Even during the darkest weeks of the 2020 pandemic, a common theme circulated during Zoom calls and virtual church meetings. Pastors and prophets alike spoke of a coming spiritual awakening. At a time when churches were closed, conferences were canceled and missionary travel was restricted, God assured us that hopeful times lay ahead.
Charisma interviewed a wide cross-section of church leaders to see what God is revealing about the coming days. Even though many believers face the challenges of political divisions, economic turmoil and even persecution, the leaders we interviewed believe we stand on the cusp of a global revival of faith. These leaders, from Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America, all expect a widespread outpouring of the Holy Spirit amid this challenging season.
As we prepare to celebrate Pentecost on May 23, we pray these words from leaders around the world will ignite fresh hope.
Tunde Bolanta, Restoration Bible Church & Ministries International
The global shaking of the past year and the present distress of nations are labor pangs for the revival ahead and a season of boot camp training for the church. Like the early church, this revival will come with persecution as a catalyst for growth and increase, just as the olive oil comes out of a great press and the Israelites multiplied in Egypt during their time of affliction. God showed me a healing revival where creative miracles like amputees receiving new body parts will be commonplace. In addition, a great harvest of souls such as we are witnessing in the monthly birth of new churches in northern Nigeria and other frontline mission nations will occur. There will come a new passion for authentic Christianity in the pulpit and the pew; false ministries will fall and be exposed; and a great revival and fresh fire will fall on the altars.
Rev. Yang Tuck Yoong, Cornerstone Community Church
Two identifiable signs are taking place in Singapore to reveal that we are on the cusp of a mighty move of the Holy Spirit: the proliferation of prayer groups all over our city and a greater sense of unity and love for one another. It was only when the early church behaved in a totally unselfish way and started to live for one another that great power and great grace came upon them. The prefix "great" was only added in Acts 4:32 when believers started loving one another in practical ways, and we are seeing this happen in Singapore.
I believe everything God has done in my life up until now took place to prepare my people and me for this great end-time revival and harvest of souls. Revival is in my DNA, and 2 Chronicles 7:14 is the key. We must do all we can to be ready because God only uses the prepared.
Avi and Chaya Mizrachi, Dugit Outreach Ministries
Tel Aviv, Israel
We believe a new birth took place in 2017 during the Feast of Tabernacles, when local Israeli Messianic leaders hosted the Welcoming the King of Glory gathering in Jerusalem. This event forced us to take our place in a new way, welcoming the Good News back to Israel from the ends of the earth. Then in 2019 we hosted Welcoming the King of Glory 2 gathering in Nazareth, coming together in Hebrew, Arabic and English to repent for rejecting Yeshua as Messiah. This event caused a significant shift for the body in Israel.
Since the events of 2020, our message to the people of Israel is "Repent, for the kingdom of God has come" and as believers we are to "Arise and shine, for the light has come." The veil is being lifted from the eyes of the Jewish people. More than ever, it is time to share the Good News. The harvest is ready!
Natalia Schedrivaya, Village Gospel Harvest, Calvary Fellowship of Churches
Since 1993, God has been speaking about a great revival that will take place in Russia and all over the world, a revival of the church rising to the standards of the truth, purposes and life of the first apostolic church. God spoke to me before the pandemic, mainly for the Western church:
"The days of doing church in the usual old ways are over; the days of doing evangelism the old ways are over. I will not bless evangelism where one man is a star. Instead, I will bless evangelism Jesus' way, the Samaritan woman's way, Zacchaeus' way—a more personal way. I want My people to learn to love the hurting world, to have compassion, just as Jesus had when He watched the weary and confused crowds following Him."
People today are hungry for the truth as never before. I challenge the church to stop and ponder its message and even its language. When simple men listened to Jesus, they all understood, and their lives were radically changed.
Pastor Elijah M. Wafula, Life Missions Ministry
Christianity was birthed in a society that was as anti-God as could be, and yet the church thrived, influenced cultures and stayed relevant enough to remain alive for more than 2,000 years. I believe strongly that this decade is ushering the church in unprecedented revival that will bring a young generation back to God.
The church should be a force to declare the Word and the will of God by preaching the gospel and living a legacy of excellence both as a body and as individuals. Everywhere we go as Christians—even in a worldly system—we leave a mark for God. We need believers everywhere to express the manifold wisdom of God by preaching the gospel of Jesus and the truth, which is the power of God unto salvation.
Teresa Arce de Gomez, Esmirna Iglesia
What God has shown us during the pandemic is a revolution of intercessory prayer for healing, salvation and a cry for the church and families in the nations. The pandemic has brought pressure to believers to act on the Word of God along with a yearning to see miracle manifestations in the face of a virus that has paralyzed the entire world. In Peru, we saw the raising of altars for family worship, a flame of the Holy Spirit lit in homes in spite of so many deaths.
This prayer revival has not stopped. Without a doubt, the movement of the Holy Spirit will come, and we will see the greatest revival not only in Peru but in other nations as well. God spoke to my spirit, saying, "Whatever happens, do not be afraid of what you see, and do not lose focus on My Word and My power." He is the mighty one of Israel; we must believe in the work Christ has already completed on the cross and in the coming outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Bishop Charles Agyinasare, Perez Chapel International
The global church must do what it was always called to do, patterned after the early church: Work together with God in the areas of prayer, obedience and the Spirit-powered preaching of the Word. This collaborative work comes first in rekindling the fire of prayer by making it an essential in churches, not an accessory, exhorting God's people to pray everywhere and always, lifting up holy hands in faith. In other words, we must get rid of sin, pursue righteousness and holiness, and pray correctly. In addition, as the Lord instructs, the church must walk in constant obedience to His word and His leadings. Finally, the global church must return to preaching the unadulterated Word of God in every place, both publicly and from house to house.
Simon Hemsley, His Church
Durban, South Africa
The church needs great reform to break out of our Sunday traditions and podcast culture. We need a huge paradigm shift, repositioning our mental schematic to help us see the Holy Spirit and the divine design for inward intimacy with Him as not only necessary, but critical.
Something is changing. The Lord is raising up a remnant from among His people who would dare hold up a new pattern for life and ministry, revealing our need for God in us. We need Him not as our quietly received theological promise but as our majestic companion who speaks and declares to us, deep calling unto deep. In this way, we will make known our need of Him and the world's need of us, everyday people awakened and empowered by a love and a Spirit-birthed power that satisfies all.
Oystein Gjerme, Norwegian Pentecostal Movement, Salt Church
The book of Acts lays out the pattern for how the Holy Spirit moves. When the gospel was preached widely, the number of disciples multiplied. Among those disciples, an increasing number of leaders was raised up. We see particular evidence of this through the ministry of Paul, but we must recognize it all as the Holy Spirit's work. The people caught His direction and leading as they prayed and fasted (Acts 13:2). If we long to see a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, this is what we also must do.
Abby Olufeyimi, Builder's House
I have observed an ecumenical revival as churches come together in unity to pray and to serve. We are listening to each other; listening to the community around us; responding practically; and above all, listening together for the heart of God and responding to the Spirit's call to pray. We are simply praying more, and I dare say as never before.
Against the backdrop of a global pandemic and a post-Brexit United Kingdom, the church's response is one of compassionate care and engagement across social strata. Indeed, there has been an increase in people wanting to know more about the Christian faith. The church may have left the building; however, its presence demonstrates the relevance of Christ amongst us. As the prophet Elijah once spoke, the cloud may be the "size of a man's fist," but the church is preparing for a deluge of rain.
Igna de Suárez, The Father's House (church and foundation)
I believe God is about to bring a great revival to the world and is preparing the church even now. There is no doubt that everything we've gone through in the COVID-19 pandemic has led many to seek God and has made us respond as a church to this difficult situation. So what must take place for us to see this great revival?
1) The church must turn its heart to God in brokenness, in humility and in lives of commitment and holiness.
2) The church must return to evangelism with the true message of the cross. Ministers must return to the preaching of the Word, a Christ-centered word that confronts, edifies and transforms.
3) The church must bow the knee in intercession so heaven touches earth, a united crying out to God throughout the world by pastors, leaders, men, women and children. Let's keep crying out to God until His revival comes, and we see every knee bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!
Ana Paula Valadão
One evidence that the Lord is awakening Brazil is the rise of the interest in prayer. We have witnessed big crowds coming together to worship in the past, but now we see people signing up for prayer schedules and participating in prayer conferences, collective prayer initiatives and individual prayer commitments as never before. During the pandemic, online prayer gatherings are also happening. I've often seen prayer leaders have bigger audiences on their YouTube, Facebook and Instagram lives than Christian artists. In one of the many online prayer watch movements, groups of tens of thousands of Brazilians have been praying in the middle of the night. Prayer has been a key to every revival in history, so we remain expectant for the Holy Spirit to bring it once again in our day!
READ MORE: Experience the Holy Spirit's fire as you absorb the inspiring stories about revival at revival.charismamag.com.
This article was excerpted from the May issue of Charisma magazine. If you don't subscribe to Charisma, click here to get every issue delivered to your mailbox. During this time of change, your subscription is a vote of confidence for the kind of Spirit-filled content we offer. In the same way you would support a ministry with a donation, subscribing is your way to support Charisma. Also, we encourage you to give gift subscriptions at shop.charismamag.com, and share our articles on social media.
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