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One of the most consistent features of those outpourings of the Holy Spirit that have come to be called times of ¬ďRevival¬Ē has been that of a true spirit of unity among Christian people. This has been a feature apparent both in the time of revival itself and in the run up to it.
If we have any heart for revival it is something to which we must give the greatest attention.
Let me give you a simple but clear example of how vital this has been in the past. It concerns two Welshmen, both of whom were ministers. One, called Jones, was a Wesleyan Methodist and the other, called Morgan was a Calvinistic Methodist (a difference of viewpoint which had caused trouble even between the great Whitefield and Wesley himself).
Mr. Jones had witnessed something of the tremendous move of the Spirit which swept America in the late 1850s and he came back to Wales longing for the same to happen in his homeland. He shared this with Morgan (a bold move!) and we read that ¬ďMorgan was at first prejudiced against Mr. Jones¬í proceedings.¬Ē After one or two sleepless nights, however, Morgan had to go back to Jones and admit that, ¬ďwe cannot do much harm by keeping prayer meetings even if there be nothing but man in it after all.¬Ē
On this basis they met for prayer and things began to move. Within a very short time the two churches, Wesleyan and Calvinistic Methodists, united to keep prayer meetings every night alternatively, and shortly after that we read, ¬ďmen came in crowds from the mountains, and all the country around, to our meetings, until we were afraid that the chapel would come down.¬Ē Thus the revival began in the Cardigan area of South Wales and great numbers were converted.
This breakdown of barriers, this willingness to put aside parochialism and prejudice for the sake of seeking the outpoured blessing of God, this willingness to agree in disagreement, and to express a common humility before the Throne of Grace has always been the launch pad for the greater blessing of God.
This is a time when we need to take very seriously the sentiments of Psalm 133. That Psalm reminds us very clearly that God commands His blessings where there is unity. It is a time for ministers to join one another before the Throne of Grace to pray for widespread blessing. It is a time for a meeting of congregations for prayer.
The prospect of revival is a challenge to knit hearts at the mercy seat. Let¬ís not be found wanting as the prospect looms ever larger in our generation.