Revival Stories

The 1907 Pyongyang Revival

At the beginning of the 20th century, Korea was still virtually untouched by the power of the Gospel. This began to change in 1903 as believers began praying earnestly for the Spirit to move. The initial fires of revival broke out in Wonson, a city on the northeast coast of Korea. As a spirit of repentance and restoration swept across the missonaries and Korean Christian leaders, it ignited a wave of spiritual fervor that stirred the church to significant growth over the next several years. Yet the Lord had even greater things in store for this nation.

In August of 1906, Dr. Hardie, who was a key revivalist from the earlier 1903 Wonson revival, visited Korea’s capitol city of Pyongyang to lead a group of missionaries in Bible study and prayer. A month later, news of the tremendous awakenings taking place in India and in Wales began to surface. This stoked the heart-yearning of those missionaries to see revival even more! As the news of these distant revivals spread throughout Korea, churches and leaders all across this Asian nation started to rally simply around the need to pray. Many Christian leaders committed themselves to pray persistently with extraordinary fervor. They knew there was still much unforgiveness and dissension in the local Korean church, and God alone could break through and turn the tide.

In January of 1907, the city of Pyongyang was host to an annual conference for the pastors and Christian leaders from all around Korea. More than 1500 gathered to attend, and over the next 2 weeks, God began to use the speakers to heighten an awareness of personal sin among the leaders. By Monday January 14th, the group met together with increasing anticipation of God’s fresh touch, and that evening brought with it an incredible sense of God’s very presence within the conference room. An invitation was given for the people to pray, and suddenly every person in the room came alive to join in a harmony of prayers, like the roar of many waters, moved together by a nigh-irresistible impulse to cry unto God.

Then, one Presbyterian Korean pastor Gil Seon-Ju stepped up to the platform, and he began to confess how he had sinned. He admitted he had stolen $100 for his own use and that he believed this sin was blocking God’s blessing from being poured out on their nation. One after another, countless leaders stood up to confess their own sins, weeping and calling out to the Lord. This continued on until Tuesday, and on that evening, some key leaders admitted their sins of deep unforgiveness and even hatred in their hearts for one another. And they asked each other for forgiveness and began to pray. No more than a few words were uttered before “it seemed like the roof was lifted from the building and the Spirit of God came down from Heaven in a mighty avalanche of power…” The rest of the night was immersed in tears and confessions and humble reconciliation.

When these conference attendees returned home to their churches, they carried far more than a memory of God’s presence that night. They carried back a revival fire that resounded with unrelenting prayer and courageous reconciliation. These spiritual fires birthed an abundance of new churches and set ablaze entire colleges. The Korean church developed its own mix of unique spiritual disciplines, such as regular early morning prayers with thousands of intercessors gathered. And God answered their prayers.Several thousand Koreans found their Savior Jesus by March 1907. By mid-year, over 30,000 had confessed Christ. By 1911, the nation could lay claim to over 200,000 Christians. By the end of 1912, over 300,000 Koreans had put their faith in our Lord. Over the next 100 years, the revived Korean church would continue to grow, and they would send out over 10,000 of their own missionaries to carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth.


  1. What do you think catches God’s eye and draws Him to bring revival to a nation?
  2. What kind of a leader is God looking for to ignite a fresh surge of Holy Spirit power throughout the church?
  3. What do you imagine will be the defining traits of the church in the next great revival?

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