Ruthe and I had lunch with two friends who shared their frustration with “church as usual.” They had experienced a genuine move of God and were simply parched for a sense of God’s presence and power.
I understood immediately. I also have seen God move in unexpected, remarkable ways – and I long to see it happen again.
Dr. Ray Orlund writes an experience of revival that, in his words, “ruined” him.
One Sunday morning when I was maybe twelve years old, as dad was preaching in the pulpit and I was doodling in my seat, I noticed something. Dad was minding his own business, preaching Christ, when Ed Fischer, sitting in the choir loft, quietly got up from his seat, walked down to the communion table at the front and knelt in silent prayer. His wife Lita joined him there. Then from all over the church, people started coming forward to kneel at the front and do business with God. Dad didn’t ask them to do that. He was surprised. It wasn’t even the end of his sermon. He was making no appeal. But God came down and took over the service.
When dad realized what was happening, he stepped back from the pulpit and stood there in reverent prayer. The organist had the sensitivity to begin playing quietly. God was meeting with his people.
It was quiet. It was sacred. It was an upper-middle class, mainstream evangelical church experiencing non-weird, unscheduled revival.
Our forefathers used to call this “the presidency of the Holy Spirit.”
It happened several times through the years. And it was always precious to my dad.
It sure ruined me. After experiencing that early on, I cannot help longing for true revival.
I will go to my grave praying for revival.