Hawaii is known by most people as merely a tropical vacation destination. But in the early 1800’s, the Hawaiian people were enveloped in immorality, abortion, and infanticide. Each year two-thirds of new babies were killed by their parents, and the overall population was decreasing annually. Christian missionaries worked to confront idolatry and pagan societal sins, but with limited success. By 1830, there were still only 577 church members throughout the entire island chain. One Hawaiian preacher named Puaaiki, known as the “Blind preacher of Maui”, began to unite the existing believers to give their whole hearts in prayer for revival. And these Hawaiian Christians began persistently praying with a passion and humility that the missionaries had rarely ever seen. On the island of Molokai, believers would rise an hour before sunrise to cry out to God. Children would be found in sugarcane or banana groves, weeping and praying to the Lord.
In 1835, an American missionary Titus Coan arrived in the islands. Titus had witnessed historic revival on the East Coast of the United States and had even served with the revivalist Rev. Finney for a time. With a keen sense of the spiritual warfare around him and a burning heart of love for lost souls, Titus travelled and preached extensively and cared for his listeners with the deep love of Christ. When revival broke out, it was marked by unrelenting prayer, deep repentance, sacrificial generosity, hunger for God’s Word, and powerful moves of the Holy Spirit. The Hawaiians became noted for their unique way of prayer: praying passionately, unashamedly out-loud, and all at the same time. By 1841, Hawaii would be home to the largest Christian church in the world at that time. The Gospel would touch and transform kings and commoners alike as God heard His people crying out to HIm and released a period of great awakening throughout the Hawaiian islands.
QUESTIONS TO DISCUSS:
1. The early Hawaiians were lost in paganism and sin that was ripping apart their society. What would you say are 2 of the most destructive sins that are tolerated in our culture today?
2. As you read about the prayer of the Hawaiian Christians, what adjectives come to mind? Of these descriptors, which ones will you ask the Lord today to specifically mark the prayers in our city?
3. What do you anticipate God will do in the next great revival that sweeps across our nation? What do you imagine this revival’s leaders will be remembered and known for?