By bridcf, Mar 21 2021 09:34AM
This is my monthly thought for February 2021.
I hope that you have been encouraged by our current sermon series on prayer.
To give us further encouragement to pray thought it would be helpful to look at a particular example of the impact prayer can have on a community.
The book Sounds from Heaven by Colin and Mary Peckham (published by Christian Focus) is a book well worth reading. It tells the story of the spiritual revival on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland from 1949-1952 and its particular feature is that it uses the testimonies of a number of people who were there to show how God worked.
Although God greatly used an evangelist called Duncan Campbell, at the heart of what happened on Lewis was that God had moved people to pray. I have quoted some of the testimonies about prayer from Sounds from Heaven below, so that we can be encouraged that God used (and still uses) the prayers of real people in real communities to have a real, transforming effect on the hearts and lives of many.
There had been a previous revival on the island in 1939 and something of that still remained:
Catherine Campbell recalls, ‘The 1939 revival was still fresh in the memories of my parents and their friends and they were very burdened for the lost – always! The 1939 revival was born in prayer and that spirit of prayer continued, eventually increasing until the 1949 revival broke out.’
It is also worth including this quote about the 1939 revival and the spirit of prayer that went through the community as it led to the events of 1949:
Annie MacKinnon (Kintyre) says of the 1939 revival: ‘A minister who visited there stated at the time the very fields were hallowed. The sea was hallowed. Wherever people worked, they prayed. The place of solitude was precious to them. Out on the moor, caring for the cattle, they prayed. Prayer was not a burden to them but a delight. They loved to pray; they were constrained to pray.’
Others recall the events of the 1949 revival itself:
Donald John Smith recalls of the 1949 revival that ‘there was a great spirit of prayer everywhere, and that was actually the beginning of the revival’. He tells how that in the mornings when he would go to the smithy, he would often find his father on his knees at the anvil.
John Murdo Smith says, ‘There were watchmen on the walls of Zion who resorted to prayer and would not accept things as they were. Prayer meetings for revival were held in various Christian homes. The cry that went up from many hearts was ‘O! that Thou wouldst rend the heavens and that Thou wouldst come down’ [Isaiah 64:1] . . . Those who engaged in prayer and believed that God would answer, continued to pray until the power of God came.’
May God encourage us more and more to pray. Pray that He would revive our hearts and the hearts of other Christians and pray that He would awaken those who are lost in our own community to their great need of Him. May we pray that He would work amongst us in power so that His Name is glorified in our church, amongst Christians in our town and in our community as a whole.