival meetings.
The Need for our own Move of God
Having heard this testimony, we cannot over-emphasize the need for us to have a revival in our own generation. There is chaos in the world! People are suffering and there is destruction everywhere. Many no longer fear God, churches have become lukewarm and there is an abundance of lawlessness and iniquity all over our nations. People are backsliding right, left and centre and deception is now the order of the day. People are broken-hearted all over and excrutiating pain and suffering is rampant. More than ever before, we need the hand of God in our midst and we desperately need an awakening. Every great move of God however, begins with prayer and intercession and we need to pray into manifestation a revival that will heal our land. The fact is that the same God who transformed Lewis and Wales is waiting for us to cry out to him like Seth Joshua, Evan Roberts and eighty-odd year old Peggy and Christine Smith, all of whom sought the face of the Lord until He stepped down and responded with an awakening that came directly from His throne room.
But how many of us are truly thirsty for God? How many of us are truly dry and need to be watered? How many of us are willing to pay the price to stay in the place of prayer until God step down in our midst and transform lives? God is searching for men and women who will share his burden and remain steadfast in prayer for revival, and you and I are among the ones he is searching for.
Who is God looking for?
He is looking for people who will come in covenant agreement with him. He is looking for people who are selfless, particularly those who put the needs of God above their own. In this respect, the scripture record the story of Anna who dedicated her entire life in interceeding for the coming of the Messiah, after losing her husband just seven years into her marriage. While nothing is wrong with having a family, God is looking for people who can respond to him in like fashion… people who are completely selfless and sold out to Him.
God is also looking for people who are relentless! In James 5:16 we are told that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. What do we do when we are praying but the answer does not come on time? Do we throw in the towel? Can God trust us to bear with him long enough before the breakthrough comes?
In Isaiah 62:6-7 the scripture tells us:
I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
God is looking for those who are relentless to the point where we will bother him and give him no rest nor peace until he accomplishes what he has promised.
Above all, God is looking for people who are pure. The only person who can ascent to the Hills of the Lord is the one who has clean hands and and a pure heart who has not lifted up their souls to vanity. I will ask the same question that the young deacon asked just before the revival in Lewis broke out. Are our hands clean and are our hearts pure?
There is chaos in the world! People are suffering and there is destruction everywhere. Many no longer fear God, churches have become lukewarm and there is an abundance of lawlessness and iniquity all over our nations. God has a great burden for all that is going on and He desperately wants to intervene and bring a revival that will bring transformation across the nations of the earth. While the condition of the world clearly points to the fact that the nations are ripe for a spiritual awakening, we must be reminded that the earth is man’s domain and the Lord will only intervene in our affairs if He gets an invitation. God is looking for faithful, available and pliable men and women who will invite Him to intervene in the affairs of the nations by appealing to him through prayer and intercession. Revival has tarried for far too long and we desperately need it now. Let us therefore rise to the occasion and stay in the place of prayer until we give birth to a great spiritual awakening that will transform the nations of the earth.
RESOURCES FOR YOU!
Documentary of the Welsh Revival
Documentary on the Revival in Lewis
REFERENCES AND WORKS CITED:
Revival Comes to the Thirsty, Carrying God’s Heart for Revival
Weblink: https://www.groupbiblestudy.com/engfire/4.-revival-comes-to-the-thirsty (last accessed: July 30, 2022)
Revival in the Hebrides, Excerpts from Duncan Campbell (2016).
The Hebrides Revival, WebLink: https://revivalstudybible.org/blogs/rsb-blog/posts/the-hebrides-revival (Last accessed on July 30, 2022)
When God Stepped Down From Heaven, Rev. Owen Murphy
References from Web Sites:
https://www.bible.com/en-GB/events/452024 (last accessed on July 30, 2022).