Cheryl and I attended a “Revival” meeting last night. It was titled “South Bay Day of Prayer and Repentance” and was hosted at Good Community Church in Torrance. Craig Huey and his wife Shelly, and Evan Chase organized it and promoted it as a way of unifying The Church in the South Bay, to rally us, all believers, around our King: Jesus Christ. We were pleased to see a large turnout, the place was not completely packed but there were at least 150 folks from about a dozen or so churches represented. We prayed on our knees and on our faces in the Korean style, shouting to God, confessing our sins, repenting and asking God to forgive us, and then we prayed in the Hispanic tradition which is very similar.
We sang worship in English, and Korean, and I’m sure there were those who sang in Spanish as well. What a treat! A little bit of Heaven on earth I would say. We prayed for our families, for our city, for our state, our nation and the world. We heard short messages from two local pastors, as well as a message from Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council. The message, and everyone there agreed on this, is that revival, true revival, starts on our knees, praying to God and asking His forgiveness for our sins.
Craig spoke about another revival that happened right here in Los Angeles. Did you know that the “Azusa St. Revival” was announced to the world on April 18 in the Los Angeles Times, and that same morning at 5a.m. saw the great San Francisco earthquake? The origins of the Azusa St. Apostolic Faith Mission go back just a few weeks prior to that it seems, actually just a couple days prior marked their first meeting in the building at Azusa Street. That’s just MIND BLOWING!
Headline from Los Angeles Times, April 18, 1906 reads: “Weird Babel of Tongues.” The article went on to say: “Meetings are held in a tumble-down shack on Azusa Street, and the devotees of the weird doctrine practice the most fanatical rites, preach the wildest theories and work themselves into a state of mad excitement in their peculiar zeal.” The poor fellow was creeped out it seems because he had no clue what was really happening. Without a frame of reference, unless you are saved and belong to Jesus, these things seem weird and scary it seems.
One of their neighbors reported, prior to their move to Azusa Street: “They shouted three days and three nights. It was Easter season. The people came from everywhere. By the next morning there was no way of getting near the house. As people came in they would fall under God’s power; and the whole city was stirred. They shouted until the foundation of the house gave way, but no one was hurt.”
This is just too amazing. God is alive and well, and working right here alongside us. All we need to do is repent and pray for Him to fill us, to Baptize us in the Spirit. Keep praying, and keep praying, and repenting and praying. I really like their simple set of beliefs too:
- Salvation by Faith (grace).
- Sanctification (or Holiness) of the believer.
- Tongues as evidence of Baptism with the Holy Spirit.
- Faith healing as part of God’s redemption.
- The “very soon” return of Christ.
That is very much a first century church set of beliefs. Lord, this is our prayer. Baptize us and use us to spread your Word. In Jesus’ name. The outcome of that church on Azusa Street is today a body of about 500M believers world wide. Missionaries went out from there to many parts of the globe, especially Africa. There are several denominations right here in the US that trace directly back to that Revival as well.
It’s amazing to see God working amongst a mixed congregation like we saw last night – uniting around Jesus. We were glad to see a few others from Hope Chapel there. We’ll pray that the numbers will double next time! And double again the time after that, and the message will grow and spread like wildfire – that we need repentance, and the only way back to God and healing of our broken society is through prayer and supplication. Craig mentioned Nehemiah, it’s always been one of my favorite prayers. A model for us. Lord, show us the way back. We don’t want to do this on our terms, but on yours Jesus.