A few weeks ago, we posted a blog by Pastor Bill Elliff (Holly’s husband), in which he expressed his intense longing to see a true visitation of God’s Spirit in revival “before I die.” That post resonated deeply with me, as I have carried the burden Bill described on my own heart, since I was a young girl. It is a burden that has been at the heart of this ministry since its inception (hence our name, “Revive Our Hearts”).
A week ago Sunday, I began hearing reports that God was moving in an unusual way at the church Bill pastors in Little Rock, AR. Our team and I have been following those reports over the past week. After hearing of the continuing work of the Spirit in yesterday’s services, I asked Bill if he would write a summary of what has taken place thus far. I felt it would be an encouragement to our True Woman blog readers:
For the last fifteen years, a large group of pastors in Central Arkansas have been praying for revival. Each year we have retreated for a three-day Prayer Summit. This year it was unusually intense. Also this year, several churches have begun to have monthly prayer meetings and we have met as one church in the city three times for quarterly prayer meetings for revival and spiritual awakening.
On Sunday, April 3, 2011, God’s presence was unusually intense at our church (The Summit Church in North Little Rock). As I was preaching on quenching the Holy Spirit, I could not finish my message. God had called people to not despise (bring to nothing by their lack of response) what God was saying. A man stood up and cried out, “We must do this right now!”
We entered into a time of prayer that extended to three hours of intense confession, brokenness, and surrender. A C-130 pilot admitted he’d never been baptized and took off his shoes running to the baptistery. Four more people followed suit.
We had a regularly scheduled First Monday prayer meeting the next night, which usually is attended by 50-70 people since it’s beginning in January. More than 200 people arrived and it turned into 3½ hours of intense reviving activity. We decided to meet the next night—275 people came with increased obedience and interceding intensity. The next night 350 people. For five continuous nights the people have gathered for three to four hours of incredible movement.
God called us into intense travail for the churches of our city that God would come and it would not be something merely at The Summit, but across Central Arkansas. We are hearing reports of God’s activity in several places. Last Sunday, one church had eighteen spontaneous baptisms in their service, which has never happened before.
We decided not to have a scheduled prayer meeting on Saturday night, but several came anyway to pray over the Sunday meetings. Sunday came and the 9:00 a.m. service “meshed” into the 11:00 a.m. service as the crowd grew. The people wept and prayed and responded, seeking not to quench God’s Spirit but to do exactly what God was telling them, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
At this point thirty-eight people have come SPONTANEOUSLY in the services for baptism. Our Jacksonville (AR) multi-site campus experienced a similar move on Sunday as it moved into a three hour and forty minute bath of God's love, forgiveness, and grace.
The Lord has been helping us to see today and frame what He has been doing in our midst progressively this week:
- He is awakening us to listen and instantly obey (1 Thess. 5:19-21)
- He is purifying His body (1 Thess 5:21)
- He is manifesting His presence (Isaiah 12:6)
- He is giving us His heart (Joel 2:17)
- He is calling us to intercede (1 Chron. 7:14-16) and His “ear is attentive to our cry”
- He is saving lives! (Isaiah 12:2-3)
- He is making His deeds known among the people (Isa. 12:4)
- He is making His Name famous in the land! (Isa. 12:5)
We are continuing Monday night. We do not want to extend services one moment past God’s leading (which would also quench the Spirit), but it seems the train has left the station. Our people are “gossiping” the good news to everyone they see . . . college students sharing downtown until 4 a.m., coming home to make sandwiches to feed and minister to others . . . and on and on. Too many stories to tell.
Please pray that God would be merciful to us and graciously continue His work among us!
As you can see, there is no indication that God is finished yet with the work He has begun in this church. Please pray that this visitation will continue and spread to other churches throughout central Arkansas, according to His will. And pray that God will be pleased to pour out His Spirit in genuine revival in your church and beyond, in the days ahead.
Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence (Isa. 64:1).