Appendix 2 Revival in Madras

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R.R. Rajamani in ‘Monsoon Daybreak’, GLS, Bombay, 1970.

I shall never forget the message of Bakht Singh’s last thronged meeting at the Methodist Church on the text “Behold he prayeth” (Acts 9.11). It opened the eyes of many Christians in Madras to what God can do when His children get to their knees. It was through prayer, and this preacher’s strong em­phasis on prayer, that the Lord captured me. A great change came into me now and my heart was filled with a new joy.

Shortly after this Bakht Singh left Madras for the Punjab, but the Spirit continued to work and this wave of prayer went on all over Madras. The fire that God had kindled in the people’s hearts went on burning more and more fer­vently. Prayer meetings started here and there all over the city. Groups met for prayer at midday as well as in the evenings. In several places all-night prayer meetings were arranged on Saturday nights and hundreds used to gather. The spirit of sup­plication was upon the people as never before. In Zechariah 12.12-14 we read of great lamentations, every family lamenting separately for themselves. It was just like that. People came under great conviction of sin and many turned to the Lord.

This great revival of prayer continued for two years from 1938 to 1940. It created much hunger and thirst after righteousness in many hearts, not only among folk in Purasa­walkam and Vepery, where it had its beginnings, but in other suburbs of Madras also. People of the various Christian de­nominations would ask us to go and conduct meetings in their places of worship. I remember one Monday evening I was lead­ing prayer in one church where we used to meet. After a little while a church official came and whispered in my ear, “The building is not on fire, brother! Pray quietly. We have a com­mittee in the next room!” Yet many were converted there as a result of the meetings. And at the C.M.S. Tucker Church on Broadway we constructed a huge wayside pulpit displaying God’s Word. Though now cut down to half size it is still there doing its good work. Thus in the joy of those days we began to forget the findings of the Archbishops’ Commission on Doc­trine as well as our own recent dejection of spirit.

Brother D. Samuel now invited our help in follow-up work. He arranged Bible studies for us in the London Mission chapel, and at the end of 1938 the first of a series of retreats in a big rented house at Aminjikarai on the Poonamallee road west of the city. Two young Englishmen from Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills, Alfred J. Flack and C. Raymond Golsworthy, came in turn and opened up the Scriptures to us. They taught us how the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was to be a power in our lives, and they stirred us to pray and to labour towards His coming. Yesu Natharvaruvar, we sang. “Jesus Christ will come again.” The Bible teaching went on there and in the city churches for over a year. Once or twice at Aminjikarai we all broke bread together on the Lord’s day without this in anyway affecting our church membership…”


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