At least three keys are needed to open heavens, minds, and doors for revival breakthrough:
- Prayer and fasting
- God’s presence
- Prophetic revelation
I believe each of these aspects can be demonstrated biblically and historically regarding the elements that precede revival. Let’s briefly look at all three elements.
Key #1: Prayer and Fasting
Prayer with fasting is a powerful key to making an opening for breakthrough.
One of my favorite revival testimonies comes from the 1949–52 Hebrides Revival. The Hebrides is a set of islands off the northwest coast of Scotland.
Two sisters, Peggy and Christine Smith, eighty-four and eighty-two years old, respectively, were desperate for revival on Isle of Lewis, where they lived. They had experienced historic revival previously, so they knew how to pray according to the Scriptures.
They reminded God of His word from Isaiah 44:3: “For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants.”
Every day, Peggy and Christine prayed the promises of God for the residents of their village of Barvas. They interceded for an open heaven and revival.
As they prayed the Word, they began to claim an open-heaven verse, Isaiah 64:1: “Oh, that You would tear open the heavens and come down, that the mountains would quake at Your presence.”
One morning, Peggy, who was blind, received a vision from God of “the churches crowded with people, including many young people, and hundreds being swept into the kingdom. She saw the Lamb in the midst of the throne with the keys of heaven in his hand (Rev. 5:6; Matt. 16:18).”
That evening, the Spirit of God fell on seven young men gathered in a barn who had asked God to purify their lives and who had been praying for months from Isaiah 62:6–7.
So, while Peggy and Christine were praying, and Peggy had a visitation, and while a little band of young men was in a barn offering prayers according to Isaiah 62, the Spirit fell on those young men. Sure enough, God came.
It was the joining of generations to such an extent that Peggy “sent word to Rev. MacKay [her pastor] that God had shown her He was going to send a mighty revival. She asked him to call together the elders and deacons of the church for special times of waiting on God for revival.”
Rev. MacKay sought someone who could lead revival meetings. Soon, evangelist Duncan Campbell was called to come help with the revival. Campbell would stay for three years.
This ingredient of revival—a prayerful desperation to see God move in our midst—is always within me, and it can be within you too.
Our hearts are God’s altar, and, like the fire for the burnt offering at the tabernacle, His fire is supposed to be kept continually burning on the altar; it should never go out. (See Leviticus 6:8–13.) Those two elderly women on the Isle of Lewis knew God’s Word and prayed God’s Word; likewise, we should know and pray the Word.
It is said that, in the Hebrides Islands Revival, a type of “spiritual radiation zone” was created. When people walked into that zone, they would come under experiential conviction of sin, and many souls were saved.
That is revival breakthrough—and it was preceded by prayer. It’s time for prayer to arise that will blow the roofs off houses worldwide with God’s glory.
Key #2: God’s Presence
The one outstanding and distinguishing characteristic of God’s people is His presence among us.
After Moses asked God, “Please, show me Your glory!” (Exodus 33:18), God revealed His glorious presence to him. Just as Moses did, let us ask God for a manifestation of His presence:
Then [Moses] said to [the Lord], “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.”… The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.” Then Moses said, “Please, show me Your glory!” And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion to whom I will show compassion.” (Exodus 33:15, 17–19)
We need the presence of God more than anything in this life.
Let me share a significant dream I experienced in January 1999 that enabled me to better understand how we are to invite His presence.
In the dream, I was holding three long loaves of bread, each wrapped in its own little napkin at one end. I was holding these loaves of bread close to my chest, right over my heart. I then reached for my daughter Rachel’s aqua baby blanket, which she’d had since birth. She loved that blanket. It was warm and fuzzy, and she carried it with her everywhere. My wife, Michal Ann, and I allowed Rachel, our youngest daughter, to carry this “security blanket”; even though she was no longer a baby, seeing her toting it around was very endearing to us. Through this symbol, the Lord was communicating to me in a way He knew would enable me to best understand His message.
In the dream, I wrapped the three loaves of bread in this special blanket. The napkin around the bottom portion of each loaf was similar to a diaper. I was holding the bundle of loaves over my heart, cuddling it, and rocking gently side to side, as a parent does with a newborn child.
Then I heard the words, “When My people will care for, cherish, nurture, and love the bread of My presence like a parent does their newborn child, then revival will come.” I repeated these words.
Following this, I awakened from the dream. My arms were positioned as if I was holding or cradling something, and I was rocking gently. The manifest presence of God was there with me in my bedroom. Then I heard myself prophesying what I had just heard myself prophesy in the dream. I was repeating, “When My people will care for, cherish, nurture, and love the bread of My presence like a parent does their newborn child, then revival will come.”
Revival will come when we get up in the middle of the night for the night feedings and hold the “child of new beginnings” close to our heart and wash this child with love and compassion.
I pray, “Let the cry arise, and let His presence come forth!”
Key #3 Prophetic Revelation
The prophetic dimension is a powerful tool to open closed minds, closed doors, and closed situations to the reality and power of God.
Seek the Lord through reading His Word, and you will receive this key. Then, insert the key into the keyhole, turn it, and open wide the door.
The following Scriptures will help us to understand this aspect of revival breakthrough.
In Matthew 4:4, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 in his response to the devil’s temptation, “‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.”’”
We need to live on the ever-proceeding Word of God.
We can live abundantly and purposefully only as we receive what God has already said to us in His Word and what He is saying to us particularly today through prophecy, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, and other spiritual gifts.
We must use this key to open the door to God’s presence.
The scribes and Pharisees had the keys, but they used them only so they themselves could enter, while they hindered others. Instead, in the name of Jesus, let us use the keys of revelation to enter in and open the doors wide so that many others may enter in also.
Prayer to Open Heavens, Minds, and Doors
Father God, we want Jesus to be at home in our lives, and we believe that authentic revival can start in us—right here, right now. We open the doors of our hearts. Jesus, please come in and be our Homeowner, Restorer, and Lord. Our hearts are no longer our homes; they are Yours. As we yearn for revival, we look to precedents in Scripture and in human history, such as the Hebrides Revival, the Welsh Revival, and many other outpourings of Your Spirit. We lift our cry to You: what You did before, we pray, “Do it again!” We want to partner with the Holy Spirit to create open heavens for our lives, our families, our churches, our cities, and our nations. We desire to be a people of Your presence. We want to love, cherish, and care for the bread of Your presence, just as loving parents care for their newborn child. We wait for You, we expect You, we accept Your indwelling presence, and we know that You can and will visit us again…and again. Amen!
Praying for Open Heavens!
James W. Goll
This article has been adapted from Chapter 1, “Creating an Opening” in James Goll’s new book: Revival Breakthrough.
If you want to see the heavens open and invite God’s presence to invade your life, family, church, and city, you’ll love James Goll’s NEW book, Revival Breakthrough: Preparing for Seasons of Glory, Awakening, and Great Harvest! When you order your book from God Encounters Ministries, you will also be emailed 12 bonus video devotionals by James W. Goll, one to go along with each chapter of the book! Order your copy today and get ready to receive more of God’s revival fire in your life!