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Vantage point


A model for revival

In 1904 an evangelist’s prayer for humility in a meeting in South Wales, helped spark the beginnings of a Welsh national revival. Seth Joshua was the evangelist who, at the close of a meeting, called people to the altar and spontaneously prayed, “Lord, bend us.” When the lean form of the young Evan Roberts knelt at the front, he prayed fervently, “Lord, bend me.” The newborn revival had its theme.

The Welsh Revival of 1904 and 1905 is less known in our ranks than the Pentecostal outpourings at the beginning of the 20th century. But it accounted for an estimated 100,000 souls who came to Christ, the number Roberts had prayed for from the beginning of the revival.

An earlier revivalist, Jonathan Edwards, knew why revival has such a tendency to follow humility: “Nothing sets a person so much out of the devil’s reach as humility.”

Andrew Murray adds: “Water always fills the lowest places first. The lower ... a man lies before God, the speedier and the fuller the inflow of the divine glory will be.”

God answered Evan Roberts’ prayer, “Lord, bend me,” because Roberts was willing to be bent. God also answered the nation’s cry, “Lord, bend us.”

Of this we can be sure — Evan Roberts put Christ first; he humbled himself throughout his public and private ministry. And he left revivalism a legacy that we must heed today: Humility is part and parcel of a genuine move of God.

It is safe to say that relatively few have followed the Evan Roberts model. Are we willing to be bent? Can we pray with sincerity, “Lord, bend us”? Whether or not we have genuine revival depends on the answer to that question.

The emphases of Evan Roberts’ ministry:
1. Confess openly and fully any unconfessed sin.
2. Put away from your life anything doubtful.
3. Obey promptly anything the Spirit tells you to say and do.
4. Confess Christ openly.

Ken Horn

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