Wednesday, March 19, 2008

1905 and Tapping the Oil Wells of Revival

A Prophetic Word from our National Student Church Planting Director Erik Fish....God is about to birth a new campus church planting movement from North America across to the nations! JMA

March 17, 2008

erik fish

I wanted to share a vision I had this morning while in prayer.

As I was praying, I suddenly saw what looked like oil wells buried beneath the university campuses -- many campuses. I had the sense that these oil wells were stored there from long ago and protected and preserved there by the prayers of the saints for future moves of God on the campuses and for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

As I was praying about the vision, I heard the word “1905”.

I had no idea about what happened in 1905, but I felt like I needed to research it and start digging. I believe there were things that happened in 1905 that God would give us access to through prayer again now.

I also felt prompted to look up J. Edwin Orr. I knew he had written Campus Aflame, but I’d never read it. I began searching on the Internet for what happened in 1905. I also dug “Campus Aflame” out of a box of books. I was really encouraged by what I found about the events of 1905, and I felt it was significant and related to the vision I had this morning and prophetic for how we are to pray.

I won’t go into a lot of details here, but as you probably know, (I didn’t), 1905 was an amazing year in the history of revival. The Welsch Revival was happening and inspired revival-minded people in North America to begin praying for a move of God. Right before New Year’s 1905, a small Welsch speaking church in Pennsylvania began praying for a move of God. Revival broke out and began spreading (it’s interesting that one of the first outbreaks of revival in this period in America started in a church that didn’t speak English as it’s first language – they spoke Welsch. They were praying for what happened in their homeland to happen now in America. I believe there are parallels today to the move of God in China and Asia and Asian believers praying for and sparking a move of God in America today). Revival spread. Atlanta, New York, Kansas City, Ohio. In Michigan, it was reported that they couldn’t keep count anymore at the number of conversions. In New Jersey it was said “Pentecost was literally repeated”. In Denver, the mayor called for a day of prayer. Schools closed, businesses shut down, and 12,000 attended the prayer meeting (keep in mind the lower population of the time).

Simultaneously at different parts of the country, other leaders started telling stories about the move of God happening in Wales and began praying for a move of God. One thing that is interesting is that this revival was the first to spread through the media technology of the time – newspapers. People would hear stories and it would prompt them to pray and seek God for a move in their town. It was reported that in Atlanta, 1,000 businessmen had united to pray for revival. Throughout the U.S., businesses were agreeing to shut down at noon to allow people to attend the rapidly growing prayer meetings that were springing up around the country.

It was said that there was no greater area that the Spirit of God was poured out than on the college campus. The Chancellor at Baylor University later recalled, “That was the time so many students went to the mission field.”

The 1906 Azusa Street Revival, with signs, wonders, and miracles and signifying the beginnings of the worldwide Pentecostal revival, was largely prompted by the estimated one million conversions that happened in America in 1905. This revival spread to Chile, Brazil, Mexico, and, through the Pentecostal movement, eventually around the world.

J.Edwin Orr reported one thing that was so significant in his mind about this 1905 move of God was that there was no main evangelist – everyone was an evangelist. A key to their message was that it was a simple message of repentance. It was a message of repentance that anyone could preach. Another thing that was so significant is that the revival was unstructured. Meetings were largely informal and led by the Holy Spirit. Lastly, Orr points out that the biggest lesson from 1905 was prayer. We can’t organize revival, but we can pray to prepare for what God is going to do.

I believe there are “reserves of revival” on our campuses, like oil wells, that God wants us to tap into through prayer. I believe now is the time to begin tapping these wells of revival. I see them gushing forth. Our prayer should not be, “Lord, send revival.” I believe rather that we need to shift our focus and understand that we have been given access and granted authority to tap these wells that were placed there long ago by God through the prayers and faith of our spiritual ancestors. They have prayed and experienced revival in past moves of God and there is something buried that is waiting to be released in our day. I believe some of these reserves were placed there in 1905, and I believe it’s time to “tap” them. God wants to do something amazing in our time to pour out His Spirit on the youth, spark a spiritual awakening on campuses and send students to the nations of the world.

Let’s keep praying!



At 3/23/2008 09:50:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. i had the same vision of my school last year. i saw a river of golden oil running under the campus. then i saw an oil pump in one of the parking lots behind the building my prayer group was meeting.. this is soooo true!
woo-hoo revival is coming =)


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