Cry for Fire (Part 1 of 2)

A woman shyly approached April and me at the end of a revival in a small church across the prairies of Alberta, Canada. “Would you come and call for a revival in my church?” she asked. “We desperately need a revival!”

“Have the pastor of your church call me, and if God calls us to come to your church, we will come.” I assured her. Months went by. Nothing. We prayed for her church.

One day, the pastor called and invited me to come and talk to his leaders. I drove through the snow, praying as I traveled. I walked into the church and shivered. I walked down a dark hallway and finally found a side room with a small circle of discouraged leaders, waiting to talk.

After a short prayer, I was invited to share. I told what we had seen God do in other churches and schools. I talked of God’s love and His grace. I joyfully shared about the power of God to call all to repentance, to forgiveness, and to live transformed lives. The group listened in absolute silence. Too much silence.

“Please tell me about your church,” I invited.

“Well...” began one, “a revival week would never work here!” Other voices chimed in: “We are way too busy here to come out more than a night or two!” “We are completely fragmented by culture and the countries from which we came. We do not come together for anything.” Finally, another leader summed it up: “Revival won’t happen here.”

I sucked in my breath, said a prayer in my mind, and responded, “God can do anything. Nothing is impossible with God.” The leaders looked at the floor, thanked me for coming, and walked me to the door.

But God moved on the hearts of one or two leaders there. They began to pray. They prayed and prayed. God listened. I received an invitation to come and call for revival, and God called April and me to go!

We requested that they would prayerfully gather as many as possible prior to the revival to pray and be trained to be small group leaders. They agreed. We came on the appointed night and walked into the spacious church, hoping for thirty or forty prayer partners.

One person was working feverishly to set up for the meeting. Finally, eight or nine people showed up. Many of them were late. They said it really wasn’t the best night to come. We prayed with them, equipped them, and left the church very concerned.

Claiming Bible Promises

God impressed us to come and pray and train the people again. The church promised to find more people. On the appointed night, we arrived with much hope and expectation. Announcements had been made from the front of church during the worship service. Less showed up than the first time! But we got on our knees and prayed and claimed God’s promises.

One of the leaders warned, “For many years, we have never had success in gathering this church together for more than a day or two at a time. After the weekend, you will be lucky if you have three or four people attend this revival.”

One little boy I will call Dex was sitting next to his mother in our circle of prayer. He waved his hand to get my attention. “Can I be a small group leader?” he blurted out. He was young, very young, yet he had more passion for revival than all the adults put together.

“Yes, you can!” I assured him. “Team up with your mom. You can work together!” His grin was bigger than the moon. His mother’s eyes were bright and shiny with tears. God whispered to my heart, “A little child will lead them.”

The night of revival came! Dex and his mom sat in the front with a circle of chairs, while I called for revival. They led their little group in the Word and in prayer. The Holy Spirit was present.

“Less will come tomorrow night!” promised one attendee, as he sighed and walked out that night.

Every day, a few of us prayed for every member in that church, whether they came to church anymore or not. We asked God to touch the hearts of each person with the love and power of the Holy Spirit. We asked God to do what only He could do.

More came the next night. People that usually stayed apart came together cautiously and sat beside each other in small groups. Conversations were surface-only and difficult between people who looked different from each other and who were used to sitting only with their own people. But they came...and God moved.

“Tomorrow begins the work week. Beginning tomorrow, there will only be three or four,” a few stalwart leaders dejectedly predicted. But believers continued to pray for the Holy Spirit to call His people through the work week.

Every night, the people came, not two or three, but many. Young and old came. People came from work in their work clothes. People came who had not come to church in a long time.

As the Holy Spirit moved on hearts, people started walking across the room. They reached out to people they had never talked with and sat down to eat a meal together before the meetings. People who were bitter towards each other confessed and asked for forgiveness. People with hard hearts had their hearts broken open to receive the love of God, some for the first time.

The fire from heaven fell. It was not fire burning up stones, but fire from God lighting up the darkness, to bring warmth in the cold, and to gather those who were scattered to be a family of God once again!

Call for fire!

Call to Action

Ask God daily for the Holy Spirit to completely transform your life and those you meet.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman \ Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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