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by  • JANUARY 16, 2014

The Shantung Revival by C.L. Culpepper

The Shantung Revival
by C.L. Culpepper

It’s Throwback Thursday where I review a book from the past on either prayer or revival and spiritual awakening. Today I will review a book, which might be difficult to get a hold of, but you can listen to Dr. Culpepper’s testimony online. Dr. Culpepper was one of the key Southern Baptist missionaries during the Shantung Revival (pronounced Shandong) in China during the 1930′s. The key to the widespread movement of God was prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit working through the missionaries. We have many people praying for revival in America today, but I believe one of the keys to revival is missing. This key is the working power of the Holy Spirit through the individuals. I hope you will listen to Dr. Culpepper tell of his reluctance to accept the filling of the Holy Spirit , but what happened in China when he was filled. We need more Spirit filled Christians praying for revival, if we are to move the hand of God in America.

Words from Dr. Culpepper:
“Most of the things that took place in Shantung are as foreign as Chinese in America churches today, mainly because of resistance to the Holy Spirit. This same resistance may seek to influence readers of this book. Many things in this book will be hard for some to understand. Only those who have seen the unusual working of the Holy Spirit can comprehend the revolutionary change which took place in the lives of those who witnessed the Great Awakening during the Shantung Revival. To others the terminology may be strange. For instance, the use of ‘the baptism of the Hoy Spirit’ and the ‘fullness of the Holy Spirit’ are understood in different ways by many people…This terminology is not used in a technical or theological way in this book. The writer has used these expressions to designate the experience of total surrender to the Holy Spirit, resulting in a dramatic experience of Christian joy” (p.9).

When Christians in America learn to walk in total surrender to the Holy Spirit and stop resisting His power, we will see revival.

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The Importance of Prayer in the Work of the Church

Many churches today in America are doing many works for the Lord. Unfortunately, there are not enough people in these churches who will volunteer to help out. The workers we do have are exhausted. In spite of all this work, we do not see the evangelism results we would like to see. According to the Bible, the reason we don’t have enough workers is because of lack of prayer (see Matthew 9:38). Prayer is also key to our evangelism efforts. When prayer returns to the church, we can have less programs to draw people and allow the Holy Spirit to draw them.

According to Evelyn Christenson, “Prayer is a very important means in the salvation process. Prayer invites the God of the universe to work in them before we try. It releases the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. It goes ahead of our evangelizing to prepare the soil of their hearts. It can open whole cities or nations for a moving of God toward Jesus. But prayer alone still can be just a means, although a vital means, if we don’t actually go to them in some way with the Gospel of Jesus (page 50)”.

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No! Cheryl Sacks, writes in The Prayer Saturated Church that…

The prayer leader may encourage people to pray, make opportunities for them to pray, and educate them in how to pray, but ultimately it is the work of the Holy Spirit to draw people to the place of prayer (43).

Prayer and the Mission of God

By Philip Nation

Prayer is used by God to bring His people into alignment with His mission. It is critical that we remember that prayer is not a power by which we force God to act according to our will. Rather, by communicating with God, His passions can become our passions. Believers have the opportunity to both listen to and speak to the God of the universe in prayer to receive guidance by His Spirit. It is not just an activity of our faith but is a portion of the relationship we have with Christ.

mogsb.jpegPrayer is an activity often thought of as driving only the personal side of the believer’s life. If we view prayer merely as an internal discipline, we can lose sight of how God might use prayer as a means of engaging us in His mission in ways that extend beyond our own spiritual development. As our maturity in Christ develops through the relational activity of prayer, it should consequently cause us to see the world and humanity as Christ does.

The mission assigned to the church has its originations in the mind of God and must therefore be directed by Him. It is in prayer oftentimes that Christians will come to a place of complete abandonment to God’s Spirit. In Ephesians 6:18, believers are directed to “pray at all times in the Spirit.” By praying according the passions and in the power of the Holy Spirit, we surrender our will to His plan and purposes.

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