I wonder if we will ever see another great awakening like those of the past. Will we see another great spiritual awakening like the one that took place in 1801 at Cain Ridge Church, about 20 miles east of Lexington, KY? The movement was led by then Presbyterian pastor Barton W. Stone with the assistance of other Methodist and Baptist preachers. The meeting attracted large crowd. It is estimated that upwards of 10,000 to 25,000 “people swirled about the grounds-watching, praying preaching, weeping, groaning, and falling.” At the time of the movement, Christianity had begun to decline. Alcoholism had become rampant. Those who were moving into the frontier areas engaged in greedy land-grabbing. Universalism, the doctrine that all will be saved, and deism, the belief that God is uninvolved in the world, were on the increase. Churches and pastors did not merely wring their hands; they clasped them in prayer—at prayer meetings, at worship, and at national conventions. In 1798 the Presbyterian General Assembly asked that a day be set aside for fasting, humiliation, and prayer to redeem the frontier from “Egyptian darkness.”
There was an increase in anxiety, prayer, and discipline. But, what is most importantly, there was hope. No one knew when or where, but they were convinced that God was about to begin His work of revival. Indeed, God did bring revival to Cane Ridge Church. It is estimated 1,000 to 3,000 conversions and countless others renewed their zeal for the things of God during this 7 day revival. According to some historians, the happening of the Cane Ridge Church revival resemble the events of the Great Awakenings of the 1740’s, the revivals in medieval Europe, and of the day of Pentecost in first-century Jerusalem.
The reality is, for true revival to begin, it must begin in the hearts of the people of God. We must pray for God’s presence and work in our own lives. I believe we can see another “great awakening” before the return of Christ. I believe we can see God’s people shinning like beacons in this dark and lost world. The time is now! Will you join me?