True revival comes from the inner room of prayer
The new breed of revivalist emerging in the earth must be a generation that has established a secret life with Christ. The Lord is releasing an anointing to see entire cities and nations turn to God, but that anointing can only be secured in the secret place.
There are some things you cannot get in public; you must press in for them in private. You can’t go to conferences or have anointed men and women of God lay their hands on you to get this anointing. It is an anointing that results from encountering the Anointed One in the secret place, the inner room of prayer.
Now, it’s crucial that you go to conferences and have anointed people lay their hands on you. But you won’t fully step into everything God has for you until you learn how to separate yourself to the Lord in prayer. Not one revivalist I have ever read about or met acquired his or her anointing through public gatherings. They received their anointing in the secret place of prayer. All of them have (or had) a secret life with God that, for the most part, they don’t even talk about.
Revivalists of the past established their lives in prayer and are shining examples of what God can do with one who prays. John Wesley spent two hours a day in prayer. In Power Through Prayer, E.M. Bounds wrote of him: “One who knew him well wrote, ‘He thought prayer to be more his business than anything else, and I have seen him come out of the closet with a serenity of face next to shining.’”
Martin Luther, the father of the Reformation, said, “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.”
Evan Roberts, the young leader of the Welsh Revival, was a man of prayer. He would slip out of the revival meetings late at night “to pray all night in the quiet of his room.”
In The Great Revival in Wales, S.B. Shaw recounts a three-month experience Roberts had: “I was awakened every night a little after one o’clock. This was most strange, for through the years I slept like a rock, and no disturbance in my room would awaken me. From that hour I was taken into divine fellowship for about four hours. What it was I cannot tell you, except that it was divine. About five o’clock I was again allowed to sleep on til about nine. At this time I was again taken up into the same experience as in the earlier hours of the morning until about 12 o’clock.”
Before this encounter Roberts was a man of prayer but after this extended season of visitation with the Lord, Roberts’ prayer life was set ablaze at another level. In I Saw the Welsh Revival, David Matthews, a participant in the revival, wrote of Roberts, “Day and night, without ceasing, he prayed, wept and sighed for a great spiritual awakening for his beloved Wales.”
My prayer is that there would be a generation of
seekers who not only pursue Him corporately, but also inquire of Him in the secret place of prayer. I’m encouraged when I see thousands of young people seeking the Lord together, but what I want to know is if that is happening in their bedrooms when no one else is around.
Are they bringing to the corporate gatherings the momentum they have gained in the secret place? Have they captured the revelation that Charles Spurgeon talks about when he describes other work as “mere emptiness compared with our closets”?
Banning Liebscher and his wife, SeaJay, have been on staff at Bethel Church in Redding, Calif., for more than 10 years. This article is adapted from his book Jesus Culture: Living a Life That Transforms the World (Destiny Image).