Australia has an inspiring spiritual history which can help us imagine what revival could look like even in our day.
“‘So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!’ Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what should we do?’ Peter replied, ‘Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.’ Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation!’ Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.” — Acts 2:36-41
As God’s family, meeting together often, we probably have at some time been privileged to hear this kind of preaching and be part of what followed. O that it was our constantly recurring experience!
American Professor Robert Linder of Kansas State University, co-author with Australian Professor Stuart Piggin of the prize-winning two volume history of Evangelicalism in Australia, once commented, “Revival is simply a movement of repentance.” So true. So simple.
John Watsford was one of the earliest Australian-born (1820) Methodist preachers involved in this kind of ministry. He wrote:
Some of the local preachers and leaders in Sydney and Parramatta were men of great spiritual power. Men who believed in prayer and fasting and who did not depend upon a stranger coming now and then to hold special services and bring sinners to Christ. They believed in the Holy Ghost and pleaded for His coming in connection with the ordinary services. As a result, there were “showers of blessing”, glorious revivals, wonderful displays of the Holy Spirit’s power in convincing and saving men. We used often to see a whole congregation broken down and unable to leave the church, and numbers night after night coming to the house of God and finding salvation. And this no matter who was conducting the service.
Bob Linder once also commented, “Do you Australians realise that you have an even more inspiring spiritual history than we do in America?” Wow! So few of us know about our amazing Australian historical “movement of repentance.” (You can read more about early Evangelical revivals in Australia here).
Praise God for what he has already done in this nation — and for what he will yet do!
Dear Lord, our merciful Father, we thank you for your wonderful gracious works in our national past. We still are blessed in many ways by the ongoing remains of these in our culture. But we live in challenging days. Yet our forefathers did also. Stir up in us the same faith, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to inspire preaching and to bring another movement of repentance even in our day. That there will again be “numbers… finding salvation”. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Prayer Points for May 2021
1. Pray for Revival and Transformation for Australia
2. Pray for 1 Billion people worldwide to hear the Gospel
3. Share the Good News of Jesus with 5 people
Jeff Stacey is married and lives near Sydney, Australia. After graduating in civil engineering (BE) from the University of Sydney, he worked as a highways engineer for a number of years in Sydney and some regional centres in south eastern Australia. During this time Jeff also studied in Sydney at the Baptist (Morling) Theological College and gained a BD(hons) degree awarded by the Melbourne College of Divinity. Later he gained an MTh degree awarded by the Australian College of Theology. After leaving engineering Jeff did part-time lecturing for about ten years in a theological college and several Bible schools. He now hosts the God’s Purpose Bible website.
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