River Revivals

“A river went out of Eden to water the garden and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads: Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, and the Euphrates (Genesis 2:10-14).” Moses wrote this valuable information which took place after 4004 B.C. Rivers have fascinated people for millennia, not only in the Far East, but in the United States as well.

In the U.S. there are over 250,000 rivers which measure 3,500,000 miles. The longest is the Missouri (2,540 miles); however in water volume the Mississippi is first. The Tennessee River runs past a small town, Parsons, which is about 125 miles from Memphis. The Mississippi, called the ‘father of waters,’ starts from a small outlet of Lake Itasca, rushes past Memphis, then hundreds of miles further into Lake Pontchartrain at New Orleans; then into the Gulf of Mexico.

One gallon of water weighs 8.33 pounds per gallon so this writer will let the readers figure how much all rivers weigh! Rivers provide drinking water, irrigation water, transportation, electrical power, drainage, food and recreation. Rivers also erode land and carry it downstream to the sea. This kind of erosion can even form canyons like the Grand Canyon and waterfalls like Niagara Falls. Who would have imagined that there have been and can be River Revivals?

One of the greatest happened in Israel. Syria had a commanding general, Naaman, who had captured an Israeli maiden in one of his raids against Palestine. She noticed that her master had the dreaded disease leprosy and recommend that he let the Prophet Elisha pray for his recovery. Syria’s king liked the idea and sent his warrior to Israel’s king. The king was furious and questioned if Syria sought a battle. Elisha told them to bring Naaman to him. Driving up in his ‘Cadillac’ chariot, his pride imagined the prophet coming out and making a big deal of the healing. Elisha sent his servant Gehazi who told Naaman to go to the Jordan River and immerse seven times. Naaman became furious and was going back home until his servant prevailed. So he waded out into the water, dipped seven times and his flesh became like a baby!

He had received a revival in the Jordan, and was so thrilled that he offered a huge reward. The prophet refused because it was the love of God, not money that produced revival.

The writer of Psalm One is not identified but some think it was Solomon because it is similar to Proverbs. Nevertheless, he knew about River Revivals for he said: “he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in his season (Psalm 1:3).” A tree has to have water to survive and the soul of man must receive the Spirit’s living water to prosper. Two pastors, Stephen Burns of Parsons and his friend Terry Black of Memphis have agreed that there is a need for a “Revival between the Rivers!” This writer was so moved when he heard this that he joined in prayer for it to take place. Imagine a revival 100 miles wide! Every village, community, town, and city filled with the Spirit. The Tennessee and Mississippi are ideal points which the Holy Ghost can hover over and immerse, filling each person.

So many churches in America are on or near rivers. This is a good place to start. Every other location whether desert, mountain, hill, or plain can join in. Revival, revival, revival; let the United Pentecostal Church experience it in 2012!

Rev. Raymond Parnell is Pastor Emeritus of Christ Memorial Temple in Lafayette, Indiana.

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