May our souls…thirst for such seasons of refreshing
October 13, 1778 – Elder Abel Morgan delivered the opening message to the Philadelphia Association at Hopewell, New Jersey from Mt 22:4: Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. His sermon reflected the spirit of urgency that the entire association felt.
The young nation was engaged in war with a formidable enemy, and things did not look good at all for the Continental Army. Their minutes record their concern: “The Association, deeply impressed with a sense of the calamities of the times, the prevalence of vice and profanity, and the declension of vital piety: Resolved, To recommend to the churches to observe four days, the ensuing year, of humiliation, fasting and prayer, and abstinence from labor and recreation; viz, the second Thursday in November, February, May and August; and they entreat the same day religiously observed in a solemn and devout manner.”
Current Christianity equates the matter of fasting to monastic living or to an act of religiosity. However, our forefathers experienced revival, and the nation enjoyed any number of spiritual awakenings. May our souls hunger and thirst for such seasons of refreshing: and may our spiritual leadership call the people apart and sanctify definite days of humiliation (repentance), fasting, and prayer. Our changeless God has promised to answer such intensity of heart. “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? Ps. 85:6.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 424-25.