The Asuza Street Revival stands as a landmark moment in the history of the church. The move of the Holy Spirit that began in a small, dilapidated mission hall in downtown Los Angeles, has impacted the church and the world in a way that few could have conceived when the Spirit fell in a new way in 1906.
Today, more than 600m of estimated 900m protestant Christians worldwide, find their roots in the pentecostal movement that marks its beginning at Azusa St, and is today far and away the fasted growing sector of the church worldwide. Through this revival, God accelerated, in a profound way, the ultimate fulfilment of Joel’s promise that God would pour out His Sprit on ALL flesh before the return of Jesus.
The revival at Azusa St. was marked by unusual and undeniable demonstrations of God’s power and His presence. In the realm of physical healing alone, stories abound of the creative miracles that God worked through the faith-filled prayers of nameless and faceless teenagers. It was said that the manifest presence of God was so strong, that sometimes people arriving by train would fall under the power of the Spirit as they stepped off the train at Los Angeles Central Station. On more than one occasion the fire department was called out to the Azusa Street Mission as the Spirit descended in visible form as flames of fire atop the building. By the power of the Holy Spirit, racial segregation in the Azusa St. meetings was swept away, as black, white and hispanic worshipped together in unprecedented love and unity.
In that place countless men and women received a new anointing of power from the Holy Spirit to proclaim the glory and worth of Jesus in the nations. Eternity alone will tell how many millions owe their salvation to what took place in that ‘Bethlehem Stable’ of a church building. Oh, that the Lord would ‘do it again’ in our day!
Yet for those who seek a ‘Azusa’ level breakthrough in the Spirit, the same price must be paid that was paid by the saints in the months and years that led up to the outpouring at Azusa St., and every other move of the Spirit in church history before and since. The price is quite simply this: unrelenting prayer until the breakthrough comes. We serve a God who delights in mercy, who longs to show His kindness to the sons of men. But the principle is clear: He waits for us to ask….and keep on asking (Luke 11). He will be gracious to us when He hears our cry (Is.30:19). The move of the Spirit at Azusa St. was the kindness of a sovereign God who delights to move in response to the weak prayers of broken men and women.
Oh that the Lord would give us 10,000 in our day, who would give themselves to prayer, that we might see the glorious, transforming hand of the Lord break in upon our cities and nations as He did at Azusa St.
Let us pray that Jesus would once again grace us with His presence like that. That the spirit of prayer would fall upon the Church and 100 Million people would be saved as a result.
Note: Azusa Street started April 9th, 1906. Exactly 111 years from when we finish our fast.