The meeting closed when the people began to move out. As the last person was leaving a young man began to pray under a tremendous burden of intercession. He prayed for three quarters of an hour, and as he did, people gathered outside until there were twice as many outside as there had been inside.
When the young man stopped praying the elder gave out Psalm 132. The congregation started to sing the old hymn, the people streamed back into the church again, and the meeting continued until 4 a.m. The moment the people took their seats, the Spirit, in great conviction, swept through the church, and hardened sinners began to weep and confess their sins.
As the meeting was closing someone ran up to the preacher and said: "Come with me! There's a crowd of people outside the police station; they are weeping and in great distress. We don't know what's wrong with them, but they are calling for someone to come and pray with them."
The minister described the scene outside the police station: "I saw a sight I never thought possible, something I shall never forget. Under a starlit sky, men and women were kneeling everywhere--by the roadside, outside the cottages, even behind the peat stacks, crying for God to have mercy on them."
Nearly 600 people, making their way to the church, suddenly experienced the power of God falling on them in great conviction, and like Paul on the road to Damascus, fell to their knees in repentance.
Revival had come in power. For five weeks it swept across that one parish. Campbell conducted four services every night: in one church at 7 p.m., in another at 10 p.m., in a third at midnight and then back to the first one at 3 a.m.
After this, the revival spread to other towns, and what had happened in Barvas began to happen in other places until the islands were ablaze with the power and glory of God.
A Secret of Visitation
The Hebrides Revival was clearly a manifestation of God. But behind it there was a "secret": one minister and seven members of his church, in a little wooden barn by the side of the road, who got hold of God and were prepared to stand in faith, praying and believing for revival to come.
These men were fully persuaded that revival lay within their grasp through the covenant promises of God. A covenant is an agreement, binding on both parties. Had not God Himself declared that if His people would humble themselves and pray, He would forgive their sins and heal their land? (See 2 Chron. 7:14.)
The praying men knew that if they kept their part of the agreement, then God would have to honor His, for He is not a liar. His Word must come to pass, and they could absolutely depend on it.
With this understanding, the men who covenanted to stand for revival stormed the throne of God. They prayed until they travailed and travailed until they prevailed. The Scriptures suggest that travail must always precede prevail. "As soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth" (Is. 66:8, KJV).
Indeed, every revival that has ever been birthed has been preceded by men and women on their knees travailing before God.
The wonderful visitation of God in the Hebrides is one of the most stirring and faith-building events of our generation. It also represents one of the greatest spiritual challenges to us now. Its scenes of divine power reveal the tremendous potential for a genuine move of God in our 21st century churches and communities. There is no reason that what took place in the Hebrides can't be experienced all over the world.
No town, city or village is exempt from the covenant power of the covenant-keeping God. Was Barvas a great city? No! Was the group praying a large company of experienced prophetic intercessors? No! Did they pray for years and years? No!
But if we desire to experience the kind of revival today that people experienced in Wales in 1904, in the Hebrides in 1948 and in many other places and times in history we must repent of our unbelief and complacency. We must get hold of God and in obedience do what He says.
We must believe He is a covenant-keeping God. And we must become men and women who are not simply casual seekers of God but desperate souls who mean business, like the men in the barn, and who will not let go until they receive the confirmation that He has heard according to His own covenant.
Kathie Walters is co-founder, with her husband, David, of Good News Fellowship Ministries in Macon, Georgia. She is also the author of several books, including Bright and Shining Revival, on which this article is based. For more information, visit their website at goodnews.netministries.org.
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