Story Time

Mon, Aug 20, 2012

Hebrides Revival of 1949

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5 mins 5 secs
David Wiltfong shares how the revival broke out and what happened during the revival.

Off the west coast of Scotland is a small group of islands called the Hebrides. Between 1949 and 1952 a wide spread revival swept through these islands in answer to the prayers of God's people. This revival had humble beginnings as most revivals due. The Hebrides in Scotland were known for being very religious but few actually knew God and the state of the Church is very similar to what we see now in the U.S. The churches prior to the revival were mostly old congregations and had very few youth if any at all even though many of them grew up in church. Many of the churches were divided and there was very little true repentance and devotion to God.

There were two sisters who were very grieved for the state of their church and decided to set themselves to prayer and seek God for revival. These two women were in their 80’s and were both unable to attended church services because of their infirmities but they still set themselves to prayer. These two women would become instrumental in the revival. In one of their prayer meetings one young man who was a deacon in their church read Psalm 24 “"Who shall ascend the hill of God? Who shall stand in His holy place?  He that has clean hands and a pure heart” At that moment he prayed to God “Are my hands clean? Is my heart pure?” And at once the man fell on the ground under the power of God and everyone in the meeting knew that God was looking for holiness in the coming revival.

Soon after that prayer meeting the presence of God fell and an awareness of God gripped the community. This parish whom the sisters belonged to felt the need for a to bring in a speaker for a series of revival meetings and the parish brought in a man named Duncan Campbell who was a known evangelist in Scotland. On the first night of the revival meeting nothing noticeable happened at first until the young deacon who prayed Psalm 24 cried out "God, You can't fail us. God, You can't fail us. You promised to pour water on the thirsty and floods upon the dry ground-God, You can't fail us!"  Campbell then walked outside of the Church and found around 600 people who were all drawn by the presence of God to gather at the Church. Among the 600 people were 100 youth who were previously at a dance party and whose minds were not on God were all of a sudden gripped with the conviction of the Holy Spirit and ran for the Church crying out for mercy from God.

Another significant happening occurred when close to 400 people decided to gather at a police station all of whom were drawn there by the Holy Spirit. The sergeant at the police station was a God-fearing man and the people gathered knew it so they gathered there so they might find salvation from their sins. Duncan Campbell was invited to the police station to speak to the crowd that had gathered but when he arrived he found he didn’t need to for there were people everywhere praying and confessing sin. The conviction of the Holy Spirit was so strong that Campbell noted that he saw one man crying out "Oh, God, hell is too good for me! Hell is too good for me!" At the station many men who were alcoholics gave up their sin completely at this meeting and as a result families were restored. Some of these men who gave up drinking later become missionaries and pastors.

There were many other meeting such as these throughout the revival; where once dead churches were filled and overflowing with people.  There were even cases of so many churches being filled with people that people gathered in fields to pray and God met them there. Not all the meetings were like this though, at least not at first. There was one instance in which the meeting was very cold spiritually and Duncan Campbell stopped the meeting and asked a teenage boy named Donald to pray for the service. Now God was moving on this boy and when the boy prayed "God, I seem to be gazing in through the open door. And I seem to see the Lamb standing in the midst of the Throne. He has the keys of death and of hell at his girdle. God there is power there-let it loose! Let it loose!" And suddenly, the power of God fell upon the congregation. The power of God not only fell upon the Church but the whole region with many souls being swept into the Kingdom. During this meeting while Donald was praying seven miles away there was a village and the presence of God fell and at least one person was saved in each household.

Duncan Campbell noted that the Hebrides revival was not marked by signs and wonders such as people being healed or the manifestation of people speaking in tongues that many people associate with revival. This revival was not even marked by a fiery revivalist; although Campbell was a fiery preacher the presence of God was poured out on people who were nowhere Campbell. This revival was marked by people suddenly becoming aware of God and his holiness and then turning from their sins.  God heard the fervent prayers of two housebound believers who were praying for revival. He transformed their island from a wasteland to a spiritual paradise. God still hears our prayers today. If we will draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.

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