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Spiritual Journey

A Quest for Power

From Shout It From the Housetops
By Pat Robertson

My first year at Biblical Seminary was a time of fulfillment and frustration. For the first time in my life I felt satisfied, knowing I was in the will of God. However, as I studied the Scriptures, I felt a growing frustration; the accounts of the miracles of Jesus and the disciples in the Gospels and in the Book of Acts confused me. "Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever," the professors said. Yet I saw no modern-day evidence of healings or deliverance from demons or the other miracles He performed. I wasn't sure what that meant, but I was sure we weren't experiencing it. In my frustration I began to cry out to God for the answer.

Longing for Revival

We began meeting at 6:30 a.m. in one of the dormitory rooms. As we talked and prayed, it became obvious we were all seeking the same thing: revival. We wanted it in our personal lives and in the life of the seminary.

One morning Dick White came to the meeting aglow. "I have just finished reading the most fantastic report I've ever seen," he said. "It is an account of what has been happening in the Hebrides Islands off the north shore of Scotland. Duncan Campbell has been touring the U.S. and Canada sharing what is happening. Revival has broken out in the Hebrides."

All of us caught Dick's excitement and plied him with questions. "The whole chain of islands has been ripped by the power of God," Dick continued. "Ten years ago a group of Christians took a census and said they couldn't find one man under 30 in any of the churches. Alarmed by this report, they got together and said they would make a solemn covenant that they would not rest or cease from prayer until God visited the islands with revival."

"Wow! That's some kind of prayer," Gene Peterson said softly.

"According to the report shared by Campbell," Dick continued, "these men and women waited through the nights before peat fires, pleading one promise, `I will pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground.' They declared that promise was made by a covenant-keeping God who must be true to His covenant engagements. Months passed, and then Mr. Campbell joined the group. One night at a farmhouse they spent the entire night in prayer. About one o'clock Campbell asked a young man to pray. He rose to his feet and prayed, `Lord, You made a promise. Are You going to fulfill it? We believe that You are a covenant-keeping God. Will You be true to Your covenant? You have said You would pour water on the thirsty and floods upon the dry ground. I do not know how others stand in Your presence. I do not know how the ministers stand. But if I know my own heart, I know where I stand, and I tell Thee now that I am thirsty.' Then he said this: `Lord, before I sit down, I want to tell You that Your honor is at stake."'

Prayers Like That Were Unheard of

We had never heard of anyone praying like that. "What happened?" I asked.

"Campbell testifies that as the man sat down the house began to shake like a leaf. The dishes rattled on the sideboard, and the people were terrified. Campbell pronounced the benediction, and the Christians hurried out into the streets of the village only to find them filled with people; all of them were hurrying toward the little church carrying stools and chairs and asking, `Is there room for us in the church?"'

We sat in silence as Dick finished his report. I could feel the hair on the back of my neck standing on end and felt goosebumps rising on my skin. This was real. This was what we had been longing to hear about.

"That happened ten years ago," Dick said. "Just recently they took another census in the islands and couldn't find a young man under 30 who wasn't a believer -- a complete reversal."

It was difficult to grasp that such a thing could actually happen in the twentieth century. It sounded like Pentecost repeated.

"Did the revival actually start through Duncan Campbell?" I asked.

"He says not," Dick said, referring to a report in his hand. "It seemed to spring up spontaneously all over the islands. In one church, the people were waiting before God and nothing happened, until a teenage girl stood to her feet and said, `I love Jesus with all my heart.' The people began to weep, and they stayed until three in the morning, confessing their sins and worshiping the Lord."

After hearing this fantastic account of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we all sat in silence. Then Dick Simmons spoke up: "Without revival, there's nothing. There's no hope."

Daily Prayer Meetings

We agreed and decided that from that time on we would meet daily to ask God to pour out His Spirit in our lives and on the seminary.

One morning as we met to pray, Dick Simmons told the group that we weren't the only ones in the seminary on this quest for power. "There is a Korean woman named Su Nae Chu, who goes up to the upper room on the twelfth floor of the seminary every morning at this same hour to pray."

"Why don't we get together?" I asked.

Little did we suspect what a profound influence this diminutive Korean woman was going to have on our lives. Su Nae Chu was in her late thirties, the widow of a well-known Presbyterian pastor who had been martyred during the Korean War. She had come to New York to do graduate work at the seminary and was planning to go back to Korea to teach in a Bible College.

Revival, she told us, had also broken out in Korea. In fact, she had been in the middle of it. She had been the "mother" of a school for beggar boys in Korea. These kids, who made their living stealing from garbage cans on the streets, were like animals. Even after they were confined in the orphanage, they stole from each other. After failing to see any improvements in them, Su Nae decided to fast and pray for revival to break out in the orphans' home. "I shall not eat until the power of God falls on you," she told the rebellious children.

Student Fasts and Prays for Revival

They laughed at her, saying she would sneak around and steal food just like them. "No," she said. "I am going to lock myself in my room without food. There I shall remain praying, until your lives are changed by the power of God."

Su Nae Chu had gone to her room and locked the door. She remained there several days, spending most of the time on her knees on a small mat in the middle of the room. The children grew concerned and peeked through the keyhole and saw her on her knees, praying.

Suddenly God poured out His Spirit upon the whole orphanage. These kids, who had been at each other's throats and stealing food, were now stumbling all over themselves trying to serve each other. They ended up putting blankets over their shoulders and going out at five in the morning to pray in the peach orchard. Then they went down into the community to make restitution -- asking the villagers to forgive them.

This confirmed what we had heard about the Hebrides. Here was a woman in our own midst who had seen revival and testified that through fasting and prayer the lives of children were changed without a word having been spoken. "The secret to such prayer," said Su Nae, "is praying in tongues."

Immediately I was intrigued and began to quiz Su Nae about her experiences.

"They used to call me the `tongues woman' in Korea," she said. "After revival came, I got up every morning and went up into the hills and walked around the mountain praying in tongues.

"But you must seek the Holy Spirit, not tongues," Su Nae cautioned. "Ask Jesus to baptize you in His Spirit, and then you may claim all the manifestations of the Spirit including tongues."

So we began praying for the baptism in the Holy Spirit, not only for ourselves, but for the seminary. Day after day we met to kneel or prostrate ourselves on the floor to weep, and to pray. Su Nae Chu became the prayer strength of our school. She would pray, crying and travailing in the Spirit for many hours at a time, saying, "O Lord, so proud ... so proud ... so proud."

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
—Philippians 4:13

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