Wednesday, October 13, 2010

He Prayed with His Head in a Box


In the year 1905 a humble non-educated African American preacher, journeyed by train from Houston to Los Angeles.

There he was only to be locked out of the church that had sent for him. His message was too wild for the majority of the sophisticated and prideful leaders of the group.

Rev William Seymour turned to God in prayer along with a small following of believers, as they prayed diligently to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

On April 9, 1906, at a prayer meeting in a modest home on Bonnie Brae Street in Los Angeles, a few men and women spoke in other tongues. They had been meeting to pray for "an outpouring" of the Holy Spirit. The tongues speech convinced them that they had "broken through."

Soon the small house where they held meetings could not contain the large crowds that began to gather. An old warehouse that had at one time been a church became their meeting place. This setting was the beginning of a spiritual Revival known as the Azusa Street Revival.

The church building was sparse in its furnishing, with benches that had no back, and no pulpit. Rev Seymour sat behind two empty shoe boxes stacked on top of one another.

Rev Seymour would put his head inside the top box and pray until it was time for him to preach.

This was his way to escape from the distractions around him, and to be alone with God!

The intermingling of races and the group's encouragement of women in leadership was remarkable. The rich, the poor, and all denominations came to seek God and were blessed to overflowing. Mighty healings occurred, and prayers in other tongues were offered for missionaries, and for the many prayer requests that were brought in.

Over 50 nations were influenced as ministers traveled from other countries, and they along with new missionaries went forth to preach and teach what became known as the Full Gospel message.

Doctrinal differences abounded, and many separate organizations and denominations sprung from the initial revivals. The Church of God in Christ was formed in 1907, the Assemblies of God and United Pentecostal Church were formed in 1914, and the Pentecostal Church of God was formed in 1919 at the Sharon Bible School.

Today, there are more than 500 million Pentecostal and charismatic believers across the globe. The Pentecostal denomination is currently second in size behind the Roman Catholic Church and is the fastest-growing form of Christianity today.

Perhaps it is the hour that more of us should put our head in a box as we pray for a Supernatural and powerful move from the Lord.

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