By Arthur Wallis
The church has been blessed with many volumes on the subject of revival. Most of these are historical accounts of the revivals of the past. They rehearse the righteous acts of the Lord, and are precious documents to all who long to see a movement in our day. Those that unfold the spiritual principles are few by comparison, and are mostly written from the historical standpoint: that is, they expound the laws of revival from the histories and illustrate from Scripture.
The design of this book has been to expound the principles of revival from Scripture and illustrate from the histories. For the sake of accuracy the numerous Scripture quotations are taken from the English Revised Version. I readily acknowledge the debt I owe to those other works on the subject and I have quoted freely from them.
That four chapters in a work of this nature should be devoted to the subject of prevailing prayer will be no surprise to those who have learned from Scripture and history what is the road to every true revival. The Ulster Awakening of 1859 may be traced back, so far as such things can be traced on the human side, to the reading by a young man of George Muller's Narrative. Faith was quickened in his heart, and when news reached him of the great American Awakening (1858) he said to himself: "Why may we not have such a blessed work here, seeing God did such things for Mr. Muller simply in answer to prayer?" Thus began the revival prayer-meeting at Kells where the movement commenced.
Similarly, one of the springs of the 1904 Awakening in Wales may be traced to the reading of Andrew Murray's book, With Christ in the School of Prayer by a hungry minister, and the subsequent transformation of his spiritual life. It would be impossible to estimate the influence exerted on revival movements all over the world during the past hundred years by Charles Finney's lectures on prayer in his Revivals of Religion.
At the heart of every revival is the spirit of prayer.
I am most grateful to Mr. Duncan Campbell, whose name will always be associated with the recent Lewis Awakening, for consenting to write the Foreword. He is one of the very few in these Islands who have laboured in the midst of a general outpouring of the Spirit. I must also record my thanks to Miss L. Rutty and Mrs. G. Roberts for their labour of love in the typing of the MSS, to Mr. Geoffrey Williams of the Evangelical Library, London, for every facility and encouragement in the work of research, and to those friends who read the MSS and offered valuable suggestions. Conscious of its limitations, I commend the book to God, Who has ever chosen the weak things to be the instruments of His power.
If, according to His abundant mercy, He should deign to use its message in any measure to awaken the church to the need and possibilities of this hour, to Him shall be all the glory for ever and ever.
ARTHUR W ALLIS