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January 8, 2024

This past Friday we discussed the concept of repentance, doing so because it is related to the coming revival, which will intensify this year. Today, I am sharing with you an article released by my friends at Intercessors for America, written by Rich Swingle, highlighting the role repentance has played in some of the Asbury outpourings.

Seeking God For Revival

(by Rich Swingle of Intercessors For America)

Because revivals are marked by repentance, one way to highlight the need for repentance is to consult with those who have experienced revival. We are doing that, and the result is a three-part series, the first part of which follows here.

The Asbury Revival

The seeds of the Asbury Outpouring nearly one year ago were planted during the 50th anniversary of the 1970 Asbury Revival. On Feb. 3, 2020, at 10 a.m. — the very same day, month, and time the revival broke out 50 years earlier — Asbury University dedicated its chapel service to celebrating that 185-hour revival.

Before the chapel service began, Charity Johnson, a freshman at Asbury at that time, struck up a conversation with Jeannine Brabon, not knowing Brabon was to be a featured speaker that day. The two had a meal together after chapel, and Brabon encouraged Johnson to pray for revival, as she had done when a freshman at Asbury in 1967. Brabon left campus convinced that revival would come to Asbury again because Johnson and others were praying for it.

Johnson, who studied the concept of repentance in a youth ministry class at Asbury, said:

“Repentance is not only about asking for forgiveness, but turning away from what you’re doing. Have a change of mind, a change of heart. It’s actually no longer wanting to do the thing that you were doing. You see the thing that was wrong with it.”

The Revival of 1970

Brabon recalls that Psalm 66:18 had spoken to her when she was younger: If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. “That whole concept was very key to me in interceding and believing God for revival, not to allow sin in any way to thwart God’s holy purposes from coming to fruition,” she said.

On Oct. 3, 1969, four months before the earlier revival, Brabon secured permission to gather students to pray overnight in Hughes Auditorium. “We began by confession of sin,” she said. “All across the auditorium, people began confessing.” They prayed 2 Chronicles 7:14: ". .  if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

By 3 A.M., there were still some 80 students present. “I’d never been in anything like it,” Brabon said. “The Shekinah glory literally had descended.”

Then, on February 3, 1970, Asbury Dean Custer Reynolds was scheduled to bring the message, but instead, opened the mic for testimonies, many of which were expressions of repentance. The service ended up lasting for one week and 17 hours, and as it progressed, Brabon witnessed more and more expressions of repentance. She said:

“I knew — because I’d been praying — who were in the lost set on campus, and I watched them on Friday night at midnight go to the altar and stay there for two hours and just weep, seeking God. That’s where you’d see the genuine repentance. You cannot be in the holy presence of God and not have sin exposed in your life, and you can’t stand in the presence of God and not confess it. There’s no justification for any action. . .It’s, ‘I’m before God, and I did this.’”

Brabon points out that one week before the 2023 Asbury Outpouring began, national leaders, including Rep. Kevin McCarthy, then speaker of the House of Representatives, gathered at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., for the National Gathering for Prayer and Repentance. . .She believes that the event paved the way for Asbury’s 374-hour chapel service.

Another speaker at the 50th anniversary of the 1970 Asbury Revival was Judge Tim Philpot, who called it a revival of repentance. He tells people that he was on the “Top 10 Most Wanted List” — meaning that many on campus were praying that he’d get right with the Lord. His father, energized by a previous revival at Asbury when he was a student, was an evangelist. “I was just a fake,” Philpot said. “My parents thought I was somebody I was not, and my friends knew who I really was.”

Though he ranks his rebellious streak as pretty tame when compared with what’s going on today, he nonetheless insists: “By Asbury standards, I was considered quite the rebel.”

Philpot was nearly killed in a car wreck three weeks before the Asbury Revival. He recalls: “For three to five seconds, as my car was hurtling through the air — I had heard about heaven and hell my whole life and I was pretty sure I was going to hell.”

[Three weeks later the revival was taking place and…]

…He finally made it over to Hughes Auditorium. “I was as lost as can be, but I didn’t want to leave,” he said. Three nights later, at 1 in the morning, he went to the altar. “I was weeping and wailing,” he said. “I knew I had experienced God. I saw Him. I felt Him. It was dramatic. It was traumatic. It was real.”

The 2023 Revival

Inspired by what happened in 1970, Johnson was praying for healing, deliverance, and freedom from pain and sin. She watched her prayers being answered, starting on Feb. 8, 2023. There were a lot of non-Christian students who decided to follow Christ during the Outpouring, she says, because:

“They felt a tug in their heart - something was telling them to stay, or. . .[if they had left] go back to chapel, even though everything else within them that was flesh wanted them to leave that day. But they turned around, either by just the Holy Spirit or someone being prompted by the Holy Spirit to lead them back into chapel.”

After the Outpouring, Johnson says, groups from around the world called for Asbury students to talk about how the Lord had worked in their lives during the Outpouring, even as students had been called 53 years earlier.

In talking about how important prayer is to revival, Brabon quotes E.M. Bounds: “You can do more than pray after you’ve prayed, but you can’t do more than pray until you’ve prayed.”

​​Pray with me: 

Father, thank You for what You did at Asbury in 1970 and 2023 to touch the hearts of young people. Their 1970 revival was during the Jesus People movement, when You saved thousands upon thousands of young people across our nation. The outpouring took the world by surprise and touched every part of America. Some called it a revolution, the Jesus Revolution. We are asking You for another revival to young people, and that this one would be greater than the former. Let it be immeasurably powerful.

Thank You for Intercessors For America, and the tremendous role they have played in birthing Your plans over the past 50 years. We bless them today, asking that Your favor, provision, wise and timely strategy, and multiplied fruit be given them. We join with them in emphasizing the theme You put in their hearts for these articles; it is one we also know is critical as we move toward the great worldwide revival in Your heart. We lock arms with them and agree for the spirit of revelation and repentance to be poured out here in America and around the world. Lift the veil of darkness that covers unbelievers, and let the power of this uncovering be so strong that it impacts not just individuals, but entire regions throughout the world.

Thank You for those watching and agreeing with us today. May their faith be strong, resolute, unwavering. Bless them with strength, health, provision, peace, and a fresh outpouring of Holy Spirit to them personally. We ask these things in Yeshua’s name. Amen.

Our decree:

We decree that another wave of revelation, repentance, and revival is coming to the earth.

Today’s post was contributed by Intercessors For America (written by Rich Swingle) and used by permission. 

This series will continue to cover the importance of repentance in the 1904–1905 Welsh Revival and the 2023 Asbury Outpouring. Check for the next installments, and search for #ImportanceOfRepentanceInRevival to pull up all the articles and interviews.

Rich Swingle has taught and performed in 39 nations across six continents, mostly in his own one-man plays, five of which were performed Off-Broadway. He has performed in more than 45 film projects. Rich and his bride, Joyce Swingle, another contributing writer for IFA, now have 41 “screen children.” They have collaborated with Rev. Timothy J. Mercaldo to create a “singing play” titled Songs of Revival: Hungry After God Himself. The Swingles live in New York City. Visit for more information.

Click on the link to watch the full video.



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