I’m currently in Boston, MA with 70 students, praying for awakening on the Ivy League campuses. I have always had a great interest in the topic of “awakening” – awakening on the scale of the First and Second Great Awakenings. I am drawn to the writings of the “Awakening Greats” such as Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Finney and the like. There have also been great movements in a our nations history such as Azusa Street and the Healing Revivals of the 50’s, the Jesus Movement where God opened hearts and ushered in awakening and great harvest that interest me.
The question remains, what is awakening? Is it possible for us to experience awakening today? I’m convinced the answer to that question is, Yes!
With heightened interest in this area, I am getting reacquainted with several powerful documents from the “Masters” of Awakening past. There are many of these masters who have written volumes and volumes. The following is a brief excerpt of what Charles Finney had to say about “Indicators of Revival Approaching”:
A conviction and feeling of the necessity of a revival on the part of the church, is an indication that the work as already begun in the church. It often happens that a backsliding church have no real sense of their state. They have no such conviction as to produce action. They have no such feeling of its existence as really to make any effort to bring about a different state of things. But when a revival is approaching, and in fact is really begun in some hearts, this conviction ripens into action. There is a prevailing sense of the necessity of a revival; and Christians begin to talk and to pray about it, and
- to bestir themselves to bring about a different state of things. They will call meetings for that purpose; inquire what shall be done, and take up the subject and act upon it.
- A spirit of prayer will be seen to prevail for a revival of religion. Christians begin to confess their sins, and to be in earnest about it—the prayer meetings begin to fill up—and a spirit of humiliation appears, and brethren do not spend their time in cold praying; they break down, and confess, and a new spirit is seen to be taking possession of them. The expectation that a revival is coming, and the feeling that it has commenced, manifests itself; and a new order of things is manifestly about to be inaugurated.
- It is found that professors of religion are greatly searched; and are perhaps going to their minister and to each other to make inquires, and to request to be prayed for. Christians request the prayers of each other in their meetings or in private, and sinners are beginning to inquire what they shall do to be saved.
- A solemnity prevails in the congregation and in the community. Professors of religion can more easily attend weekly prayer meetings, and are more ready for every good word and work. In short, it is seen that the subject of religion is beginning to take hold of the public mind—that people are becoming interested and excited. The congregations on the Sabbath are more solemn; prayer meetings take on a different type; secret prayer begins to be more generally practiced, and in a different spirit;
- The general tone of morals is elevated; there is less running after pleasure, less censoriousness, less self-indulgence and extravagance. The church are beginning to put on strength, and the ungodly are beginning to notice it. These and such like things, are indications of a revival already commenced.
Tags: Awakening • Charles Finney • Revival