Duncan Campbell was a man used by God in successive waves of revival throughout the Scottish Hebridean islands in the 1940s and 1950s.
The below video features Campbell’s testimony from one of the most famous of those revival periods, from the island of Lewis. After an intro, from 3:40 in Campbell shares incredible stories of God at work from that period.
From my studies of revival, including Duncan Campbell’s ministry in this Hebridean one, the 1904 Welsh revival, moves of God in South Korea, Africa and Latin America, and the first revival that birthed the early church in the book of Acts, I think there are five pre-conditions or aspects of revival:
- Personal Holiness: So often things start when we make a decision. Choosing holiness is a decision not only to believe in Jesus, but also to choose his ways and turn our backs on sinful behaviour in every situation we might encounter. When the first chapter of Acts opens, 120 people had chosen to follow Jesus and turn their backs on sin.
- Prayer: All the great moves of God in history have been preceded by a group of people praying for an extended period of time. Ten years seems to be a common time frame; the revivals of Wales in 1904 and Lewis in 1949 both came after ten years of committed praying. “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” (Acts 1:14)
- The Holy Spirit: It should be no surprise that after 10 days of constant praying by the early church, the Holy Spirit was poured out in a powerful way on the day of Pentecost. Throughout the history of missions it is always the Holy Spirit who has done the work; He is the one who inspires and anoints men and women to do great things, and He is the one who draws people to God. “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:4)
- Unity: When it’s a genuine work of God, it transcends all of our man-made boundaries. It’s the Holy Spirit who brings a genuine unity in the hearts of believers. “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.” (Acts 4:32)
- Talking about Jesus: It never fails to amaze me how bold the early church was in talking about Jesus. They seized every opportunity to point people to him. When the day of Pentecost happened, they said it was about Jesus. When someone got healed, they said it was about Jesus. Even when they were on trial for talking about Jesus, they preached to the Sanhedrin about Jesus! “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.” (Acts 5:42)
Let’s pray for holiness, prayer, the Holy Spirit, unity and boldness in proclaiming Jesus. Let’s commit to praying for ten years, or for as long as it takes. And then let’s see what God does! He did incredible things through Duncan Campbell in the Hebridean revivals, and He wants to do even greater things now.
Mark Williamson works as a director of One Rock. He’s an experienced leadership trainer, author of biographies on John Wesley and William Wilberforce, and is also passionate about praying for London. He enjoys good films, good food, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna. You can follow him on Twitter @markonerock.