Jonathan Bellamy spoke with Michael Marcel about past revivals in the UK, why we haven't seen a revival in recent history, and what he believes we need to happen to see revival again.
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Jonathan: Has it surprised you, the number of wells you've found?
Michael: Yes, yes it has. Whenever I tell somebody I've found 4,000 wells in the United Kingdom, they are fairly open mouthed. They just can't believe that we've had so many.
Jonathan: What does it say to you of the history of this nation spiritually?
Michael: We have the greatest spiritual heritage of any nation in the world. We were the first nation to become Christian in 250 A.D. That's before any other nation of the world.
Jonathan: I know that you've not continued into the twentieth century, in terms of looking for those wells, but from your knowledge of recent history, how would you say the last hundred years contrasts, or even aligns, with those centuries before that?
Michael: Very poorly. We have had revivalists. There is a difference, in my opinion, between a revivalist who carries a revival anointing, so when he goes to a church, people get saved through that anointing, and a sovereign move of God coming over an area. There's a difference.
In the 20th century we had several revivalists, like the Jeffrey brothers, but I wouldn't call that revival, because it wasn't in a time of revival. They were revivalists, evangelists, doing what revivalists and evangelists do.
Jonathan: Give me a bit more of your thinking then. You say it looks poor compared with the last century. Why do you think that is? In terms of some of the research that you have done on previous revivals, these wells of revivals, what do you see out of those that you don't see today, which could perhaps be part of the reasoning for that?
Michael: I feel there are four main reasons why we haven't had revival since the last one that I found, which was 1921, so, virtually a hundred years ago.
Jonathan: Where was that?
Michael: That was in Lowestoft, it's called the fishermen's revival. It was in East Anglia and then it spread up into Scotland and around Scotland. But even that didn't go as far as the pastor thought it should do, because people didn't get hold of it.
One of the four main things is the lack of evangelism. Let's face it, since the 50s until recently we have been within the four walls of the church. We haven't gone out into the market place. That is changing, praise God, and people are evangelising on the streets. It's getting much better.
The next is holiness. Holiness is hardly taught any more.
The third is travailing prayer; finding out what's on God's heart and praying it in through travailing prayer. That's hardly taught any more. There are some people doing it, but not many.