Sunday, November 23, 2008


I am delighted to see that the 1859 Revival commemorations are coming together. There will be a sequence of events in mid-Antrim, organised by the Presbyterian Church, Reformed Presbyterian Church, Church of Ireland under the theme "Revive Us". Their website is an excellent starting point for 1859 information, history, books to read, all sorts of excellent materials.

I notice that next year (the 150th anniversary of the Revival) the 12th July is on a Sunday. I would hope that people of influence within the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland will organise an appropriate event, or perhaps year-long initiative, to educate today's membership. The 12th celebrations in 1859 were remarkable - I may well blog more detail about this over coming weeks.

The map below shows the places which had experienced Revival by the end of October 1859.

The other document below shows that 14 years earlier, the people of the Ards Presbytery were preparing their hearts and lives for "the revival of religion in our Church".

The Revival had a massive spiritual impact on our country - which also became a social and political impact as well. Life in Ulster was changed in 1859. The Presbyterian Church is holding a 6 week long prayer initiative entitled "Awake! Prayer: Stirring Passion for Mission" which will run from 1st March until Easter Sunday - a recognition that revival only comes when God's people have a heart for prayer. I commend them for their vision. For all of these positive steps, revival does not come about by man-made techniques or strategies. It's not a tap that can be turned on by people. But if our lives, hearts and prayers are united in a cry to God for revival in Ulster today, and if He chooses to answer, 2009 could be a special year too.