By Tom Savage
As we look around our communities and our country, surely no one would doubt, our country is in need of a spiritual awakening. Over one hundred years ago, Evan Roberts felt the same way about the land where he lived. The story of Evan Roberts has been well chronicled by many people. It is time to review what happened then with the hope that God may bless our land with a similar and fresh outpouring of His Spirit.
In the fall of 1904, a great spiritual awakening took place in the city of Wales. No one organized the awakening with a campaign. The people did not use advertising, public relations, radio broadcasts or a great soul-winning blitz. God chose to do a sovereign work that captured the attention of the world. When the Spirit of God fell on those people things began to happen. With few people witnessing, the lost began to ask that familiar question, “What must I do to be saved?”
A small group of people in Wales had a longing for a fresh wind of God’s Spirit. Church membership had declined, people were indifferent to religious matters, the churches were formal, and God’s people needed a revival.
God chose to use Evan Roberts in a special way. He worked as a coal miner. Early in 1904, Evan accepted God’s call to preach and went to school to prepare. Prayer meetings with different groups of people became a major emphasis in his life. At the end of one mid-week prayer service, a man by the name of Seth Joshua closed the service with prayer. One of the many prayer requests he voiced was, “Lord, bend us.” The Spirit drove those three words into the heart of Evan Roberts. On his way out the door, he personalized the three words of Seth Joshua by praying four words – “O Lord, bend me!”
On October 31, 1904, 17 people heard a message from Evan. The message had four points. You must …
- Put away any unconfessed sin
- Put away any doubtful habit
- Promptly obey the Spirit
- Publicly confess Christ
All 17 people responded to his appeal and pledged to follow those guidelines. More people came the next night. The crowds grew each night. The Spirit was poured out on the nation as God’s people returned to Him. People were renewing their relationship with our Lord. Lost people were dramatically converted. Evan Roberts and other preachers began to spread out over Wales to speak in churches. Next time, we will review the results of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.