“Really?…a REVIVAL!?” (Have you heard?)

Encouragement for Your Heart & Mind from Pastor David Staff

Being a technology luddite, I am almost never on social media.  So I hadn’t heard.

Until this week.  Have you?  The Spirit of God is blowing where He will through the Asbury University campus (Wilmore, Kentucky).  More precisely, in Hughes Auditorium. 

What began as a normal (and required) chapel service on Wednesday, February 8, has become a quiet, unrelenting bonfire of prayer, repentance, praise and Presence.  As the midweek chapel concluded with a song from the gospel choir, ten students stayed and prayed. Christianity Today reports that what is happening “defies easy description. Students did not leave.  They were struck by what seemed to be a quiet but powerful sense of transcendence, and they did not want to go. They stayed and continued to worship.  They are still there.” (https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2023/february-web-only/asbury-revival-1970-2023-methodist-christian-holy-spirit.html) 

What’s more, students from campuses around the Midwest—and from around the country (as far away as California)—are flocking to Asbury.  Each night, thousands are packing the auditorium.  As inside space evaporates, they stand outside the doors, the windows.  Praying. Singing.  Reading and reciting Scripture.   Many say that they “hardly even realize how much time has elapsed.  It is almost as though time and eternity blur together as heaven and earth meet…something unusual and unscripted is happening” (CT).

Some have been praying for this for years.


Historians would remind that Asbury has been the site of revivals like this several times, “as early as 1905 and as recent as 2006.”  In 1970, as revival broke out at Asbury, classes were shut down for over two weeks to give room to step into God’s manifest presence.

Further back, the American colonies and then the newly formed United States experienced several revivals – the “First Great Awakening” in the colonies (1730 -1750), the "Second Great Awakening” (1790’s-1820’s) which fueled the anti-slavery movement, and the “Third Great Awakening” (1890’s-early 20th Century).  Segments of our history when the Holy Spirit used the worship and prayer of Jesus’ disciples to challenge our country’s spiritual lethargy.

A professor at Asbury recently wrote, “In previous revivals there has always been fruit that has blessed both the church and society…Likewise, I look forward to seeing what fruit God will bring about from such a revival in our generation.”


I am challenged to evaluate what I am praying for on a regular basis.  In a book I’ve read with district pastors (Transforming Prayer), the author challenges me not merely to seek God’s hand (i.e., His gifts), but first to seek His face (His presence).  Jesus taught, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these (other) things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).  “Seek ye first…what a verse!” Sara Groves quietly sings.

Praise God for what He is doing in a special way on the east coast.  Kentucky news broadcasts are featuring this remarkable visitation from God.

Shall we not pray for a similar visitation…for the good of the body of Christ, and the world around us?

See you Sunday.
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