After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
In 1858 God poured out His Spirit in a
revival, first in New York City and then
throughout the United States. The
revival affected people of all ages,
races, and church denominations.
During the next few years, churches
grew and thousands of people trusted
in Christ. It started at a prayer meeting
attended by seven people.
Revival—what J. I. Packer calls “an
extraordinary work of God the Holy
Ghost”—usually begins in the church
and then impacts unbelieving neighbors
in the community. This is the pattern
we see in Isaiah 62. The Lord’s
first purpose is to make His people
righteous (v. 1), beautiful (v. 3), and an
object of His delight (v. 5). He promises
that they will be nourished (v. 8), at
peace (v. 8), and firmly established (v. 7).
Then, when God’s people are healthy
and lovely, their reputation in the
community grows. For us today, Isaiah’s
hopeful imagery of a shining dawn and
a blazing torch parallels Jesus’ similar
encouragement: “You are the light of
the world. A town built on a hill cannot
be hidden” (Matt. 5:14). When the Lord
revives His people, He also works in the
hearts of unbelievers.
The promises in today’s passage
are not simply beautiful ideals to be
enjoyed; Isaiah’s words come to us
with the imperative of action. On the
strength of God’s promises, God’s
people must persistently intercede
for revival. We give God no rest and
we take no rest for ourselves (vv. 6–7)
because we are so sure that God
delights to do the things He has said.
With God’s encouragement, we become
like the New Testament prophetess
Anna who never left the place of prayer
and fasting, but looked eagerly for the
fulfillment of God’s promise (see Luke
Apply the Word
At the time of the 1858 revival, the minister Samuel Prime wrote: “This revival is to be remembered through all coming ages as simply an answer to prayer.” Do you believe that the Lord loves to work in the church and in our communities? Are you confident that He has called us to intercede for this? Then give Him no rest!
Pray with Us
Please pray for Steven Mogck, executive vice president, who serves alongside Moody’s president, Dr. Paul Nyquist. May the Lord provide them with wisdom and strength as they oversee the operations of Moody’s ministries.