When I walked into Hughes Auditorium at Asbury University in the lazy little college town of Wilmore, KY, I started crying. The peace of God was overwhelming. My wife and I and a friend spent four hours on that Sunday, February 12, praying and worshiping God. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced—and over the years I have had some good experiences in worship and prayer meetings. This was powerfully different.
When we got home late that night after the four-hour drive, we immediately mused that we needed to go back. We were hungry for more of the presence of God.
So, four days later, we drove back. We experienced Thursday evening in an overflow venue as the lines of people were simply too long to get into the main auditorium. It was still powerful participating in Estes Chapel.
The next morning, we were determined to get into Hughes. We planned to go very early to stand in line (the event opened to the public at 1:00 p.m.), but it was snowing and cold when we got up. So, we waited. We got to the auditorium at close to 11:00 a.m. The wind was blowing and it was 25 degrees. We walked to the back of the line (more than a quarter-mile long).
As I stood there freezing, I began to wonder what was happening that so many people—a lot with kids—would stand in that kind of weather to hopefully participate in what was happening inside.
During the four hours we waited, we talked with people from all over. All were joyful and kind to each other. No complaining. I looked down the road that led into town—and I could see cars lined up for about a mile and a half. There were almost no parking places anywhere in this little hamlet. What on earth drew them under these conditions?
People were hungry for more of Jesus! They wanted to be in His presence and worship Him. Hunger caused thousands of people to travel thousands of miles (from as far away as Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Canada, Mexico, and all 50 states). Yes, they could have worshiped Him at home. But they wanted more!
While they came from all generations, God was clearly doing this to revive Gen Zs (under 26). Revivals have different manifestations, but none of the common ones were at the forefront. The focus was the peace of God as we worshiped Him.
Why? This generation more than any other struggles with anxiety, depression, and identity. We heard from Gen Zers who praised God for healing from these things! God knew who He was reviving, and He bathed them in His love and peace.
We do not know the full significance of this outpouring. Will it be a revival and awakening that history will record as a Great Awakening across our nation? No idea.
We may not know for years as we watch for the fruit of the revived. As they go home, may their hunger and stories, their renewed vigor in worship, and their revived hearts for the lost rub off on others around them!
–Jonathan Graf is publisher of Prayer Connect magazine. To subscribe, click here.