Prayer and Revival

There are seemingly countless stories of the role of prayer in spiritual awakenings. God’s greatest works are always coupled with prayer. This article relates two of those stories in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Prayer and revival always go together, whether in the Scriptures or in church history. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, a verse that has inspired countless Christians to pray for revival, the Lord says to King Solomon, if “My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

When God’s people humble themselves, repent of their sins and seek greater intimacy with Him, He brings renewal to individuals, families, churches and even nations. We see this pattern play out over and over again in church history. In this post, I want to recount two of those revivals.

The Teschen Revival

In the 1700s, Central Europe was divided between Catholic states and Lutheran states. As a general rule, the religion of the ruler was the religion of the people. But in Silesia, which is now mostly part of Poland, a Catholic dynasty was forcing all of the Lutheran Pietists in their kingdom to convert to Roman Catholicism.

In 1708, Pietist children in southern Silesia began holding large outdoor prayer and song services. The phenomenon soon spread all over Silesia and included adults as well as children. The children called their prayer services “camp meetings,” a term that was famously adopted by Methodists in America about a century later.

With some military help from Sweden, the Pietists gained religious freedom from their Catholic rulers and planted the Jesus Church in the village of Teschen, which had become the center of the prayer revival. The Jesus Church had between 5,000 and 10,000 worshipers every week and conducted services in German, Polish and Czech.

The Teschen Revival spread to other newly formed Pietist churches in Silesia and then to other parts of Central Europe. John Wesley in England and Jonathan Edwards in New England followed the Teschen Revival and began to pray for similar outpourings of the Spirit in their lands. Today, most historians consider the Teschen Revival to be the beginning of the transatlantic awakening that swept across Europe, the British Isles and North America off and on during the 18th century. We call the American version the First Great Awakening.

Read the rest of the article here,

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  • Laura Keohan
    commented 2018-07-30 14:56:51 -0400
    These historical accounts of revivals in past centuries are inspiring as history sets the foundation for the present &future.
    What I’m excited about is the Greenville Awakening happening in northeastern Tenn. RIGHT NOW!
    What started out as a one week revival in Mothers Day of this year has grown into a tent revival Monday thru Friday & is in its 13th week. It crosses denominational lines and people are getting saved,healed & delivered from addictions,etc.
    We should rejoice to be part of what God is doing in America. Can’t wait to join Day & Night this August on their fast& prayer.

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