By Mando Matthews
“Congregate the people together who are willing to make a total surrender. Pray and wait. Believe God’s promises. Hold daily meetings. May God bless you, is my earnest prayer.”
-Excerpt from letter to Frank Bartleman written in 1905 by Evan Roberts, catalyst for the Welsh Revival, in response to Bartleman’s request that Roberts pray for California.
“And will not [our just] God defend and avenge his elect [his chosen ones] who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay [in providing justice] on their behalf? 8 I tell you that he will defend and avenge them quickly. However, when the son of man comes, will he find [this kind of persistent] faith on the earth?”” Luke 18:7-8 (amp).
For the entire year of 2015, I had a burning question to God on my heart, “Why haven’t we yet seen the fullness of the next Revival, Great Outpouring, Great Harvest, Jesus People Movement, etc?” That year, I had three significant dreams that I believe contain important parts of the answer to the question I was holding before the Lord.
In one dream, I was taken beneath the city of Los Angeles and given a tour of a river which ran below the city and stretched throughout the entire state of California. I knew it was the river of revival and the source of many historic revivals that had been birthed in various parts of California. [“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.” psalm 46:4]. In the dream, my tour guide was the caretaker of the Bonnie Brae house, the house where the spirit first fell in the Azusa Street Revival. After seeing the river, I was shown the official water level of the river. It read “very high.” When I realized that the next water level of the river was “flooding,” I cried out in the dream, “What do we have to do to get the river to flooding?” (I knew flooding was full revival.) I immediately heard a voice that replied, “From once a month, to once a week, to every day.”
When I awakened from the dream, I knew that it would require daily, persistent prayer to see revival in its fullness. At the time of the dream, I was a part of a group of united intercessors that would meet once a month at the Bonnie Brae house to pray that God would “do it again” and send another great revival far eclipsing the Azusa Street outpouring. While praying for revival from time to time at historic locations or at large gatherings is significant, I believe that God is looking for consecrated individuals and companies of people all over California that will seek his face daily to see this revival break forth in all of its fullness.
William Seymour, senior leader of the Azusa Street revival, was a man of persistent prayer. In his own words, he states, “… the Lord had sanctified me from sin, and had led me into a deep life of prayer, assigning 5 hours out of the 24 every day for prayer. This prayer life I continued for 3 1/2 years, when one day as I prayed the Holy Ghost said to me, ‘There are better things to be had in the spiritual life, but they must be sought out with faith and prayer.’ This so quickened my soul that I increased my hours of prayer to 7 out of 24 and continued to pray for 2 years longer, until the baptism fell on us.”
This is not about our human efforts. But faith without action is dead (James 2:26 isv). In Luke 18, when Jesus asks if he will find this kind of faith on the earth, he teaches us that persistent day and night prayer is action that demonstrates our faith. When we give ourselves to something on a daily basis, it is evidence of how strongly we believe in it. Jesus is looking for faith. Faith is what attracts heaven to earth. It takes faith to ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, and knock and keep on knocking. Persistent prayer, especially when there is no immediate visible answer or breakthrough, is a sign of great faith that will not be denied.
God, re-awaken me to persistent prayer. Like Seymour, give your church in California the grace to pray and never grow weary. Lord, breathe on the faith of your sons and daughters in California and lead us to day and night intercession to see the fulfillment of every word promised in our generation!