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 (Psalm 24:4-5a NKJV)
Have you got clean hands and a pure heart? This was a question voiced by one man in the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides in 1949. A moment later he and his companions were prostrate on the floor as the presence of God fell upon them. But this was not the beginning of the revival that swept through the Hebrides that year. The revival began with two ladies in their eighties, one of whom was blind. These ladies carried a burden so great that they prayed on their faces in front of the peat fire in their crofter’s cottage three nights a week. Three nights a week for months on end these two ladies persistently cried out to God in Gaelic claiming a promise from Scripture: I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon dry ground (Isaiah 44:3). Their burden was for the folk of their parish, especially the young. They had no idea of when God might answer their prayer, or of how God might answer their prayer.
I have been devouring information about the revival in the Hebrides this week. I first read about it in Pete Greig’s book ‘Dirty Glory,’ and then last Sunday my father directed me to a small book by Duncan Campbell (who was there) entitled ‘The Price and Power of Revival.’ You can get a Kindle version of this book very cheaply, and I highly recommend anything else you can find written by Duncan Campbell about the revival. Here are just a few of the words from Duncan Campbell that leapt off the page at me:
- ‘A God-sent revival must be related to holiness, and real New Testament separation.’
- ‘Revival is a community saturated with God. That is the difference between revival and successful evangelism.’
- ‘In successful evangelism, in successful crusades, you have ten, you have twenty saved here, you have a hundred brought to Christ here, but the community remains unchanged. Men move on to their Christless hell.’
- ‘Men and women were carrying stools and chairs and asking; “Is there room for us in the church?”
I’m not ashamed to tell you that there were tears rolling down my face when I read some of these words, or that I ended up on my knees. The prayer that is now on my lips is that God would bless me with clean hands and a pure heart. You see revival is not the result of a well-publicised crusade although I know that Billy Graham has reached many people in his service to God. No, revival begins with simple folk like you and me crying out to God on our knees and on our faces before him for as long as it takes.
Julie (aka Cookie) said:
oh wow David—so so powerful that I have tears just reading your words
Oh Julie, I can’t get those words from Psalm 24 out of my head. Reading about this revival has left me reeling and questioning why our churches believe that they can bring a few into the Kingdom when if they were praying like the two old ladies in the Hebrides whole communities could be transformed.
Julie (aka Cookie) said:
It convicted my heart- that’s for sure
I was just reading that scripture yesterday as I was working on my teaching notes. So powerful! Yes we need revival in our land! Praying for a mighty move of God to sweep through!!
There is certainly a lesson in that as far as I can see revival begins with one or two folk on their knees over a period of weeks or months or even years. The Welsh revival of 1904 is another example of the holiness of God being released on a community through prayer.
Makes me wonder how badly I really want the revival I “sometimes” pray for. That could be my answer.
Me too. Perhaps we focus too often on the small and constrain God in our prayer? I had heard about the Hebrides revival in the past but had never looked into it. Now the words of Psalm 24 are constantly in my thoughts.
Your post along with my present bible study, and the leading of the Holy Spirit, weighed heavy on my heart this morning, ending with the blog I wrote today, “Heads or Tails”. I was called to task on personal responsibility. Thanks again.
Heading over the to read your post. Heavy on the heart is always a good indication that the Holy Spirit is challenging us.
What a powerful post!!! Wish things like this would make the first page of newspapers all over the world! 🙂 ❤
Thank you Natalie. I was trying to think when a revival like this last occurred and where. Then I find myself asking why have there not been more?
David, thank you for sharing the solution to the ills of this world, beginning in the church with us as His people. We pray for such a revival as we have heard of from the past. It is our only hope for your nation and ours. In HIs timing ~
Thank you Fran. I have continued to read more of the revival in the Hebrides last night and this morning. The move of the Holy Spirit in the Hebrides was so great that it touched fishermen in the bay, the captain of a passing ship in his cabin, and the daughter of one of a person in the Hebrides while she was walking along Oxford Street in London! Who knows what God will do in our nations when we become serious about seeking Him in prayer?
That is true revival. I remember reading Spurgeon’s quote that they never planned or depended on a revival or a retreat in his church.
Like the Hebrides revival, it comes across the whole spectrum, not just in the church. But, that is where we need it first.
We certainly do need revival in the church Fran.
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