Rev. Dr. Paul Jinadu
Someone wrote about that first week. ‘The Spirit of God was resting amazingly and graciously on these two townships (Shader and Barvas) at that time and His resting was glorious. You could feel him in the homes of the people, on the common and on the moor and even as you walked along the road through the two townships.’
The revival spread but one town in Lewis was not responding to prayer for revival. Arnol is two miles from Barvas and extra prayer was called for, so Duncan Campbell and others went to have an extended prayer meeting in someone’s house.
“It was a hard battle as one after another attempted to breakthrough in prayer. Sometime after midnight, Duncan Campbell called upon John Smith (a leading intercessor on the island) to pray. He had not prayed all night. He rose and prayed for some time and then he said, ‘Lord, I do not know how Mr. Campbell or any of these other men stand with you, but if I know my own heart, I know that I am thirsty. You have promised to pour water on him that is thirsty. If You don’t do it, how can I ever believe You again. Your honour is at stake. You are a covenant-keeping God. Fulfil Your covenant engagement.’ It was a prayer of a man who was walking with God. At that moment the house shook.”
The intercessors on the island were travailers, they pulled heaven down to earth. Someone wrote, ‘they have come to learn the secret of pressing through into the courtroom of heaven and of touching the throne.’ Two unsaved neighbours who were listening were saved that night. The meeting had ended and on leaving the house they saw people carrying chairs to the meeting hall, expectant of a revival meeting. The revival in Arnol had begun.
Campbell came across a woman praying by the side of a road at 5.00am one morning. He joined her in prayer for two hours when he discovered she was burdened for revival for her village. Fourteen young men were trying to decide how much drink to bring into the village for the weekend. In a little while all fourteen were converted.
The revival was Bible centred, Campbell used to say, ‘Preach the Word, sing the Word, live the Word.’ Someone said, ‘The presence of God was so powerful that you were constantly living in the expectation that something was about to happen.’
The 1904 Welsh revival was all about love, but this one was like the revivals of the 18th and 19th centuries; it was all about people weeping as they were convicted of sin, they knew that outside of Christ they were damned. They realized their desperate need for God’s mercy and salvation. Some might weep for days before they got through to God and knew the joy of His forgiveness.
The revival was all about the presence of God. Someone said that she felt the Spirit of the Lord was in the very air she was breathing. Whether they were in a meeting, walking along a road, in a boat, in a cinema, working in a field – the presence of God was everywhere!
Singing was another important aspect of the revival. As mentioned, they sang the Word of God, and the singing was full of Holy Spirit. One person remarked, ‘the singing was like fire going through my whole being.’ And ‘the singing was simply glorious, it was almost supernatural, full of joy and spiritual power.’
Love and unity was another result of the revival. A contemporary said, ‘We loved everybody! They were all enveloped in the wonderful love of God! We just loved them all.’
Interestingly there was no sign of healings or tongues as far as I can see.
It was a glorious revival, but the last one we have experienced in the UK. Let what we have learned here help us to bring about an even more powerful one!