Paul believed that in the whole field of Christian experience the first
step is with, and remains with God.
Thought, feeling and endeavor must find their basis and inspiration in,
the sovereign mercy of God.
(image of Rodel Chruch, Lewis and Harris courtesy the web)
A couple of weeks back, my friend David, over on Ebbs and Flow, offered a couple of posts
regarding a bit of obscure history in his recounting of the tale of the
‘Revival in the Hebrides.’
This “revival” actually took place on the island of Lewis-and-Harris
during a time period running from 1940-1953.
I was not familiar with this “revival” but my curiosity was piqued–so I ordered the two books
David had recommended regarding this spiritual phenomenon.
The impetus…two elderly octogenarians, one blind, literally laid on the floor prostrate
before God immersed in a state of deep and earnest prayer…seeking a promise.
They did this for three nights each week until their prayers were fulfilled.
David offers a bit of background…
These ladies carried a burden so great that they prayed on their faces in front of the
peat fire in their crofter’s cottage three nights a week.
Three nights a week for months on end these two ladies persistently cried out to God in Gaelic
claiming a promise from Scripture:
I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon dry ground (Isaiah 44:3).
Their burden was for the folk of their parish, especially the young.
They had no idea of when God might answer their prayer,
or of how God might answer their prayer.
With my small corner of the world being currently consumed by all things new baby, I’ve
not had the time nor opportunity to delve further into the story of the Revival nor of the
Scottish minister, Duncan Campbell, who played a key instrumental part in the Revival.
Not until last evening when I finally managed to crack open the small blue book,
The Price and Power of Revival by Duncan Campbell, taking in a couple of pages before
closing my eyes from the weight of a month plus of pure exhaustion.
When I first read David’s initial post regarding this revival and of these two
elderly women who came before God entreating Him to fulfill a promise…
the promise of pouring water and floods upon a dry thirsty ground,
I was actually moved to tears.
Whereas their prayers were for their entire community, their focus was primarily
on the youth of their community.
These two humble elderly women believed God…without doubt…
and they believed in His promises…
so it was only natural that they went about imploring God to fulfill His promises.
The faith of a mustard seed…
a tiny smallness in which greatness is found.
Oh so simple and yet oh so profound.
Their earnestness and honest heartfelt prayers, in turn, answered in miraculous fashion.
Duncan Campbell offers the following…
The Divine in the human:
In God’s creative plan, man holds a unique place,
distinct in this respect that he alone of God’s creation is capable of God-consciousness.
“This consciousness, or feeling,
is as much a verity as any other fact of human consciousness:
The notion of ‘God-consciousness’ is something that I think lies buried within the heart each
and every human being…be it dormant or not.
And it is the moving of the Spirit which awakens this sleeping giant.
I’ve recounted this little story before but it came flooding back when I
had read David’s post…
Years ago when I was a teenager, still in high school, I was running errands with
my “godmother” who was the wife of the dean of our Chruch. Ours was an Episcopal
Cathedral so the lead priest of an Episcopal Chruch is known as a dean.
They were a deeply spiritual couple who were actually actively involved in the current
spiritual revival taking place within the Catholic and Episcopal denominations known
as the Charismatic Movement.
This was during the mid 70’s…it was a time of cultural settling yet spiritual growth
following the contentious 60’s.
I don’t recall how our conversation got on the subject but my godmother commented
on the obvious curiosity behind my apparent draw to a deeper spirituality…
this given the fact that I was an angst-filled teenager whose family was not exactly
the most religious–
So how in the world I had stumbled upon my current path of a Spiritual journey,
all of which seemed more than a bit odd, was beyond her soul…
But she had a clue…
From first glance, I was not exactly one who others would imagine to be a deeply seeking person…
seeking deeply what Catherine Marshal called “Something More” —
which was the title of one of her numerous books and one that I just happened to be reading.
Knowing my history…that I had been adopted, my godmother turned to look me in the
face and proceeded to tell me that she believed someone who had known of me and of
my existence had prayed…
that someone had prayed for me for all these years…
as those prayers had been directing my path all these years…
And so yes, we pray earnestly because we have been told to pray without ceasing…
God has made us a promise and He will not turn a deaf ear to that promise…
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope.