Here is another thought-provoking and heart-humbling insight from the ministry of John Girardeau. Douglas Kelly reports that the revival that broke out in Zion Presbyterian Church in 1858 came about after a long season of congregational prayer under the leadership of Girardeau. As I read this and dozens of other similar accounts from this little volume, I am confronted with numerous uncomfortable questions, such as Do I shepherd my people to pray like this? Do I pray like this? Most searching of all, do I even think like this?
“This began with a prayer meeting that constantly increased until the house was filled. Some of the officers of the church wanted him to commence preaching services, but he steadily refused, waiting for the outpouring of the Spirit. His view was that the Father had given to Jesus, as the King and Head of the church, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that Jesus in sovereign administration of the affairs of His church, bestowed Him upon whomsoever He pleased, and in whatever measure He pleased. Day after day he, therefore, kept his prayer addressed directly to the mediatorial throne for the Holy Spirit in mighty reviving power.”
Quoted in Douglas Kelly, Preachers with Power: Four Stalwarts of the South (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1992), 134.