– Malachi 3:16 (NIV)
"Church membership in Wales was declining in the last decade of the nineteenth century."
So begins church historian J. Edwin Orr's classic book The Flaming Tongue.
"All of the denominations (Nonconformist and Anglican) suffering the effects of a loss of power in the pulpits and of a worldly spirit in the pews. Writers in various denominational papers complained of low attendance at Sunday services, fellowship and prayer meetings, and of a decline in Bible reading and in family worship; a Divine visitation was the only remedy, they said.
"Evan Phillips, a Moderator of the Presbyterian Assembly (the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church), declared in June of 1900 that Revival was the great need, and until met, all efforts to supply every other need would be in vain."
Sound familiar? CNN's recent story, A Rough Decade for American Congregations certainly sounds like a rerun. And yet, Orr's opener was a segue to
glorious events. It wasn't long after, at a young people's prayer group in Wales, that most historians agree the first spark of the great Welsh Revival of 1904 was ignited. Which led to awakenings around the world through 1905 and 1906. (Remember Azusa Street?)
So, let's not lose hope, America, but as Malachi said "talk with each other"---band together in a united assault on the Throne---till the Lord hears and responds with the flame of revival in our own day! Let our generation go down in His Scroll of Remembrance as those who shook the American status quo to its foundation.
One minute of united prayer per day may be all it takes to strike the first spark. Read the Minutemen blog to find out how, and let's start adding names to our own generation's Scroll of Remembrance!