Early 20th Century Revivals 1907
January 7—Pyongyang, Korea
In 1907, Presbyterian missionaries, hearing of revival in Wales and of similar revival among Welsh Presbyterian work in Assam, prayed earnestly for the same in Korea. Beginning on January 2, 1907, church representatives gathered for ten days at the annual New Year Bible study course at Pyongyang, then the capital of Korea. A spirit of prayer broke out. The meetings carried on day after day, with confessions of sins, weeping, and trembling.
Then on Monday night, January 7, so many wanted to pray that the leaders called all 1,500 of them to pray aloud together. Their prayers mingled with public confession, much weeping, and many dropping prostrate on the floor in agonies of repentance.
It astounded observers. The delegates of the New Year gathering later returned to their churches, taking with them this spirit of prayer, which strongly impacted the churches of the nation with revival. That pattern of simultaneous prayer became a feature of Korean church life. Everywhere, conviction of sin, confession, and restitution were common. Within two months, 2,000 people were converted, and by the middle of 1907, 30,000 had become Christians.
Persecution at the hands of the Japanese and then the Russian and Chinese communists killed thousands of Christians, but still the church grew in fervent prayer. Prior to the Russian invasion, thousands of North Koreans gathered every morning at 5 a.m. Sometimes 10,000 people were gathered in one place for prayer each morning.
Throughout Korea, daily early morning prayer meetings became common, as did nights of prayer. Even today, more than a million gather every morning around 5 a.m. for prayer in the churches. Prayer and fasting is normal. Churches have over 100 prayer retreats in the hills, called “prayer mountains,” to which thousands go to pray, often with fasting. Healings and supernatural manifestations continue. Koreans have sent over 10,000 missionaries into other Asian countries, and Korea now has the largest Presbyterian and Methodist churches in the world.
David Yonggi Cho has seen amazing growth in Seoul, where he is senior pastor of a Full Gospel church of 800,000, with more than 25,000 home cell groups and sustained church growth. During the week, over 3,000 people a day and over 5,000 on weekends pray at their prayer mountain.
© Geoff Waugh. Used by permission.