Learning from the legacy of the one who pointed to what was to come.
We often only realize that we are living through historic events by looking back on them.
Consider the Moravians. In 1727, this group of Christians fleeing persecution in the modern-day Czech Republic began a 24-7 prayer vigil. They couldn’t foresee that their non-stop prayer session would ultimately last for 100 years and launch a global missions movement.
Or take the example of John Wesley and George Whitefield. In 1738, in a New Year’s prayer meeting, where the men and others were gathered, at “about three in the morning, as we were continuing instant in prayer, the power of God came mightily upon us, insomuch that many cried out for exceeding joy” later wrote Wesley in his diary.” The preachers likely had little idea that in the ensuing months, they would start traveling across the UK teaching the word of God, a campaign that would mark the beginning of the Wesleyan revival and the First Great Awakening in the US.
Church history has taught us to never underestimate the long-term impact when God’s tangible presence comes upon a group of people; this understanding has led me to closely track the aftermath of the 2023 outpouring at Asbury University.
For those who need a refresher: One year ago this week, as a seemingly ordinary Wednesday morning chapel ended, 18 or 19 students lingered to worship and pray. Though the school in rural Kentucky has a history of revivals, few likely believed that this meeting would continue for the following 16 days, drawing over 60,000 people, including students from 300 university campuses and Christians from almost every continent.
While we have yet to see a global revival since Asbury’s concluded, there is more going on than our eyes can see. I believe …