As we awaited the birth of our first baby girl, I can still hear my wife crying in desperation, “Get this baby out of me!” We were in the delivery room and in the last stages of delivery. Even though I had forgotten exactly the proper way of breathing and coaching, I was still attempting to try. With my wife holding my hand, I felt I was the model husband. Yet in seconds, all rationalization went out the window, as I felt her fingernails digging into my arm and the ear-piercing cry of her agonizing pain. I unfortunately, didn’t realize there comes a point in the birthing process when there is no turning back. Either there must be a delivery, or there will be an overwhelming feeling as if the woman is going to die. My wife told me later that at that point, she knew she couldn’t quit, but had to push through the agony and horrendous pain, or she felt she would die.
It is the same kind of desperate heartfelt pain that men and women have felt as they have agonized in prayer for revival. All through history, you will find there were individuals desperate for a move of God. It reminds me of the young Hudson Taylor in England, as he began to get a stronger and a more desperate burden for China. He cried out to God in agony saying, “I feel that I cannot go on living unless I do something for China.” The desperate, inward hunger and vision God had put on his heart was beginning to be birthed. Only later would history tell of the impact and influence this man had on China!
Desperate need requires desperate Prayers! (Tweet)
Before the Azusa Street Revival broke out, it is interesting to know that William Seymour travailed in prayer for some time. Michael Brown, in his book, writes about Seymour’s prayer life before the revival ever came. “Daddy” Seymour became desperate for more of God, yet for two and a half years, he prayed for five hours a day. “I got to Los Angeles,” he relates, “and there the hunger was not less, but more. I prayed, God, what can I do?” The Spirit said, “Pray more. There are better things to be had in spiritual life, but they must be sought out with faith and prayer.” Then he said, “But Lord, I am praying five hours a day now, I increased my hours of prayer to seven, and prayed on for a year and a half more. I prayed to God to give me what Parham preached, the real Holy Ghost and fire… like the apostles had.” Briefly before the revival, a local pastor had also written to Evan Roberts in Wales, asking him for the key to the Welsh revival. They soon received a reply, encouraging them to pray and surrender all to the Lord, believing God’s promises as they held daily meetings. We can see the response to this advice from the account of Frank Bartleman, another minister in the Azusa outpouring. “We prayed for a spirit of revival until the burden became well-nigh unbearable. I cried out like a woman in birth pangs. The Spirit was interceding through us.”
Through history God has used the desperate prayers of his saints to usher in great revivals. Desperate need requires desperate prayers! It is only when we also get to this place of desperation that we will see revival in our time.