This delightful book by H. Elvet Lewis speaks of the roots and development of the Welsh Revival (1904). Here is an excerpt:What new meaning the title “Son of Man” has come to bear- the Man who comes nearest to every man, from childhood to old age. A father had, through drink, fallen into an early and dishonored grave, leaving his widow and children in want of bread. It was one of his children, raggedly clad, that left every heart in one prayer-meeting aching and yet exultant, as in his childish prayer he used phrases that must suffer in translation:-“Dear Jesus, I thank thee for coming here as a poor rnan, so very poor – perhaps as poor as I arn. Thou couldst have chosen the finest palace in the world to be born in, but Thou wouldst have been too high for me then. But I know how to come to a manger. I wish I had been living when Thou wert here. Everybody will want to cast their crown at Thy feet in heaven, but I should like to have laid my crown at Thy feet when they were stained with the dust of the road, bleeding and wounded.”
Besides this child’s personal sentiment of Jesus, we place this portion of a womans prayer:-
“Dear Saviour, I thank Thee that Thou wert crucified with Thine arms outstretched, to show that there is welcome for every one to come to Thee. Oh, I thank Thee that the old devil was not allowed to tie Thy hands behind Thy back, or at Thy side, or folded on Thy breast, but outstretched wide, to tell the world to come to Thy bosom. Until these last days my prayer was very small – for myself for my friends, for Wales; but I have looked between the outstretched arms, and now Lord, save the whole world! Save everybody!”
To me, it was not the charm of quaintness that made these sayings so memorable, but the feeling they produced of being fresh from life. Those who used them seemed to say: “We have seen Jesus!”
So, on the very threshold, we forewarn all that we are in the presence of an unexplained but impressive mystery; nor will the mystery be diminished as we trace some of its manifold manifestations.” We do not know”- said Evan Roberts himself, in one of the earlier meetings of his first journey-“how this revival has originated; we have no idea how many thousands have been praying in private for it; nobody knows how many. Nothing but the Day of Judgment will reveal it. He went on, There is a new life coming into Wales now. Everything will be changed. Why? Because Wales is opening her doors to receive the Holy Ghost. And without forgetting or minimizing the mistakes, the disappointments, the passing extravagances, the new difflculties in part created or increased by the movement, we cannot but still write – “He bath shed forth This.”
Note: Do children and family members pray like this today? Are there too many distracting obligations and toys? Where might they go? Upon what might they meditate to gain such spiritual purchase? Lord bring us again to this desperation!