What's happened at Asbury University? I for one, believe it's the beginning of revival. At least, I pray it is.
The Asbury Revival is an ongoing Christian revival at AsburyUniversity in Wilmore, Kentucky. It all started on Wednesday, February 8, when Zach Meerkreebs, a volunteer soccer coach gave an improvised sermon about love. “Some of you guys have experienced radically poor love,” Zach told the crowd. “Some of you guys have experienced that love in the church. Maybe it’s not violent, maybe it’s not molestation, it’s not taken advantage of — but it feels like someone has pulled a fast one on you.”
Then he spoke the words that started a movement that brought over 50,000 to campus in less than two weeks. “If you need to hear the voice of God — the Father in Heaven who will never love you that way, that is perfect in love, gentle and kind — you come up here and experience his love. Don’t waste this opportunity.”
Oh, and don't forget this line: “I pray that this sits on you guys like an itchy sweater, and you gotta itch, you gotta take care of it.”
Zach himself thought the message was low-key average. He texted his wife: “Latest stinker. I’ll be home soon.” But the students were itching. A handful of them stayed behind and cried out to God. And received Him. There are nay-sayers. I'm always surprised when I meet them. As if we could logically understand an outpouring of God Himself. But alas, I know we are to be discerning. So, I've been advising people to read Acts 5:38,39. In those verses we read about another mis-understood move of God. The very wise Gamaliel advises:
So in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone. Let them go! For if their purpose or endeavor is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God.
As the campus leaders close Hughes Hall, where it all began, and call for the movement to spread into other places—either it will be the end. Or nothing will stop it. We will soon see if it is God. As for me, I'm going to be crying out to God. And I think it's imperative that we begin to invite children to do so as well! Here are three things you need to tell your daughter about what's happening at Asbury. (And the last one includes a 7-day prayer guide to pray over your girl as you teach her to cry out to God.)
1.) What is happening so far is an authentic out-pouring of God's manifest presence. (And, for the record, it's happened there before.) We have credible sources on the ground who've prayed for and studied revival for decades. They testify that what has happened at Asbury is indicative of the real presence of God's Holy Spirit. On Monday, two of these individuals were guests on a program called Grounded. You can watch Bill and Holly Elliff testify about what's happening here. You'll hear them testify about how a similar experience in the 1970's continues to fuel them for ministry today and Bill reports that churches all across America are beginning to experience an unprecedented number of baptisms as a result of what started in Asbury.
2.) God has historically used children and youth to fuel revival. This three-minute video documents the ways He's done it before. I'm deeply burdened right now that we would begin to join these college students at Asbury in crying out to God. And that we would invite our children to join us. Would you simply ask your True Girl to ask God to revive us? All you have to do is pray with them. If teaching your children to pray is new for you, my friend Laura Booz wrote this great guide to teaching your kids to pray.
3.) Pray for God to "do something essential in us every time you open His Word." The Bible is a key ingredient for revival. It is alive and active and able to divide from us what does not belong! I've been praying this over my own heart since the first day of 2023. And He's doing it.
7-Day Prayer Guide for Revival
Here are a few other things to petition God to foster in your heart. And your daughter's. Pray one of these things for each of the next seven days. And let's see what God does in our girls!
- Love—"Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who dwells in them. (Gal. 5:25) The Asbury Revival started with students seeking to understand the love of God. If we begin here, we cannot go wrong.
- Love for the Bible—"May my children grow to find Your Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb." (Ps. 19:10) As I said, it's an essential ingredient of revival.
- Humility—"God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all." (Titus 3:2) It is our pride that keeps us from God. Humility drives us to His heart. It's, therefore, another essential ingredient.
- Salvation—"Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory." (Isa. 45:8; 2 ) What a wonderful opportunity to check in with your True Girl to see if she understands the good news of Jesus and if she's ready to embrace it.
- A Heart of Worship — "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) You've heard the worship coming from Asbury. It's heart-felt, offering in spirit and truth. That's all it takes. Raise some of that in your own home.
- Prayerfulness—"Grant, Lord, that my children's lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers." (1 Thess. 5:17) Prayer is just talking to God. And listening to His heart. It does not require much training, just encouragement.
- Courage—"May my children always be strong and courageous in their character. (Deut. 31:6) It is not popular to be a Christian these days. Your daughter will need courage to lead her generation to Truth. Ask God to plant it in her during this sweet visitation.
Our True Girl theme verse:
"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32
Mom, the best way to teach your daughter to live like an authentic True Girl is to live like an authentic True Woman. And to do that, you've got to get your life lined up with the Truth of the Bible. Listen to Dannah Gresh every weekday on Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's Revive Our Hearts podcast. The program features biblical teaching, interviews that offer godly advice, and other opportunities to abide in God's Word.