THE outpouring started with a handful of students gathering for a prayer meeting with staff at Hughes Auditorium in Asbury University, Wilmore, Kentucky on 8 February.
Asbury is a private Christian university, so they were praying together for spiritual renewal and worshipping God. It was meant to end – as with any typical prayer meeting – in a timely fashion.
Nobody expected the prayer meeting to carry on for another two weeks. Worshippers simply did not want to go home. Online videos of participants worshipping en masse went viral and outsiders were soon flying to the meeting from all corners of the USA. Footage clocked up 133 million views to date on social media channel, TikTok.
Former Vice President Mike Pence even tweeted about it: “Deeply moved to see the revival taking place! The Lord is at work at Asbury and lives will be changed forever!”
Carolyn Hyde, an Israeli worship leader, wrote on Facebook: “At last there is some good news to share, that revival has come to an American university. May Adonai keep this fire alive on the altar and let it spread!”
However, she encouraged people to pray for the host students, who were struggling to feed and house fellow students converging on their campus. The town has 6,000 inhabitants but 50,000 people attended the unexpected revival event.
Law enforcement officials were concerned about having enough staff for the mass influx of visitors, so Asbury’s President, Dr Kevin Brown, announced the revival’s closure on 24 February.
Dr Brown said: “Regardless of how we choose to describe what we have seen and experienced over the last weeks – revival, renewal, awakening, outpouring – this movement is not finished. Other colleges and churches are experiencing similar services. Rather, we are encouraging the continued movement of God through other people, places, and ministries.”
Asbury has a previous history of revivals in 1905 (during a blizzard!), 1908, 1921, 1950, 1958 and, most recently, on February 3 1970 when classes were cancelled for a week during 144 hours of revival – the chapel was full of people rejoicing in the Lord.
HOW GOD REPAID A DEBT
Paul Slennett, owner of the Southend Christian Bookshop, reports that a £50,000 loan was repaid in ways he’d never expected.
He had taken out the loan in spring 1988, secured against his building. Meanwhile he was busy sending mail all over the world with his own ‘Jesus is Alive!’ postmark, so that every piece of post proclaimed the truth.
Paul needed to repay the loan, but felt that an appeal from the shop for funds would not succeed.
Seeking advice from a lady he called his ‘spiritual mum’, Dorothy, he was told, “The only person who needs to know your need already does know your need (God).”
After Dorothy prayed for the funds to be released, a miracle happened. Paul says: “Between April-June 1988, all the money came in, mostly £10 or £20 notes. The largest gift was £1,000. God was faithful.”
LINKING UP SMALL GROUPS
Two years ago, we printed Pastor Paul Taylor’s radical vision for church in the 21st century. Now he gives an update and an invitation
In 2018, I wrote a booklet titled ‘21st Century Church Reformation’ out of a deep sense of God’s heart for his ‘ekklesia’ Church to return to her true identity and function.
The last few years have been a time of shaking of God’s Church, so that the things that are true will stand. The reformation that the Holy Spirit is initiating continues to develop so that our focus is on Christ alone and we become the bride prepared for his soon return, empowered as his witnesses to reap the end-time harvest of people.
Many believers are gathering in new groups to worship and encounter Jesus, seeking him and his Kingdom in prayer, and reaching many with the Gospel. If you are part of such a group and would like to share what the Lord is doing, please connect to our new forum that will be updated with what the Holy Spirit is doing. This is an opportunity to encourage and learn while following his leading.
Please send your name, email and brief story of how God has been leading you and we will be back in touch very soon. Also email if you’d like a free copy of ‘21st Century Church’.