Collegiate Day of Prayer: 30-Day Church Prayer Guide

Collegiate Day of Prayer: 30-Day Church Prayer Guide

DAY 4 OF 30

DAY 4: The Revival We Need

By Oswald J. Smith (The Peoples Church, Toronto)

“If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” — 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

In 1904, all of Wales was aflame. The nation had drifted far from God. The spiritual conditions were low indeed. Church attendance was poor and sin abounded on every side.

Suddenly, like an unexpected tornado, the Spirit of God swept over the land. The churches were crowded so multitudes were unable to get in. Meetings lasted from ten in the morning until twelve at night. Three definite services were held each day. There was very little preaching. Singing, testimony, and prayer were the chief features. No choir, for everybody sang. No collection and no advertising.

Nothing had ever come over Wales with such far-reaching results. (Unbelievers) were converted, drunkards, thieves, and gamblers saved, and thousands reclaimed to respectability. Confessions of awful sins were heard on every side. In five weeks 20,000 joined the churches.

In the year 1835, Titus Coan landed on the shore belt of Hawaii. In 1837, nearly the whole population became an audience. He was ministering to 15,000 people. Unable to reach them, they came to him and settled down to a two-year-long camp meeting. Day and night, audiences from 2,000 to 6,000 people strong would rally to the signal of the bell.

There was trembling, weeping, sobbing, and loud crying for mercy, sometimes too loud for the preacher to be heard. Once while preaching in the open field to 2,000 people, the entire congregation took up the cry for mercy. For half an hour Mr. Coan could get no chance to speak but had to stand still and see God work.

Quarrels were resolved, drunkards delivered, adulterers converted, and murderers revealed and pardoned. Thieves returned stolen property. Sins of a lifetime were renounced. In one year 5,244 joined the church. When Mr. Coan left, he had baptized 11,960 persons.

My heart cries out to God for such a manifestation of Himself...

  • How many of our churches are empty Sunday after Sunday?
  • Where is the hunger for spiritual things?
  • How many professing Christians are living the Christ-life before men?
  • Where are the persecutions that were heaped on the early Church?
  • How many souls are won through the preaching of the Word?
  • Where is the conviction of sin we used to know?

Ah, yes, men have forgotten God. Sin flourishes on every side. The pulpit fails to grip. And I know of nothing less than the outpouring of His Spirit that can meet the situation. Such a revival has transformed scores and hundreds of communities; it can transform ours.

Now, how may we secure such an outpouring of the Spirit? God answered, by prayer. True, but there is something before prayer. We will have to deal first of all with the question of sin; for unless our lives are right in the sight of God, unless sin has been put away, we may pray until doomsday, and the revival will never come. “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)


  • Let God search your heart and reveal the hindrances. Sin must be confessed and put away. It may be you will have to forsake some cherished idol. It may be you will have to make restitution. Perhaps you are withholding from God, robbing Him of His own. It lies between you and God.
  • The trouble is not with God; it lies right here with ourselves. He is willing, but we are not ready. He is waiting. How long will we keep Him waiting?

[Oswald J. Smith, The Revival We Need (New York, NY: The Christian Alliance Publishing Company, 1925), p. 11-19. Edited, compiled & slightly modified for flow.]

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Collegiate Day of Prayer: 30-Day Church Prayer Guide

200 years ago in 1823, nearly every major denomination and university across America united in prayer for our nation’s college students. Campuses were being radically transformed by powerful seasons of spiritual awakenin...

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